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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  • Chapter Meeting featuring Ethnobotany professor Kat Anderson
    7:00 pm-9:00 pm
    06-07-2018

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

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

    The CNPS San Luis Obispo monthly meeting is Thursday, June 7 at the San Luis Obispo Veterans Hall. From 7:00 to 7:30 pm we will have the usual social part of our monthly meeting, followed at 7:30 by a chapter business meeting.

    Program: The Ethnobotany and Associated Stewardship of California Black Oak/Mixed Conifer Forest Ecosystems in the Central and Southern Sierra Nevada as a Model for Restoring Forest Health: Ethnobotany professor Kat Anderson.

    Kat Anderson has a Ph.D. in Wildland Resource Science from UC Berkeley and is the author of the book Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources. The book was recently chosen by the celebrated permaculture designer Ben Falk, as one of the most important books to read in order to permanently solve food security. Kat has worked with Native Americans for over 25 years, learning how indigenous people judiciously gather and steward native plants and ecosystems in the wild. Her interests are to learn about, celebrate, and restore the similar plant uses, gathering and tending practices, and ethical stances towards nature that are in multiple local cultures here and all around the world.

    This talk will discuss the importance of California black oak and associate trees and understory species of the mixed conifer forests to the indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada for food, clothing, basketry, firewood, medicines, and household utensils. The audience will learn about the tremendous stewardship legacy of Sierran Tribes: how they knocked the oak trees with long poles and pruned the branches which helped shape the trees canopies and removed dead or dying wood, and may have spurred new fruitwood growth. Black oaks were managed at the ecosystem level with frequent, low intensity Indian-set fires, in order to open up the forest, promote widely-spaced large-canopied, long-lived oaks and conifers with less insects and pathogens, foster useful legumes, and encourage edible and medicinal mushrooms. I will explore some of the potential results of indigenous stewardship that may contribute to forest health including enhanced mycorhizzal relationships with oaks and conifers, nutrient cycling, soil fertility, enhanced soil moisture-holding capacity, and biological action in the soil.

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  • Five of the Morros of San Luis Obispo County
    7:30 am-9:00 pm
    06-23-2018

    Islay Hill Trail, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    Islay Hill Trail, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    Saturday, June 23

    Join us for a day on the Morros and learn which plants grow on each of these volcanic plugs.  Ascend one, two, or more. Here are the start times.

    • 7:30 a.m. Islay Hill, 2 miles, 500 ft. gain, moderate. The easternmost of the Morros, with views of five others. To trailhead, take Tank Farm Rd. east past Orcutt Rd, then south on Spanish Oaks Dr., then east on Sweet Bay Lane to end.
    • 9:00 a.m. Cerro San Luis, 4 miles, 1,100 ft. gain, moderate. Has knockout views of SLO. Trailhead at the end of Marsh St., just before on-ramp to Hwy 101 south.
    • Lunch (optional): 11:15 am to 12:00 pm, Throop Park, corner of Cerro Romauldo Street and Cuesta Drive, in SLO.
    • 12:00 p.m. Bishop Peak, 3.5 miles, 950 ft. gain, moderately strenuous. Highest of all the Morros. From Hwy 1, go west on Highland Dr., then right on Patricia Drive. Park at trailhead on Patricia Dr. just before reaching Anacapa Circle.
    • 3:30 p.m. Cerro Cabrillo, 2.5 miles, 800 ft. gain, moderately strenuous. 360-degree views from the Santa Lucia Mts. to coastline. Meet at Quarry Trail trailhead on South Bay Blvd, 1.4 miles south of Hwy 1 or 0.4 miles north of Turri Rd.
    • 6:00 p.m. Black Hill, 3.0 miles, 650 ft. gain, moderate. Ocean views from Montaña de Oro north to San Simeon. From South Bay Blvd, drive into Morro Bay State Park on State Park Road.  Meet at the parking area on the north side of the road, next to restrooms opposite the boat marina, just east of the campground entrance.

    Bring water (if hiking more than one Morro, store extra water in your vehicle), lunch and snacks, and dress in layers for changing weather. The day is likely to start and end cool but be quite warm at mid-day. A hat, sunscreen, and sturdy hiking shoes are essential. For more information, contact Bill, (805) 459-2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com.

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  • Guidetti Ranch hikes with EcoSLO docents
    All day
    06-30-2018

    1124 Nipomo St Suite A, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

    1124 Nipomo St Suite A, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

    The trail to Indian Knob, the tallest of the hills south of San Luis Obispo, starts on the Guidetti Ranch near the airport. Access to this area is restricted to a few hikes a year, sponsored by EcoSLO. As native plant enthusiasts, the goal of these hikes, in addition to enjoying the oak studded property and a 360o view at the top, is your chance to view one of the rarest plants in this county, the Indian Knob Mountain Balm, Eriodictyon altissimum. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service: when this plant was federally listed as an endangered species in 1994, there were fewer than 600 individuals known to exist. The Pismo clarkia, Clarkia speciose, ssp. immaculate, also occurs along this trail. Both of these species are listed by CNPS as extremely rare 1B.1 plants. 
     
    Please RSVP the EcoSLO docent listed below to hold a place for the hiking date that suits you and to receive more information about the hike.

    Saturday, June 30th at 9:00 AM with Dale – ds2040@gmail.com

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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