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.

A selection of photos submitted from members

Hot Topics
Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolium)

Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolium)

Toyon, Heteromeles arbutifolium is a wonderful, hardy, native California evergreen shrub. It can be a good screen in the yard, growing up to 6 feet fairly quickly. It tolerates soils from serpentine to clay, to sand. It is not as flammable as other chaparral shrubs. It is a great forage plant for bees, butterflies, and …

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Membership News

Your gifts of membership are what sustain the chapter and ensures our vital work in conservation, education, horticulture and plant science continues to grow and flourish.

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Wildflowers of San Luis Obispo 2nd Edition

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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Invasive Species Report – Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

Invasive Species Report – Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

The extremely invasive Foeniculum vulgare is in the carrot (Apiaceae) family. It is native to Southern Europe and is problematic in coastal California and is also present throughout the western US all the way to Texas. I’ve encountered Fennel on Santa Catalina Island...

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Growing Native Plants from Seeds is Fun

Growing Native Plants from Seeds is Fun

For a native plant novice like me, joining the California Native Plant Society seemed like a good idea so I became a member of the San Luis Obispo chapter. My spouse and I attended our first meeting a year ago last October. That is where I met Marti and the real fun began.

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Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird Sage)

Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird Sage)

The cover of this Obispoensis is another beautiful water color by Heather Johnson. In our area Hummingbird sage can grow in an extensive mat. Its leaves are large (10 in (20 cm) long and 3 in (8 cm) wide). The leaf surface appears quilted. Its family affiliation (Mint or Lamiaceae or Labitae) is shown clearly in Heather’s water color.

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Defeat Dudleya Poaching through Propagation

Defeat Dudleya Poaching through Propagation

California Dudleyas are easy to grow. Illegal wild collection can be disrupted via legal propagation. I propagate Dudleya with middle school science classes. If seventh-graders can grow these natives from seed, you can too. Home gardens are a good source of Dudleya...

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Event Calendar
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  • March Chapter Meeting – Atascadero
    6:00 pm-9:00 pm
    03-02-2017

    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.

    THIS IS OUR ANNUAL NORTH COUNTY MEETING

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  • Late Winter BMC Chaparral CNPS Fieldtrip at the La Purisima Mission
    All day
    03-04-2017

    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.

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  • Reservoir Canyon Wildflower Hike
    1:00 pm-5:00 pm
    03-19-2017

    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
    03-19-2017

    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
    03-19-2017

    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.

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  • Coreopsis Hill
    All day
    03-26-2017

    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).

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April
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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Native Plant Pictures on Flickr