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

Centennial Development at Tejon Ranch

Centennial Development at Tejon Ranch

The LA County Board of Supervisors will consider whether or not to approve the proposed Centennial development next Tuesday, December 11. Although this project is located in LA County, we believe this is an issue that impacts all of California, both in terms of our...

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Save the date

CNPS-SLO ANNUAL BANQUET WILL BE HELD JANUARY 12, 2019 AT THE MORRO BAY VETS HALL.  Details coming...

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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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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

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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President’s Message December 2018

President’s Message December 2018

In past issues of Obispoensis, I have noted some of my observations on the impact of invasive plants in our state – their negative effects and a bit on their historical introductions. My musings on the origins of such a domineering presence by these plants,  led me to...

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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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Botta’s pocket gopher

Botta’s pocket gopher

Last month we discussed California ground squirrel problems, this month I will focus on the gopher aka Botta’s pocket gopher (Thomomys bottae). For most of us, gophers can sometimes be a headache but a livable one. They come and go between you and your neighbor’s yard, only losing a couple of plants a year. For yards like these I recommend using …

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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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  • 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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Native Plant Pictures on Flickr