CNPS-SLO encourages the use of California Native plants in public and private gardens and landscapes, and offers information about how to plan, start, and maintain native plant gardens and landscapes that are both ecologically beneficial and personally enjoyable .

Please take the time to cruise though the articles and information in this section of our site. We hope you reach out to us if you have questions about topics not covered here.

Also, if you have expertise in native plant gardening and would like to contribute, we would love to hear from you!

Why Should I Incorporate Native Plants In My Own Garden?

In addition to their natural beauty, natives provide water-conserving, drought-tolerant and sustainable garden design choices. For more information about the benefits of incorporating native plants in your own garden, click here.

What are Native Plants and Why are They Important?

To learn more about the importance of native plant conservation, please click here.

NATIVE PLANTS THAT ATTRACT BIRDS | A very thorough list of native plants with the type of bird that each plant attracts, the part of the plant that is used and in which season. For example, if you wish to see Cedar Waxwings in your garden in the summer and fall, plant Washington Filifera (the birds feast on the date fruit) and Fraxinus species for the seeds produced in the fall.

FRAGRANT CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANTS FOR THE GARDEN | Gardening for fragrance opens up another dimension of gardening. You can be whisked back to another place and time or other remembrances by the fragrances given off by your plantings. Once you start noticing aromas, you will quickly come up with your own favorites. Since everyone’s sense of smell is different, fragrances are open to different interpretations.

NATIVE PLANTS THAT ATTRACT BUTTERFLIES | The most important plants for caterpillars are buckwheat, California lilac (Ceanothus), deerweed and milk vetch and lupines, mallows, oaks, rock cress and other mustards, and grasses. Unless you provide larval food plants in your garden or nearby, the number of adult butterflies will be limited. The butterflies of San Luis Obispo County are listed, with the host/food plant of the caterpillar. In most cases the food (nectar plant) of the adult butterfly is also given.

Three Native Garden lists

North County Plant List | PDF Templeton Residence on Jack Creek Plant List

A List of California Native Plants and Their Garden Needs |  PDF list updated, updated 2015 by  Marti Rutherford

Atascadero Native Garden | PDF listing of the natives in this San Jacinto Avenue, Atascadero garden

Atascadero Native Garden | PDF Listing of the natives in this Dolores Avenue, Atascadero garden

 

 

Seed Collection and Saving for the Casual Gardener

This document talks about why and when to collect native plant seeds and offers tips for collecting and storing seeds. By Marti Rutherford, CNPS-SLO, April 2016

 

How to Handle Deer Problems in Your Garden

This article helps you determine if you have a low, moderate, or high level of “browse” and suggests the appropriate methods for combating your problem. Also included is a  brief list of plants that have shown some success in deer-prone areas.

 

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< 2019 >
April
  • 01

    All day
    04-01-2019-04-01-2019

    The Twenty-Fourth Annual
    Spring Outing
    Botanical Excursion
    Foray, Retreat, and Escape to the Environment
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO BE FREE 24 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Brought to you by the Bryophyte Chapter of the California Native Plant Society!

    Friday to Monday, 29 March to 1 April 2019
    Rancho El Chorro in San Luis Obispo
    Coordinators: Ken Kellman, Ben Carter
    Founded in 1996, SO BE FREE is a series of West Coast forays started by the Bryolab at UC Berkeley, but open to all botanists. The main focus is on bryophytes, but we also encourage experts on other groups to come along and smell the liverworts. We welcome specialists and generalists, professionals and amateurs, master bryologists and rank beginners. SO BE FREE is held each spring, somewhere in the Western US, associated with spring break at universities. Evening slide shows and informal talks are presented as well as keying sessions with microscopes. In addition to seeing interesting wild areas and learning new plants, important goals for SO BE FREE include keeping West Coast bryologists (and friends) in touch with each other and teaching beginners. To see pictures and information from past outings, visit the SO BE FREE website at: https://bryophyte.cnps.org/index.php/so-be-free

    ☛ One important function of this year’s SO BE FREE will be to serve as the annual meeting of the Bryophyte Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. See: https://bryophyte.cnps.org/ for
    details, and to join!

    The 2019 SO BE FREE will be held in San Luis Obispo County, one of the botanical gems within
    California. Midway along the coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo offers strong moisture gradients, a tremendous diversity of geological substrates and abundant open spaces that have been only lightly explored bryologically. Vegetation types range from moisture-loving closed cone coniferous forests near the coast to arid desert scrub in interior regions, with a diversity of chaparral and woodlands in between. The region is known floristically as a zone of transition, with representation of northern species in mesic areas, southern species in the drier coastal regions and even Mojave desert species in the eastern part of the county. Foray destinations will include Los Padres National Forest, many of the open spaces surrounding the city of San Luis Obispo, a private ranch in the interior and some of the best wildflower destinations in the state, all of which promise to be very rich in ephemerals, Bryaceae and Pottiaceae.

    Beginners are very welcome to SO BE FREE, and this year we will again have a workshop session for beginners at the start of the event. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning we will have field trips to satisfy all participants from neophyte to nerd! Field trip details are to follow. Access is being sought for private, State, and Federal lands.

    Interested? View PDF Flyer with Registration Information

  • 05

    All day
    04-05-2019-04-07-2019
    The CP Biology Dept is hosting the California Botanical Society’s graduate student research symposium on April 6th.  It’s a full day of talks from graduate students in California or studying California.  It is a great way to see most botanical labs in California and to network.  The evening of April 6th will be the California Botanical Society annual banquet and everyone is invited to attend.  Registration is open now.
  • 06

    All day
    04-06-2019-04-07-2019
    The CP Biology Dept is hosting the California Botanical Society’s graduate student research symposium on April 6th.  It’s a full day of talks from graduate students in California or studying California.  It is a great way to see most botanical labs in California and to network.  The evening of April 6th will be the California Botanical Society annual banquet and everyone is invited to attend.  Registration is open now.
  • 06

    All day
    04-06-2019
    Santa Margarita Park and Ride
    US-101 & El Camino Real & US-101, Santa Margarita, CA 93453, USA

     

    Saturday, April 6th, 2019, 8:30 am

    Carrizo Plain National Monument and Temblor Range

    We will visit some of the best wildflower areas in the Monument, including some vernal pools, with an option to travel up into the Temblor Range.

    Meet at the Santa Margarita Exit Park and Ride at 8:30 am. Bring plant guides or plan to purchase one during the trip. Also, bring adequate water, food, and dress in layers for the weather; a hat and sturdy shoes are advised. For more information contact Bill Waycott, (805) 459-2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com.

  • 07

    All day
    04-07-2019-04-07-2019
    The CP Biology Dept is hosting the California Botanical Society’s graduate student research symposium on April 6th.  It’s a full day of talks from graduate students in California or studying California.  It is a great way to see most botanical labs in California and to network.  The evening of April 6th will be the California Botanical Society annual banquet and everyone is invited to attend.  Registration is open now.
  • 13

    12:00 pm-4:00 pm
    04-13-2019
    Cambria Veterans Memorial Building
    1000 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428, USA

    The premier wildflower show on the north coast is scheduled for April 13 & 14 at the Vet’s Hall in Cambria (1000 Main Street) from 12:00 to 4:00 on Saturday and 10:00 to 2:00 on Sunday.

    We usually have around 400 species of plants on display collected from the coastal region from the county line to the North and Montana de Oro to the South. In the display, plants are grouped by family and labelled with scientific name and common name.  There are also notations for rare, invasive, and introduced. I think this would be a great event for any plant lover to experience.

  • 14

    9:00 am-12:00 pm
    04-14-2019
    Reservoir Canyon Trailhead
    Reservoir Canyon Trail, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

     

    April 14 Reservoir Canyon – Wildlife Walk and Talk – 9:00 am

    Local wildlife biologist and Cal Poly Professor Francis Villablanca joins to share his knowledge creatures and critters.

    Meet at the end of Reservoir Canyon Rd., coming from SLO, take 101 North about 1 mile past Monterey St. exit. Turn right onto Reservoir Canyon Rd.

    Route: Reservoir Canyon Loop
    Difficulty: Easy to Moderate, 2-3 hours

  • 14

    10:00 am-2:00 pm
    04-14-2019
    Cambria Veterans Memorial Building
    1000 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428, USA

    The premier wildflower show on the north coast is scheduled for April 13 & 14 at the Vet’s Hall in Cambria (1000 Main Street) from 12:00 to 4:00 on Saturday and 10:00 to 2:00 on Sunday.

    We usually have around 400 species of plants on display collected from the coastal region from the county line to the North and Montana de Oro to the South. In the display, plants are grouped by family and labelled with scientific name and common name.  There are also notations for rare, invasive, and introduced. I think this would be a great event for any plant lover to experience.

  • 20

    All day
    04-20-2019
    Santa Margarita Park and Ride
    US-101 & El Camino Real & US-101, Santa Margarita, CA 93453, USA

    Saturday, April 20th, 2019, 8:30 am

    Caliente Ridge, Carrizo Plain Natl. Monument

    We will drive through the Monument towards the Selby Camp and up Caliente Ridge (high clearance vehicle recommended). Meet at the Santa Margarita Exit Park and Ride.

    Bring plant guides or plan to purchase one during the trip. Also, bring adequate water, food, and dress in layers for the weather; a hat and sturdy shoes is advised. For more information contact Bill Waycott, (805) 459-2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com.