California Native Plant Society

CNPS eNewsletter

December 2014

CNPS 2015 Conservation Conference

2015 Conference LogoThe CNPS 2015 Conservation Conference: Celebrating 50 Years of Progress and Promise begins January 13-14 with pre-conference workshops and field trips in the San Jose area, with the main conference taking place January 15-17 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, San Jose. We are excited to feature big names from the fields of conservation, botany, history, technology, science fiction, poetry and more - don't miss it!

CNPS Celebrates State Parks 150th Anniversary

California State Parks and the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) have a natural partnership. Both seek to protect California’s natural landscapes and encourage the public to get excited about the beauty of our state. For many years CNPS chapter members have introduced the public to our state parks through educational workshops, talks, field trips, restoration events and more. Many chapters have been organizing events in these parks for nearly 50 years, bringing interested people into California State Parks for the first time to get an up-close look at native plants through Rare Plant Treasure Hunts, restoring native landscapes by removing invasive weeds and replanting local natives, and learning about native plants in the context of their natural habitat.

Continue reading here.

Drought-Tolerant Gardening with Native Plants

Doug Mandel

This article was originally published in the Redding Record Searchlight as one of a series of native plant articles written by members of the Shasta Chapter of CNPS.

Water-wise gardening discussions have occurred for years, but the recent California drought has elevated those discussions to a level prompting even more interest. My goal here is to offer water-wise landscaping ideas with an emphasis on drought-tolerant native plants. A common misconception about California native plants is "they require little or no water." Most are drought tolerant WHEN they are planted in their natural range AND once they are established. Some native plants planted outside their natural range require large amounts of summer irrigation to survive (coast redwood in Redding).

Continue reading here.


Learn the 3 Ps of Native Gardening

Native Garden by Pete VellieuxGardening information is the key to gardening success. Often, the information isn’t at the tip of your fingers when you want it, and getting reliable sources is crucial. CNPS is working to improve this situation by giving all gardeners free access to our treasure trove of native plant information, tips, techniques, and advice.

As a service of the Horticulture Program, CNPS has organized our gardening information into the “3 Ps of Native Gardening.” These groupings support the entire range of reference materials that gardeners are interested in.

Continue reading here


New CNPS Garden Signs a Huge Success!

Garden Sign v2Have you seen our new CNPS Garden Signs? They have proven to be so popular that we’ve already sold out of the first batch! Do not worry if you did not get one- we are ordering another shipment with an updated monarch design to be available in our online store next month.

They have proven to be so popular that we’ve already sold out of the first batch! Please don’t worry- we are ordering another shipment arriving soon with an updated monarch design!

As drought and climate change issues continue to affect our daily lives, the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) has enhanced its offerings by announcing a beautiful new Garden Sign, available for homeowners to purchase. This will help Californians focus on conservation and landscaping issues.

You can order a sign if your garden contains native plants- there is no minimum percentage of native plants in order to qualify, nor do you need to be certified. We only ask that you place the signs in a visible area and that there are natives nearby.

Our purpose is to signify that native gardening is gaining in popularity - so think of these signs as advertising for the sound ecological principles you are supporting!

Our gardening practices are changing as we learn the impact of over-watering and chemical-dependent techniques. Native plants are the most ecologically beneficial solutions any gardener can embody. They are naturally low water use solutions; do not require chemical fertilizers and pesticides; provide a unique caterpillar-host relationship to allow for abundant butterfly populations; provide the best nectar, pollen, and habitat for butterflies, bees and birds; and give a sense of place that no other plant palette can provide.

Garden Sign Toolkit

Along with the sign, a new set of resources has been added to the CNPS website called Chapter Toolkit - Garden Signs.

We have provided a quick presentation that you can add to a chapter meeting - colorful and short, it tells people what the program is about, shows the signs and points them in the right direction: to the CNPS online store to order!

Along with the presentation is a project guide with useful background information, along with:

  • 3 Ps of Native Plant Gardening: Color (pdf 1.6MB) | BW (pdf 946kb)
  • Garden Sign Partner Letter (docx 7kb) - to use if you would like to see the signs selling in a local botanic garden or nursery
  • Garden Sign Press Release (docx 35 kb) - to use in your local market or post at your chapter website
  • Garden Sign Photograph Copyright Release (pdf 98kb) - we’d love to see lots of photographs of people showing off their signs in their own garden - send us your photos and we will publish them (send to

The information has been prepared by a group of experts in horticulture, soil biology, plant communities, biology, wildlife, and conservation. Please visit the page.

We look forward to receiving photos and reports from your events!


California Native Plant Week 2015

In 2010, the California Legislature adopted Assembly Concurrent Resolution 173 to inaugurate an annual California Native Plant Week (CNPW). The next dates for this festive celebration of our heritage are April 11th to the 19th, 2015. As drought and climate change issues continue to affect our daily lives, we have enhanced our statewide horticulture program for CNPW.

California Native Plant Week is a week dedicated to the appreciation, education, and conservation of California’s fabulous flora. The legislation was sponsored by CNPS, and introduced by Senator Noreen Evens during the 2010 legislative session to help protect California’s native plant heritage and preserve it for future generations by raising awareness about our state's rich botanical diversity. California Native Plant Society promotes CNPW through native plant sales, wildflower shows, gardening workshops, lectures, hikes, and many more events. CNPW events like these allow all California residents to take an active role in preserving the majesty of California’s native flora.

From the Coast redwood to the California poppy, the more than 6,000 plants that are native to California are special. Each is perfectly adapted to grow without care in one or more of the myriad habitats in our Golden State: Coastal bluff or oak woodland, mountain slope or forest floor, and many more.

Celebrate in your daily life

Join the festivities! Celebrate CNPW with a visit to a local botanical garden or arboretum. Talk to an expert at a nursery or take a walk in a preserve. Join a native garden tour. Plant a native!

Check with your local chapter for events and be sure to look at the CNPW calendar at

Toolkits for chapter use

In honor of CNPW, a new set of resources has been added to the CNPS website for chapters. This page has information and downloads to introduce CNPW at a chapter meeting, activities and guidelines for events, ideas for celebrating, some fun heritage facts, Press Release and marketing templates for your use, including a customizable brochure that can be tailored to local needs and printed professionally or saved as a PDF and added on your chapter site. There are also links to professionals who can help homeowners, do-it-yourself resources, and connections to our local chapters that have the best information about plants in specific regions.

The information has been prepared by a group of experts in horticulture, soil biology, plant communities, biology, wildlife, and conservation.

We look forward to receiving photos and reports from your events.

For questions and more information, please contact CNPS Horticulture Program Director, Susan Krzywicki, at (619) 318-4590 or


California Bees & Blooms

CA Bees & BloomsDid you know that California is home to sixteen hundred species of wild bees, many of which are native species? And get this: these bees provide about 38 percent of California's crop pollination, at a value of up to $2.4 billion annually! It's a good thing that people are studying these bees to figure out how to help them thrive--and an even better thing that they're sharing the knowledge with us, in the form of this beautiful new guidebook. With its vivid, colorful photos and equally colorful descriptions of bees and flowers, California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists makes a great addition to any collection of gardening books or backyard nature guides.

This new guidebook from Heyday and CNPS holds a magnifying glass up to the twenty-two most common genera (and six species of cuckoo bees), describing each one’s distinctive behaviors, social structures, flight season, preferred flowers, and enemies. In addition to opening our eyes to the beautiful array of wild bees in our midst, this book provides information on fifty-three bee-friendly plants and how to grow them. Just a few square feet of poppies, sage, and phacelia are enough to sustain a healthy population of wild bees, transforming an urban or suburban garden into a world that hums and buzzes with life.


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.

Santa Clara Valley Chapter
Field Trip: Ano Nuevo
Thursday, January 1, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Join us as we celebrate a Chapter tradition of welcoming the New Year with an easy walk and picnic at Año Nuevo State Park on the San Mateo County coast. The park is located south of Pescadero on Highway 1, just north of the Santa Cruz County line. The trail loop is 2 miles, and is flat. Meet in the parking lot ($10 day use fee/ 1 New Years Creek Road, Pescadero, CA 94060) at 10:00. Latecomers will find us on the trail in the coastal prairie. For more information contact Carolyn Dorsch

Mount Lassen Chapter
Field Trip: Maidu Rock Shelter, Upper Bidwell Park
Thursday, January 1, 10:00 AM

Start the New Year with this traditional scramble up the north ridge of upper park and then down to a cave with 25 bedrock mortars and a small waterfall. Meet at the upper Horseshoe Lake Parking Lot (E) trailhead in Bidwell Park, Chico. Bring water, lunch and wear cool weather gear. Leaders: Gerry Ingco phone (530) 893-5123 email: & Wes Dempsey phone (530) 342-2293 email:

Channel Islands Chapter
Program Meeting: Ceanothus of the Channel Islands
Thursday, January 8, 7:15 - 9:00 PM

Speaker: Dylan Burge, PhD. Dr. Burge is a leader in studying the genus Ceanothus, with many changes in our understanding of this iconic California shrub. He will focus on those Ceanothus of the Channel Islands. Bring your unknown native plants to ID before the talk. Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Library, 1212 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara, California.

Los Angeles/Santa Monica Chapter
Program Meeting: Insects and Native Plant Gardens
Tuesday, January 13, 7:30 PM

Presented by Jim Hogue. Jim's presentation will demonstrate how to recognize and encourage beneficial and other multi-legged creatures (spiders, centipedes) into your gardens. Many of these visitors will prey on "problem" pests and enable you to have a pesticide free and healthier ecology in your yard. Jim recently co-authored two books on the beetles of California that were published by the University of California Press, a booklet on the flower flies of Los Angeles County, and he is working on a new edition of the book "The Insects of the Los Angeles Basin." Sepulveda Garden Center, 16633 Magnolia Blvd., Encino.

North Coast Chapter
Program Meeting: Delving into the Cryptic Lives of Gall Wasps
Wednesday, January 14, 7:30 PM

Presented by Dr. John DeMartini: Wasps of the family Cynipidae form galls on a variety of plants, particularly Rosaceae (rose) and Fagaceae (oaks) in northern California. John’s presentation will illustrate the interesting natural history of the wasp’s relationship to native plants by illustrating life cycles, galls sites, and predatory interactions. Dr. DeMartini is a Humboldt State University Professor emeritus with a passion for regional natural history. Six Rivers Masonic Lodge, 251 Bayside Rd., Arcata

Santa Cruz Chapter
Habitat Restoration: Quail Hollow Ranch County Park
Monday, January 19, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

A special project event celebrating Martin Luther King Day! No prior work experience is necessary, just show up at the park (Quail Hollow Ranch County Park 800 Quail Hollow Road, Felton, CA.). 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,

Milo Baker Chapter
Restoration Project Trip: Crane Creek Regional Park
Wednesday, January 21, 10:30 AM

For our restoration project trip, we'll visit a couple of sites to see the unique work of Point Blue Conservation and its STRAW (Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed) program. Join Laurette Rogers, the program's founding teacher, and Leia Giambastiani, our own chapter president and restoration project manager to learn about and see the amazing work they have done. Meet at the Crane Creek Regional Park parking lot on Pressley Road, Santa Rosa at 10:30. Take Petaluma Hill Road to Roberts Road. We will walk through the park and check out the project there and then look at another project at a nearby vineyard.

San Luis Obispo Chapter
CNPS 2015 Potluck Banquet
Saturday, January 24, 5:30 PM

The CNPS 2015 Potluck Banquet will be on Saturday, January 24, 2015, at the Morro Bay Community Center, 1001 Kennedy Way Morro Bay, CA. Social hour will be at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:30, chapter business at 7:30, and program at 8. Cost is $10 plus a potluck item. More information, including suggested potluck items, will be posted on our website and in a flyer mailed in January. Hope to see you there. If you have any questions, please contact Lauren at, or 805-460-6329.

El Dorado Chapter
Program Meeting: Climate Change and Fire in the Sierra Nevada
Tuesday, January 27, 7:00 PM

What is the future of Sierra Nevada forests after years of fire suppression and in the face of global climate change? Will fires on the scale of the King and Rim fires become the new normal? These questions, and more, will be answered by Dr. Hugh Safford during this talk. Dr. Safford, the senior vegetation ecologist for the USDA-Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region is uniquely qualified to address these questions. He will discuss how past, present, and future climate changes interact with recent fire-suppression and wildfire in our forests. While he will focus on vegetation, plant diversity and a few key animal species, effects of climate change and wildfire on carbon, water, and soil will be summarized as well. How does this knowledge affect forest management practices? Dr. Safford will address this question at the end of his talk. Planning Commission Room, Building C of the County Government Center, 2850 Fairlane Court, Placerville.


Contributors and Photo Credits

  • Susan Krzywicki
  • Doug Mandel
  • Deidre Kennelly
  • Stacey Flowerdew
  • Mark Naftzger
  • California fuchsia - Doug Mandel
  • California Native Garden - Pete Veilleux
  • Lewisia ssp. - Pete Veilleux



Copyright © 1999-2019 California Native Plant Society. All rights reserved. Contact Us | Privacy