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.

Hot Topics

Clarkia speciosa subsp. immaculata (Pismo Clarkia)

Clarkia speciosa subsp. immaculata (Pismo Clarkia)

I chose the Pismo clarkia because it grows in the area surrounding Mardi’s home and nowhere else. It grows naturally in about 20 occurrences from the southern Edna Valley, south through the foothills and valleys of the Southern San Luis Range, ending east of Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande (Huasna Valley).

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Why Grow Natives from Seeds?

by Marti Rutherford. You have probably wandered the nursery isles looking for the ever more popular native plants being sold. Do you ever consider how those plants have been propagated? Many, if not most, native plants in the nursery trade are propagated by cuttings. The nursery person knows what the plant will look like and behave like

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Seed Exchange

Seed Exchange

I know it seems too early to be thinking seeds. Many of my plants are just starting to bloom. I just wanted to remind those who are interested that the seed exchange is going to take place ate the October meeting before the main program. Let a few of your garden...

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Gardening Corner

A Commentary by John Nowak, Plant Sale co-Chairperson

The other day, while checking out at the grocery store, the cashier noticed my CNPS hat and asked me, “How do you become an environmentalist?” I thought for a moment and then I told him “I would start at home.”

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Plant Associations and the Geology of the Morros

Plant Associations and the Geology of the Morros

What you are seeing is a display of the underlying geology manifested in the soils that lie above the bedrock. The browning grasslands are floored with ‘melange’ of the Franciscan Formation, a unit composed of sheared shale and bits and pieces of the ancient seafloor that were squished into a subduction zone… kinda like what happens if you try and push a slice of pizza under a door.

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Froom Ranch Opinion, Neil Havlik

Submitted to SLO Tribune At the San Luis Obispo city Planning Commission meeting of Jan. 24 regarding the proposed continuing care facility known as Villaggio at the Froom Ranch, several commissioners wondered aloud if the project was not “a good project in the wrong...

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Pigs Attack the Saltmarsh of Morro Bay… again

Pigs Attack the Saltmarsh of Morro Bay… again

Wild pigs are again active in Morro Bay, causing damage while rooting for the tuberous reeds in the brackish freshwater seep zones close to the high tide line. This time they are at Shark Inlet. We last saw them in 2015 on both sides of the South Bay Boulevard bridge, and neither of the locations appear to have recovered.

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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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  • Coreopsis Hill
    9:00 am-12:00 pm
    03-25-2018

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

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

    Coreposis Hill Field Trip

    Sunday, March 25, 2018, 8:45 am,  Coreopsis Hill (in the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes) 

    This hike is sponsored by the San Luis Obispo Chapter of CNPS, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and The Dunes Center, and will be led by Lauren Brown,

    Dirk Walters, Jenny Langford and other local botanists and volunteers. The hike will begin at 9:00 AM (please plan to arrive between 8:45 and 9:00), leaving from the south end of Beigle Road at the USFWS access road (fenced road). It will be a casual walk through the dunes to the top of Coreopsis Hill. 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” by Dr. Malcolm McLeod for the trip. 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 areas (we will watch for and point these out so they can be avoided). For more information, call Lauren Brown at 460-6329 or 570-7993. Heavy rain cancels this trip (light rain, bring appropriate clothing).

    Directions from the north:  Take Hwy 101 south from San Luis Obispo. Turn right (west) at the new Willow Road off ramp (Exit 180). Proceed west on Willow Road for about 4.3 miles, to Highway 1. Turn left (south) on Highway 1 and proceed for 2.7 miles, to Oso Flaco Lake Road. Turn right (west) on Oso Flaco Lake Road. Proceed west on Oso Flaco Lake Road for 2.5 miles to Beigle Road. Look for a 6’ tall wire mesh fence and steel gate.

    Directions from the south: Take 101 north to Santa Maria and take the Main Street exit toward the town of Guadalupe. Turn right onto
    Highway 1 and head north to Oso Flaco Lake Road (about 3 miles north of Guadalupe), turn left onto Oso Flaco Lake Road and
    proceed 2.5 miles to Beigle Road (on left).

    Parking: We will have people posted at the entrance of the USFWS fenced road to direct parking. The gate will be open around 8:30. Please do not park on Oso Flaco Lake Road near the gate as there is not much room and it could be hazardous. There should be plenty of room to park along the USFWS access road. The Oso Flaco Lake State Park lot is another ¾ miles west of Beigle Road, if you need to use a restroom before the hike (there are none along the hike route). Note: Pets, smoking or tobacco products, or alcohol are not allowed on the Refuge, including the parking area, or other properties accessed during the hike (i.e., State Parks and Private Property). Pets may not be left in cars in the parking areas.

     Monardella undulata ssp. crispaAdditional Information: The Guadalupe-Nipomo  Dunes Coastal Area contains the largest, relatively undisturbed coastal dune tract in California and was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1974. Five major plant communities are represented including pioneer/foredunes; coastal dune scrub; riparian woodland; coastal dune freshwater marshes, ponds, and swales; and active interior dunes. The flora includes many endemic plant species and the dunes habitats support numerous rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals.

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