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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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  • 02

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

    Speaker: Dena Grossenbacher, Alpine plant diversity on Yosemite’s Sky Islands

    Dena Grossenbacher is a new Assistant Professor of Botany at CalPoly. She is broadly interested in how plant-environment interactions generate and maintain plant diversity, and the processes underlying the origin and extinction of species. She uses the California flora,
    especially monkeyflowers, to address these questions because of their astonishing variation both among and within species.

    Dena received a Bachelor’s degree in Botany in 1999 from University of Washington, was a field botanist in the Pacific Northwest and the Yosemite region from 2000-2008, and received a Ph.D. in Population Biology from UC Davis in 2013 with Maureen Stanton. She did postdocs studying mating system evolution at University of Minnesota and at Washington State University before arriving at Cal Poly
    in January 2017.

    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.

  • 04

    9:00 am-2:00 pm
    Pacific Beach High School
    11950 Los Osos Valley Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, USA

    It’s the annual event you’ve been waiting for. Create your drought-tolerant native garden with help from CNPS-SLO!

    Local native plant enthusiasts are hosting a sale of water-thrifty California Native Plants. Tips and advice for all garden situations available at no additional charge.

    Hundreds of plant varieties for yards and gardens will be available. Many are excellent for attracting birds and butterflies to your garden. Native plants are adapted to this area so they save water, and reduce the need for pesticides and fertilizers.

  • 11

    8:30 am-11:30 am
    Costco SLO
    1540 Froom Ranch Way, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, USA

    Saturday, Nov. 11th, 8:30 am to 11:30 am

    Work Crew, Old Prospector Trail, Irish Hills

    Meet in the Costco parking lot, adjacent to the Costco gas station, Los Osos Valley Road, SLO. From there, we will walk to the trail.

    Join hikers who want to help keep trails in good shape. We will be using loppers to remove branches of Ceanothus and other chaparral plants out of the trail, then cache the cut pieces off the trail.

    The upper half of the trail was completed in October, so work will focus on the lower half. Total distance will be 3 to 4 miles with a 500 ft. elevation gain. Use a small backpack to bring water, snacks, and sunscreen. Wear sturdy shoes, bring gloves, a hat, and layered clothing, as needed. Contact Bill Waycott, (805) 459-2103,

    Rain cancels.

  • 21

    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