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

Congratulations to our newest Hoover Award winner!

Congratulations to our newest Hoover Award winner!

Melissa Mooney was recognized with the 2018 Hoover Award at our January Banquet, an honor that highlights her commitment to CNPS’ mission of understanding and documenting California’s flora, focused specifically on rare plants and plant communities. View more

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A Discussion about Environmental Justice

During a recent CNPS Board meeting in Sacramento, I participated in a discussion on environmental justice. A quick search in Google defines environmental justice as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national...

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The Garden Corner

After several years of dryness, we are finally blessed with a cold and wet winter. With all this rain it’s important to go over a checklist for the Spring profusion of plant growth.

read more
Lichens

Lichens

People around the world use lichens for food, medicine, dying wool, and a variety of other uses.

read more

A Monterey Pine Tree Threw a Seed at Me

Technically, the Monterey pine tree threw the seed at my spouse who was standing on the deck outside of our house enjoying some sun. After the loud crack of a pinecone bursting open, one papery-winged seed wafted down onto the deck. Even though we live in the Monterey...

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Wildflowers of San Luis Obispo + Wildflowers of the Carrizo Plain

Wildflowers of San Luis Obispo + Wildflowers of the Carrizo Plain

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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Event Calendar

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  • Santa Barbara Botanical Garden
    All day
    03-02-2019

    1212 Mission Canyon Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, USA

    1212 Mission Canyon Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, USA

     

    Saturday, March 2, 2019, 10:00 am

    Please RSVP by Sunday night, Feb. 24 (see below)

    CNPS-SLO is going to SBBG!  The Garden’s mission is to conserve native plants and habitats with an emphasis on vegetation communities of the Central Coast and the offshore islands.  All plants used in the Garden are California natives.

    Activities during the day will include:

    1. Departure – leave San Luis Obispo at 8:30 am. For carpools, meet at Santa Rosa Park (Santa Rosa St. at Oak St.) at 8:20 am. Or, drive yourself directly to the Garden, located at: 1212 Mission Canyon Rd., Santa Barbara.  Transportation is by private vehicles, as transport using a rented van was judged to be too expensive.  All participants should meet in the SBBG parking lot by 10:00 am.
    2. Morning – we will walk up Rattlesnake Canyon, a short drive from the Garden. We will discuss native plants and lichens in that riparian habitat. (https://www.santabarbarahikes.com/hikes/frontcountry/rattlesnake)
    3. Noon – bring your own lunch, we will eat on the terrace at Pritzlaff Conservation Center, overlooking the Channel Islands (https://www.sbbg.org/explore-garden/pritzlaff-conservation-center)
    4. After lunch – we will tour the Garden’s research labs and herbarium (https://www.sbbg.org/explore-garden/pritzlaff-conservation-center/herbarium)
    5. Mid-afternoon – we will participate in a Lichen Workshop with the new hire, Dr. Rikke Reese Næsborg (see pg. 20, http://californialichens.org/bulletin/CALS_2014_21-1.0900.pdf)
    6. Evening – return to San Luis Obispo

    Are you interested in going?  Please RSVP by sending an e-mail to Bill Waycott (bill.waycott@gmail.com) by Sunday night, Feb. 24 so we can get an idea of how many people to expect. Please indicate if you want to carpool. Thanks!

    Workshop Questionnaire  For members who have not had a chance to complete the workshop questionnaire, please use the link below.  We are eager to know your thoughts and ideas regarding a series of CNPS workshops to be coordinated by our chapter.  Thank you for your participation. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/32CL6LQ

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  • The Diversity and Evolution of Cacti, Dr. James Mauseth
    7:00 pm-9:00 pm
    03-07-2019

    7848 Pismo Ave, Atascadero, CA 93422, USA

    7848 Pismo Ave, Atascadero, CA 93422, USA

    Dr Jim Mauseth

    CHAPTER MEETING

    March 7, 2019, Thursday, 7 pm

    Atascadero Kiwanis Hall

    Mixer and Browse Sales Table 7 pm, Program 7:30 pm

    The native cacti of California are wonderful, but they are new-comers …

    Cacti originated in South America and evolved there for millions of years before any cactus was able to migrate to North America. In South America, there are still cacti that are ordinary leafy trees, cacti adapted to jungles, others that are at home next to snow banks high in the Andes. Argentina has giant columnar cacti that look like California’s saguaros, and nearby grow dwarf cacti that are smaller than your little finger when mature and flowering. Many cacti have spines that are modified into glands that secrete nectar: the cacti have a bargain with ants, trading a bit of sugar water for protection against mites.

    James Mauseth is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin, and a world-famous plant anatomist and cactus expert. An award-winning teacher, he has been invited to teach Plant Anatomy at Cal Poly this quarter. Jim’s specialty is plant anatomy, studying the cells and tissues of cacti and comparing them to the equivalent parts of plants that have more ordinary structures typical of non-succulent plants. He has traveled extensively in South America, and is a Fellow of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America. He will present a talk entitled The Evolution and Diversity of Cacti.

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  • Coreopsis Hill
    9:00 am-12:00 pm
    03-23-2019

    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 23, 2019, 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 Jenny Langford, Lauren Brown, Dirk Walters, 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 805-460-6329 or 805-570-7993. Heavy rain cancels this trip (light rain, bring appropriate clothing).

    NOTE: Pets, smoking, 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.

    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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  • Irish Hills Wildflower Hike
    1:00 pm-4:00 pm
    03-24-2019

    1691 Madonna Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, USA

    1691 Madonna Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, USA

     

    Professional Botanist Kristen Nelson and Cal Poly Professor Nishi Rajakaruna join to help ID flowers and discuss new plant species she discovered in Irish Hills Natural Reserve. Meet at Madonna Rd. Trailhead (Roundabout at Madonna Rd. and Eto Cir.)
    Route: Froom Creek to Mariposa
    Difficulty: Moderate 2-3 hours

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  • SO BE FREE (Bryophyte Chapter) Weekend
    All day
    03-29-2019-04-01-2019

    The Twenty-Fourth Annual
    Spring Outing
    Botanical Excursion
    Foray, Retreat, and Escape to the Environment
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO BE FREE 24 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Brought to you by the Bryophyte Chapter of the California Native Plant Society!

    Friday to Monday, 29 March to 1 April 2019
    Rancho El Chorro in San Luis Obispo
    Coordinators: Ken Kellman, Ben Carter
    Founded in 1996, SO BE FREE is a series of West Coast forays started by the Bryolab at UC Berkeley, but open to all botanists. The main focus is on bryophytes, but we also encourage experts on other groups to come along and smell the liverworts. We welcome specialists and generalists, professionals and amateurs, master bryologists and rank beginners. SO BE FREE is held each spring, somewhere in the Western US, associated with spring break at universities. Evening slide shows and informal talks are presented as well as keying sessions with microscopes. In addition to seeing interesting wild areas and learning new plants, important goals for SO BE FREE include keeping West Coast bryologists (and friends) in touch with each other and teaching beginners. To see pictures and information from past outings, visit the SO BE FREE website at: https://bryophyte.cnps.org/index.php/so-be-free

    ☛ One important function of this year’s SO BE FREE will be to serve as the annual meeting of the Bryophyte Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. See: https://bryophyte.cnps.org/ for
    details, and to join!

    The 2019 SO BE FREE will be held in San Luis Obispo County, one of the botanical gems within
    California. Midway along the coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo offers strong moisture gradients, a tremendous diversity of geological substrates and abundant open spaces that have been only lightly explored bryologically. Vegetation types range from moisture-loving closed cone coniferous forests near the coast to arid desert scrub in interior regions, with a diversity of chaparral and woodlands in between. The region is known floristically as a zone of transition, with representation of northern species in mesic areas, southern species in the drier coastal regions and even Mojave desert species in the eastern part of the county. Foray destinations will include Los Padres National Forest, many of the open spaces surrounding the city of San Luis Obispo, a private ranch in the interior and some of the best wildflower destinations in the state, all of which promise to be very rich in ephemerals, Bryaceae and Pottiaceae.

    Beginners are very welcome to SO BE FREE, and this year we will again have a workshop session for beginners at the start of the event. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning we will have field trips to satisfy all participants from neophyte to nerd! Field trip details are to follow. Access is being sought for private, State, and Federal lands.

    Interested? View PDF Flyer with Registration Information

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  • SO BE FREE (Bryophyte Chapter) Weekend
    All day
    03-30-2019-04-01-2019

    The Twenty-Fourth Annual
    Spring Outing
    Botanical Excursion
    Foray, Retreat, and Escape to the Environment
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO BE FREE 24 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Brought to you by the Bryophyte Chapter of the California Native Plant Society!

    Friday to Monday, 29 March to 1 April 2019
    Rancho El Chorro in San Luis Obispo
    Coordinators: Ken Kellman, Ben Carter
    Founded in 1996, SO BE FREE is a series of West Coast forays started by the Bryolab at UC Berkeley, but open to all botanists. The main focus is on bryophytes, but we also encourage experts on other groups to come along and smell the liverworts. We welcome specialists and generalists, professionals and amateurs, master bryologists and rank beginners. SO BE FREE is held each spring, somewhere in the Western US, associated with spring break at universities. Evening slide shows and informal talks are presented as well as keying sessions with microscopes. In addition to seeing interesting wild areas and learning new plants, important goals for SO BE FREE include keeping West Coast bryologists (and friends) in touch with each other and teaching beginners. To see pictures and information from past outings, visit the SO BE FREE website at: https://bryophyte.cnps.org/index.php/so-be-free

    ☛ One important function of this year’s SO BE FREE will be to serve as the annual meeting of the Bryophyte Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. See: https://bryophyte.cnps.org/ for
    details, and to join!

    The 2019 SO BE FREE will be held in San Luis Obispo County, one of the botanical gems within
    California. Midway along the coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo offers strong moisture gradients, a tremendous diversity of geological substrates and abundant open spaces that have been only lightly explored bryologically. Vegetation types range from moisture-loving closed cone coniferous forests near the coast to arid desert scrub in interior regions, with a diversity of chaparral and woodlands in between. The region is known floristically as a zone of transition, with representation of northern species in mesic areas, southern species in the drier coastal regions and even Mojave desert species in the eastern part of the county. Foray destinations will include Los Padres National Forest, many of the open spaces surrounding the city of San Luis Obispo, a private ranch in the interior and some of the best wildflower destinations in the state, all of which promise to be very rich in ephemerals, Bryaceae and Pottiaceae.

    Beginners are very welcome to SO BE FREE, and this year we will again have a workshop session for beginners at the start of the event. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning we will have field trips to satisfy all participants from neophyte to nerd! Field trip details are to follow. Access is being sought for private, State, and Federal lands.

    Interested? View PDF Flyer with Registration Information

  • Malcolm McLeod Annual Field Trip to Shell Creek
    8:30 am-1:00 pm
    03-30-2019

    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, March 30th, 2019, 8:30 am

    Malcolm McLeod Annual Field Trip to Shell Creek and Environs

    One of the outstanding spring wildflower destinations in California. Meet at the Santa Margarita Exit Park and Ride at 8:30 am. Bring plant guides or plan to purchase one during the trip. Also bring adequate water, food, and dress in layers for the weather; a hat and sturdy shoes are advised.

    For more information contact Bill Waycott, (805) 459-2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com

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  • SO BE FREE (Bryophyte Chapter) Weekend
    All day
    03-31-2019-04-01-2019

    The Twenty-Fourth Annual
    Spring Outing
    Botanical Excursion
    Foray, Retreat, and Escape to the Environment
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO BE FREE 24 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Brought to you by the Bryophyte Chapter of the California Native Plant Society!

    Friday to Monday, 29 March to 1 April 2019
    Rancho El Chorro in San Luis Obispo
    Coordinators: Ken Kellman, Ben Carter
    Founded in 1996, SO BE FREE is a series of West Coast forays started by the Bryolab at UC Berkeley, but open to all botanists. The main focus is on bryophytes, but we also encourage experts on other groups to come along and smell the liverworts. We welcome specialists and generalists, professionals and amateurs, master bryologists and rank beginners. SO BE FREE is held each spring, somewhere in the Western US, associated with spring break at universities. Evening slide shows and informal talks are presented as well as keying sessions with microscopes. In addition to seeing interesting wild areas and learning new plants, important goals for SO BE FREE include keeping West Coast bryologists (and friends) in touch with each other and teaching beginners. To see pictures and information from past outings, visit the SO BE FREE website at: https://bryophyte.cnps.org/index.php/so-be-free

    ☛ One important function of this year’s SO BE FREE will be to serve as the annual meeting of the Bryophyte Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. See: https://bryophyte.cnps.org/ for
    details, and to join!

    The 2019 SO BE FREE will be held in San Luis Obispo County, one of the botanical gems within
    California. Midway along the coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo offers strong moisture gradients, a tremendous diversity of geological substrates and abundant open spaces that have been only lightly explored bryologically. Vegetation types range from moisture-loving closed cone coniferous forests near the coast to arid desert scrub in interior regions, with a diversity of chaparral and woodlands in between. The region is known floristically as a zone of transition, with representation of northern species in mesic areas, southern species in the drier coastal regions and even Mojave desert species in the eastern part of the county. Foray destinations will include Los Padres National Forest, many of the open spaces surrounding the city of San Luis Obispo, a private ranch in the interior and some of the best wildflower destinations in the state, all of which promise to be very rich in ephemerals, Bryaceae and Pottiaceae.

    Beginners are very welcome to SO BE FREE, and this year we will again have a workshop session for beginners at the start of the event. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning we will have field trips to satisfy all participants from neophyte to nerd! Field trip details are to follow. Access is being sought for private, State, and Federal lands.

    Interested? View PDF Flyer with Registration Information

April
April
April
April
April
April
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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