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!

San Luis Obispo Planting Guide thumbnail SLO Planting guide

Download and print this planting guide that is customized for the San Luis Obispo planting region.

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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< 2020 >
March
  • 01

    9:00 am-12:00 pm
    03-01-2020
    Coreopsis Hill Trailhead
    2821 Oso Flaco Lake Rd, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420, USA

    Sunday, March 1, 2020, 9:00 am,  Coreopsis Hill (in the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes) 

    The Annual Hike to Coreopsis Hill (in the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes), is scheduled for Sunday, March 1, 2020 from 9am to around noon. This hike is sponsored by the San Luis Obispo Chapter of CNPS and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It will be led by Jenny Langford, Lauren Brown, Dirk Walters, and other local botanists and volunteers. The hike will begin at 9:00 AM (please plan to arrive between 8:45 and 9:00), leaving from the south end of Beigle Road at the USFWS access road (fenced road). It will be a casual walk through the dunes to the top of Coreopsis Hill. This is a moderate hike, about 3 hours round-trip. Dress in layers, bring water and snacks, and have your “Dune Mother’s Wildflower Guide” by Dr. Malcolm McLeod for the trip. Long pants and closed shoes are recommended as the habitat is coastal dune scrub and there is the possibility of poison oak and ticks in the natural dune areas (we will watch for and point these out so they can be avoided).

    For more information call Lauren Brown at 460-6329 or 570-7993. Heavy rain cancels this trip (light rain, bring appropriate clothing).

    NOTE: Pets, smoking, or alcohol are not allowed on the Refuge, including the parking area, or other properties accessed during the hike (i.e., State Parks and Private Property). Pets may not be left in cars in the parking areas.

    Directions from the north: Take Hwy 101 south from San Luis Obispo. Turn right (west) at the new Willow Road off ramp (Exit 180). Proceed west on Willow Road for about 4.3 miles, to Highway 1. Turn left (south) on Highway 1 and proceed for 2.7 miles, to Oso Flaco Lake Road. Turn right (west) on Oso Flaco Lake Road. Proceed west on Oso Flaco Lake Road for 2.5 miles to Beigle Road. Look for a 6’ tall wire mesh fence and steel gate.

    Directions from the south: Take 101 north to Santa Maria and take the Main Street exit toward the town of Guadalupe. Turn right onto Highway 1 and head north to Oso Flaco Lake Road (about 3 miles north of Guadalupe), turn left onto Oso Flaco Lake Road and proceed 2.5 miles to Beigle Road (on left).

    Parking: We will have people posted at the entrance of the USFWS fenced road to direct parking. The gate will be open around 8:30. Please do not park on Oso Flaco Lake Road near the gate as there is not much room and it could be hazardous. There should be plenty of room to park along the acccess at Beigle Rd. If you need to use a restroom before the hike (there are none along the hike route). the Oso Flaco Lake State Park lot is another ¾ miles west of Beigle Road

    Additional Information: The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes-Point Sal Coastal Area contains the largest, relatively undisturbed coastal dune tract in California and was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1974. Five major plant communities are represented including pioneer/foredunes; coastal dune scrub; riparian woodland; coastal dune freshwater marshes, ponds, and swales; and active interior dunes. The flora includes many endemic plant species and the dunes habitats support numerous rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals.

  • 05

    7:47 pm-9:00 pm
    03-05-2020

    ATASCADERO, Mar 5th 2020 Thursday – 7pm social, 7:30pm program

    Kiwanis Hall, adjacent to clubhouse, Atascadero Lake

    Program presented by Kyle Nessen and Lynne Dee Althouse

    Driving Instructions:

    From US 101 Take Hwy 41 west from Freeway. Continue past Portola Avenue stoplight, war memorial, park and zoo on the left, turn left on narrow Pismo Avenue immediately west of the zoo, continue to intersection with Avenal Avenue. Kiwanis Building is single story building on your left, with parking for Hall and Atascadero Lake Pavilion to the left.

    From Morro Bay drive to the first stoplight (San Gabriel Rd.). Pismo Avenue is the second road to the right. continue to intersection with Avenal Avenue. Kiwanis Building is single story building on your left, with parking for Hall and Atascadero Lake Pavilion to the left.

    See https://cnpsslo.org/2020/02/chapter-meeting-rare-plant-meets-new-technology-snakeroot-science/ for more information

  • 07

    All day
    03-07-2020

    Owner David Fross has invited CNPS members to visit this garden where over 100 different selections of Ceanothus have been planted. Meet in the parking area just west of Chamisal Lane on north side of El Campo Road in Arroyo Grande (GPS: 35.08361N 120.5650W).

    9am. Contact Bill, (805) 459-2103.

    Rain or the threat of serious rain cancels.

  • 22

    All day
    03-22-2020

    In the interest of public health, and to support local efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Chapter is cancelling this event

    On Sunday, March 22, learn about the native plants that thrive along the Pecho Coast Trail and discover their medicinal uses. California Native Plant Society botanists Kristin Nelsen and Bill Waycott along with Pecho Coast Trail docents, will be helping you explore the beauty of the local flora and learn how the Native Americans and pioneers utilized these plants for their nutritional and medical uses.

    The hike is 3.75 miles round trip and will depart from Port San Luis at 9:30 am. Return time is around 1:30 pm. The hike is along the coastal bluffs leading out to the Point San Luis Lighthouse, with a break being taken at the Lighthouse’s events building.

    You will be given a guidebook to take home, and a luncheon will be provided by the Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers featuring the opportunity to taste some of the edible plants that are found along the Pecho Coast Trail. It is recommended that you wear sturdy footwear like hiking boots, bring water, and carry a light jacket for the hike.

    This event is a fundraiser for the Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers in honor of the 130th anniversary of the lighthouse. The fee of $50 per ticket goes directly towards the restoration effort of this beautiful historic site. This is one time event only, so get your tickets today!

    Tickets or questions, contact Sally Krenn (805) 550-0150

    (Editor’s Note: Geological substrates are Jurassic basalts along most of the train, and Cretaceous sandstones at the lighthouse. Beautiful examples of pillow basalt, erupted in deep ocean water at an ocean ridge, can be seen at the base of the slope at Port San Luis.)

  • 28

    All day
    03-28-2020

    In the interest of public health, and to support local efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Chapter is cancelling this event

    LPNF and CNPS “Drive and Stroll Tour” of Figueroa Mountain, at the Figueroa Fire Station

    The Santa Lucia District, Los Padres National Forest (LPNF) will hold its fifteenth annual Wildflower Weekends on Figueroa Mountain in conjunction with the California Native Plant Society (CNPS). Meet at 9 AM at the Fire Station on Figueroa Mtn. Rd. Turn at the SR 154-Figueroa Mtn. Rd intersection near Los Olivos and proceed to the Fire Station parking lot. In view of this year’s early rains and current dry spell, Helen Tarbet is guessing early peaking of blooming this year. Sturdy shoes, lunch and liquids, and camera and binoculars recommended.

    Call Helen Tarbet at (805) 925-9538 ext. 246 or Charles Blair (805) 733-3189 for details.