The mission of the California Native Plant Society is to increase understanding and appreciation of California’s native plants and to conserve them and their natural habitats through education, science, advocacy, horticulture and land stewardship.

Dedicated to the preservation of California's native plants

Fiscalini Ranch, January, 2019. Cambria, California. Marlin Harms.

Hypogymnia sp., Tube Lichen. Marlin Harms.

Phaeolus schweinitzii, Dyer’s Polypore.
Marlin Harms.

Mycena purpureofusca, Cone-dwelling Mycena. On cone of Monterey Pine, Pinus radiata. Marlin Harms.

Coastal Lichens on Rock–Caloplaca & Acarospora. 
Marlin Harms

Gymnopilus spectabilis, Laughing Gym, After Showers. Marlin Harms.

Hot Topics

Congratulations to our newest Hoover Award winner!

Congratulations to our newest Hoover Award winner!

Melissa Mooney was recognized with the 2018 Hoover Award at our January Banquet, an honor that highlights her commitment to CNPS’ mission of understanding and documenting California’s flora, focused specifically on rare plants and plant communities. View more

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A Discussion about Environmental Justice

During a recent CNPS Board meeting in Sacramento, I participated in a discussion on environmental justice. A quick search in Google defines environmental justice as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national...

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The Garden Corner

After several years of dryness, we are finally blessed with a cold and wet winter. With all this rain it’s important to go over a checklist for the Spring profusion of plant growth.

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Lichens

Lichens

People around the world use lichens for food, medicine, dying wool, and a variety of other uses.

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A Monterey Pine Tree Threw a Seed at Me

Technically, the Monterey pine tree threw the seed at my spouse who was standing on the deck outside of our house enjoying some sun. After the loud crack of a pinecone bursting open, one papery-winged seed wafted down onto the deck. Even though we live in the Monterey...

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Wildflowers of San Luis Obispo + Wildflowers of the Carrizo Plain

Wildflowers of San Luis Obispo + Wildflowers of the Carrizo Plain

The Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition of our wonderful Wildflowers of San Luis Obispo, California has arrived just in time for the holidays! 20 new plants have been added and the SLO City open space map has been updated including trailhead directions. The new cover photograph of Woolly Blue Curls with the distant view of an oak studded grassy hillside puts you on our Central Coast.

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Event Calendar

< 2019 >
April
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  • SO BE FREE (Bryophyte Chapter) Weekend
    All day
    04-01-2019-04-01-2019

    The Twenty-Fourth Annual
    Spring Outing
    Botanical Excursion
    Foray, Retreat, and Escape to the Environment
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO BE FREE 24 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Brought to you by the Bryophyte Chapter of the California Native Plant Society!

    Friday to Monday, 29 March to 1 April 2019
    Rancho El Chorro in San Luis Obispo
    Coordinators: Ken Kellman, Ben Carter
    Founded in 1996, SO BE FREE is a series of West Coast forays started by the Bryolab at UC Berkeley, but open to all botanists. The main focus is on bryophytes, but we also encourage experts on other groups to come along and smell the liverworts. We welcome specialists and generalists, professionals and amateurs, master bryologists and rank beginners. SO BE FREE is held each spring, somewhere in the Western US, associated with spring break at universities. Evening slide shows and informal talks are presented as well as keying sessions with microscopes. In addition to seeing interesting wild areas and learning new plants, important goals for SO BE FREE include keeping West Coast bryologists (and friends) in touch with each other and teaching beginners. To see pictures and information from past outings, visit the SO BE FREE website at: https://bryophyte.cnps.org/index.php/so-be-free

    ☛ One important function of this year’s SO BE FREE will be to serve as the annual meeting of the Bryophyte Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. See: https://bryophyte.cnps.org/ for
    details, and to join!

    The 2019 SO BE FREE will be held in San Luis Obispo County, one of the botanical gems within
    California. Midway along the coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo offers strong moisture gradients, a tremendous diversity of geological substrates and abundant open spaces that have been only lightly explored bryologically. Vegetation types range from moisture-loving closed cone coniferous forests near the coast to arid desert scrub in interior regions, with a diversity of chaparral and woodlands in between. The region is known floristically as a zone of transition, with representation of northern species in mesic areas, southern species in the drier coastal regions and even Mojave desert species in the eastern part of the county. Foray destinations will include Los Padres National Forest, many of the open spaces surrounding the city of San Luis Obispo, a private ranch in the interior and some of the best wildflower destinations in the state, all of which promise to be very rich in ephemerals, Bryaceae and Pottiaceae.

    Beginners are very welcome to SO BE FREE, and this year we will again have a workshop session for beginners at the start of the event. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning we will have field trips to satisfy all participants from neophyte to nerd! Field trip details are to follow. Access is being sought for private, State, and Federal lands.

    Interested? View PDF Flyer with Registration Information

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  • Carrizo Plain National Monument and Temblor Range
    All day
    04-06-2019

    US-101 & El Camino Real & US-101, Santa Margarita, CA 93453, USA

    US-101 & El Camino Real & US-101, Santa Margarita, CA 93453, USA

    Saturday, April 6th, 2019, 8:30 am

    Carrizo Plain National Monument and Temblor Range

    We will visit some of the best wildflower areas in the Monument, including some vernal pools, with an option to travel up into the Temblor Range.

    Meet at the Santa Margarita Exit Park and Ride at 8:30 am.

    For participants coming from Morro Bay, Los Osos, San Luis Obispo, and South County, please meet in the parking lot of Santa Rosa Park, at the corner of Oak St. and Santa Rosa St., in San Luis Obispo  at 8:10 am.  This is necessary, due to limited parking at the Santa Margarita Park and Ride.  We plan to start the carpool process first at Santa Rosa Park.  

    Bring plant guides or plan to purchase one during the trip. Also, bring adequate water, food, and dress in layers for the weather; a hat and sturdy shoes are advised. For more information contact Bill Waycott, (805) 459-2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com.

  • California Botanical Society’s graduate student research symposium
    All day
    04-06-2019-04-07-2019

    The CP Biology Dept is hosting the California Botanical Society’s graduate student research symposium on April 6th.  It’s a full day of talks from graduate students in California or studying California.  It is a great way to see most botanical labs in California and to network.  The evening of April 6th will be the California Botanical Society annual banquet and everyone is invited to attend.  Registration is open now.
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  • La Purisima Burton Mesa Wildflower Walk
    All day
    04-07-2019

    2295 Purisima Rd, Lompoc, CA 93436, USA

    2295 Purisima Rd, Lompoc, CA 93436, USA

    Sunday 7 April 2019 9:30 AM, CNPS and LVBHS, La Purisima Burton Mesa Wildflower Walk: Meet at the La Purisima Mission Parking Lot, corner of Purisima and Mission Gate Rds. (2295 Purisima Rd. Lompoc) at 9:30 AM for this annual California Native Plant Society and Sierra Club spring tour of the beauties of the Burton Mesa Chaparral. With the early March rains, there should be a reasonably good flower display. Optional afternoon tour. Sturdy shoes, lunch & liquids, camera and binoculars advised. For more information, call Charlie at 733-3189 

  • California Botanical Society’s graduate student research symposium
    All day
    04-07-2019-04-07-2019

    The CP Biology Dept is hosting the California Botanical Society’s graduate student research symposium on April 6th.  It’s a full day of talks from graduate students in California or studying California.  It is a great way to see most botanical labs in California and to network.  The evening of April 6th will be the California Botanical Society annual banquet and everyone is invited to attend.  Registration is open now.
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  • Cambria Wildflower Show
    12:00 pm-4:00 pm
    04-13-2019

    1000 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428, USA

    1000 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428, USA

    Cambria Wildflower Show

    The premier wildflower show on the north coast is scheduled for April 13 & 14 at the Vet’s Hall in Cambria (1000 Main Street) from 12:00 to 4:00 on Saturday and 10:00 to 2:00 on Sunday.

    We usually have around 400 species of plants on display collected from the coastal region from the county line to the North and Montana de Oro to the South. In the display, plants are grouped by family and labelled with scientific name and common name.  There are also notations for rare, invasive, and introduced. I think this would be a great event for any plant lover to experience.

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  • Reservoir Canyon – Wildlife Walk and Talk
    9:00 am-12:00 pm
    04-14-2019

    Reservoir Canyon Trail, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    Reservoir Canyon Trail, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

     

    April 14 Reservoir Canyon – Wildlife Walk and Talk – 9:00 am

    Local wildlife biologist and Cal Poly Professor Francis Villablanca joins to share his knowledge creatures and critters.

    Meet at the end of Reservoir Canyon Rd., coming from SLO, take 101 North about 1 mile past Monterey St. exit. Turn right onto Reservoir Canyon Rd.

    Route: Reservoir Canyon Loop
    Difficulty: Easy to Moderate, 2-3 hours

  • Cambria Wildflower Show
    10:00 am-2:00 pm
    04-14-2019

    1000 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428, USA

    1000 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428, USA

    Cambria Wildflower Show

    The premier wildflower show on the north coast is scheduled for April 13 & 14 at the Vet’s Hall in Cambria (1000 Main Street) from 12:00 to 4:00 on Saturday and 10:00 to 2:00 on Sunday.

    We usually have around 400 species of plants on display collected from the coastal region from the county line to the North and Montana de Oro to the South. In the display, plants are grouped by family and labelled with scientific name and common name.  There are also notations for rare, invasive, and introduced. I think this would be a great event for any plant lover to experience.

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  • Caliente Ridge
    All day
    04-20-2019

    US-101 & El Camino Real & US-101, Santa Margarita, CA 93453, USA

    US-101 & El Camino Real & US-101, Santa Margarita, CA 93453, USA

    Saturday, April 20th, 2019, 8:30 am

    Caliente Ridge, Carrizo Plain Natl. Monument

    We will drive through the Monument towards the Selby Camp and up Caliente Ridge (high clearance vehicle recommended). Meet at the Santa Margarita Exit Park and Ride.

    Bring plant guides or plan to purchase one during the trip. Also, bring adequate water, food, and dress in layers for the weather; a hat and sturdy shoes is advised. For more information contact Bill Waycott, (805) 459-2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com.

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May
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May
Volunteer at the Hoover Herbarium

During the volunteer sessions at the Hoover Herbarium, people can take part in any number of activities.  One of our primary responsibilities is mounting new specimens.  This involves taking dried and pressed plants and glueing them to paper.  When we mount plants, we do it in such a way that those specimens will last for hundreds of years.  Each specimen is a physical record of what plants occurred where and when.  Without this valuable information we wouldn’t know when a species goes extinct, expands or contracts its range, or where species occur.  After mounting, the specimens are databased and geo-referenced.  Then they are filed into the main collection. We have over 80,000 specimens at the Hoover Herbarium.  We are also working on a SLO Voucher Collection, which will contain one representative specimen for each species in the county.  Volunteers look through our specimens and pick the one that should be added to the Voucher Collection.  Additionally, we are actively working on our moss and lichen collections.  Volunteers can choose what aspects of the work they would like to participate in.  Any and everyone is welcome. The Hoover Herbarium is located on the 3rd floor of the Fisher Science Building (33) in rooms 352 and 359.

Starting Sept 18th, the herbarium volunteers sessions will be Mondays from 3-5 pm and Fridays 9 – 1.
Parking permits are required on campus Monday through Thursday, 7:00 am through 10:00 pm; and Friday, 7:00 am through 5:00 pm. You can either buy a $6 day pass, a $4 3-hr pass, park in a metered space, ride the bus, or park off campus and walk in.  Questions: email Jenn Yost at jyost@calpoly.edu

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