California Native Plant Society

CNPS eNewsletter

September 2014

Native Gardeners in Homeowners Associations Are No Longer Outlaws

Susan Krzywicki

Lorena GonzalesHave you heard of Homeowners Associations fining residents for their native gardens, or intimidated into keeping their non-native grass? This situation has been covered in the press, including reports of gardeners being sued for their appropriate choice of water-wise gardening practices. In many parts of California, there are large segments of the homeowner and apartment-dweller population that live in what are legally called Common Interest Developments or, as we often casually call them, HOAs.

Continue reading here.

A Trillium Plea

Russell Graham

Trilliums - Russel GrahamIs Trillium a neglected California native coveted abroad and deserving more attention at home or a multifaceted research subject? The taxonomy is unsettled for sure, propagation protocols are sketchy, nursery suppliers are easier to find in Europe, the UK, Oregon, Washington, and Canada than in California, botanic garden displays are bigger and perhaps more complete in Scotland and England, gardeners in New Zealand and other parts of the world grow more trilliums than Californians, and the market economics are distorted, while native habitat is disappearing.

Continue reading here.


CNPS Garden Signs

Garden signCNPS soon will be offering Garden Signs that anyone with native plants in their garden can buy and display. We announced the signs to generate neighborhood interest in the gardens that are bringing us all into the future: great landscapes with habitat, low water use, reliance on Integrated Pest Management instead of chemicals, and help us to conserve native plants throughout the state and Baja. The signs are meant as a marker of recognition. People who buy the signs are not being “certified”, nor are the gardens inspected. This less formal approach to garden signage means more people will feel able to participate and welcomed into the community.

Continue reading here.


CNPS Chapter Fall Plant Sales

Pretty face in the gardenFall is the season to prepare for spring gardens! When is your local chapter hosting a plant sale, presentation, or native gardening workshop? The CNPS Horticulture Events calendar is searchable by CNPS chapter and type of event, including "Plant Sale", so you can be prepared to hit all your regional CNPS Chapter plant sales! The calendar is frequently updated, so be sure to check back for events in your area.


CNPS 2015 Conservation Conference: Early Deadlines Approaching!

CNPS 2015

The CNPS 2015 Conservation Conference is Jan. 13-17 in San Jose! Join over 1,000 attendees in the heart of Silicon Valley for this historic event. The conference will begin with two days of workshops and field trips to area locations. The main conference starts on the 15th, with keynote speakers and over 300 presentations in 25 sessions by students, researchers, and CNPS chapters. Photo and botanical art contests have approaching deadlines- Oct. 16 and Nov. 1, respectively, and discounted early registration is open now through Oct. 31- so don't delay checking out the conference website for details! Visit or e-mail for more information.

Chapter Events - A Sampling from Around the State

To connect to your local chapter, or to find other events in your region, see this page for a list and map of CNPS chapters. Even more events from CNPS chapters and partners can be viewed on the Horticulture Events Calendar.

Sequoia Chapter
Beauty without (much) water: Landscaping for our future with California native plants
Wednesday, October 1, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Bring your chair and your questions! Talk with experienced native plant gardeners from the Sequoia Chapter who will provide information and Q&A sessions. Learn how to replace non-native, thirsty plants with low-water California natives, the importance and types of mulches in conserving water, and maintenance of California native plants! Free public event but donations are appreciated! Clovis Botanical Garden, 945 N. Clovis Avenue, Clovis.

East Bay Chapter
Native Plant Fair
Saturday and Sunday, October 4-5

Come celebrate native plants with the East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society during its annual Native Plant Fair. Over 200 species of local native plants will be on offer, including bulbs and ferns, for a total of over 20,000 individual plants from $5 to $30 each. Vendors will be selling photographs, paintings, jewelry, t-shirts, notecards, and more both days of the sale, there will be a silent auction closing at 2:00 PM Sunday. Sunday is Family Day with live music and kids' activities! The Possum Family Singers will be playing Americana and Bluegrass, and activities will include facing painting, crafts, mask decorating, and a plant treasure hunt. Saturday 10 AM - 3 PM; Sunday noon - 4PM. Native Here Nursery, 101 Golf Course Dr., Tilden Park, Berkeley 94708. Phone: 510-549-0211. See the event page for more information.

North Coast Chapter
Discovering a new species in the Trinity Alps Wilderness: Antennaria sawyerii
Wednesday, October 8, 7:30 PM

Pete Figura, Environmental Scientist with the U.S. Forest Service, will summarize the discovery, characteristics, and ecology of a new species of pussy-toes (Antennaria) from the Trinity Alps. A. sawyeri appears to be another Klamath Mountains endemic and is currently known only from a spectacular subalpine, ultramafic area near Siligo and Van Matre meadows in the eastern part of the wilderness. The “discovery” of this species occurred over several years and involved the sharp eyes of botanists in the herbarium, the ongoing efforts of the CNPS Rare Plant Program to document and conserve rare plants, and a lot of fun field work. The new plant’s specific epithet will honor the late Dr. John O. Sawyer, Jr., a founding member of the North Coast Chapter and friend and mentor to many in the north state botanical community.  Please join us to celebrate this discovery and explore the spectacular landscape it inhabits!  At the Six Rivers Masonic Lodge, 251 Bayside Rd., Arcata.

Sanhedrin Chapter
Oak Identification Walk in Low Gap Park
Saturday, October 11

We'll wander the trails through woodland, forest, and chaparral observing the high oak diversity found in the park and observe as many as nine oak species and several hybrids. Meet at the picnic tables next to the parking lot at 10 am. Leader: Kerry Heise  (707) 462-4533 

Marin Chapter
Field Trip: Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project
Saturday, October 11, 10:00 AM - Noon

Christina McWhorter, nursery manager and native plant specialist for the Hamilton Welands Restoration Project will lead a tour of the nursery and the area of the wetlands where restoration work is taking place. Hamilty Wetlands Nursery, Todd Road, Novato, CA. For more info about the Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project, see this January 2014 article from Bay Nature.

Kern County Chapter
Program meeting: Natural Land Revegetation
Thursday, October 16, 6:00 - 9:00 PM

Hall Ambulance Community Room, 1031 21st St, Corner of N Street and 21st Street. 6:00-7:00 will feature two informal group discussions: plant identifications and native plant gardening. Program begins at 7:00 with speaker Randi McCormick discussing natural land revegetation in saltbrush scrub communities and San Joaquin Natural Lands. Ms. McCormick has over 24 years of experience conducting and designing field surveys, monitoring, and resource education programs.

Napa Valley Chapter
Garden Work Party
Saturday, October 18, 9:00 AM - Noon

Learn about planting and maintaining the native plants that you have stocked up on at the 2014 Fall Plant Sale. Bring a hat, water, and gloves. We will have the tools. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy after a morning of work. Sign up at the sale or email us at Martha Walker Native Habitat Garden, Skyline Park, 2201 Imola Ave., Napa, CA.

Sierra Foothills Chapter
Field Trip: Fall Colors
Saturday, October 18, 9:00 AM

Leader Jennie Haas; Hiking level easy. Our annual fall colors field trip will take us along Hwy 120 through Yosemite National Park over Tioga Pass then south through the June Lake Loop where there are a number of lakes and beautitful views of the Sierran East Side. We'll have lunch along the way, probably at the Whoa Nellie Deli in Lee Vining. Meet at 9:00 AM at the Groveland Library and Museum parking lot next to Mary Lavaroni Park on Highway 120 in Groveland. For more info, contact Jennie at 209-962-4759 or

Mount Lassen Chapter
Field Trip: Deer Creek Trail
Sunday, October 19, 8:30 AM

Meet at the Chico Park & Ride west lot (Hwys 32/99) in time to leave at 8:30. Wear sturdy shoes. Bring lunch, water, sun/insect protection, and money for ride sharing. Call leader for alternative meeting place. We will drive east on Hwy 32 about 38 miles to the trailhead at the Hwy 32 Deer Creek Bridge. Starting at 3200 ft elevation, this will be a shaded and gradual 1.5 mile hike downstream. We will have lunch by a cascading waterfall with an adjacent fish ladder. Big leaf maple, dogwood, and black oaks should be in fall color along with Indian rhubarb, spicebush, Sierra mint, and California fuchsia. Leaders: Gerry Ingco 530-893-5123, Wes Dempsey 530-342-2293.

Redbud Chapter
Program Meeting: The Physics of Flora
Wednesday, October 22, 7:00 PM

Dr. Paul Doherty, Director of Science and Teaching at San Francisco’s phenomenal Exploratorium will speak on the physics of floral color and whatever else he decides to pull out of his creative sleeve. The man is a wildly entertaining and interactive speaker so prepare to play and learn. Auburn Library at 350 Nevada St. in Auburn.

Yerba Buena Chapter
Field Trip: San Bruno Mountain, Dairy Ravine-Cable Ravine
Saturday, October 25, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Two north-facing ravines form most of the area opposite the park entrance on Guadalupe Canyon Parkway. Their names allude to past dairy ranching and to cables that descend from the communication towers on the summit. The two ravines share similar coastal scrub plant communities and are dotted with eucalyptus plantings that pose a threat to the mountain's endangered butterflies. We'll take the Eucalyptus Loop to the Dairy Ravine and Summit Trails. Then it's on to Kamchatka Point to look at our endemic San Bruno Mountain manzanita (Arctostaphylos imbricata) and a pretty form of bearberry manzanita (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi var. suborbiculata). There is also evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum) and dwarf huckleberry (Vaccinium cespitosum), that reaches the southernmost limit of its coastal distribution on this point. Self-register ($6 per car) at the entry kiosk, then turn right at the stop sign just past the kiosk and follow the road under the parkway to the small parking lot where we will meet. Dress in layers. If there is significant rain on the 25th, this trip will be rescheduled to Nov. 1. Contact:  Doug Allshouse  415-584-5114.

Monterey Bay Chapter
Field Trip: Falling Leaves at Maple Falls, Nisene Marks
Thursday, October 30, 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM

Join Andy Werner and Lynn Bomberger on this seven mile Nisene Marks hike with a 700 feet elevation gain. Our path takes us through a lovely forest along beautiful creeks and eventually to serene Maple Falls. If our timing is right, we will enjoy gently falling maple leaves around us as we relax for lunch at the falls. Agility is required. Bring water and lunch. Arrive early; we depart at 8:40am from the far end of the parking lot in front of REI in Marina (145 General Stilwell Dr) or depart from the parking lot behind Aptos Station (8035 Soquel Dr) at 9:30am. Contact Lynn at 375-7777 for a reservation—limit of eight people.


Contributors and Photo Credits

  • Susan Krzywicki
  • Russell Graham
  • Deidre Kennelly
  • Stacey Flowerdew
  • Mark Naftzger
  • Lorena Gonzalez headshot by California State Assembly - Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
  • Russell Graham - a cluster of Trillium
  • Stacey Flowerdew - "Pretty Face" (Triteleia ixioides ssp.) in the garden



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