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
< 2018 >
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  • Malcolm McLeod Annual Field Trip Meeting at Carrizo Plain
    All day
    04-07-2018

    US-101 & El Camino Real & US-101, Santa Margarita, CA 93453, USA

    US-101 & El Camino Real & US-101, Santa Margarita, CA 93453, USA

    Saturday, April 7, 2018, 8:00 am

    Cancelled due to rain and poor wildflower showing

    Malcolm McLeod Annual Field Trip Meeting at Carrizo Plain

    Join us to explore and appreciate the remarkable and unique display of annual and perennial spring wildflowers in eastern San Luis Obispo County. This could be the BIG YEAR in this giant swath of undisturbed California Prairie. Remember, this is a remote area, so make sure you have plenty of gas, water, as well as food.

    Meet at the Santa Margarita park-and-ride (freeway exit, State Route 58 at Hwy 101) at 8:00 am. We will caravan from there with a brief stop at Shell Creek. You may be able to carpool with someone, so it is recommended to arrange your ride ahead of time, or jump in with others at the meeting place. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes, bring sunscreen, a hat, and layered clothing for warmth, as needed.

    For more information contact: George Butterworth, (805) 438-3641, gbutterworth8@gmail.com or Bill Waycott, (805) 459-2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com. Rain cancels.

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  • Chapter Meeting April 2018
    7:00 pm-9:00 pm
    04-19-2018

    801 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    801 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    The Flora of Baja California

    Dave Keil

    Thursday, April 19th, 7:00 pm, CNPS Monthly Meeting, SLO Vets’ Hall


    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 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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  • Pismo Preserve
    9:00 am-12:00 pm
    04-22-2018

    80 Mattie Rd, Pismo Beach, CA 93449, USA

    80 Mattie Rd, Pismo Beach, CA 93449, USA

    Sunday, April 22, 9:00 am

    Join CNPS members at this spectacular natural open space, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

    Meet at the entrance by taking the free shuttle (there is no parking permitted on the grounds). It is recommended you arrive at one of the two shuttle stops by 8:30 am to insure your arrival at the Preserve by 9:00 am. The two shuttle stops are located at: a) Pismo Beach City Hall and b) Dolphin Bay Resort. The shuttle service is provided by Ride-On SLO between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm.

    Be sure to bring your wildflower guides, adequate water and food, a hat, sturdy shoes, and dress in layers for the weather.

    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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Native Plant Pictures on Flickr