California Native Plant Society

CNPS eNewsletter

June 2016

CNPS Makes Progress Against the Pathogen Threat to Native Plants

Plant pathogen photo by Suzanne Rooney-Latham

May 31, 2016, marked the one-year anniversary of the CNPS Chapter Council’s decision to form an Ad Hoc Committee on Phytophthoras. This decision was triggered by a request from the Willis Jepson Chapter for CNPS to enact a policy addressing the threat that Phytophthoras and other harmful plant pathogens pose to California native plants. Since that time the Ad Hoc Committee has completed almost all the tasks necessary to fulfill the intent of the Chapter Council. The committee’s hard work and steadfast dedication is owed a debt of gratitude for the contributions they have made in just one year’s time. Their accomplishments were shared with Chapter Council at the June 2016 meeting, focusing on progress made and opportunities for education and assistance on Phytophthora prevention.

Continue reading here.

UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium Joins Forces with CNPS on Calscape


CNPS is excited to announce a strategic partnership with the Jepson Herbarium at UC Berkeley to cooperatively develop Calscape, re-launching the site to showcase its many great resources. Calscape now includes plant profiles for all recognized native California plant species, approximately 7000 in total.  Nearly every plant includes a detailed geographic distribution map, built using algorithms based on over 2 million GPS specimen records from the California Consortia of Herbaria, along with detailed elevation profiles across each of the 36 Jepson geographic subdivisions. The plant maps are integrated into Google maps so that users simply type in any California address, city, or GPS location to find out which plants would grow naturally in that spot.
Continue reading here.

Neonicotinoids in Your Garden

Carpenter bee, bumblebee and Arroyo Lupine (Lupinus succulentus). Photo by Debbie Ballentine.

In celebration of National Pollinator Week (June 20th-26th) the Xerces Society, the largest pollinator conservation organization in the world, brings awareness to the dangers of a commonly used class of insecticide known as neonicotinoids, or neonics. One of the many benefits of gardening with natives is their ability to provide food and habitat for pollinators. However, when treated with neonics, the insecticide is expressed systemically to all parts of the plant, thus turning pollinators’ sources of pollen and nectar into a toxic danger. The Xerces Society explains, “As a gardener, you have a unique opportunity to help protect pollinators by avoiding the use of these insecticides, asking your local nursery or garden center if plants have been treated with neonicotinoids, and encouraging your city or park district to use alternatives to neonicotinoids on plants that are visited by bees or are bee-pollinated.” Jennifer Hopwood and Matthew Shepherd of the Xerces Society explore the effects of neonicotinoids in further detail in the article Neonicotinoids in Your Garden.


Upcoming CNPS Plant Science Workshops

The CNPS Education Program is gearing up for another year of exciting plant science training workshops! Full details and registration will be posted at as it becomes available, or contact Becky Reilly at for more information.

Vegetation Rapid Assessment/Relevé
July 19-21, White Mountains
Taught by Julie Evens, Vegetation Program Director, CNPS; Jennifer Buck-Diaz, Vegetation Ecologist, CNPS

Vegetation Mapping
Aug 1-3, SF Bay Area
Taught by Julie Evens, Vegetation Program Director, CNPS; Todd Keeler-Wolf, Senior Vegetation Ecologist, VegCAMP Program, CDFW; John Menke, Senior Vegetation Mapping Specialist, AIS

Introduction to Plant Identification, Southern CA
Dates, exact location, and instructor TBA


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
Edgewood Weed Warriors
Friday, July 1, 9:00 AM - 1:00 P

Our 26-year volunteer restoration program strives to make Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve an inspirational showcase of all CNPS stands for. Come share the beauty of Edgewood with us, learn a ton, and help keep Edgewood native! Our 9am Friday sessions run year round. Location: Edgewood Park & Natural Preserve near Redwood City. Contact Paul Heiple at (650) 854-7125 or John Allen at for Friday info.

Willis L. Jepson Chapter
Work Day at the Nursery
Monday, July 4, 10:00 AM - noon

We will be reassembling a portable carport to provide more shade for the increased number of seedlings and saplings we are growing. It may take longer than two hours. Please meet at the Vallejo Sanitation and Flood Control District gate at 47 Solano Ave, Vallejo, CA. Call 925-525-5527 if you arrive after 10 and we will open the gate for you. Please RSVP to because we need to provide your name to Val San. Tools, instructions, and snacks provided; bring gloves if you have them.

Yerba Buena Chapter
Program: The Natural History of the San Bruno Mountains
Thursday, July 7, 7:30 PM

Presented by Douglas Allshouse and David Nelson. Doug Allshouse lives on the San Bruno Mountains and has been observing the wonders of his "backyard" for 32 years. He serves on the Technical Advisory Committee for the SBM Habitat Conservation Plan. David is an amateur naturalist who has been studying nature and teaching it since his college days. He teamed up with Doug three years ago to write a book, The Natural History of the San Bruno Mountains, after he took a CNPS field trip with Doug. Doug and David will discuss the mountains' history but will concentrate on its wonderful endemic and rare species. They will entertain you with pictures and stories of the mountain that is next door to San Francisco, but that you have never seen as you will see this evening. Recreation Room, Francisco County Fair Building, 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

Sanhedrin Chapter
Field Trip: Snow Mountain
Friday - Saturday, July 8-10

Spend the weekend with Sanhedrin exploring the serpentine barrens, wet meadows, chaparral, and old growth red fir forest of the Snow Mountain Wilderness Area. Trip Leader: Allison Rofe. Check back for details here

Marin Chapter
Field Trip: Gary Giacomini Open Space Preserve
Saturday, July 9, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Gary Giacomini Open Space Preserve is 1,500 acres of rugged ridges, redwood canyons, serpentine meadows, and dwarf Sargent cypress woodlands. On this field trip, we’ll visit serpentine meadow, chaparral, and redwood forest habitats. Meet at the Redwood Canyon Drive Gate: From Highway 101 in Larkspur, take the exit for Sir Francis Drake Blvd. west 7.7 miles. Turn left onto Railroad Ave., make a sharp right onto San Geronimo Valley Dr., and take the second left onto Redwood Canyon Dr. The gate is immediately on the right and parking is available. Leader: Linda Novy. For more information and to sign up, contact Susan Schlosser at , 707-834-6525.

San Diego Chapter
Old Town Native Plant Landscape Work Party
Saturday, July 9, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

The Landscape is at the corner of Taylor and Congress streets. Park for free in the shady Cal Trans lot on Taylor and walk to the landscape, the trees behind the welcome to Old Town sign at the corner. Bring water, gloves, sun protection, and your favorite weeding or pruning tools. Or share ours. Questions? Contact Kay at .

Bristlecone Chapter
Field Trip: Valentine Reserve
Saturday, July 16, 9:45 AM - 2:30 PM

Valentine Camp, a University of California Natural Reserve, covers about 150 acres, is amazingly rich in habitats, and supports over 250 plant species. On this leisurely hike we’ll see montane forest, wet meadows, seeps and springs, montane riparian woodland along Mammoth Creek, sagebrush scrub on a small moraine, and a slope of montane chaparral with red firs attempting to reclaim it. Wildflowers will be abundant, especially in the sagebrush-meadow transition zone. Easy hike. Bring water, lunch, sun protection. All attendees will need to sign a waiver before entering the reserve. Space is limited, so please contact Sue Weis at or 760-873-3485 to sign up. Sorry, but no dogs or folks under 18.

South Coast Chapter
Point Vicente Garden Work Day
Sunday, July 17, 10:00 AM - noon

Come join us for a work day in the native plant garden at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center. Get outdoors by helping with our ocean side garden. Participants learn about native California plants and valuable gardening skills. Ages 14 and older and all skill levels are welcome. To join us, RSVP to Megan Roy at two days prior if possible. 31501 Palos Verdes Dr W, Rancho Palos Verdes.

Mount Lassen Chapter
Field Trip: Plaskett Meadows
Sunday, July 17, 8:30 AM

Meet at the Chico Park & Ride (Hwys 32 & 99). Bring lunch, water, hiking gear, sun/insect protection and money for ride sharing. Alternate meeting location is Willows Wal-Mart. From Willows we'll follow Hwy 162 until it ends and becomes Forest Road F-7. Plaskett Meadows Recreation Area consists of a small campground with mixed species of pine and fir. The meadows and surrounding area has long been an attraction because of its broad array of plant life. Leader Anne-Lise Feenstra (530) 865-5254.

Channel Islands Chapter
Program: California Big Tree Project
Tuesday, 19 July, 7:00-9:00 PM

Speaker: Natalie Rossington. Natalie will describe the California Big Tree Project, which is about finding and documenting the biggest examples of every tree growing in California. For more information, call Andrea at 805-684-8077 or . Venue: Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, 1212 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara, California. Parking is free.

Sierra Foothills Chapter
Field Trip: Warren Canyon
Monday, July 25, 10:00 AM

Leader: John Little. Hiking level: arduous due to the very high elevation. It helps to spend a day or more at altitude before the event. We’ll follow a trail through a series of meadows, some possibly wet, with a wide variety of alpine flowers. The first part of the trail is nearly flat; further up there is some climbing, rewarded with several mutant specimens. Warren Creek is about 1 mile east of Ellery Lake, a bit east of Tioga Pass. We will meet at 10:00 a.m. at or near the event site. Since parking at the site is tricky, detailed directions will be provided later. For more information, contact John at or (520) 327-8973, or (209) 742-5196 closer to the event time.

North Coast Chapter
Rare Plant Treasure Hunt for Wolf's Evening Primrose
Saturday, July 30

We will search for Wolf's Evening Primrose (Oenothera wolfii) in roadside locations around Humboldt Bay and Trinidad. Oenothera wolfii struggles to survive due to road maintenance activities and hybridization with a similar non-native species. We’ll attempt to map locations of Oenothera wolfii and its hybrids. For details contact Greg O'Connell at or 707-599-4887.

Sacramento Valley Chapter
River Stewardship Summer Workday
Saturday, July 30, 9:00 AM - noon

Meet at the east end of the bridge between William B. Pond Park and River Bend Park. Our volunteer steward, Heather Ogston at , can email you a pass for free parking if you submit your name before the event. Parking is available at William B. Pond Park (at the end of Arden Way in Carmichael) and at River Bend Park (on the Rancho Cordova side). Our mile of the riverbank is on the east (Rancho) side, downstream of the bridge. If you arrive late, walk downstream to meet us! Wear work gloves and boots, and bring a pen knife and a hand weeding tool. Also bring any water and snacks you might need. Trash bags will be provided. You are welcome to bring children to help, and you may want to stay for a picnic, rock hounding, or bird-watching. Dogs on leash also are permitted.


Contributors and Photo Credits

  • Dennis Mudd
  • Catherine Curley
  • Steven Goetz
  • Chris Brown
  • Xerces Society
  • Jennifer Hopwood
  • Matthew Shepherd
  • Becky Reilly
  • Mark Naftzger
  • Stacey Flowerdew
  • Comparison of healthy and unhealthy sticky monkeflower, courtesy of Suzanne Rooney-Latham, CDFA
  • Calscape Screenshot
  • Carpenter bee, bumblebee, and Arroyo Lupine (Lupinus succulentus) - Debbie Ballentine



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