Chapter Meeting: Rare Plant Meets New Technology: Snakeroot Science

Lynne-Dee Althouse

Lynne-Dee Althouse

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

Kiwanis Hall, adjacent to clubhouse, Atascadero Lake

Kyle Nessen and Lynne Dee Althouse

Snakeroot, a common name for members of the genus Sanicula, has a long history in early medicinal records. Sanicle species are common in chaparral and woodlands in California. A less common, and very special species occupies moist, deep clay in coastal grasslands in California. Kyle Nessen and LynneDee Althouse will describe ongoing research funded by a San Luis Obispo project with fascinating results regarding propagation and protection of the rare adobe sanicle (Sanicula maritima). They partner with the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden in this research effort. Adobe sanicle is a state-listed rare plant, and easy to find at Laguna Lake Natural Reserve in the spring. Kyle and LynneDee will describe the sanicle’s biogeography, natural history of our local rare species, and findings from some of their
early research efforts, as well as plans for using technology to better understand its distribution and habitat requirements. Kyle is Botanist and LynneDee is a Principal Scientist at Althouse and Meade, Inc. a local biological consulting group.

Kyle Nessen

Kyle Nessen

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.

Chapter Meeting “Can you be a  Sprouting Pine Nut”

NikkiPlease join us on Thursday November 7 for a talk titled “Can you be a Sprouting Pine Nut?” about a plant community with some notoriety in our neck of the woods: Monterey Pine Forest. The story isn’t about the trees, which seem to grow everywhere in the California landscape and are found around the world in vast plantations – the story is about the natural Monterey Pine Forests of the Central Coast and the biological, economic and inspirational values these plant communities sustain. Nikki is a Central Coast native who will share the ecological story about Monterey Pine Forests and how a small group of pine enthusiasts in Carmel came together nearly 30 years ago to advocate for the conservation of native forest habitat.

Nikki Nedeff is a Monterey County native with an enduring love of wild places and open spaces. Her professional experience spans more than three decades with non-profit conservation organizations and public resource management agencies in land acquisition and stewardship positions. Nikki’s academic background includes degrees in Biogeography from UC Berkeley, where her graduate work focused on riparian plant ecology. She teaches plant community ecology each spring at California State University Monterey Bay and works with the Big Sur Land Trust as Associate Director of Conservation. Email:

Fire resistant species for residential landscape designs

CNPS will hold its first-ever meeting in August, on Thursday, August 1st, at the SLO Vets’ Hall at 7:00 pm. The Greg Rubinfeatured speaker will Greg Rubin, an expert in native residential landscape design with special emphasis on fire resistant species.  Greg will talk on his experience in Southern California, working in chaparral ecosystems.  He will present the current approach to best practices for fire-safe plant selection and placement in suburban environs.

Greg Rubin, President and Founder of California’s Own Native Landscape Design, Inc. is a licensed landscape contractor who has worked with California native plants since 1985.  His company has designed over 700 native landscapes in Southern California. Specialties include residential, commercial, and institutional landscapes that cover an array of garden styles, while providing year-round appeal, low maintenance, water efficiency, rich habitat, and fire-resistance.

Greg has been featured in a number of periodicals including the Wall Street Journal, San Diego Union Tribune and Los Angeles Times, and magazines such as Sunset, San Diego Home and Garden, California Gardener and Kiplinger’s. Media coverage includes repeat appearances on NPR. Greg regularly gives presentations and workshops on native plants to conferences, garden clubs and other organizations throughout Southern California.

Greg is co-author of a new book with Lucy Warren, “The California Native Landscape: The Homeowners’ Design Guide to Restoring its Beauty and Balance”, published by Timber Press.  This popular native horticultural work covers all aspects of native landscape design.  Greg also served on the boards of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation, California Native Plant Society, the Lux Art Institute, and the Garden Native foundation.

Chapter Meeting: Carrizo Ecological Reserves, George Butterworth

Chapter Meeting: Carrizo Ecological Reserves, George Butterworth

CHAPTER MEETING Dec. 6th  2018 – Thursday – 7:00 pm

  • Veterans Hall, Monterey and Grand, SLO
  • Mixer and Browse Sales Table 7:00 pm, Program 7:30 pm

Program: 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 enjoying the nature. When California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife acquired south Chimineas in 2001, he worked on the botany there as a volunteer. This led to his getting on the payroll. He continues to botanize both the Chimineas and Carrizo.Plain, and was a major force in producing the digital Plants of Carrizo Plain book. A great number of the photo illustrations are by George.

Chapter Meeting: Plant Propagation by Elliot Paulson

Chapter Meeting: Plant Propagation by Elliot Paulson

CHAPTER MEETING Nov. 1st  2018 – Thursday – 7:00 pm

Veterans Hall, Monterey and Grand, SLO

Mixer and Browse Sales Table 7:00 pm, Program 7:30 pm


Elliot graduated from Cal Poly in business finance, and horticulture. He established Clearwater Color Nursery in 1987, where he grows annual color, vegetables, Mediterranean type perennials, and succulents along with California Natives. Plants are propagated in plugs, packs and pots both by seed and asexual cuttings. Elliot will tell us what works and what
doesn’t work. He will also engage other plant propagators in the audience. Along with his wife Megan, he runs the nursery on Los Osos Valley road with 13 dedicated employees. The nursery delivers plant material to local retail nurseries, the Central Valley, and Santa Barbara county.

October Seed Exchange


The seed exchange is back. The workshop time slot (6.00-7.15) before the October meeting is reserved for our second seed exchange. So think seed collection. There will be a few minor differences. There has been a request to provide a picture of the plant that the seeds will become. This will help those who might not be familiar with the names choose plants they want to try. Our chapter will supply seed envelopes so we will be asking those bringing seeds to just bring a bulk collection of cleaned seeds labelled with genus and species, where and when it was collected and a picture. There is no need to spend your time separating into little envelopes.

The seed exchange is an opportunity to share seeds from native plants which are growing in your landscape. We will not sell seed. Do remember the legal issues of seed collection. It is illegal to collect seed from private property and public spaces without permission. If you happen to have access to rare plant seed DO NOT collect it. That seed should be reserved for seed banks and those with the skills to nurture the plant to maturity.

Keep in mind that a collection of plants grown from seed has more genetic diversity than plants grown from cuttings. Depending upon what your goal is that may be a positive point. But garden grown plant seed is not ideal for restoration planting. One would want the more pure genetics of a wild population to use for restoration. Plants grown from seed might not be like the parent plant.

There is an article on our website under resources that has information on seed collection and cleaning (link). You might find it helpful. Find it under Resources, Growing Natives, Seed Collection and Saving for the Casual Gardener.

Chapter Meeting

Nov 3, 2016 – Thursday – 7pm

Dave Fross of Native Sons Wholesale Nursery will give a presentation entitled “Home Ground, Forty Years Among the Natives.”

Meet at the Veterans Hall, 801 Grand Avenue, San Luis Obispo.

October Seed Exchange

October Seed Exchange

A seed exchange is planned for the time slot from 6:00 to 7:15 before the October meeting. If you have been hard at work collecting this spring and summer, the time is almost here to part with those seeds. If you are interested in growing from seed, here is your chance to obtain free seed to try your hand at propagation.

Just a cautionary note: Plants grown from seed may not come true. Many of our natives hybridize so that the seed of the Mimulus aurantiacus growing near the Mimulus puniceus may produce some interesting flower colors. The result may not be what you expect. It might be delightful or it might not. These garden produced seeds will generally not be appropriate for use in restoration projects. If you are willing to devote your time and effort and take a chance on
garden grown seed then this is the before-the-meeting event you want to attend.

The plan is that we will set up tables and anyone who brings seed can place it on those tables. The seed from one collector will all be kept in the same area so if you have a box or a tray to contain your seeds that might prove helpful. You may stay with your seed to educate those interested or you may go ‘shopping’ to see what is available. It would be best if seed was parceled out into quantities that a person could walk away with and the packets labeled with genus and species.

You should be able to supply the information of the date of collection and location of collection. But if you don’t want to go to that effort bulk seed will be
acceptable. Please have it cleaned to the best of your ability. Also please supply as many envelopes as possible. Those who are ‘shopping’ may need to bring their own envelopes. Most of us get plenty of envelopes in junk mailings. Let’s repurpose those into seed envelopes. You may also need a writing implement to label those envelopes.

Seeds will not be sold. This is a free exchange. Tables will need to be put away before the actual meeting begins so this will be a rather quick event. Hopefully we will all enjoy it and we will want to try it again next year.

Left over seed will be accepted for possible packaging for the plant sale in November. Seeds appropriate for the propagation group experiments might be sequestered for those members.

See you there.

Marti Rutherford

Malcolm McLeod Annual Field Trip Meeting to Shell Creek

Saturday, April 2, 2016, Malcolm McLeod Annual Field Trip Meeting to Shell Creek co-lead by Dirk Walters and David Chipping. This is our monthly meeting for April. Meet at the San Luis Obispo Veterans Hall, 801 Grand Avenue (corner of Grand & Monterey Boulevard) at 8:30 a.m. and/or the Santa Margarita Park & Ride (intersection of Hwys. 101 and 58) at 9:00 a.m.  Bring your “Wildflowers of Highway 58” plant guide by Dr. Malcolm McLeod or plan to purchase one for  10 on the trip. For more information call Dirk Walters at 543-7051 or Dave Chipping at 528-0914.

Native Plants in the Landscape – November 2015 Meeting

Native Plants in the Landscape – November 2015 Meeting

Native Plants in the Landscape – Cultivating the natural beauty of the Central Coast

This is a photographic tour of California Native Plant use in the landscapes of Madrone Landscapes over the last 38 years.

Madrone Landscapes has been designing, installing and maintaining gardens throughout San Luis Obispo County, emphasizing California Native plant use, since 1977.  Rick Mathews is founder and president of Madrone Landscapes, Design-Build Maintenance firm, based in Atascadero.

As a landscape contractor for nearly four decades, Mathews has incorporated the use of California native plants since the 1970s. The wisdom of this approach has repeatedly become apparent, through several drought cycles. Madrone continues to favor natives in their designs, as this presentation will convey.

Thursday, November 5, 2015, 7:00 p.m. Meet at the Veterans Hall, 801 Grand Avenue, San Luis Obispo.