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

The Garden Corner

most California native plants bloom in March and April. Then they will began a vegetative growth spurt that will end in early September after which they will go into a dormant period due to our Mediterranean climate.

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CNPS Education Program

CNPS Education Program

our chapter had the opportunity to work with Bev Gingg and Learning Among the Oaks, a program that has been working to introduce young children to the oak woodland community at the Santa Margarita Ranch, and, more recently, at the Pismo Preserve

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Mugwort

Mugwort

This plant was used for a variety of uses throughout California. The Chumash made a tea to put on poison oak to relieve the symptoms. They also made a felt cone from the dried leaves to burn on a patients skin to cauterize a wound.

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Seed Collection of Early Bloomers

Buttercup seeds are turning brown even as more buds open. Collecting will be an ongoing process which I can do easily since it is in my garden. This is just a reminder that seed season is upon us.

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Event Calendar

< 2019 >
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  • Chapter Meeting August 1
    7:00 pm-9:00 pm
    08-01-2019

    801 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    801 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    CNPS will hold its first-ever meeting in August, on Thursday, August 1st, at the SLO Vets’ Hall at 7:00 pm. The  featured speaker will Greg Rubin, an expert in native residential landscape design with special emphasis on fire resistant species.  Greg will talk on his experience in Southern California, working in chaparral ecosystems.  He will present the current approach to best practices for fire-safe plant selection and placement in suburban environs.

    Greg Rubin, President and Founder of California’s Own Native Landscape Design, Inc. is a licensed landscape contractor who has worked with California native plants since 1985.  His company has designed over 700 native landscapes in Southern California. Specialties include residential, commercial, and institutional landscapes that cover an array of garden styles, while providing year-round appeal, low maintenance, water efficiency, rich habitat, and fire-resistance.

    Greg has been featured in a number of periodicals including the Wall Street Journal, San Diego Union Tribune and Los Angeles Times, and magazines such as Sunset, San Diego Home and Garden, California Gardener and Kiplinger’s. Media coverage includes repeat appearances on NPR. Greg regularly gives presentations and workshops on native plants to conferences, garden clubs and other organizations throughout Southern California.

    Greg is co-author of a new book with Lucy Warren, “The California Native Landscape: The Homeowners’ Design Guide to Restoring its Beauty and Balance”, published by Timber Press.  This popular native horticultural work covers all aspects of native landscape design.  Greg also served on the boards of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation, California Native Plant Society, the Lux Art Institute, and the Garden Native foundation.

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  • Mountain bike ride and hike to Cone Peak, Big Sur
    All day
    08-03-2019

    Forest Rte 22S05, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA

    Forest Rte 22S05, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA

    Update 8/1:

    The CNPS mountain bike ride is still on for Saturday, August 3rd, but the venue has been changed due to the Mill Fire to San Simeon Creek Road.

    Carpooling is still available from Santa Rosa Park in SLO at 7:30am.
    We will meet at the San Simeon State Park Day Use Area – park and ride – at 8:30am.

    See you there!


    Ride the Coast Ridge Road to the Cone Peak trailhead, then hike to the summit (5,155 ft.) and return. Along the way, take in the amazing views and see some rare plants – Santa Lucia fir and Sugar pine. Meet at the junction of Nacimiento-Fergusson Road and Coast Ridge Road (36°00’35.7″N  121°27’08.3″W) at 10:30 am. For a carpool option, meet either at Santa Rosa Park in San Luis Obispo at 7:30 am or at the Washburn Day Use Area of San Simeon State Park, 1.5 miles north of Cambria (35°35’40.7″N 121°07’27.2″W), 8:20 am. The bike ride is 11 miles round trip to the Cone Peak trailhead and back. The hike is 5 miles round trip.  Bring a helmet, water, lunch, snacks, sunscreen, as well as shoes/boots and a hat for the hike.  Also, bring a cable lock for your bike to use during the hike.  For those interested in carpooling, a pickup truck is preferable to transport others and their gear.  For more information, contact Bill Waycott (805) 459-2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com.

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  • Rare Plant Treasure Hunt, Lopez Lake
    All day
    08-16-2019-08-18-2019

    rare plants

    Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, Aug. 16th to Aug. 18th

    The California Native Plant Society is conducting a rare plant survey in the Lopez Lake area with a species focus on Malacothamnus gracilis, slender bush mallow, a 1B.1 listed plant. Members will help to assess this rare plant’s distribution and take part in the collection of seeds as part of the California Plant Rescue program, www.caplantrescue.org.

    This Treasure Hunt is coordinated by Amy Patten and Keir Morse, CNPS staff, whose sole job is to seek out rare and, in many cases, endangered species. Participants must be in good physical condition, due to the steep terrain and chaparral vegetation, and have basic skills in plant identification. Afternoon temperatures in August can reach the mid 90s.  If interested in joining the team for a day or the entire weekend, participants need to sign up via Eventbrite:

    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/malacothamnus-gracilis-rare-plant-treasure-hunt-registration-61706735507.  Contact Bill Waycott if you have questions, bill.waycott@gmail.com.

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  • Rare Plant Treasure Hunt, Lopez Lake
    All day
    08-17-2019-08-18-2019

    rare plants

    Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, Aug. 16th to Aug. 18th

    The California Native Plant Society is conducting a rare plant survey in the Lopez Lake area with a species focus on Malacothamnus gracilis, slender bush mallow, a 1B.1 listed plant. Members will help to assess this rare plant’s distribution and take part in the collection of seeds as part of the California Plant Rescue program, www.caplantrescue.org.

    This Treasure Hunt is coordinated by Amy Patten and Keir Morse, CNPS staff, whose sole job is to seek out rare and, in many cases, endangered species. Participants must be in good physical condition, due to the steep terrain and chaparral vegetation, and have basic skills in plant identification. Afternoon temperatures in August can reach the mid 90s.  If interested in joining the team for a day or the entire weekend, participants need to sign up via Eventbrite:

    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/malacothamnus-gracilis-rare-plant-treasure-hunt-registration-61706735507.  Contact Bill Waycott if you have questions, bill.waycott@gmail.com.

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  • Rare Plant Treasure Hunt, Lopez Lake
    All day
    08-18-2019-08-18-2019

    rare plants

    Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, Aug. 16th to Aug. 18th

    The California Native Plant Society is conducting a rare plant survey in the Lopez Lake area with a species focus on Malacothamnus gracilis, slender bush mallow, a 1B.1 listed plant. Members will help to assess this rare plant’s distribution and take part in the collection of seeds as part of the California Plant Rescue program, www.caplantrescue.org.

    This Treasure Hunt is coordinated by Amy Patten and Keir Morse, CNPS staff, whose sole job is to seek out rare and, in many cases, endangered species. Participants must be in good physical condition, due to the steep terrain and chaparral vegetation, and have basic skills in plant identification. Afternoon temperatures in August can reach the mid 90s.  If interested in joining the team for a day or the entire weekend, participants need to sign up via Eventbrite:

    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/malacothamnus-gracilis-rare-plant-treasure-hunt-registration-61706735507.  Contact Bill Waycott if you have questions, bill.waycott@gmail.com.

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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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