Dedicated to the preservation of California's native plants

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.


Workshop: Backpacking 201

Thursday, July 13, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, SLO Vets Hall

This is an opportunity to meet hikers who have spent time on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail).

They will bring their equipment to illustrate what essentials are needed for a backpacking trip, how to lighten one’s load before you get out on the trip, and discuss an assortment of food options to consider.

Join backpackers Bill and Diana Waycott, Jacqui Stone, and Timothy Kershaw of the Sierra Club and the California Native Plant Society for this workshop.

Meet at the SLO Vet’s Hall, 801 Grand Ave. Bring questions and equipment, if you think it needs a critique.

For more information, contact Bill at (805) 459-2103,

Workshop: Survey of a Rare Plant Habitat

Saturday, July 22, 8:30-11:30 am, Los Osos

If you have an interest in collecting data at a rare plant habitat site, please join plant biologists Melissa Mooney and Bill Waycott for this workshop.

San Luis Obispo County is home to many rare plant habitats, most of which have not been surveyed in many years. We will work in teams to identify and record the dominant plant species within a 60-foot radius from a predetermined GPS point. We plan to survey other rare plant habitats in the county over the next two years. This data will be forwarded to the state office for inclusion in the Manual of California Vegetation.

Please meet at the corner of Highland Drive and Broderson Ave. in Los Osos.

Bring a clipboard, sharpened pencil with a good eraser, a phone or device that reads GPS locations (if available), along with a hat, water, and snacks.

For more information, contact Melissa at 459-8099,


The Sargent Cypress Botanical Reserve: A Hammock Forest

The Sargent Cypress Botanical Reserve: A Hammock Forest

Author: WOODY FREY, Professor emeritus, OH Department, CalPoly, San Luis Obispo. This article was first published in Pacific Horticulture and is reprinted here with permission. Six miles north of San Luis Obispo, California, up a winding road off Highway 101 at an...

read more
Californians Restore Nature in Their Neighborhoods and Gardens with

Californians Restore Nature in Their Neighborhoods and Gardens with

The goal at Calscape is to help Californians restore nature in their neighborhoods and gardens, and to save water in the process. We can do this by providing in-depth
information about which plants are really native to any location in the state, helping to determine which ones to select, listing sources where the plants can be purchased, and then giving details about how to grow them.

read more
Common Milkweed (kotolo) Asclepias eriocarpus

Common Milkweed (kotolo) Asclepias eriocarpus

The cover drawing and article for this issue of the OBISPOENSIS was written and drawn by Alice Meyer. She was a very active member (and first Hoover Award Recipient in the 1970 and 80’s. She is the one who named our newsletter, OBISPOENSIS, and served as its editor...

read more

OCTOBER SEED EXCHANGE – Marti Rutherford There WILL be a seed exchange at our October meeting, and so we will need seeds. Many of our natives are just beginning to flower. But seed set has already occurred on some plants, such as manzanita. So keep your observational skills tuned and your collecting bags ready. Don’t forget the flowers that bloom in the summer and early fall.

NEW VEGETATION COMMITTEE BEING FORMED Are you interested in vegetation sampling? Do you have a favorite plant community, alliance or association? Then please contact Melissa Mooney, chair of the newly-enlivened Vegetation/Plant Communities committee of our SLO Chapter (email: We’ve been in touch with Julie Evens and Jennifer Buck of the State CNPS Vegetation Program, and will be coordinating with the folks in the East Bay Chapter who are doing similar work. First order of business will be to prioritize what communities need focus for possible assessment and mapping and lay out our goals. Serpentine communities? Morro manzanita maritime chaparral? Valley Oak Savanna? Get those ideas coming and lets do some sampling!

Wildflower Updates from our Community

April 1, 2017 Carrizo Plain Field Trip

April 1, 2017 Carrizo Plain Field Trip

OH MY GAWD! This is an exact quote from a CNPS member on seeing the super-bloom on the Carrizo Plain. Below is Marlin Harms’ picture of our field trip. While national press has focussed on the wonderful color in the Temblors, there are great flower displays on the west...

For those who want more in-depth wildflower updates,
The Theodore Payne Foundation does a great job

Theodore Payne Wildflower Hotline

818-768-1802 extension 7

  • March Chapter Meeting – Atascadero
    6:00 pm-9:00 pm

    6901 Capistrano Ave, Atascadero, CA 93422, USA

    6901 Capistrano Ave, Atascadero, CA 93422, USA

    Atascadero Library – CHAPTER MEETING March 2, 2017- Thursday 7pm OAK WORKSHOP – 6pm Atascadero Library

    Richard Standiford

    Richard is responsible for developing a program focused on sound management of California’s forests, rangelands, and other natural resources utilizing education, outreach, research, and a broad spectrum of working relationships. He provides leadership to county Cooperative Extension programs in development of forestry programs and conservation of oak woodlands. The clientele includes professional foresters and natural resource managers, forest and rangeland organizations, owners and managers, policy makers, and individuals concerned with natural resource management.


  • Late Winter BMC Chaparral CNPS Fieldtrip at the La Purisima Mission
    All day

    2295 Purisima Rd, Lompoc, CA 93436, USA

    2295 Purisima Rd, Lompoc, CA 93436, USA

    Saturday 4 March 2017 9 am

    Late Winter BMC Chaparral CNPS Fieldtrip at the La Purisima Mission

    The California Native Plant Society (CNPS)/ Lompoc Valley Botanic and Horticultural Society (LVBHS) will hold their annual winter fieldtrip to the Burton Mesa Chaparral (BMC) on t he La Purisima Mission grounds Saturday the 4th.

    Meet at the east end of Burton Mesa Blvd.(1550 E) in Mission Hills at 9 AM for a chance to see the early bloomers and interesting scenery.

    To reach Burton Mesa Blvd., Get to SR 1 north of Lompoc. At the signal where SR 1 turns down hill towards Lompoc, take Harris Grade Rd. north to Burton Mesa Blvd., and turn right (east). For more information call Charlie Blair at 733-3189.

  • Reservoir Canyon Wildflower Hike
    1:00 pm-5:00 pm

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

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

    Sunday, March 19, 2017, 1:00 pm

    Reservoir Canyon Wildflower Hike with Jenn Yost and Matt Ritter of Cal Poly

    Come explore the hills of Reservoir canyon on the strenuous loop hike to the summit and along this ridge of serpentine derived soils. Bring water, snacks, sunscreen, sturdy shoes, layered clothing for warmth as needed, hiking poles if desired, and the desire to learn new things with great views of the Morros, SLO, and the surrounding valleys. This hike may be strenuous for those who do not regularly walk for exercise.  Total length: 5.2 miles, total elevation gain 1,000 ft.

    Meet at the Reservoir Canyon Trailhead off Highway 101. Call (805) 781-7302 for more information.

    This field trip is sponsored by the City of SLO Ranger Service

  • Reservoir Canyon Wildflower Hike
    1:00 pm-4:00 pm

    Sunday, March 19, 2107, 1:00 pm Reservoir Canyon Wildflower Hike

    Meet Matt Ritter to explore the hills of Reservoir Canyon on this uphill climb to the summit and then, along the ridge, returning back to the trailhead via a second trail.  Come with the desire to learn new things, and to see great views of the Morros, SLO, and the surrounding valleys.  

    Meet at the Reservoir Canyon Trailhead off Highway 101.  Be sure to wear sturdy shoes, bring sunscreen, a hat, and layered clothing for warmth, as needed.

    For more information contact: SLO City Dept. of Parks and Recreation; (805) 781-7302.  Sponsored by the City of SLO Ranger Service.

  • Collecting and Preserving Plant Specimens in the Herbarium
    2:00 pm

    3346 Constellation Rd, Lompoc, CA 93436, USA

    3346 Constellation Rd, Lompoc, CA 93436, USA

    Sunday March 19, 2017 2-4 PM LVBHS Program at Valley of the Flowers UCC Church

    The Importance of Collecting and Preserving Plant Specimens in the Herbarium

    Please bring in a plant or flower that has a special meaning or even just tell us about such a plant or flower. The public is invited at no charge.

    The Church is at the corner of Constellation Rd and Jupiter St. (3346 Constellation Rd) For details, contact Charlie Blair 733-3189.

  • Coreopsis Hill
    All day

    2821 Oso Flaco Lake Rd, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420, USA

    2821 Oso Flaco Lake Rd, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420, USA

    Sunday, March 26, 2017, 8:45 am,  Coreopsis Hill (in the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes) 

    This is a casual walk through the dunes to the top of Coreopsis Hill (one of the northern most populations of this amazing plant, Leptosyne gigantea). This is a moderate hike, about 3 hours round-trip. Dress in layers, bring water and snacks, and have your “Dune Mother’s Wildflower Guide” (copies will be for sale at the beginning of the walk). Long pants and closed shoes are recommended as the habitat is coastal dune scrub and there is the possibility of poison oak and ticks in the natural dune.

    To reach the trailhead, turn west on Oso Flaco Lake Road, off of Hwy 1 and proceed west 2.5 miles to Beigle Road.  Look for a 6’ tall wire mesh fence and steel gate for parking.  Once you arrive, someone will direct you to parking.

    For more information call Lauren Brown at (805) 570-7993. Heavy rain cancels this trip (light rain, bring appropriate clothing).

  • Black -tailed deer copyright Marlin Harms
    Gardening in deer-prone areas
  • By Andy Murray (New Zealand honey bee on clover) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
    Honeybees and Native Plants
  • submit your photo
    Opening the World through Journaling
  • California native plant sources image
    Nurseries and Sources for Native Plants
  • copyright marlin harms
    Native Plants with Fragrance
  • mountain bluebird c Marlin Harms
    California Native Plants that Attract Birds
  • California Wildflower
    Layia platyglossa
  • Schoenoplectus californicus
  • Wild and Domesticated Oats (Avena spp.)
    Avena fatua & A. barbata
  • Stachys bullata
  • Atriplex watsonii
  • Beach sun cups illustration
    Camissonia cheiranthifolia
  • Monolopia lanceolata
  • Ice Plant illustration, copyright Bonnie Walters
    Carpobrotus chilensis and C. edulis
  • Penstemon heterophylla
  • Urtica dioica
  • Ramalina menziesii
  • Umbellularia californica
    Umbellularia californica
  • California Polypody illustration by Bonnie Walter
    Polypodium californicum
  • Quercus douglasii
  • Amanita phalloides
  • Asparagus asparagoides illustration by Bonnie Walters
    Asparagus asparagoides
  • Flannel Bush (Fremontodendron californicum)
    Fremontodendron californicum
  • Bush Poppy (Dendromecon rigida)
    Dendromecon rigida
  • Bermuda grass
    Cynodon dactylon
  • Arctostaphylos - manzanita
    Mystery Manzanita in the Elfin Forest
  • vernal pools illustration
    Vernal Pool with Downingia
  • Filaree illustration
    Erodium moschatum
  • Calandrinia ciliata
  • spear orache
    Atriplex patula
  • creek dogwood
    Cornus sericea
  • Oval Leaved Snapdragon (Antirrhinum ovatum)
    Antirrhinum ovatum
  • Kellogg Oak
    Quercus Kelloggii
  • Cucurbita palmata
    Cucurbita palmata
  • Oenothera deltoides
    Oenothera deltoides
  • Solidago californica
  • Ceanothus hearstiorum
    Ceanothus hearstiorum
  • Fall Color
  • The Juniper-Oak Plant Association of Caliente Mountain
  • yarrow image
    Common (White) Yarrow (Achillea millefollium)
  • Coast Live Oak sketch
    Coast Live Oak
  • common milkweed
    Common Milkweed (kotolo) Asclepias eriocarpus
  • Chorizanthe breweri
    The Sargent Cypress Botanical Reserve: A Hammock Forest