If you're looking for a thought-provoking discussion on insect biodiversity and decline, mark your calendars. Chemical ecologist and conservation...
Leslie Saul-Gershenz of UC Davis will speak on "Is Insect Biodiversity, Biomass and Abundance Declining?” at the Hillside Club's Fireside Lecture Series, Berkeley, on March 2.
Conservation biologist Norm Gershenz is the CEO of SaveNature.Org.
The pomegranate (Punica granatum) originated in the region extending from Iran to northern India and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region. It was introduced into Spanish America in the late 16th century and into California by Spanish settlers in 1769.
The pomegranate is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub that grows between 6' and 12' tall. Left to itself, it will also grow about that wide, so if you have a small yard, you may want to prune it into a more narrow version or remove the lower limbs to give it a small tree-like look. It can be grown as a single trunk small tree or multi-trunked bush with 3-5 trunks. You may wish to keep it in the back of your garden due to its size and abundance of thorns. It can endure temperatures down to 12 degrees before being damaged, and usually starts to leaf out after all danger of frost has passed. The fruits contain hundreds of arils (seeds), that are very sweet and nutritional.
Since it's been around for so long, it has developed a huge amount of folklore, as well as being shown in art and has had various religious and cultural uses. Ancient Egyptians regarded it as a symbol of prosperity and ambition. Hindus believe that the pomegranate fruit is a fertility enhancer and recommends that women who want to get pregnant eat this fruit in abundance It figures prominently in Greek mythology, as in the myth of Persephone, married to Hades and required to spend the number of days there each year equal to the number of seeds in a pomegranate, before she can return to her family in the heavens above. If she would have asked a master gardener, she might have been told to grow a miniature pomegranate bush, whose fruits are much smaller, only slightly larger than a golf ball, and hold only a fraction of the amount of seeds in a full-sized fruit, thereby allowing Persephone to spend the majority of the year away from Hades.
For more information on myth, lore and health benefits of the ancient pomegranate, visit this website below, or just search for pomegranate and you will have lots to read. “Fun Facts on Pomegranate in Religions and Mythology”, at
Pomegranate geometry. photos by David Bellamy
Pomegranate over garden gate.
The title is intriguing: "The Curious Case of the Stingless Bees of Palo Alto." Isn't it illegal to import stingless bees in the United States? It...
Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture will speak on stingless bees of Palo Alto at the Pacific Coast Entomological Society meeting on Feb. 27. Here he introduces Madagascar hissing cockroaches to Bohart Museum of Entomology guests on Feb. 15 during the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Plebeia sp (Images by Martin Hauser, California Department of Food and Agriculture)
"I don't teach because I have to; I teach because it is a joy to light the way and to spark the fire of knowledge." So says noted chemical ecologist...
UC Davis chemical ecologist Walter Leal, distinguished professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, has just been named recipient of the UC Davis Academic Senate's Distinguished Teaching Award for Undergraduate Students. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)