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President’s Update

The CNPS Conservation Conference is approaching and I am really excited! I remember well my experience at the 2015 conference in San José. I was like a kid in a candy shop. With a plethora of concurrent sessions on specific topics of intrigue, spread over three days,...

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Conservation Update

Another summer has passed, and there are a few clouds on the horizon. The Froom Ranch project is of great concern, as it impacts Chorro Creek Bog Thistle, wetlands, and violates City policy regarding the maximum elevation for development. The Las Pilitas quarry...

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President’s Message April 2017

Native Plants are the Best! The great out-of-doors is becoming an increasingly popular destination in our communities. On one of the guided plant-walks this spring, organized by the City of San Luis Obispo’s Park and Recreation Dept. in the Reservoir Canyon Natural...

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April 1, 2017 Carrizo Plain Field Trip

OH MY GAWD! This is an exact quote from a CNPS member on seeing the super-bloom on the Carrizo Plain. Below is Marlin Harms’ picture of our field trip. While national press has focussed on the wonderful color in the Temblors, there are great flower displays on the west...

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Oak Ordinance and Eagle Ranch Development

Conservation News by David Chipping Against what earlier seemed to be against all odds and to our grateful surprise, the Board of Supervisors approved the Oak Protection Ordinance. CNPS really called out the troops, with Holly Slettland mounting a support petition...

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South Central Coast Invasive Species Eradication Project

INVASIVE SPECIES REPORT by Mark Skinner There is a weed removal initiative underway called the South Central Coast Invasive Species Eradication Project. Funded by the Wildlife Conservation Board and matching partners the $600K project joins CalIPC with multiple...

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The Sargent Cypress Botanical Reserve: A Hammock Forest

Author: WOODY FREY, Professor emeritus, OH Department, CalPoly, San Luis Obispo. This article was first published in Pacific Horticulture and is reprinted here with permission. Six miles north of San Luis Obispo, California, up a winding road off Highway 101 at an...

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Californians Restore Nature in Their Neighborhoods and Gardens with

The goal at Calscape is to help Californians restore nature in their neighborhoods and gardens, and to save water in the process. We can do this by providing in-depth
information about which plants are really native to any location in the state, helping to determine which ones to select, listing sources where the plants can be purchased, and then giving details about how to grow them.

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San Luis Obispo County Sudden Oak Death Blitz 2017

The purpose of the SOD Blitz is to inform and educate the community about the disease and its effects, get locals involved in detecting the disease, and produce detailed local maps of disease distribution. The maps can then be used to identify those areas where the infestation may be mild enough to justify proactive management.

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Common Milkweed (kotolo) Asclepias eriocarpus

The cover drawing and article for this issue of the OBISPOENSIS was written and drawn by Alice Meyer. She was a very active member (and first Hoover Award Recipient in the 1970 and 80’s. She is the one who named our newsletter, OBISPOENSIS, and served as its editor...

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Invasive Species of the Month – Emex spinosa

Spiny emex (Emex spinosa) Mark Skinner ( Spiny emex is in the Buckwheat family (Polygonaceae) and is an up and coming invasive species in California’s south coast. It’s from the Mediterranean region of Africa infesting disturbed areas...

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Report on the 2017 Annual Banquet and Awards

This year we were delighted to hear an excellent presentation by Dr. Glen Holstein, Chapter Botanist for the Sacramento Valley Chapter of CNPS. In his talk, Rediscovering and Conserving California’s Prairie Landscapes, Glen spoke of how California’s grassland...

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Oak Ordinance Hearing

CONSERVATION: PERMANENT OAK ORDINANCE TO PLANNING COMMISSION, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23 (Item PLC 14/2017) A LITTLE HISTORY, When Justin Wineries clear cut oak woodlands near Adelaida, public outcry resulted in the creation of a Emergency Ordinance to prevent clear...

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CNPS-SLO Community Involvement

President’s Notes – March 2017 Obispoensis |At CNPS-SLO, we are involved in our communities!! Here are a good few examples. CNPS volunteers participated in the Los Osos Middle School landscape planting day, in mid-January. All 7th and 8th Grade science classes took...

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Coast Live Oak

Dirk Walters, illustration by Bonnie Walters Oaks have been in the news a lot recently. Essentially all of it has been bad from the Oak’s point of view. First, there was the clearing of valley (Quercus lobata) and blue (Q. douglasii) oaks in the Paso Robles area. and...

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Common (White) Yarrow (Achillea millefollium)

Common (White) Yarrow (Achillea millefollium) The plant discussed in this issue of the Obispoensis is one that I’ve wanted to take on for a long time, but could never bring myself to ask Bonnie to draw. Since we are using photos to illustrate it by, I think it’s time....

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The Unique Flora of the Central Coast

MARLIN HARMS DOES A MIND WALK FOR CENTRAL COAST PARK ASSOCIATION On Feb 13, 10:15 AM Marlin Harms will present “The Unique Flora of the Central Coast,” a tour of SLO County's wildflowers that will include noteworthy photos as well as some life history features of both...

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In Memoriam: “Jack” Beigle

Many members of our chapter will remember with a smile the work done by Jack and his wife Grace in supporting our chapter and for his work in association with Kathleen Jones (the Dune Mother) in the protection of the south county dune system. Jack also played a major...

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Invasive Species of the Month – Brassica tournefortii

Sahara Mustard Sahara mustard is annual from the Mediterranean and has been spreading rapidly into coastal San Luis Obispo County. It is in Los Osos, Grover Beach, Oceano, the Nipomo Mesa and the Santa Maria River. Sahara Mustard first appeared in North America in...

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Oaks, Oil, and Trailheads

Conservation Update January 2017 Oak Ordinance CNPS has met with SLO County Planning staff and with U.C. Extension in regard to developing a permanent oak ordinance. We have argued for total protection of valley oak, and for a concentration in controlling oak...

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CNPS State Meetings

President’s Notes – Feb 2017 I attended two state-level meetings last month in Berkeley, CA and want to briefly share some of the details with you. The CNPS State Board meeting was held Friday afternoon (Dec. 2nd 2016) and the State Chapter Council meeting was...

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Hoover Award – 2016

Bill Waycott was recognized with the 2016 Hoover Award for his contributions to appreciation and preservation of the San Luis Obispo native flora. The honor, named for Dr. Robert Hoover, was presented to Bill Waycott at the January banquet. Prior recipients meet...

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CNPS Workshops and Professional Training

The Plant Science Training Program specializes in providing workshops for professional botanists, biologists, and ecologists to teach the skills and provide the tools and resources for conducting sound scientific surveys for rare plants, rare plant communities,...

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Hoover Herbarium Update Winter 2017

Thank you again to everyone who made 2016 a huge success in the herbarium. Here is some important info about the herbarium this quarter: The times this quarter are Thursdays 3 - 5 pm and Fridays 12 - 2 pm. I now have the ability to pay for metered parking so please...

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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...

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CNPS-SLO Banquet 2017

California Native Plant Society - San Luis Obispo Chapter Annual Potluck Banquet Saturday, January 21, 2017 5:30-9:30 pm $10 per person, plus a pot luck item for the dinner Morro Bay Community Center 1001 Kennedy Way, Morro Bay - - - Social Hour - 5:30 pm Buffet Style...

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Facts about Oaks

The greatest girth of a single trunk coast live oak, measured at a height of between 1.3-1.5 m above the ground, is 30. 15 ft. (9.19 m), the tree being “The Grand Oak” at Highland Springs Resort in Cherry Valley, California.

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The Juniper-Oak Plant Association of Caliente Mountain

Caliente Mountain is the highest spot in the County, and forms the western side of Carrizo Plain National Monument The oak on Caliente Mountain. is Tucker's oak, a scrub oak with blue-green, spiny leaves that stands a little over head height but can reach to 7 meters....

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Iceplant (Carpobrotus edulis)

Invasive Species of the Month: Iceplant (Carpobrotus edulis) Iceplant is a perennial in the Aizoaceae family, native to South Africa and grows in sandy areas on the coast from Eureka to Baja. This succulently leaved plant is overwhelming and carpets the land. I've...

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Fall Color

O.K.... so we’re not Vermont. However we do have some pretty fall color displays. If you like the gold of aspen, you will see the same colors in our closely related cottonwood stands, both trees belonging to the genus Populus. Cottonwoods are riparian trees, and the...

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  • 05

    7:00 pm-9:00 pm
    SLO Vets Hall
    801 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    The October meeting of the California Native Plants Society will take place on Thursday evening, October 5th, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the SLO Vets’ Hall, 801 Grand Ave. in San Luis Obispo.

    The first half of the meeting will be devoted to a California native seed exchange. If you have an interest in planting native seeds and/or have native seeds to share with others, you are asked to come prepared to participate. During the  meetings, seed traders will share their tips on how to plant the seeds and grow the plants, they brought to share.

    The second half of the meeting will feature presentations by local members, reporting on botanical places of interest they visited during the summer. Join us for refreshments (please bring a dessert to share) and some exciting photographs and stories of forays into the wild. If you would like to present some of your tales of discovery out in nature, bring your photos in a viewable format to the meeting, on a thumb drive, or you can e-mail your photos to David Chipping (, 24 hours before the meeting. Dave can also answer any questions about formatting your photos.

  • 07

    9:00 am-1:00 pm
    Nipomo Native Garden
    927-999 Osage St, Nipomo, CA 93444, USA


    Saturday, October 7th, 9AM to 1 PM

    Nipomo Native Garden Parking Lot on Osage. Take 101 to Tefft to Pomeroy, left on Camino Caballo. Right on Osage.

    There will be a wide variety of landscaping plants, many drought tolerant grasses, shrubs, trees. Also –

    • Tee Shirts & Caps
    • Information and advice
    • Great Plants – Great Prices

    Plus Grand Opening of Little Free Library!

    For more information 929-3589 or

  • 17

    11:00 am-4:00 pm
    Growing Grounds Farm Wholesale Nursery
    3740 Orcutt Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    Growing Grounds Farm is a non-profit wholesale nursery located in San Luis Obispo. Growing Grounds offers California natives, Mediterranean perennials, succulents, restoration and mitigation plants, a wide variety of grasses, and a selection of perennial herbs.

    Growing Grounds Farm is a wholesale nursery and does not sell directly to the public except on the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m

  • 22

    2:00 pm-4:00 pm
    San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden
    3450 Dairy Creek Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, USA

    Sunday, Oct. 22nd2:00-4:00 pm, iNaturalist Workshop, San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden

    Have you ever thought about keeping track of your own nature observations in an organized way so you could refer back to them? What if you could easily do that, as well as share your observations and photographs taken in nature, with a group of like-minded people online? Would you like to make meaningful contributions to scientific research? “Citizen science” is ordinary people contributing to scientific research and iNaturalist is the place to get started with any or all of the above.

    Join us to discuss how to use the iNaturalist website and mobile applications, what the options are, and how to customize your iNaturalist account for your personal interests. This workshop, led by Damon Tighe and Bill Waycott, will be a combination of hands-on classroom and field work.

    In preparation for the workshop, please sign up for an iNaturalist account online and create your profile. If you plan to use your mobile device(s), download and install the mobile app(s) on Android and IOS, prior to the workshop.  After the classroom component, we will visit the garden to use iNaturalist in real-time.  The SLO Botanical Garden is located in Chorro Regional Park, off of Hwy 1, across from Cuesta College and adjacent to the Dairy Creek Golf Course.