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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  • 04
    04.October.Thursday
    seeds image

    6:00 pm-7:15 pm
    10-04-2018
    SLO Vets Hall
    801 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    The seed exchange is back!

    The workshop time slot (6.00-7.15) before the October meeting is reserved for our second seed exchange. So think seed collection. There will be a few minor differences. There has been a request to provide a picture of the plant that the seeds will become. This will help those who might not be familiar with the names choose plants they want to try. Our chapter will supply seed envelopes so we will be asking those bringing seeds to just bring a bulk collection of cleaned seeds labelled with genus and species, where and when it was collected and a picture. There is no need to spend your time separating into little envelopes.

    The seed exchange is an opportunity to share seeds from native plants which are growing in your landscape. We will not sell seed. Do remember the legal issues of seed collection. It is illegal to collect seed from private property and public spaces without permission. If you happen to have access to rare plant seed DO NOT collect it. That seed should be reserved for seed banks and those with the skills to nurture the plant to maturity.

    Keep in mind that a collection of plants grown from seed has more genetic diversity than plants grown from cuttings. Depending upon what your goal is that may be a positive point. But garden grown plant seed is not ideal for restoration planting. One would want the more pure genetics of a wild population to use for restoration. Plants grown from seed might not be like the parent plant.

    There is an article on our website under Resources that has information on seed collection and cleaning (link). You might find it helpful. Find it under Resources > Growing Natives.

  • 04
    04.October.Thursday

    7:00 pm-9:00 pm
    10-04-2018
    SLO Vets Hall
    801 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    Bring a dessert to share and your 15 best digital photos. Please bring them on a flash drive and number/letter titles consecutively if you wish to show them in a particular order.

    The meeting will be preceded by a Seed Exchange at 6pm.

  • 12
    12.October.Friday

    6:00 pm-8:00 pm
    10-12-2018
    Spikes Pub
    570 Higuera St #104, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA
  • 14
    14.October.Sunday

    9:00 am-12:00 pm
    10-14-2018
    Three Bridges Oak Preserve
    9943-9949 Carmelita Ave, Atascadero, CA 93422, USA

    Sunday, Oct. 14th, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, Autumn walk in Atascadero.

    Join us on the new trail at Three Bridges Oak Preserve. This trail starts in a lovely blue oak woodland, ascends into chaparral, and ends in stands of madrone and views towards the east. It is 4 miles up and back, ascending 800 ft.  Come to learn the easy to identify plant and animal species.  To reach the trailhead, use a smart phone for guidance, because there are several windy streets involved.  Make sure to bring water and snacks. Sturdy shoes, sunscreen, hats, and layered clothing are recommended. No RSVP needed and dogs on a leash. Contact Bill Waycott, 805-459 2103. Rain or threat of rain cancels.

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