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Discoveries from my Neighborhood

We are very excited to partner with Dolby Laboratories for a special Nature in your Neighborhood project for Dolby Cares Week. A time when Dolby brings art and science together to inspire the next generation of innovators, and address the most critical needs in their communities. Thank you for contribution to Sutro Stewards!

By: Erica Richstad

Queen’s Tears:

I’ve learned to identify a lot of plants just walking around my neighborhood, but when I stumbled across this beauty crammed underneath a tree I had to know more. At first I thought it was an unusual Fuchsia, but discovered that this is ornamental plant is called Queen’s Tears, native to South America. Queen’s Tears (Billbergia nutans) has shallow roots and can get most of its nutrients from the air, or any other vertical surface it attaches to. It’s often found attached to trees, although it can grow on the ground as well, which is where I found this one. I don’t know how it survives in my chilly and foggy SF neighborhood, since while it thrives in humidity, it also likes temperatures above 60F/15C even in the winter. In the right climate it is very easy to grow, propagate, and share, so a second name for it is Friendship plant. I have never seen another like it in all my city wanderings, and I will definitely make regular visits to check in on my new friend!

California Buckeye: