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

Succulent Smuggling Comes to the Central Coast

Succulent Smuggling Comes to the Central Coast

Last spring, the story of a Dudleya smuggler in Mendocino County hit the news when an observant person noticed something odd while waiting in line at the local post office. (Here's a link to one of the news outlets covering that story.) Now we have our own case of...

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Maintaining Garden Tools

Maintaining Garden Tools

February is pruning month and with all the rain its time to get out the pruning tools. A dull, unsharpened tool can be dangerous to use so it is wise to sharpen them before use. Some general rules about sharpening tools. First, always wear gloves when sharpening...

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Winners and losers under the impact of intense drought

As we have just experienced an intense and prolonged drought, a team of scientists has just published in Nature Climate Change Letters an analysis of impacts in the Carrizo Plain. They quantified the responses of 423 species of plants, arthropods, birds, reptiles and...

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Wildflowers of San Luis Obispo 2nd Edition

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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European Beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria)

European Beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria)

Ammophila arenaria is in the Poaceae family. It is native to northern Europe and
spread from plantings from the late 1800s to the late 1900s. Andrea Pickart has
written that European beachgrass is the most pervasive exotic plant species
currently threatening coastal dunes on the west coast of the U.S. and is invasive in
every major dune system from Santa Barbara County …

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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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Help is needed at the sales table

We could use some help behind the counter at some of our meetings and events. You can be as involved as you like: selling and writing receipts, report on the sales after the meeting, even order books. Please consider a few hours to keep us operating!

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Event Calendar

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  • La Purisima Mission
    All day
    03-03-2018

    2295 Purisima Rd, Lompoc, CA 93436, USA

    2295 Purisima Rd, Lompoc, CA 93436, USA

    Saturday 3 March 2018 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 the La Purisima Mission grounds Saturday the 3rd .

    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 downhill 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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  • Chapter Meeting March 2018
    7:00 pm-9:00 pm
    03-08-2018

    7848 Pismo Ave, Atascadero, CA 93422, USA

    7848 Pismo Ave, Atascadero, CA 93422, USA

    Chapter Meeting, March 8, 2018, Kiwanis Hall, 7848 Pismo Ave, Atascadero, CA 93422

    Lynne Dee Althouse with present: Green Energy, Wildflowers & Wildlife — Topaz, a story about planning and process for a solar farm. Lessons learned.


    Chapter meetings are generally held the first Thursday of the month at the San Luis Obispo Vets Hall on Grande Ave near the corner of Monterey Street.

    Our March meeting often held in Atascadero.

    Our meetings kick off with a social time that begins at 7:00 p.m.  This  is a time to sample the treats that members have brought along to share,  and browse the book table. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. with some  brief announcements before the program begins.

    Speakers and notes from Chapter Meetings are documented in each  Obispoensis newsletter. Please see the Obispoensis archive for PDF file  of each newsletter.

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  • Rinconada Trail
    9:00 am-12:00 pm
    03-18-2018

    9322 Maud Ave, Santa Margarita, CA 93453, USA

    9322 Maud Ave, Santa Margarita, CA 93453, USA

    Sunday, March 18th, 9:00 am

    Join us for a plant walk on the Rinconada trail in Los Padres National Forest. This trail starts in an oak woodland, then ascends into chaparral on a north facing slope, growing in some places on serpentine soils, and to the ridge top with 360 degree views. Total distance is 4 miles with an elevation gain of 800 feet, and a total hike time of roughly three hours.

    Meet at the trail head, approximately 10 miles east of Hwy 101 on Pozo Road (3 miles beyond the turnoff for Santa Margarita Lake and 25 miles from San Luis Obispo). Carpooling is an option, meet at the Park and Ride, Hwy 58 exit and Hwy 101 at 8:30 am. Make sure to bring water and snacks. Sturdy shoes, sunscreen, a hat, and layered clothing are recommended. Also, bring paper and pencil to take notes, and a camera for a photo record. A plant list may be available at the beginning of the hike.

    No RSVP needed and no dogs please.

    For more information, contact Bill Waycott, (805) 459- 2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com. Rain or the threat of rain cancels.

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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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