SLO Chapter News

Congratulations to our newest Hoover Award winner!

Congratulations to our newest Hoover Award winner!

Melissa Mooney was recognized with the 2018 Hoover Award at our January Banquet, an honor that highlights her commitment to CNPS’ mission of understanding and documenting California’s flora, focused specifically on rare plants and plant communities. View more

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Lichens

Lichens

People around the world use lichens for food, medicine, dying wool, and a variety of other uses.

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Succulent Smuggling Comes to the Central Coast

Succulent Smuggling Comes to the Central Coast

Last spring, the story of a Dudleya smuggler in Mendocino County hit the news when an observant person noticed something odd while waiting in line at the local post office. (Here's a link to one of the news outlets covering that story.) Now we have our own case of...

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Maintaining Garden Tools

Maintaining Garden Tools

February is pruning month and with all the rain its time to get out the pruning tools. A dull, unsharpened tool can be dangerous to use so it is wise to sharpen them before use. Some general rules about sharpening tools. First, always wear gloves when sharpening...

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Wildflowers of San Luis Obispo + Wildflowers of the Carrizo Plain

Wildflowers of San Luis Obispo + Wildflowers of the Carrizo Plain

The Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition of our wonderful Wildflowers of San Luis Obispo, California has arrived just in time for the holidays! 20 new plants have been added and the SLO City open space map has been updated including trailhead directions. The new cover photograph of Woolly Blue Curls with the distant view of an oak studded grassy hillside puts you on our Central Coast.

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European Beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria)

European Beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria)

Ammophila arenaria is in the Poaceae family. It is native to northern Europe and spread from plantings from the late 1800s to the late 1900s. Andrea Pickart has written that European beachgrass is the most pervasive exotic plant species currently threatening coastal dunes on the west coast of the U.S. and is invasive in every major …

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Solanum xanti (Blue, Purple, Chaparral, or San Diego Nightshade)

Solanum xanti (Blue, Purple, Chaparral, or San Diego Nightshade)

Solanum xanti, Blue nightshade, article accompanied by original watercolor painting by Heather Johnson. Blue nightshade (the name most commonly used around here) is not pushy in its appearance unless it’s in bloom. It is up to a yard tall and the stem is half woody or suffrutescent. The ordinary looking, mostly un-lobed leaves are up to 3 inches long and lanceshaped to oval. Blue nightshade even prefers to grow near other plants and just blend in.

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Centennial Development at Tejon Ranch

Centennial Development at Tejon Ranch

The LA County Board of Supervisors will consider whether or not to approve the proposed Centennial development next Tuesday, December 11. Although this project is located in LA County, we believe this is an issue that impacts all of California, both in terms of our...

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Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolium)

Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolium)

Toyon, Heteromeles arbutifolium is a wonderful, hardy, native California evergreen shrub. It can be a good screen in the yard, growing up to 6 feet fairly quickly. It tolerates soils from serpentine to clay, to sand. It is not as flammable as other chaparral shrubs. It is a great forage plant for bees, butterflies, and …

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Invasive Species Report – Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

Invasive Species Report – Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

The extremely invasive Foeniculum vulgare is in the carrot (Apiaceae) family. It is native to Southern Europe and is problematic in coastal California and is also present throughout the western US all the way to Texas. I’ve encountered Fennel on Santa Catalina Island...

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President’s Message December 2018

President’s Message December 2018

In past issues of Obispoensis, I have noted some of my observations on the impact of invasive plants in our state – their negative effects and a bit on their historical introductions. My musings on the origins of such a domineering presence by these plants,  led me to...

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Chapter Meeting: Carrizo Ecological Reserves, George Butterworth

Chapter Meeting: Carrizo Ecological Reserves, George Butterworth

George grew up in the Central Valley. Among his first memories were cattails and red-wing blackbirds, and crops and orchards. He spent 30 years in Southern California, graduating from UCSB in history. He taught tennis for many years. He came to the Carrizo Plain in 1993 and started collecting plants and …

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Growing Native Plants from Seeds is Fun

Growing Native Plants from Seeds is Fun

For a native plant novice like me, joining the California Native Plant Society seemed like a good idea so I became a member of the San Luis Obispo chapter. My spouse and I attended our first meeting a year ago last October. That is where I met Marti and the real fun began.

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Botta’s pocket gopher

Botta’s pocket gopher

Last month we discussed California ground squirrel problems, this month I will focus on the gopher aka Botta’s pocket gopher (Thomomys bottae). For most of us, gophers can sometimes be a headache but a livable one. They come and go between you and your neighbor’s yard, only losing a couple of plants a year. For yards like these I recommend using …

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Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird Sage)

Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird Sage)

The cover of this Obispoensis is another beautiful water color by Heather Johnson. In our area Hummingbird sage can grow in an extensive mat. Its leaves are large (10 in (20 cm) long and 3 in (8 cm) wide). The leaf surface appears quilted. Its family affiliation (Mint or Lamiaceae or Labitae) is shown clearly in Heather’s water color.

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Defeat Dudleya Poaching through Propagation

Defeat Dudleya Poaching through Propagation

California Dudleyas are easy to grow. Illegal wild collection can be disrupted via legal propagation. I propagate Dudleya with middle school science classes. If seventh-graders can grow these natives from seed, you can too. Home gardens are a good source of Dudleya...

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In Memory of Bill Deneen

In Memory of Bill Deneen

Bill Deneen, long time CNPS member, Hoover Awardee, and champion of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes died at the age of 93 in September. Bill taught biology at Santa Maria High School  for 25 years, during which time he became a passionate advocate for the environment.

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