California Native Plant Society

CNPS eNewsletter

October 2014

Register now for the CNPS 2015 Conservation Conference - Early Registration Discounts End October 31

CNPS 2015As Carol Ralph, president of the North Coast Chapter expressed it so beautifully, “The CNPS Conservation Conference brings together great speakers, fun workshops, interesting talk sessions, creative outlets, and a lot of plant people you'd like to talk with--on all aspects of native plant science, management, horticulture, and enjoyment.” See the schedule here. 300 presentations, 25 sessions, Lightning Talks, Silent Auction, Photography and Botanical Art Contests, Workshops, Field Trips, and more. Early registration discounts end October 31. View the Preliminary Program, reserve your room at the San Jose DoubleTree, or register today for the best rates!


New Progress and Promise Speakers Announced for CNPS 2015 Conservation Conference!

Four not-to-miss speakers have just been announced for the Progress and Promise Talks Saturday afternoon, January 17, at the CNPS 2015 Conservation Conference: Paul E. Ehrlich, Peter Raven, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Rebecca Moore.

Paul R. EhrlichPaul R. Ehrlich is co-founder of the field of coevolution and has pursued long-term studies of the dynamics of California butterfly populations, including climate change influences on extinction probability. He has been a pioneer in alerting the public to the problems of overpopulation, and in raising issues of population, resources, and the environment as matters of public policy. A central focus of his group is investigating ways that human-disturbed landscapes can be made more hospitable to biodiversity, and he is deeply involved in the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere.

Dr. Peter RavenDr. Peter Raven, a leading botanist and advocate of conservation and biodiversity with a notably international outlook. For more than 39 years, Dr. Raven headed the Missouri Botanical Garden, an institution he nurtured to become a world-class center for botanical research, education, and horticulture display.

Kim Stanley Robinson Kim Stanley Robinson is one of the most acclaimed writers of science fiction in the history of the genre. His Mars Trilogy and Wild Shore Triptych reflect a vision of the future shaped by a childhood in development-crazy Orange County and a life spent exploring California’s Sierra Nevada. Virtually all of Robinson's novels have an ecological component; sustainability would have to be counted among his primary themes.

Rebecca MooreRebecca Moore is an Engineering Manager at Google, where she initiated and leads the development of Google Earth Engine, a new technology platform that puts an unprecedented amount of satellite imagery online for the first time and enables scientists to conduct global-scale monitoring and measurement of changes in the earth’s environment. Rebecca also conceived and leads the Google Earth Outreach program, which supports nonprofits, communities and indigenous peoples around the world in applying Google's mapping tools to the world's pressing problems in areas such as environmental conservation, human rights and cultural preservation. Rebecca received a bachelor’s degree with honors from Brown University in Artificial Intelligence and a master’s degree from Stanford University. In 2013, Rebecca was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change for Open Science. Her personal work using Google Earth was instrumental in stopping the logging of more than a thousand acres of redwoods in her Santa Cruz Mountain community.

Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness Rare Plant Treasure Hunt and Weed Report 2014

Erythranthe hardhamiae (Hardham's monkeyflower), known from only 6 populations, is new to science and was just added to Rank 1B of the CNPS Inventory in 2013.

Erythranthe hardhamiae (Hardham's monkeyflower)

The Rare Plant Treasure Hunt headed to the backcountry this year, to seek out many rare plant populations in some beautiful but hard-to-reach places. The trips were focused in the Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness Areas of the Los Padres National Forest. These Wilderness Areas cover much of the Santa Lucia Range, extending from Big Sur all the way to the San Luis Obispo County Line. Despite the drought conditions, we were able to find some incredible rare plant finds and never had trouble finding enough drinking water. CNPS staff and volunteers found and documented over 150 rare plant populations this year alone! Some of our biggest highlights included:

-The re-discovery of recently-described Erythranthe hardhamiae (Hardham’s monkeyflower) at a pre-historic Native American site near the Ventana Wilderness. This plant was last seen here in 1960; after hours of searching, we finally found just 4 tiny plants!

-The re-discovery of Carlquistia muirii at Ventana Double Cone. It’s a 30-mile round trip journey with 8,000 feet of elevation gain to reach the summit of this peak, which explains why no botanist has surveyed for this plant since 1986. Hikers are rewarded with incredible views from the ridgeline trail, however, making it well worth the hike. This unique and disjunct population has steeply declined over the past 28 years, probably due to climate change, making it an important priority for ex-situ conservation.

-The addition of Calochortus clavatus var. clavatus (club-haired mariposa lily) to the Monterey County flora. It may seem surprising that this beautiful flower had never been seen in the County before, but when you discover its location, it’s no wonder that this was a new find. From Highway 1 it’s at least a 10 mile hike in to the area where this plant occurs, much of it on a a now non-existent trail. Fortunately, we had gps units and a guide from the local Buddhist hermitage to help us find our way. This all goes to show that some incredible finds await the intrepid botanist!

CNPS staff also supervised a noxious weed removal crew from American Conservation Experience (ACE) this fall. Thanks to the efforts of RPTHers in documenting weeds in the Ventana and Silver Peak over the past two years, we were able to identify high-priority areas for weed removal in the Wilderness. Many patches of weeds like pampas grass, eupatory, poison hemlock, and French broom in the Wilderness Areas have been removed, but follow-up work will be needed to ensure that they don’t return.

Rare Plant Treasure Hunt 2014 Data Due December 1st; Awards to Follow

Bill Waycott (San Luis Obispo Chapter) and Deanna Giuliano (Santa Cruz Chapter) carefully scour for tiny Hardham's monkeyflower among the goldfields on a spring RPTH trip.Aside from all the trips led by CNPS staff in the Los Padres National Forest this year, lots of Chapters and CNPS members around the State led their own Rare Plant Treasure Hunt trips as well. We want to find out about all that you did, so we can recognize your hard work and achievements! We ask that you send in all of your rare plant survey forms and photos to Danny Slakey at by Monday, December 1st, 2014. For our photo contest, we will gladly accept photos of rare plants, rare plant habitats, as well as the people engaged in this important work. We have a lot of categories that volunteers and chapters can place in, including:

-Most Rare Plant Occurrences (individual)
-Most Rare Plant Occurrences (chapter)
-Most Field Trips Led
-Most Field Trips Attended
-Photo Contest (Top 3 photos receive an award)


Student Support Available for CNPS Conservation Conference

Conference Student Support directly helps students like this!A number of conference opportunities were created specifically with college and graduate students in mind. To try to make the conference as affordable as possible, interested students can go to the Student Opportunities page on the conference website for further details and to apply for Student Funding registration fee waivers and travel stipends. Students are encouraged to apply by November 15 for the best chance to receive funding. Please note that students are asked to wait until they receive an answer before registering for the conference, and will be required to contribute volunteer hours at the conference. Special thanks for Student Support donations received to date from the Bristlecone, East Bay, Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains, North Coast, Sacramento Valley, South Coast, and Willis L. Jepson Chapters. If your CNPS chapter would like to donate to Student Support, contact Josie Crawford at or call (916) 447-2677 ext 205. 


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.

Mount Lassen Chapter
Field Trip: Drakesbad to Devil's Kitchen, Lassen Volcanic NP
Saturday, November 1, 8:30 AM

Meet at the Chico Park & Ride (Fir St./Hwy 32 & 99). Leaders: Gerry Ingco 530-893-5123 and Wes Dempsey 530-342-2293. Bring a light jacket, lunch, water, insect/sun protection, money for ride sharing and park pass. At elevation 6540 ft, the 4.2 mi roundtrip by trail to Devil's Kitchen begins at the Warner Valley Campground. The level of difficulty is moderate with 400 ft gain, wandering through meadows along Hot Spring Creek and under giant old growth conifers. Devil's Kitchen features belching fumaroles, mud pots, and steam vents amid rock outcrops in a dazzling array of fiery colors.

Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains Chapter
Program Meeting: Geology of the Santa Monica Mountains
Tuesday, November 4, 7:30 - 9:00 PM

For the November 4 program at the Sepulveda Garden Center, Presenter Bill Neill will describe and illustrate the complex geology of the Santa Monica Mountains, in relation to other regions of Southern California. This presentation will provide an introduction to the various sedimentary and volcanic rock units, which can influence native plant communities, and will make the tilted structures and juxtaposed rock types more understandable to the casual observer.

Bill studied geology at UCLA and Stanford University, then was employed about 20 years as a petroleum engineer, and has worked about 15 years as a professional herbicide applicator at controlling invasive wildland weeds in natural areas. Sepulveda Garden Center, 16633 Magnolia Blvd., Encino.

San Luis Obispo Chapter
Program Meeting: Native Plant Gardening for a Water Challenged Future
Thursday, November 6, 7:00 PM

Meet Susan Krzywicki, Horticulture Program Director for CNPS! California native plants are the key component to creating a sense of place. Because of the unique interaction of flora, fauna, geography and rainfall, we can create beautiful gardens that are evocative of our rich cultural heritage while providing space for the rich variety of wildlife that make our state so special. Susan will talk about the watershed concept of gardening, review key issues, discuss maintenance of native plants in the garden, near the wildland interface, and in public places. She will also talk about her role as the Horticulture Program Director, how CNPS supports the chapters and expand their sphere of influence to all Californians including the Baja region. San Luis Obispo Veterans Hall, 801 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo.

North Coast Chapter
Book Release Party: Field Guide to Grasses of California by Dr. J.P. Smith
Wednesday, November 12, 7:30 PM

Grasses and grasslands are of increasing interest to conservationists, biologists, and gardeners. There are more than 300 species of native California grasses and they are found in almost every climate- from cool, wet forests to hot, dry deserts. Despite their importance, grasslands remain one of the most under protected of California's vegetation types, and native grasslands have undergone the greatest percentage loss of any habitat type in the state. Join us for an evening celebrating the past, present, and future of California grasses with our own agrostologist superstar. Books will be for sale at the event. Six Rivers Masonic Lodge, 251 Bayside Rd, Arcata. Refreshments at 7:00, Botanical FAQs at 7:15, and program at 7:30.

Yerba Buena Chapter
Program Meeting: The Ghost Forest: Radicals and Real Estate in the California Redwoods
Wednesday, November 12, 7:30 PM

Greg King examines the intense era of ancient redwood liquidation by Maxxam Corporation, the equally fervent efforts to save the last of this unparalleled ecosystem and the current state of the Headwaters Forest. King played a critical role in protecting Headwaters Forest. In his talk, he explores the natural history of the redwood ecosystem, illustrated by his own beautiful and widely-published photos. His presentation also chronicles the redwood's wider collision with Western humanity and discusses key elements of state, federal, and corporate timber policy. Guerneville native Greg King is an award-winning and nationally published writer and photographer who is credited with discovering and naming Headwaters Forest in 1987. Recreation Room, Francisco County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

Bristlecone Chapter
Annual Potluck and Special Program: The CNPS Rare Plant Treasure Hunt: Understanding the California Flora through Citizen Science
Thursday, November 13, 6:00 PM

The annual Bristlecone Chapter potluck begins at 6 PM. Bring food, drink and conversation to share, bring utensils and plates for yourself. Members and non-members welcome. We'll follow the potluck with Chapter Elections at 7 PM, followed immediately by the Chapter Program at 7:15 PM. In 2010, the CNPS Rare Plant Program expanded to include the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt, providing volunteers with a way to make valuable contributions to rare plant data by searching for rare plants and reporting their observations. In this evening’s program, Danny will provide an overview of the rare plants from the Bristlecone Chapter Region, highlighting in particular some species for which CNPS urgently needs updated data. Danny will also cover the various ways that volunteers can participate in the program and learn rare plant survey methods. This exciting program is a great way for volunteers to learn more about the California flora while helping to ensure that California’s unique flora is preserved well into the future.

Milo Baker Chapter
Program Meeting: The World of California's Native Bees
Tuesday, November 18, 7:30 PM

Jaime has a B.S. from Berkeley in Conservation and Resource Studies with a focus on Restoration Ecology. She worked in the U.C. Berkeley Urban Bee Lab for two years after graduating, then worked in Florida studying native bees, gopher tortoises, and beach mice for three years. She is now back with the bee lab doing bee identification and field sampling in urban and farm sites. She also enjoys working in the experimental bee garden at Osford Tract. Jaime has a design business called Wild Bee Garden Design, where she designs bee-attractive gardens for homeowners, businesses, and farmers. Luther Burbank Art and Garden Center, 2050 Yulupa Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95405.

Channel Islands Chapter
Program Meeting: Phenology: How You Can Help the Study of Climate Change by Watching Plant Behavior
Thursday, November 20, 7:15 PM

Speaker: Susan Mazar, PhD. Dr. Mazar is a leader in studying changes in plant phenology (when they bud, leaf out, bloom, set fruit, etc.) and using citizen scientists to provide most of the field observations. A select number of species are targeted for this monitoring, monitoring specific plants in the neighborhood, or even your back yard. Learn how to make the observations and contribute to science. Channel Islands Chapter Board meeting will precede talk beginning at 6PM. Bring your unknown native plants to ID before the talk. Venue: Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Library, 1212 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara.

Santa Cruz Chapter
Habitat Restoration, Baldwin Creek, Wilder Ranch State Park
Saturday, November 22, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

No prior work experience is necessary, just show up at the park. We welcome individual volunteers from 8 to 80 years, as well as special group projects. Wear comfortable layered clothing, bring something to drink, and lots of enthusiasm! We work rain or shine, but if things get particularly unpleasant, we call it a day. Tools provided; bring gloves. Program Leader, Linda Brodman 831-462-4041.

El Dorado Chapter
Program Meeting: Rising from the Star Thistle: A Native Plant Demonstration Garden Takes Shape in Placerville
Tuesday, November 25, 7:00 PM

Planning Commission Room, Building C of the County Government Center, 2850 Fairlane Court, Placerville. Master Gardeners of El Dorado County are creating a large demonstration garden next to El Dorado Center, Folsom Lake College, off Missouri Flat Rd. One section of the garden will be devoted entirely to native plants. Master Gardener and CNPS board member Alice Cantelow will discuss the design elements, plants selected, and challenges encountered in creating the native plant garden. Material presented will include how to make a scaled plot plan, where to obtain native plants, best irrigation practices, and excellent resources for plant selection. Attendees are invited to a free hands-on workshop Saturday Nov. 22 at the garden itself from 1-3 PM, weather permitting.


Contributors and Photo Credits

  • Danny Slakey
  • Josie Crawford
  • Dan Gluesenkamp
  • Deidre Kennelly
  • Stacey Flowerdew
  • Mark Naftzger
  • Photo courtesy Paul R. Ehrlich
  • Danny Slakey - Bill Waycott (San Luis Obispo Chapter) carefully scours for tiny Hardham's monkeyflower among the goldfields on a spring RPTH trip.
  • Danny Slakey - Bill Waycott (San Luis Obispo Chapter) and Deanna Giuliano (Santa Cruz Chapter) look for Erythranthe hardhamiae (Hardham's monkeyflower), known from only 6 populations, and new to science. 
  • Danny Slakey - Erythtanthe hardhamiae (Hardham's monkeyflower), known from only 6 populations, is new to science and was just added to Rank 1B of the CNPS Inventory in 2013.
  • Photo Courtesy Lee Ripma



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