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.

Hot Topics

Claytonia perfoliata (Miner’s Lettuce)

Claytonia perfoliata (Miner’s Lettuce)

Heather Johnson has a new watercolor for us to use on the cover of this issue of Obispoensis. It’s most commonly identified around the central coast as miner’s lettuce (Claytonia (Montia) perfoliata). The situation where a leaf blade base appears to be passed through (perforated) by its stem is said to be perfoliate.

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Italian Thistle (Carduus pycnocephalus)

A member of the Asteraceae family, Italian thistle is an annual herb native to the Mediterranean region and is widespread in California, Oregon and Washington, however it is not found east of the Sierra Nevada. It was accidentally introduced into United States (Batra et al. 1981) and California (Goeden 1974) in the 1930s.

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October Seed Exchange

The summer has flown. It seems like I was just admiring the blooms on my Clarkia. Now their seeds are in little packages ready for the seed exchange and I am on to watching the blossoms on my many Eriogonums. I am waiting for the seeds to ripen so those can end up in bags for the exchange as well. In between I have been collecting from Chlorogalum, Ceanothus, Sage, Sidalcea, Silene and numerous other plants.

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Building a Chapter Photo Collection

Our chapter would like to have a high quality photo of every species in our county, as will be described in Dr. David Keil’s Flora.
We would like as many pictures as possible to be usable both for scientific purposes and for use in digital media, and as such we
would like to be the owners of the photos under copyright.

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Email updates, the August meeting, and the CNPS Fire Recovery Guide

Bill suggests members sign up for email updates and offers his notes from the August meeting featuring a presentation by Greg Rubin who gave a detailed presentation on landscaping with fire resistant natives. Also, the CNPS Fire Recovery Guide is available for download and in hard copy via the state website.

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Conservation Notes

There has not been a lot of progress on the two large projects of greatest immediate concern. Chapter members attended several meetings, one of which was at the Coastal Commission, on plans to build a southern access to Oceano Dunes State Vehicle Recreation Area.

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Event Calendar

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  • Chapter Meeting August 1
    7:00 pm-9:00 pm
    08-01-2019

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

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

    CNPS will hold its first-ever meeting in August, on Thursday, August 1st, at the SLO Vets’ Hall at 7:00 pm. The  featured speaker will Greg Rubin, an expert in native residential landscape design with special emphasis on fire resistant species.  Greg will talk on his experience in Southern California, working in chaparral ecosystems.  He will present the current approach to best practices for fire-safe plant selection and placement in suburban environs.

    Greg Rubin, President and Founder of California’s Own Native Landscape Design, Inc. is a licensed landscape contractor who has worked with California native plants since 1985.  His company has designed over 700 native landscapes in Southern California. Specialties include residential, commercial, and institutional landscapes that cover an array of garden styles, while providing year-round appeal, low maintenance, water efficiency, rich habitat, and fire-resistance.

    Greg has been featured in a number of periodicals including the Wall Street Journal, San Diego Union Tribune and Los Angeles Times, and magazines such as Sunset, San Diego Home and Garden, California Gardener and Kiplinger’s. Media coverage includes repeat appearances on NPR. Greg regularly gives presentations and workshops on native plants to conferences, garden clubs and other organizations throughout Southern California.

    Greg is co-author of a new book with Lucy Warren, “The California Native Landscape: The Homeowners’ Design Guide to Restoring its Beauty and Balance”, published by Timber Press.  This popular native horticultural work covers all aspects of native landscape design.  Greg also served on the boards of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation, California Native Plant Society, the Lux Art Institute, and the Garden Native foundation.

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  • Mountain bike ride and hike to Cone Peak, Big Sur
    All day
    08-03-2019

    Forest Rte 22S05, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA

    Forest Rte 22S05, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA

    Update 8/1:

    The CNPS mountain bike ride is still on for Saturday, August 3rd, but the venue has been changed due to the Mill Fire to San Simeon Creek Road.

    Carpooling is still available from Santa Rosa Park in SLO at 7:30am.
    We will meet at the San Simeon State Park Day Use Area – park and ride – at 8:30am.

    See you there!


    Ride the Coast Ridge Road to the Cone Peak trailhead, then hike to the summit (5,155 ft.) and return. Along the way, take in the amazing views and see some rare plants – Santa Lucia fir and Sugar pine. Meet at the junction of Nacimiento-Fergusson Road and Coast Ridge Road (36°00’35.7″N  121°27’08.3″W) at 10:30 am. For a carpool option, meet either at Santa Rosa Park in San Luis Obispo at 7:30 am or at the Washburn Day Use Area of San Simeon State Park, 1.5 miles north of Cambria (35°35’40.7″N 121°07’27.2″W), 8:20 am. The bike ride is 11 miles round trip to the Cone Peak trailhead and back. The hike is 5 miles round trip.  Bring a helmet, water, lunch, snacks, sunscreen, as well as shoes/boots and a hat for the hike.  Also, bring a cable lock for your bike to use during the hike.  For those interested in carpooling, a pickup truck is preferable to transport others and their gear.  For more information, contact Bill Waycott (805) 459-2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com.

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  • Rare Plant Treasure Hunt, Lopez Lake
    All day
    08-16-2019-08-18-2019

    rare plants

    Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, Aug. 16th to Aug. 18th

    The California Native Plant Society is conducting a rare plant survey in the Lopez Lake area with a species focus on Malacothamnus gracilis, slender bush mallow, a 1B.1 listed plant. Members will help to assess this rare plant’s distribution and take part in the collection of seeds as part of the California Plant Rescue program, www.caplantrescue.org.

    This Treasure Hunt is coordinated by Amy Patten and Keir Morse, CNPS staff, whose sole job is to seek out rare and, in many cases, endangered species. Participants must be in good physical condition, due to the steep terrain and chaparral vegetation, and have basic skills in plant identification. Afternoon temperatures in August can reach the mid 90s.  If interested in joining the team for a day or the entire weekend, participants need to sign up via Eventbrite:

    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/malacothamnus-gracilis-rare-plant-treasure-hunt-registration-61706735507.  Contact Bill Waycott if you have questions, bill.waycott@gmail.com.

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  • Rare Plant Treasure Hunt, Lopez Lake
    All day
    08-17-2019-08-18-2019

    rare plants

    Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, Aug. 16th to Aug. 18th

    The California Native Plant Society is conducting a rare plant survey in the Lopez Lake area with a species focus on Malacothamnus gracilis, slender bush mallow, a 1B.1 listed plant. Members will help to assess this rare plant’s distribution and take part in the collection of seeds as part of the California Plant Rescue program, www.caplantrescue.org.

    This Treasure Hunt is coordinated by Amy Patten and Keir Morse, CNPS staff, whose sole job is to seek out rare and, in many cases, endangered species. Participants must be in good physical condition, due to the steep terrain and chaparral vegetation, and have basic skills in plant identification. Afternoon temperatures in August can reach the mid 90s.  If interested in joining the team for a day or the entire weekend, participants need to sign up via Eventbrite:

    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/malacothamnus-gracilis-rare-plant-treasure-hunt-registration-61706735507.  Contact Bill Waycott if you have questions, bill.waycott@gmail.com.

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  • Rare Plant Treasure Hunt, Lopez Lake
    All day
    08-18-2019-08-18-2019

    rare plants

    Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, Aug. 16th to Aug. 18th

    The California Native Plant Society is conducting a rare plant survey in the Lopez Lake area with a species focus on Malacothamnus gracilis, slender bush mallow, a 1B.1 listed plant. Members will help to assess this rare plant’s distribution and take part in the collection of seeds as part of the California Plant Rescue program, www.caplantrescue.org.

    This Treasure Hunt is coordinated by Amy Patten and Keir Morse, CNPS staff, whose sole job is to seek out rare and, in many cases, endangered species. Participants must be in good physical condition, due to the steep terrain and chaparral vegetation, and have basic skills in plant identification. Afternoon temperatures in August can reach the mid 90s.  If interested in joining the team for a day or the entire weekend, participants need to sign up via Eventbrite:

    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/malacothamnus-gracilis-rare-plant-treasure-hunt-registration-61706735507.  Contact Bill Waycott if you have questions, bill.waycott@gmail.com.

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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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PHOTO GALLERY

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.