California Native Plant Society

CNPS eNewsletter

August 2016

A Productive Season for CNPS Training Workshops

Sampling using nested quadrants. CNPS Measuring & Monitoring workshop, Mojave National Preserve, May 2016. Photo by Becky Reilly
Sampling using nested quadrants. CNPS Measuring & Monitoring workshop, Mojave National Preserve, May 2016. Photo by Becky Reilly

The CNPS Education Program is wrapping up a fantastic spring-summer season of workshops through the Plant Science Training Program. We have held seven workshops this year around California, training 120 individuals on vegetation monitoring and mapping, introductory plant family identification, and rare and wetland plant identification and assessment skills. Many workshop participants attend on behalf of their organizations, planning to bring their new skills back home to help other coworkers or volunteers become proficient in these science-backed techniques and resources, spreading the reach of this program even further to help ensure a healthy future for California’s native plants and special places.

Continue reading here.

August Rare Plant Treasure Hunt and Workshop Report

On August 19th , in partnership with the Jepson Herbarium, the CNPS Rare Plant Program conducted a rare plant collection workshop near Mono Lake to help develop skills in making botanical collections, submitting rare plant occurrences to the California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB), and utilizing the electronic and digital resources that are becoming more important to aid in finding and recognizing rare plant populations in the field. While these skills will be also be part of the new California Botanist Certification program, the class was attended by 20 students, amateurs, and professionals with a variety of botanical motivations.

Orobanche corymbosa
Orobanche corymbosa - photo by Steve Schoenig

Two rare plant treasure hunts (RPTH) were conducted on the day prior to and after the workshop. The first RPTH was in Yosemite National Park co-led by David Campbell and other park botanists. A primary target of mapping was the rare slender lupine, Lupinus gracilentus. Locally rare plants, the flat top broomrape, Orobanche corymbosa and the very out-of-place Potentilla anserina ssp. anserina were located and mapped.

Scrambling up scree to identify Salix nivalis for CNPS RPTH - Steve Schoenig Scrambling up scree to identify Salix nivalis for CNPS RPTH - Photo by Steve Schoenig

The Saturday trip was held in the Virginia Lakes Basin of Humboldt Toiyabe Nation Forest. The main target of this trip was the diminutive snow willow, Salix nivalis. Snow willows were relocated and mapped after a stiff hike straight up the talus slopes of this alpine cirque.

Valuable data collected from RPTHs are used to further our knowledge of the distribution of rare plants and are used in informing conservation decisions. Though the 2016 RPTH season is coming to a close, be on the lookout for more RPTHs and trainings in 2017!

The Joshua Tree Workshop is Coming Nov. 4-5

Joshua tree woodland - Greg Suba
Joshua tree woodland - Photo by Greg Suba

One of California's most recognizable native plants, the Joshua tree, will get the spotlight it deserves in a singluar two day workshop and citizen science training at the Black Rock Visitor Center in Joshua Tree National Park. In partnership with the Desert Institute, Joshua Tree Genome Project, UC Riverside Center for Conservation Biology, UC Riverside Sweeney Granite Mountains Research Center, USGS Western Ecological Research Center, and Joshua Tree National Park, CNPS will be co-presenting the free public workshop and training to explore the natural history of Joshua trees and their plant communities. Workshop speakers will include Cameron Barrows, Chris Smith, Todd Esque, and others. The workshop and citizen science field work will directly contribute to data on existing Joshua tree sites, their health, their age, associated plant communities, and migration trends. Participants will leave with newfound knowledge of these unique species and understanding of the intricate fragility of desert ecosystems. This program is free, but limited to 40 people, so pre-registration is required. For questions or registration, call Kevin Wong, Program Coordinator for the Desert Institute, (760) 367-5535.


CNPS Education Grants Are Due Sept. 30

This fall, the CNPS Educational Grants Program is again offering research grants for students and researchers. All proposals must be submitted by September 30th, and awards will be announced by early December. Grant awards are decided by a review committee who determines which grant is appropriate for each proposal funded. See for more details about the various CNPS Education Program grant opportunities, application instructions, or to apply.


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

Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains Chapter
Medicinal Plant Walk
Saturday, September 10, 9:30 AM, 11:30 AM, and 2:00 PM

Professor Jim Adams, PhD, of the USC School of Pharmacy, leads a plant walk on the medicinal uses of California native plants. Adams is trained in Chumash healing and will present traditional recipes for making healing medicines. Coauthor of Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West, Adams will be available to sign his book. Free program, free parking. Due to limited participation reservations are required. For reservations or more information e-mail or call 805-370-2301. Anthony C. Beilenson Interagency Visitor Center, King Gillette Ranch, 26876 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas.

Bristlecone Chapter
Bishop Plant Sale
Saturday, September 10, 9:00 - 11:00 AM

This is the largest native plant sale of the year, and this year we can accept credit cards! A wonderful array of flowers, shrubs, and trees adapted to our area will be for sale. Proceeds from the annual native plant sales provide funding for our Mary DeDecker Botanical Grants. The grant program is a fitting way to remember Mary DeDecker’s many contributions to the people and plants of the Eastern Sierra. See our plant sale page for further details. White Mountain Research Center, 3000 East Line St., Bishop.

San Diego Chapter
Garden Native Workshop
Saturday, September 10, 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Landscaping with Native Plants: How to Bring Year-Round, Low-Water Beauty to Your Gardens. Order tickets online at Lunch and books will be available for purchase. Join us for a day of speaker presentations and hands-on sessions with field experts. Learn how to successfully plant and maintain native gardens; encourage sustainable native habitats for birds, insects, and butterflies; and use local resources for both new and experienced native gardeners. Girl Scout Headquarters, 1231 Upas St, San Diego, CA 92103.

South Coast Chapter
Program: Native Plants for South Bay Gardens
Monday, September 12, 7:30 - 9:30 PM

Alisa Flint from Tree of Life Nursery will talk about native plants that thrive in local gardens. This informative session will get you ready for the Fall planting season. Tree of Life Nursery is a premiere nursery specializing in California Native plants. South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Boulevard, Palos Verdes, CA 90274.

Santa Cruz Chapter
Program: Conservation of Liveforevers: Threats and New Species?
Monday, September 12, 7:30 - 9:30 PM

Stephen McCabe will show photos of Dudleya (aka liveforevers) and other native plants. The liveforevers are succulents that have diversified primarily in California and Baja California and their off-shore islands. McCabe will also show other wildflowers that grow near the liveforevers. Many of the liveforevers are naturally uncommon and have become endangered due to development along the coast and recreational activities occurring within their habitats. Four or more species that are not yet named will be shown. He will also offer information about how to grow the native succulents in local gardens. UCSC Arboretum Horticulture Building, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz.

Kern County Chapter
Program Meeting
Thursday, September 15, 6:00 - 9:00 PM

From 6:00 to 7:00 choose from two discussion groups, native plant gardening, and plant taxonomy/plant identification. Joy England will be speaking about the Plants of Rock Creek from 7:00 to 8:00 PM. Hall Ambulance Community Room 1031 21st St., Corner of N & 21st Streets, Bakersfield.

Santa Clara Valley Chapter
Native Horticultural Symposium
Saturday, September 17, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Landscaping with California native plants is a proven technique for creating low-water, low-maintenance gardens that also provide refuge for wildlife and repair the damage to our urban and suburban areas. Be inspired to create a garden that welcomes wildlife by attending the Native Horticultural Symposium “Creating Habitat in the Dryland Garden” at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills. There will be presentations by Judith Larner Lowry, Sara Leon Guerrero, Liam O’Brien, Frederique Lavoipierre, and Bart O’Brien. Further details available here. Register in advance at Early registration closes August 31. Same day registration begins at 8:00 AM. Email or call: 650-260-3450 with questions. Foothill College, Auditorium 8338 in Building 8300, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, just off I-280.

San Gabriel Mountains Chapter
Pot Luck and Members' Slide Show
Thursday, September 22, 6:30 PM

Bring your favorite dish to share at the pot luck. Please bring your own utensils. The slide show is an opportunity to show your favorite native-plant-related photographs. If you would like to participate in the slide show, please select one to twelve photos that you would like to share. If you can, please identify the plants in each photograph with common names and/or botanical names, or the group can help identify them, and where you found them. Submit digital image files by Tuesday, September 20. Send the files to Katie Gallagher at . Alternatively, especially if files are large (greater than ~2 MB), you can send Katie a link to your preferred photo web site where she can download them, or you can upload the files using our web site’s upload page at Files can be JPG or other image formats, preferably at full resolution. Or, if you prefer, you can create and send your own PowerPoint or OpenOffice slides.

North Coast Chapter
Fall Plant Sale
Saturday, September 24, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Fall is planting time. Find a wide selection of plants for shade, sun, & wetlands; native gardening resources; friendly, knowledgeable people to help you create or add to your bee, butterfly, and bird-friendly gardens, or wherever you want to bring species from our native ecosystem. Please bring your own boxes. Chapter Nursery, 2182 Old Arcata Rd., on Kokte Ranch of the Jacoby Creek Land Trust in Bayside. CNPS Member presale from 9:00 - 10:00 AM. Open to the public 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM.

Marin Chapter
Giacomini Wetlands Excursion
Sunday, September 25, 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

We’ll start off with an overview of the 2008 Wetlands Restoration, which converted the 550-acre site from a dairy diked off from Lagunitas Creek to a fully connected tidal wetland. The talk will cover the transformation of the affected plant communities over the seven years since the restoration into an evolving mosaic of tidal wetlands, mudflat, grasslands and riparian forbs. The hike will follow the public trail towards the historic dairy barn where the group will stop to look over the wetlands, then proceed down into them. This second part of the hike is not strenuous, but it will be off the formal trail, and the ground is somewhat uneven in places, so sensible shoes are advised. Once down in the tidal zone, group members will have a chance to look closely at the salt marsh plant community including arrowgrass (Triglochin maritima), pickleweed (Salicornia pacifica), gumplant (Grindelia stricta), and sea lavender (Limonium californicum); seek out the rare salt marsh annual Point Reyes bird’s beak (Chloropyron maritimum ssp. palustre); and examine the upland transition zone, which has several native brackish water-tolerant native grasses such as creeping wildrye (Elymus triticoides), meadow barley (Hordeum brachyantherum), and Alaska alkali grass (Puccinellia nutkaensis). Meet at the Giacomini Wetlands Trailhead at the corner of 3rd and C Street, Point Reyes Station.

Mount Lassen Chapter
Castle and Heart Lake, Shasta-Trinity National Forest
Sunday, September 25, 8:30 AM

Considered by many the finest 3 miles of hiking in the Mount Shasta area, this trek offers breathtaking views of Mount Shasta and displays of summer wildflowers. Meet at Chico Park & Ride (Hwys 32 & 99). For further details, contact leader Woody Elliott at or (530) 588-2555.


Contributors and Photo Credits

  • Greg Suba
  • Becky Reilly
  • Steve Schoenig
  • Mark Naftzger
  • Stacey Flowerdew
  • Laureen Jenson
  • CNPS Measure and Monitoring Workshop participants sample using nested quadrats in the Mojave - Becky Reilly
  • Scrambling up scree to identify Salix nivalis for CNPS RPTH - Steve Schoenig
  • Joshua Tree Woodland - Greg Suba



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