The Menlo Roundtable

California Native Plants Made Accessible

In her freshman year, Bella took a class called Experimental Science in place of the traditional Physics class, which included an ecology unit that ignited a passion that would grow throughout her high school experience.

When students were instructed to research plants from different ecosystems and make a presentation about their adaptations, Bella found herself on a Wikipedia page about epiphytes and bromeliads. “You know those trendy air plants that people associate with hipsters and a Bohemian aesthetic?” she asks on her website. It turns out these plants which are found in tropical, humid regions have adapted to live without a traditional root system. “HOW COOL IS THAT?!” Ever since that assignment, she has been hooked on botany, and that is why she chose to do an IP Capstone on the subject. Her project involved organizing and planting a garden of native California plants, creating an herbarium for the school, building a website, and celebrating the beauty of plants in art.

Visit the Menlo Herbarium