California Native Plant Society

CNPS eNewsletter

March 2012

Second Annual California Native Plant Week: April 15-22, 2012

California Native Plant Week CNPS chapters, botanical gardens, parks, water districts, land trusts, National Parks, Forests, and Monuments in California and many other organizations are all gearing up for the second annual California Native Plant Week April 15-22, 2012. California Native Plant Week (CNPW) is a week dedicated to the appreciation, education, and conservation of California's flora. The CNPW legislation (ACR 173) was sponsored by the California Native Plant Society, and introduced by Senator Noreen Evens during the 2010 legislative session to help protect and promote California's native plant heritage and preserve it for future generations by raising awareness about our state's rich botanical diversity. Check out the California Native Plant Week calendar to see what is happening near you- there are native plant sales, wildflower shows, gardening workshops, lectures, hikes, garden tours, and many more events. If you are involved in other organizations that have an interest in California's native plants, invite them to participate and to enter their event information on the CNPW calendar. If you know of a CNPW event that is not on the calendar, please send the event details to Caroline Ficker.

Gardening for Hummingbirds

Anna's Hummingbird

Arvind Kumar

The world’s smallest bird, the only bird that can fly backwards, the animal with the highest heart rate (up to 1,260 beats per minute)– the hummingbird is one of the true wonders of the New World. While most are found in Central and South America, about 25 species of hummingbirds are seen in the United States. East of the Mississippi, hummingbirds are not as common a sight as they are here in California, a rest stop for migratory species like Allen’s, Rufous, and Black-Chinned Hummingbirds. The species that Californians see most commonly is the one that lives here year-round: Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna). It is easy to attract these winged wonders to your garden. To continue reading, click here.

Artemisia in the Garden

ArtemisiaTony Baker

When spoken, the word Artemisia rolls off the tongue with ease. This genus received its mellifluous moniker in honor of Greek Queen Artemisia whose name was in turn inspired by the Greek Goddess Artemis. But when faced with common names such as sagebrush, mugwort, wormwood and sandwort, gardeners may not be inspired to search these plants out in order to add them to their landscapes. However, California Artemisia species can make an ornamental and often aromatic addition to native habitat gardens. Article continued here.

The Life Cycle of Seeds: Spring

Meghan Walla-Murphy

This article is part one of a four-part series about the physiology and life cycle of seeds.

As vernal equinox approaches and spring begins to take hold, hillsides, meadows, grasslands, and even gardens transform. Tender, bright green shoots overtake the brown dormancy of winter. New growth reaches for the sun as the days lengthen and temperatures rise. Winter and spring storms converge over California and drop precious and necessary moisture. And yet while our eye is drawn to the green above ground, our attention should be directed below, toward the seeds responsible for the freshness of spring.

Unfortunately seeds are often taken for granted. They arrive unceremoniously in prepackaged pouches or are laboriously picked off of clothing after a long day’s hike. But really they are a tiny efficient bundle of immense potential energy.

Article continued here.

Spring CNPS Chapter Plant Sales

Spring plant sale season is here! Check the CNPS plant sale calendar to see when your local chapter is hosting a plant sale. All plant sales are open to the public though most chapters offer special benefits to CNPS members such as early admission and discounts. If you are not currently a member, or if you have let your membership lapse, you can join online today and bring your confirmation email to a plant sale this weekend! Don't want to join online? You can sign up on the spot at any chapter plant sale. CNPS members also receive discounts at a number of nurseries, stores, and other businesses to help you with your garden maintenance year around!

Chapter Events

Shasta Chapter

Saturday, March 31, 9 AM
Vernal Pool Field trip

Join Don Burk on a poke-along through some local vernal pools. Destination to be determined, depending on what is blooming in the Redding/Red Bluff areas. Most likely, we will caravan to several different vernal pools, all of which will be off-trail, so expect uneven terrain and, with any luck, wet feet! Meet at 9 AM at the Redding City Hall south parking lot on Parkview Avenue. No dogs, please. Please call Don at 347-0849 for further information.

Saturday, April 14, TBA
Yana Trail Hike

Join Jay & Terri Thesken for an 8- to 9-mile hike to the Yana Trail area of the Sacramento River Bend Recreation Area north of Red Bluff. The bluffs adjacent to the Sacramento River are typically covered with wildflowers at this time of year. This will be a long, all-day hike that requires good hiking boots, water, and lunch. No dogs, please. Space will be limited, so call Jay & Terri at 221-0906 for time, directions, and further information.

Santa Clara Valley Chapter

Saturday, March 31, 10 AM
Uvas Canyon County Park Hike (Morgan Hill)

Andy Butcher and others will lead a 3.25 mile loop hike in this mostly shady woodland of mixed evergreens including redwoods, madrones, sycamores, alders and big-leaf maples. There are also isolated populations of Oregon grape (Berberis nervosa) here, which is more commonly found north of the Golden Gate. We expect to see a variety of spring-blooming annuals and perennials. Meet at the Park entrance. Be sure to wear good hiking shoes. Bring a lunch and plenty of water. There is a $6 fee per car (bring exact change). For more information contact Andy Butcher, at, or (408) 203-5828.

Sunday, April 8, 10 AM
Palassou Ridge OSP Hike (Gilroy)

Join us for an exploratory hike to Palassou Ridge Open Space Preserve in Santa Clara County. This preserve, which is owned and managed by the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, covers several thousand acres in the Diablo foothills east of Gilroy, on the ridge between Henry Coe State Park and Harvey Bear/Coyote Ranch County Park.  The preserve contains a variety of habitats, including oak woodlands, riparian corridors, chaparral, and wildflower meadows. The hike may be moderately strenuous, and the trails are not well developed. Space will be limited, as the preserve is not open to the public. This hike is for CNPS members only — new or renewing memberships will be accepted at the meeting place. For more information or to sign up, contact Judy Fenerty at

Saturday, April 14, 9 AM
New Hagen Meadow Hike (San Jose)

Visit and help identify spring wildflowers at this newly acquired serpentine meadow and seep. Join Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District staff Cindy Roessler and Eric Stanton to explore this property off Hicks Road in the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve with its Mt Hamilton thistle, most beautiful jewelflower, leather oak, native grasses and views of Mt. Umunhum. Eric grew up on the property and will share some of its rural history. Public hiking trails and access have not been developed for this new property yet so this reservation-only hike will provide a sneak preview of this resource. Bring lunch, sun protection and sturdy shoes. We’ll meet in San Jose at the Park-and-Ride lot at Hwy. 85 and Camden Ave. and then travel 6 mi. together to the locked pasture where we will park cars. Logistics do not allow participants to arrive late or leave early. We are offering priority to Santa Clara Valley Chapter members for this trip. Space is limited to 20 people and carpooling (no host) is strongly recommended to the trailhead. RSVP to Cindy at or (650) 691-1200 to reserve your place and for directions to the trailhead.

Sequoia Chapter

Saturday, April 14, 9 AM
Windshield Wildflower Field Trip

This could be the wildflower tour for you!  Many people who enjoy seeing our local foothill wildflowers in the spring are no longer able to hike into the foothills or just don't care for walking. Come with us for an easy, relaxed look, with little walking, at the variety of spring wildflowers in the foothills. We'll meet near Centerville, form carpools and caravan in a loop along Pine Flat Lake and over the ridge to Watts Valley, with stops for closer looks and photo ops. An expert botanist will be available to assist in pointing out and identifying the many species of California native plants. Contact Warren or Helen Shaw at (559-855-4519) or Space is limited; CNPS members will have priority registration until March 30.

South Coast Chapter

Saturday, April 21, 9:30 AM or 1:30 PM
18th Annual Spring Garden Tour

Featuring three gardens in the Torrance Area and a guided tour of the Madrona Marsh display garden. Read descriptions of the gardens here. Tony Baker & Ric Dykzeul will lead the tour. Plant lists will be provided. Bring your cameras and note pads. Tour takes approximately 2 ½ hours. All ticket sales are done by phone and the tickets are mailed to you prior to the event. Donation: $20 for CNPS Members, $25 for Non-Members. Call Loretta at 310-629-0500 (available between 9 AM and 7 PM daily) to reserve your spot.

Contributors and Photo Credits

  • Katie Barrows
  • Vince Scheidt
  • Laura Camp
  • Nancy Morin
  • Arvind Kumar
  • Tony Baker
  • Meghan Walla-Murphy
  • Stacey Flowerdew
  • Mark Naftzger
  • Steve Rosenthal - Male Anna's Hummingbird, (Calypte anna) feeding on fuchsia-flowering gooseberry
  • Laura Camp - Artemisia pycnocephela 'David's Choice' with Erigeron glaucus 'Bountiful'
  • Steve Canipe - Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) cones and seeds. Retrieved 3/28/12 from Pics4Learning


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