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

Hoover Award Honoree Marti Rutherford

Hoover Award Honoree Marti Rutherford

The Hoover Committee selected Marti Rutherford as the 2017 Honoree for the significant contributions she has made to our chapter. She has volunteered in many ways to promote the education and conservation of native flora in our county. Marti is an observant person...

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SLO Chapter Sends Students to Conference

SLO Chapter Sends Students to Conference

President Bill Waycott with students funded by SLO Chapter to attend the 2018 CNPS Conservation in Los Angeles. Left to Right: Paul  Excoffier, Bill, Molly Vanderlip, Nora Bales. Not shown in photo is student recipient Annaliese Ayers. Annaliese was recognized at the...

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President’s Notes March 2018

President’s Notes March 2018

While volunteering a few weeks ago in the CNPS co-sponsored San Luis Creek restoration project with the City of San Luis Obispo, several of us were removing weeds and planting natives along both sides of the creek in front of the Old Mission Church. This project is...

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Viola pedunculata (Johnny-jump-up)

Viola pedunculata (Johnny-jump-up)

Wild (California, yellow, or grass) violet, pansy or Johnny –jump-up This botanical illustration was created by Mardi Niles using a Micron 005 #1 Archival Ink pen and Prismacolor Verithin colored pencils on Bristol Regular paper. It will be the first of several...

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Heteromeles arbutifolia (Toyon)

Heteromeles arbutifolia (Toyon)

What native plant has more name recognition than Heteromeles arbutifolia, or some times, commonly known as Christmas Berry and California Holly. It is the sole species in the genus Heteromeles. Back in the 1920’s, people in southern California were drawn to the plant...

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Invasive Species: Brassica tournefortii (Saharan mustard)

Invasive Species: Brassica tournefortii (Saharan mustard)

Brassica tournefortii is in the Mustard family. It is native to the desert areas of the Mediterranean region of Europe. It has expanded its distribution in the sandy soils of Los Osos, most probably spread during the sewer project, and can rapidly overtake other...

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Event Calendar

  • 03

    All day
    La Purisima Mission
    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.

  • 08

    7:00 pm-9:00 pm
    Kiwanis Hall, Atascadero
    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.

  • 12
    Map of the French Hospital Medical Center campus

    6:00 pm-8:00 pm
    Copelands Health Education Pavilion at French Hospital
    1911 Johnson Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    We hope to see you there

  • 18

    9:00 am-12:00 pm
    Rinconada Trailhead
    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, Rain or the threat of rain cancels.

  • 25
    Coreposis Hill Field Trip

    9:00 am-12:00 pm
    Coreopsis Hill Trailhead
    2821 Oso Flaco Lake Rd, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420, USA

    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.


  • 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
  • Plants that Attract Butterflies

Native Plants

  • cirsium occidentale var compacta
    Cirsium occidentale var. compactum
  • Erigeron glaucus
    Erigeron glaucus
  • Brodiaea terrestris c Marlin Harms
    Brodiaea terrestris
  • Bloomeria humilis
    Bloomeria humilis
  • Calystigia subacaulis var. episcopalis
    Calystigia subacaulis var. episcopalis
  • Senegalia greggii

Native Plants