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Story Slides

Visitor examining plants under a microscope
Story Slides
Use a microscope to explore plant materials and discover the stories they tell.

Dogbane Story Slide

Making Cordage from the Dogbane Plant

Follow along with the steps in the traditional Ohlone practice of making cordage, or twine rope, from the dogbane plant.

Pressed Dogbane Plant

Dogbane grows in oak woodland meadows, near creeks. It flowers in the spring.


In fall and winter, we gather the plant’s long stalks.

Bits of Bark

We start the process by removing its outer bark.

Stalks, Unsplit and Split

We split open the stalks.

Bark Strips

We strip off the fibrous inner bark—this becomes the cordage. Next, we soak the strips of bark in water.


To make cordage, we hold one end, and roll the fibers against a thigh until they twist together.

Finished Necklace

We add clam shells or other beads to make a necklace.


Yerba Buena Story Slide


Rose Story Slide


Plant Personalities Story Slide