Californians Restore Nature in Their Neighborhoods and Gardens with Calscape.org

Californians Restore Nature in Their Neighborhoods and Gardens with Calscape.org

Calscape – Restoring nature one garden at a time

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.

The idea for Calscape comes from the notion that if our gardens were to transition from exotic to native landscapes, eventually they would become an extension of the
natural open spaces that surround them. This, in turn would create a continuous natural habitat right across the urban spaces, providing incredible benefits to all living
things. Of the more than 300,000 visits annually to the State CNPS website, roughly 200,000 are directed towards Calscape!

The estimates for which plants are native to any location in California are based on almost 2 million field occurrences of native California plant species collected over the last 150 years by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria. Seven variables are used to predict whether or not a given location should be included in a given plant species’ natural range:1. elevation; 2. annual precipitation; 3. summer precipitation; 4. coldest month average temperature; 5. hottest month average temperature; 6. Jepson geographic subdivision; and 7. distance from a known plant occurrence.

Calscape uses an interactive format where each user selects a series of options for the following plant characteristics:

  • Your location (an address)
  • Plant type preferences (from annual herbs to trees and vines)
  • Sun vs. shade
  • Soil drainage capacity (from slow to fast)
  • Water requirements (from low to high)
  • Ease of care (from easy to difficult)
  • Common uses (from ground covers to hedges to bird gardens)
  • Availability in nurseries (from easily available to difficult to find)
  • Fragrance preferences
  • Flower color preferences
  • Flowering season preferences
  • Height of the plants

Calscape also offers a series of gardening tips:

  • How are California native plants different?
  • How to choose and place the desired plants: soil conditions and topography, sun and shade conditions, etc
  • How to plant California natives
  • How to water California natives: watering new plants vs. watering established plants; drip irrigation vs. overhead sprinklers vs. hose watering,
    etc.
  • How to weed and control pests in California native gardens

Please visit Calscape on line and learn what a fantastic tool it is. Tell your friends about Calscape. Show them how easy it is to select native plants for their specific needs.

-Bill Waycott

San Luis Obispo County Sudden Oak Death Blitz 2017

San Luis Obispo County Sudden Oak Death Blitz 2017

Sudden Oak Death (SOD) is a serious exotic disease that is threatening the survival of tanoak and several oak species in California, including coast live oak. Currently SOD is found in 16 coastal counties, from San Luis Obispo to Humboldt counties. SOD spreads from infected California bay laurel leaves to oaks during wet weather. Management options are available but they are only effective if implemented before oaks and tanoaks are infected, so timely detection of the disease on bay laurel is essential! This is where volunteers like you can help can help out and sample suspected bay laurel leaves at this year’s SOD Blitz in SLO County. 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.

The SOD Blitz begins with a training session/presentation where information on the disease and its symptoms on both oaks and California bays are presented, as well as how to collect and record samples of bay leaves. Volunteers then collect suspected bay leaves as well as information about trees and locations over the week-end. Collecting is done individually or in groups, and you can collect as many or few samples as you have time available before dropping off samples at the collection locations by noon Monday. All collecting materials will be handed out at the trainings. Suggested survey and collection locations will also be posted at the trainings, although you are welcome to identify your own property or area of interest. The collected samples are placed in bins at designated collections spots by Monday before noon so they can be sent to the Berkeley Lab for processing.

This year, we will expect to have at least 2 free training sessions, one in North County and one in San Luis Obispo, and all materials needed for collecting will be provided.

The 2017 SOD BLITZ

Training sessions:

  • Thursday May 11 from 1-4 pm at SLO County Department of Agriculture, 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo, CA (limited to 50 participants, registration is suggested but walk-in are welcome as long as space is available). Those of you that have collected past and want to collect in your areas in 2017, please let us know before the Blitz and we provide an updated map.
  • Friday May 12, 6pm to 8pm, SLO County Atascadero Library, Martin Polin Community Room, 6555 Capistrano Ave, Atascadero, CA.

Collecting will take place on Saturday and Sunday, May 13 and 14.

Register for Training: http://ucanr.edu/2017sodblitztraining Additional information will be posted on this website and we will include a reminder in the May newsletter. Contact Lauren for additional information lbrown805@charter.net, 805-460-6329.


Identifying Invasive Oak Pests and Diseases in San Luis Obispo County workshop

FREE Workshop & DPR CEU’s are applied for

April 20, 2017 at the Atascadero Library, 6555 Capistrano Ave, Atascadero

Schedule:
1:00 pm –1:15 pm Check-In
1:15 pm – 1:30 pm Welcome and Introductions, Lauren Brown, California Native Plant Society, San Luis Obispo County
1:30 pm –2:15 pm Goldspotted Oak Borer: Life Cycle, Identification and Management, Speaker: Kevin Turner and Kim Corella, Cal Fire
2:15 pm – 3:00 pm Identification, Impact and Management of Shot Hole Borer, Speaker: Akif Eskalen, University of California, Riverside
3:00 pm – 3:15 pm Break
3:15 pm – 4:00 pm Sudden Oak Death: Identification and Management, Speaker: Kerri Frangioso, University of California, Davis
4:00 pm – 4:30 pm Questions for speakers


 

Common Milkweed (kotolo) Asclepias eriocarpus

Common Milkweed (kotolo) Asclepias eriocarpus

common milkweed-imageThe 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 (and typist) for the many years. She is also responsible for setting up the first successful chapter plant sales as well as recruiting our current Plant Sale Chair. She didn’t restrict herself to CNPS. She was also active in the Morro Bay Audubon to which she submitted a number of articles entitled “MEET A NATIVE PLANT’. Below is one of those articles. It was chosen since milkweeds are so important in the conservation of the Monarch butterfly and is being encouraged as a garden plant. Members of this genus serve as the primary food source for Monarch butterfly larva. While eating the milkweed leaves, the larva incorporate the milkweed toxins into their bodies and its these milkweed toxins that protect the Monarch larva from most predators.

I do need to mention a taxonomic update. In her first paragraph Alice places the milkweeds in the taxonomic family, Asclepiadaceae. This was where it was placed up until the 1990’s. Today the two families of milky sapped species [milkweeds (Asclepias) and dogbanes (Apocynum)] have been combined into the single family, Apocynaceae. Milkweeds are primarily temperate in distribution while the dogbane relatives are primarily tropical. Classical taxonomic work always accepted these two families as very closely related. Modern taxonomic studies (including DNA work) have discover the relationships to be intertwined which required their unification into a single family. A number of these formally separated but closely related families have now been combined.

-Dirk Walters

MEET A NATIVE PLANT Asclepias eriocarpus

Milkweed is a perennial plant of the milkweed family (Asclepidiaceae) family. The species shown is common in the Coast Ranges, Sierra Foothills south to Coastal Southern California from 100 to 2000 ft. The species shown is Asclepias eriocarpa (as-KLEP-i-as aor-ee-CARP-a). Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on this plant. The plants are erect and sturdy from 18-36” tall, with leaves 3-4” long, in whorls of 3 or 4 leaves. These are covered with fine hairs, which make them look and feel like flannel. Stems and leaves contain a milky juice, a form of latex.

The clusters of flowers appear in May at the ends of stems between the leaves. The structure of the flowers is very unusual. The corolla is cut into 5 petals. These are turned down so the hide the calyx. The stamens stalks are joined into a tube and the five ‘hoods’ are attached to the base of the column; this is the ‘crown’ of corona, and in this species the crown is pink or purplish. It is actually the nectary of the flower. The flower and its stem is creamy white. In the center of the flower is a fleshy column or tube formed by the stalks of the stamens, capped by the stigma, hiding the two tubes of styles leading down to the ovaries.

The pollen in each anther-cell is a waxy mass of different anthers and adjacent masses of different anthers are attached to a cleft gland. This resembles tiny saddle-bags, clipped together, and if a bee catches her foot in the cleft she may pull out and fly away with two pollen masses to fertilize another flower. To do this, she must get her foot caught in the cleft of another flower.

The probabilities of a bee catching a foot in the cleft of two different flowers, first to collect the pollen sacs, then to deposit them in another flower is so remote that this is called ‘lottery pollination’. When a flower is pollinated its stem enlarges and the petals fall off. The calyx remains at the base of the downy seed pod which becomes 3 to 4” long and the remains of the hoods hang on to the tip of the pod for time. When the pod is ripe, and dry, it splits lengthwise, revealing neat rows of seeds, each with a parachute of fine hairs attached. As soon as the these hairs are dry, the seeds will fly away on the wind to be dispersed. Flowers that have not been pollinated along with their stems, wither and fall away.

-Alice G. Meyer

Carrizo Plain April 1 2017

Carrizo Plain April 1 2017

Images submitted by Nancy Chalk who attended the CNPS-SLO annual field trip to Shell Creek to view the Carrizo Plain wildflowers

Images submitted by Steve Schubert who attended the CNPS-SLO annual field trip to Shell Creek to view the Carrizo Plain wildflowers

Would you like to see your pictures posted here?

Just fill out the form below and include a link to your Google Drive or Dropbox images.

Please send only pictures you took yourself to observe copyright laws, and tell us where and when you snapped your photos. If you can, please also include the name of the flowers shown either in the title of the image or in your email.

You may also wish to email them to our webmaster directly at info.cnpsslo@gmail.com.

Thank you for participating in our community!

Wildflower post

2 + 10 =

Carrizo Plain March 23 2017

Carrizo Plain March 23 2017

Ken & Gina Robinson report from Elkhorn Road, March 17

“Found this specimen on March 17, 2017 along Elkhorn Road – Desert Candle (Caulanthus inflatus)”

 

Allison Gong also sent an image taken on the Carrizo Plain on March 23, this one of Fiddlenecks

“Hello, I took this picture of young fiddle necks (Amsinckia menziesii var. intermedia) on Soda Lake Road on 23 March 2017.”

M.O. sent this image of Soda Lake overlook, taken March 23

Yes, that blue is water in Soda Lake!  Baby Blue eyes (Nemophilia menziiesii) as reported earlier remain on the overlook hillside facing Soda Lake. Distant yellow swaths of color above Soda Lk. are presumably the same as that pictured above.
Sorry I cannot recall exactly which hillside we surveyed many years ago and found the greatest plant diversity of all our many many miles of transects across all of the NM.  It was near the entry into the NM, on R side of Soda Lk rd.  as one enters from Hwy 58.  A 3 member crew, Jeremy took the vehicle to the far side of the hill in order to pick us up at the end of our transect.  But then he rejoined us to ask what was taking us so long.  It was all the plant names we were recording–the longest list of any of our hundreds of plots–such reflected the diversity of plants at that transect.  There were a few grasses there, but mostly wildflower annuals

Nancy Chalk sent these images from Shell Creek Road, Highway 58

“Still building out. Not peaked. Creek is flowing nicely! The baby blue eyes are just emerging. The creek is flowing nicely. I saw a few wild alliums, baby blue eyes, purple owls clover and desert dandelion. I walked the creek as I look for lillies. Those are elusive! Anyway, besides gold fields and tidy tips and fiddlenecks … we are a couple weeks out from peak.”

Would you like to see your pictures posted here?

Just fill out the form below and include a link to your Google Drive or Dropbox images.

Please send only pictures you took yourself to observe copyright laws, and tell us where and when you snapped your photos. If you can, please also include the name of the flowers shown either in the title of the image or in your email.

You may also wish to email them to our webmaster directly at info.cnpsslo@gmail.com.

Thank you for participating in our community!

Wildflower post

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Carrizo Plain April 2006 and more

Carrizo Plain April 2006 and more

Richard Pradenas has shared his images from the Carrizo Plain

Many of these images are from April 2006, some from August or October to show contrast of seasons.

“I’m fairly certain I have the names of the flowers correct for all but #13 “WildPurpleGila”; if anyone can identify this please let me know.”

Would you like to see your pictures posted here?

Just fill out the form below and include a link to your Google Drive or Dropbox images.

Please send only pictures you took yourself to observe copyright laws, and tell us where and when you snapped your photos. If you can, please also include the name of the flowers shown either in the title of the image or in your email.

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Wildflower post

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Carrizo Plain Wildflower Report March 12 2017

Carrizo Plain Wildflower Report March 12 2017

HERE’S WHAT’S BLOOMING ON THE CARRIZO PLAIN THIS WEEK

Many people have asked when the wildflower season will peak. One guess is in two-four weeks, but we really can’t say precisely as each season is different.

“Still a little while until the peak, but getting better. Last year it was mid March to Late March but it varies year to year. Looking better each week and continued warm weather and rain will help.” – Carrizo volunteer Ben R.

In Bloom

Fiddleneck – Various places on valley floor.

Goldfields – Soda Lake Road between Washburn Admin. Site and KCL Campground, Goodwin Education Center. Starting to see other spots on the valley floor.

Filaree – Valley floor throughout the monument. Just popping up, not showy.

Baby Blue Eyes – Soda Lake Overlook.

Hillside Daisies – Small parts on the hillsides going to Selby Campground Road.

Poor Blooming

Red Maids x various places on valley floor.

Fremont’s Phacelia x various places on valley floor.

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Just fill out the form below and include a link to your Google Drive or Dropbox images.

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Wildflower post

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Invasive Species of the Month – Emex spinosa

Invasive Species of the Month – Emex spinosa

Spiny emex (Emex spinosa)

Mark Skinner (mskinner@coastalrcd.org)

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 especially coastal areas with sandy soils. Spiny emex spreads rapidly, crowding out native species. It has simple lime green or yellowish bronze leaves which looks like dock (which is relative) or spinach. The plant is usually two to twelve inches in diameter and produces seeds with a hard, prickly casing and spines that project from the corners. It is easy to dig out of the ground with a fork. Older plant with lots of seeds can easily shred plastic bags. Handle gingerly with tough gloves. For large monotypic infestations, Telar is an effective herbicide.

Carrizo Plain Wildflower Report March 3, 2017

Carrizo Plain Wildflower Report March 3, 2017

HERE’S WHAT’S BLOOMING ON THE CARRIZO PLAIN THIS WEEK

Right now we are starting to see Goldfields, Fiddleneck, and Filaree  (Erodium cicutarium) pop up, but no wildflower color yet. Here are some images from previous years to whet your appetite.

Images courtesy of (and copyrighted by) Marlin Harms

Would you like to see your pictures posted here?

Just fill out the form below and include a link to your Google Drive or Dropbox images.

Please send only pictures you took yourself to observe copyright laws, and tell us where and when you snapped your photos. If you can, please also include the name of the flowers shown either in the title of the image or in your email.

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Thank you for participating in our community!

Wildflower post

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Report on the 2017 Annual Banquet and Awards

Report on the 2017 Annual Banquet and Awards

Glen HolsteinThis 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 landscapes in the Central Valley are actually heavily dominated by native wildflower species as opposed to perennial grass species. (more…)