CNPS-SLO Banquet 2015

California Native Plant Society —

San Luis Obispo Chapter

Annual Potluck Banquet

Saturday, January 24, 2015

5:30-9:30 pm

Morro Bay Community Center

1001 Kennedy Way, Morro Bay


Social Hour – 5:30 pm

Buffet Style Potluck Dinner – 6:30 pm

Chapter business – 7:30 pm

Program: “Preserving California’s Pristine Lands” – 8:00 pm

Program:  David Myers, Executive Director of  The Wildlands Conservancy (Windwolves Preserve)

David will speak about the role of the Conservancy in preserving some of California’s most pristine land. He will tell the story of the Conservancy’s crucial conservation , majestic preserves, and award-winning programs through beautiful photography.

Tickets are $10 per person – You may reserve your spot with credit card or PayPal by clicking the Tickets button, or if you prefer, you may send payment to D. Krause, 2706 Newton Drive, Cambria, CA, 93428. Questions? Contact David Krause  at or 805-927-5182 Tickets

Potluck suggestions: CNPS will be providing the beer, wine, coffee, tea, and assorted beverages included with the cost of the banquet. Plates, glasses, cups, and napkins will be available; we ask that you bring your own eating utensils, although plastic utensils will be available.

For the dinner potluck, we are asking those with last names beginning with the following letters to bring the suggested item (and serving utensils). However, if you have a dish you especially want to share with the group, please feel free to bring it or contact Lauren (805-460-6329, for alternative suggestions.

A to H: dessert
I to Q: main meat or veggie dish
R to Z: salad (with dressing) or side dish

Please put your name on a label or piece of tape on your serving items so they can be returned to you.

Driving Directions: Exit Hwy 1 at Morro Bay Boulevard. At the “roundabout” turn right onto Quintana Road, and left onto Kennedy Way (after Albertson’s). Go ½ block. Community Center is on the right.

If you have any questions, please contact Lauren at, or 805-460-6329.

Hope to see you there!





Planting Natives

Last month’s topic on planting California natives to provide habitat for bees was well received. Continuing on that same theme is this month’s topic: native plants that provide nectar for hummingbirds.

Humming-birds such as Anna’s (Calypte anna) live year-round on the Central Coast. They need lots of nectar to buzz around. Here are some of my favorite shrubs that are a
hummingbird’s best friend: manzanita (Arctostaphylos species), twinberry (Lonicera involucrata), fuchsia-flowered gooseberry (Ribes speciosum) and last, pitcher sage (Lepechinia calycina).

Check your yard for placing your shrubs in the right location. Most require good drainage and full sun. Many California native perennials have flowers that can provide large amounts of nectar. Some of my best picks are, penstemon (Penstemon species), Zauschneria (Epilobium canum), hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea) and sticky monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus), its old name.

So with winter rains on the way, the timing is right to set new plants in your garden. Keeping this in mind I would like to encourage you to remember the little hummingbird.

Good luck and happy gardening.

– John N.

CNPS Educational Grants

CNPS Educational Grants Program adds two new grant funds this year!

In 2014, two anonymous donors set up two new awards for students studying our native flora! One honors Joan Stewart, recent chair of the Educational Grants Committee and volunteer with CNPS for over 40 years in the San Diego and Alta Peak Chapters and the other honors Karen Callahan, rare plant chair and dedicated volunteer with the Redbud Chapter (see more below).

Each year students and researchers send in proposals by September 30. The Educational Grants Committee reviews the proposals, scoring them on specific criteria set in the guidelines. Then the Committee determines which type of grant is appropriate for each proposal funded and allocates the funds in late November, and announces the decisions at the December Chapter Council meeting. The funds available, number of proposals received, and the merit of the proposals determine the amounts awarded.

The CNPS Educational Grants Program was created in 1983 to award funds to students and researchers studying California’s native flora. The seven funds below were created and added to over the years through the generosity of several major donors, in honor of some of our Society’s most dedicated members and leaders. Five of the awards are endowed funds. In the 31 years of Educational grants we have supported more than 285 students and researchers. The vast majority are students.

Joan Stewart Educational Grant Award: Joan Stewart has served California Native Plant Society in many capacities for over forty years. A lifelong joy for Joan has been to mentor and to encourage students in their research. As part of her desire to support student research, Joan chaired the Educational Grants Committee from 2005 to 2014. The Joan Stewart Educational Grant Award, established in 2014, is an educational grant to be awarded to the student whose California Native Plant Society (CNPS) grant proposal is deemed by the CNPS Educational Grants Committee to be an excellent research project contributing critical information necessary for the conservation of California native plant species and their habitats.

The Karen Callahan Scholarship Award, established in 2014, this award is offered to students engaged in study and/or research relating to native plant conservation, restoration, systematic, or ecology. Such study or research must be directed to plants that grow in Placer or Nevada County habitats. Preference will be given to: a) topics concerning rare plants or communities; b) students from Placer or Nevada Counties; c) students attending Sierra College; California State University, Sacramento; or, UC Davis. We honor Karen Callahan for her extraordinary efforts over the years as a volunteer in the Redbud Chapter of CNPS—especially, her monitoring, protecting, and educating others about rare plants and rare plant communities.

– Josie Crawford

Chapter Elections

The SLO Chapter President has appointed Jim Johnson as nominating committee chair, and the nominating committee is preparing a slate of candidates that will be presented at the December general meeting. At that same meeting, nominations will be accepted from the floor, for either yourself or another member. Election of the four officers—President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary—will be held immediately after nominations are closed.

Our chapter has been fortunate to have a core of dedicated individuals who have filled these positions for multiple years. However, the organization needs new ideas and a broader base of involved leadership. Please consider offering yourself for one of these positions. If you prefer, give Jim a call at 528-0446 to nominate yourself.

Conservation December 2014

Projects before the committee include consideration of the Reissued Draft EIR for the Phillips Refinery Rail Spur on the Nipomo Mesa and the Final EIR for the Oster Quarry east of Santa Margarita. Most of the comments we made on the original DEIR for Phillips were incorporated into the RDEIR.

Golden Oak Borer Beetle

oak borer beetle infestationoak borer beetleIn a very different conservation issue, Lauren Brown arranged for a workshop on impending threats to oak in late October. The revelations of a seemingly unstoppable Golden Oak Borer beetle coming northward from San Diego County was chilling, especially with Sudden Oak Death disease just north of us in Monterey County. The borer is about 10 mm long, black with gold spots on the back, and emerges from the tree in “Capital D” shaped holes about 2-3 mm across the flat side. This is considered diagnostic. The larvae girdle the tree, and can persist in firewood if the dead tree is cut down. Due to the value of oak firewood, transport by campers or firewood dealers could bring the pest into our country at any moment.

Coast live oak is the beetle’s favored target, followed by black oak and canyon live oak. For more information go to I will bring more ID material to the December Meeting.

-David Chipping

President’s Notes December 2014

Wouldn’t you know it? Months and months of rainless skies, and then it rains on the plant sale. In spite of the adverse conditions, it went pretty well and I want to thank
all of you who came and helped out.

Continuing in the horticultural vein, Susan Kryzwiki’s excellent November on low-water gardening and the CNPS Horticultural web site was presented to a full and enthusiastic house.

Following up on the many suggestions provided by Susan for native gardens in a water challenged future, check out the landscape rebates offered by the StormRewards program.

We are heading toward election time for the 2015 chapter board, and anyone interested in running should contact James Johnson who is chairing the nominations committee, or come to the December meeting.

As most of you know, the plant sale is our big fund raiser, and we are happy to announce that the chapter board will support three Cal Poly students to present papers
on their botanical research projects at the CNPS Conservation Conference to be held in San Jose in January.
– David Chipping

Landscape to Catch the Rain

Landscape to Catch the Rain in Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo and Nipomo

At our November meeting program, the state CNPS horticultural director reminded us that an excellent way to help our native gardens is to capture and keep as much rain as possible in our yards. A local program can help to make that advice a reality and provide a cost rebate of up to $1000.

The StormRewards Program provides rebates and free technical assistance to implement rain gardens, rain barrels, porous pavement and other rainwater practices in the communities of Arroyo Grande, Nipomo and San Luis Obispo. By using rain harvesting practices on your property, you are utilizing more precious rainwater and protecting our environment.

Rain barrels can reduce water bills and minimize water use. Other practices such as rain gardens and replacing concrete/asphalt areas with pervious materials can reduce outdoor water use, increase rainwater infiltration into soils, reduce contact with potential pollutants and keep our creeks clean.

Here’s a great opportunity to enhance your native plant garden. The goal is 40 projects in 2015. Find out more about the program at or call Nicole Smith at 772-4391.

Coastal Mountain Plant Communities

Coastal Mountain Plant Communities

January 10, 2015, 8:30am, at Reservoir Canyon and Bowden Ranch


Join us for a visit to several plant communities typically found in the coastal mountains of our county. This will be a moderately strenuous hike, starting in the riparian corridor of Reservoir Canyon, then up and over the backbone ridge of Bowden Ranch, where we find serpentine derived soils along with a proliferation of associated plant species, continuing down the southern slope, and ending at the high school parking lot.

This hike affords spectacular views towards the south, well into Santa Barbara Co., and to the surrounding hills of the north.

Please meet at 8:30 the eastern corner of SLO High School parking lot near corner of Johnson Ave. and San Luis Drive. A few cars will caravan hikers to the trailhead in Reservoir Canyon (first right turn off north Hwy 101 after leaving SLO). The hike is five miles, with an elevation gain of 1000 feet, and total time of 3.5 to 4 hours. Once completed, owners of cars parked at the trailhead will be driven back to retrieve their cars.

Bring water and snacks. Sturdy shoes, sunscreen, hats, and layered clothing for warmth are recommended.

For more info, contact Bill Waycott, (805) 459-2103, Rain or the threat of rain cancels

Cornus sericea

Cornus sericea

Creek Dogwood

For this issue of the Obispoensis, I’m going out on a limb so to speak. Since the plant is a very small tree or moderately sized shrub, that limb will prove to be slender. The plant is the red osier, creek, or as stated in the new Jepson California flora, American dogwood (Cornus sericea).

Different from flowering dogwoods

This dogwood is the ugly sister to the “flowering” dogwoods as it doesn’t have its clusters of tiny flowers subtended by the large white to pink bracts found in its beautiful sisters. The beautiful sisters include the Sierra dogwood (C. nuttalii) and the even more famous eastern dogwood (C. florida). The individual flowers of all dogwood species are small; it’s the tight flower cluster that we see. The showy difference is only the presence of the large showy bracts surrounding the flower clusters. If you don’t have the large bracts to go on, how do you know it’s a dogwood? (more…)

Rare Plants of Montaña de Oro

Rare Plants of Montaña de Oro

Title: Rare Plants of Montaña de Oro

Location: Montaña de Oro State Park

Description: This field trip will focus on some of the rare perennial plants growing near the east boundary of the park (Arctostaphylos species and the Indian Knob mountain balm – Eriodichyon altissimum). Danny Slakey (CNPS rare plant program) will talk to the group during the hike on how to document a rare plant encounter, and David Chipping and John Chesnut (local CNPS botanists) will speak about recent efforts to protect the area.

To reach the trailhead, go south on Bayview Heights Dr. off of Los Osos Valley Road in Los Osos (the 9th Street traffic light at Los Osos Valley Road), pass the fire station, continue left at the 45 degree bend, then take the first right turn (up the hill) on Covey Lane, and again right on Calle Cordoniz.  Park your vehicle where Calle Cordoniz heads back down the hill and the pavement ends.

Bring water and snacks.  Sturdy shoes, sunscreen, hats, and layered clothing for warmth are recommended.

For more info, contact Bill Waycott, (805) 459-2103,

Rain or the threat of rain cancels this hike.
Start Time: 08:00
Date: 2014-12-05

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