The mission of the California Native Plant Society is to increase understanding and appreciation of California’s native plants and to conserve them and their natural habitats through education, science, advocacy, horticulture and land stewardship.

Dedicated to the preservation of California's native plants

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A Message from the President

Out of concern for the health and safety of our members and dedicated volunteers, the Board of the San Luis Obispo Chapter of CNPS has had to make some heart-wrenching decisions. As you know, in response to the Covid-19 virus pandemic, state and local agencies have ordered all individuals to stay home except as needed to maintain essential needs. We do not know exactly how long this will last. Of course, this makes it difficult for us to count stamens and pistils together and share in person the “epic” flower displays we’ve come to know and love. We will, however, come through this. We encourage you to visit native habitats within walking distance of your home (while maintaining physical distancing, of course.)

In the meantime, though, we have decided the following:

  • All field trips, including the Santa Rita Road bike ride scheduled for April 19, are cancelled;
  • May 7 General Membership meeting is cancelled;
  • May 16 Plant Identification Workshop has been cancelled; we hope to reschedule it in spring, 2021; and
  • June 4 General Membership meeting is cancelled; we hope to bring you an alternative format with possible virtual reports from our McLeod scholars.

We are still working out the details of our coordination with UC Berkeley on the 2020 Sudden Oak Death Blitz scheduled for May 15-18 to ensure it can be conducted consistent with social distancing guidelines. We will keep you informed as details emerge.

As we move into the summer months, we will revisit our meeting schedule; perhaps we will be able to hold an August general membership meeting as we did last year, but at this time we just don’t know. This will be a “wait and see” event.

To those who worked so hard on setting up these activities: especially Mindy Trask, Kristen Nelson, Melinda Elster, Gage Willey, Judi Young, Cindy Roessler, our speakers who had to change their plans, Bill Waycott, and so many others – I can’t name them all -we thank you for all your time and effort.

We are learning new things! The Board met last week via Zoom videoconference, and we have plans to use this venue again in three weeks or so to see how things have progressed. We also plan to use this tool for the Board meeting currently scheduled for May 12. Who knows, perhaps this can become a tool for our general meetings also.

We want to stay in touch with you, and we want to hear from you. Our newsletter will continue to be produced electronically, and we hope to reformat it and produce it more frequently, with exciting tidbits for the stay-at-home nature of our lives these days. There will no longer be a mailed hard copy. Our newsletter editor, David Chipping, dchippin@calpoly.edu, is open to receiving contributed content from members, as well as ideas about desired content. If you have a special story, article, or photo, or just want to say hello, please drop us a line or check in on our Facebook page. Stay safe, and I hope we all stay healthy.

Melissa Mooney

President, SLO Chapter CNPS

 

Download and Print the May Obispoensis PDF newsletter

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Download and Print the new CNPS-SLO Planting Guide
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Event Calendar

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  • Chapter Meeting featuring Ethnobotany professor Kat Anderson
    7:00 pm-9:00 pm
    06-07-2018

    801 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    801 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    The CNPS San Luis Obispo monthly meeting is Thursday, June 7 at the San Luis Obispo Veterans Hall. From 7:00 to 7:30 pm we will have the usual social part of our monthly meeting, followed at 7:30 by a chapter business meeting.

    Program: The Ethnobotany and Associated Stewardship of California Black Oak/Mixed Conifer Forest Ecosystems in the Central and Southern Sierra Nevada as a Model for Restoring Forest Health: Ethnobotany professor Kat Anderson.

    Kat Anderson has a Ph.D. in Wildland Resource Science from UC Berkeley and is the author of the book Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources. The book was recently chosen by the celebrated permaculture designer Ben Falk, as one of the most important books to read in order to permanently solve food security. Kat has worked with Native Americans for over 25 years, learning how indigenous people judiciously gather and steward native plants and ecosystems in the wild. Her interests are to learn about, celebrate, and restore the similar plant uses, gathering and tending practices, and ethical stances towards nature that are in multiple local cultures here and all around the world.

    This talk will discuss the importance of California black oak and associate trees and understory species of the mixed conifer forests to the indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada for food, clothing, basketry, firewood, medicines, and household utensils. The audience will learn about the tremendous stewardship legacy of Sierran Tribes: how they knocked the oak trees with long poles and pruned the branches which helped shape the trees canopies and removed dead or dying wood, and may have spurred new fruitwood growth. Black oaks were managed at the ecosystem level with frequent, low intensity Indian-set fires, in order to open up the forest, promote widely-spaced large-canopied, long-lived oaks and conifers with less insects and pathogens, foster useful legumes, and encourage edible and medicinal mushrooms. I will explore some of the potential results of indigenous stewardship that may contribute to forest health including enhanced mycorhizzal relationships with oaks and conifers, nutrient cycling, soil fertility, enhanced soil moisture-holding capacity, and biological action in the soil.

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  • Five of the Morros of San Luis Obispo County
    7:30 am-9:00 pm
    06-23-2018

    Islay Hill Trail, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    Islay Hill Trail, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    Saturday, June 23

    Join us for a day on the Morros and learn which plants grow on each of these volcanic plugs.  Ascend one, two, or more. Here are the start times.

    • 7:30 a.m. Islay Hill, 2 miles, 500 ft. gain, moderate. The easternmost of the Morros, with views of five others. To trailhead, take Tank Farm Rd. east past Orcutt Rd, then south on Spanish Oaks Dr., then east on Sweet Bay Lane to end.
    • 9:00 a.m. Cerro San Luis, 4 miles, 1,100 ft. gain, moderate. Has knockout views of SLO. Trailhead at the end of Marsh St., just before on-ramp to Hwy 101 south.
    • Lunch (optional): 11:15 am to 12:00 pm, Throop Park, corner of Cerro Romauldo Street and Cuesta Drive, in SLO.
    • 12:00 p.m. Bishop Peak, 3.5 miles, 950 ft. gain, moderately strenuous. Highest of all the Morros. From Hwy 1, go west on Highland Dr., then right on Patricia Drive. Park at trailhead on Patricia Dr. just before reaching Anacapa Circle.
    • 3:30 p.m. Cerro Cabrillo, 2.5 miles, 800 ft. gain, moderately strenuous. 360-degree views from the Santa Lucia Mts. to coastline. Meet at Quarry Trail trailhead on South Bay Blvd, 1.4 miles south of Hwy 1 or 0.4 miles north of Turri Rd.
    • 6:00 p.m. Black Hill, 3.0 miles, 650 ft. gain, moderate. Ocean views from Montaña de Oro north to San Simeon. From South Bay Blvd, drive into Morro Bay State Park on State Park Road.  Meet at the parking area on the north side of the road, next to restrooms opposite the boat marina, just east of the campground entrance.

    Bring water (if hiking more than one Morro, store extra water in your vehicle), lunch and snacks, and dress in layers for changing weather. The day is likely to start and end cool but be quite warm at mid-day. A hat, sunscreen, and sturdy hiking shoes are essential. For more information, contact Bill, (805) 459-2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com.

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  • Guidetti Ranch hikes with EcoSLO docents
    All day
    06-30-2018

    1124 Nipomo St Suite A, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

    1124 Nipomo St Suite A, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

    The trail to Indian Knob, the tallest of the hills south of San Luis Obispo, starts on the Guidetti Ranch near the airport. Access to this area is restricted to a few hikes a year, sponsored by EcoSLO. As native plant enthusiasts, the goal of these hikes, in addition to enjoying the oak studded property and a 360o view at the top, is your chance to view one of the rarest plants in this county, the Indian Knob Mountain Balm, Eriodictyon altissimum. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service: when this plant was federally listed as an endangered species in 1994, there were fewer than 600 individuals known to exist. The Pismo clarkia, Clarkia speciose, ssp. immaculate, also occurs along this trail. Both of these species are listed by CNPS as extremely rare 1B.1 plants. 
     
    Please RSVP the EcoSLO docent listed below to hold a place for the hiking date that suits you and to receive more information about the hike.

    Saturday, June 30th at 9:00 AM with Dale – ds2040@gmail.com

Volunteer at the Hoover Herbarium

Where is the Hoover Herbarium located?

The Hoover Herbarium is located on Cal Poly SLO campus on the 3rd floor of the Fisher Science Building (33) in rooms 352 and 359. Questions: email Jenn Yost at jyost@calpoly.edu

What do volunteers do?

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 it in such a way that those specimens will last for hundreds of years.  Each specimen is a physical record of what plants occurred where and when.  Without this valuable information we wouldn’t know when a species goes extinct, expands or contracts its range, or where species occur.  After mounting, the specimens are databased and geo-referenced.  Then they are filed into the main collection. We have over 80,000 specimens at the Hoover Herbarium.  We are also working on a SLO Voucher Collection, which will contain one representative specimen for each species in the county.  Volunteers look through our specimens and pick the one that should be added to the Voucher Collection.  Additionally, we are actively working on our moss and lichen collections.  Volunteers can choose what aspects of the work they would like to participate in.  Anyone and everyone is welcome. Questions: email Jenn Yost at jyost@calpoly.edu

What days/hours do you need volunteers?

Hoover Herbarium volunteers sessions are Monday 3-5 pm and Friday 9 – 1. Questions: email Jenn Yost at jyost@calpoly.edu

Where do I park?

Parking permits are required on campus Monday through Thursday, 7:00 am through 10:00 pm; and Friday, 7:00 am through 5:00 pm. You can either buy a $6 day pass, a $4 3-hr pass, park in a metered space, ride the bus, or park off campus and walk in. Questions: email Jenn Yost at jyost@calpoly.edu 

Newsletter

May Obispoensis

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PHOTO GALLERY

Fiscalini Ranch, January, 2019. Cambria, California. Marlin Harms.

Hypogymnia sp., Tube Lichen. Marlin Harms.

Phaeolus schweinitzii, Dyer’s Polypore.
Marlin Harms.

Mycena purpureofusca, Cone-dwelling Mycena. On cone of Monterey Pine, Pinus radiata. Marlin Harms.

Coastal Lichens on Rock–Caloplaca & Acarospora. 
Marlin Harms

Gymnopilus spectabilis, Laughing Gym, After Showers. Marlin Harms.