California Native Plant Society

CNPS eNewsletter

September 2016

California Native Plants on the Op-Ed Pages

Palo verde trees attract birds such as nesting bushtits, hooded orioles, flycatchers, and mockingbirds...not to mention thousands of insects during blooming season. Steve Hartman.

Steven L. Hartman

There has been a flurry of editorials and commentaries in the local Los Angeles newspapers about issues that CNPS has been focusing on for years. A Los Angeles Times main op-ed warned, "Don't gravelscape L.A.", with a bold color graphic. The same day, the Daily News trumpeted in their main editorial, "Turf removal programs could do much more," arguing, "This transformative step to redefine the California landscape with at least half a billion dollars in incentives needs to do more than just eliminate thirsty lawns that gulf up about 50 percent to 70 percent of residential water use. It should help build a natural, native habitat in every yard that will adapt to the soil and feed the butterflies and birds that migrate and live in the region."

Wow. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Continue reading here.

"The Good Guys"

Salvia leucophylla 'Pt. Sal' - Nancy Bauer

Nancy Bauer

We have so many reasons to love our native plants-their beauty, the way they make gardening so easy and so rewarding, how they just make themselves so at home in our gardens. They are the plants that are thriving without summer water, the ones I don't have to maintain, and can just enjoy. And they bring a great deal of pleasure to the birds and insects that are also part of my garden landscape.

I am always amazed at the variety of insects that hover around the buckwheats in my garden (Eriogonum latifolium and Eriogonum grande var. rubescens). I've seen many tiny native bees, honeybees, and other pollinators, plus at least a half dozen of the smaller butterfly species. Buckwheats are also caterpillar food plants for the Acmon Blue, the Blue Copper, and other butterflies.

Continue reading here.


Creating a Native Wildflower Meadow

A small portion of a 1.5 acre wildflower meadow created by Greg Rubin in Fallbrook in 2011. Flowers include Tidy Tips, California poppies, Desert bluebells, Owl’s clover, and Chinese houses.

Greg Rubin

Few things evoke magical memories like spring wildflowers. Whether it is a desire to recapture a serendipitous discovery of a color laden flower field from our past, or simply re-living that scene from the "Wizard of Oz", nothing stirs our passion for nature like a beautiful field of flowers. California was once celebrated for its annual floral shows; unfortunately, these delightful events are becoming a thing of the past. The great Kate Sessions lamented that wildflowers were disappearing from San Diego's foothills by the early 1900s. Even her attempts to include wildflower displays at Balboa Park repeatedly failed. Why?

Continue reading here.


It's CNPS Fall Plant Sale Season!

Foothill Penstemon

Fall is the best time to prepare your garden for spring splendor! When is your local chapter hosting a plant sale, presentation, or native gardening workshop? The CNPS Events Calendar is searchable by CNPS chapter and type of event, including "Plant Sale" to help you plan for regional CNPS Chapter plant sales. The calendar is frequently updated, so be sure to check back for events in your area.


CNPS Education Grant Proposals 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

Alta Peak Chapter
Fall Plant Sale
Saturday, October 1, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Offering over 100 species of California native plants for sale. Knowledgeable native plant volunteers will be available to answer questions. CNPS members can enter the sale one hour before the general public at 9 AM to get the best selection. Join or renew your membership on site. Three Rivers Arts Center, North Fork Dr, Three Rivers, CA 93271.

Monterey Bay Chapter
Fall Plant Sale
Saturday, October 1, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

These are tough times for Monterey County wildlife. Consecutive years of continued drought and wildfire takes its toll on plants and animals. Why not do something practical about it in your yard, on your patio or front porch? Plant native plants! Feed a butterfly and its children; offer high-energy nectar to a hummingbird or a juicy berry to a songbird. Reevaluate your garden and stop feeding only deer! We can help you! Come out to our annual Fall Plant Sale at MEarth Hilton Bialek Habitat, adjacent to Carmel Middle School at 4380 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel, on October 1 from 10 am to 1 pm. Shop Hundreds of native plants that will be beautiful additions to your garden as well as much needed feeding stations for winged wildlife and more. The advice is free and the plants are discounted if you are a California Native Plant Society member. Do something good for wildlife- plant natives! CNPS members get a 10% discount on plant & book purchases!

El Dorado Chapter
Fall Plant Sale
Saturday, October 1, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Fall is the best time to plant native plants! Our 2016 Fall plant sale will not only feature a great selection of California natives and drought tolerant plants but also wildflower seeds, excellent books and beautiful posters. We've gathered native plant nurseries from both the Placerville and greater Sacramento areas in one place for your purchasing convenience. There will be plenty of experienced native plant gardeners on hand to answer your questions and give advice. Cash or checks only, and all sales are final. Arrive early for the best selection- many plants sell out! County Government Bldg C, 2850 Fairlane Ct., Placerville, CA 95667.

Marin Chapter
Field Trip: Lagunitas and Bon Tempe Lakes
Saturday, October 8, 9:00 AM - noon

As summer comes to end, the local reservoirs continue to dry out along their shorelines and many late-blooming species appear. Take a walk along the meadows and shores of Lakes Lagunitas and Bon Tempe. We will look at native trees, shrubs, and emergent, aquatic species in this picturesque area. Many of these plants are not known elsewhere in Marin County. Meet at the Lake Lagunitas parking/picnic area. There is an $8 fee for parking. Head west on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. until you reach the Fairfax City limits, turn onto left onto Broadway Blvd. (at the Valero Gas Station), then immediately right to stay on Broadway, in approximately 500 feet turn left onto Bolinas Road. Stay on Bolinas Road for approximately 1.5 miles, turn left on Sky Oaks Road. (There is a wooden sign at 700 Bolinas Road on the left saying “Lake Lagunitas.") Stop at the Marin Municipal Water District Kiosk to purchase a parking permit, about one quarter mile away. Then continue along the paved road of Sky Oaks Road about 1. 25 miles until it ends at the Lake Lagunitas parking/picnic area. A bathroom and water are available at the parking lot.

Redbud Chapter
Fall Plant Sale
Saturday, October 8, 9:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Open 8:30 - 9:30 for CNPS members only. Come early and join at the door for the best selection! Fall is the best time for planting---rain & cooler weather will be here in just a few weeks! At the Redbud Native Plant Sale, you'll find hand-picked, locally adapted, water-thrifty native trees, shrubs, perennials, and grasses. North Star House, 12075 Auburn Road, Grass Valley, CA 95949.

Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains Chapter
Program Meeting: Diversity at Our Feet
Tuesday, October 11, 7:30 - 9:30 PM

The Under-Appreciated Molluscan Fauna of Southern California, by Dr. Jann Vendetti, Ph.D. The land snails and slugs of Southern California are a largely overlooked, but fascinating, fauna. Worldwide there are about 40,000 terrestrial gastropods, making up about one third of all mollusks. Our local species number in the dozens and include both native and introduced taxa, some of which have never before been documented in Southern California. Dr. Jann Vendetti is the Twila Bratcher Chair in Malacological Research at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The First United Methodist Church, 1008 11th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90403.

Shasta Chapter
Field Trip: Camden House Area
Saturday, October 15, 9:00 AM

This will be an easy two-hour, two-mile walk along Willow Creek and Mill Creek where walk leader David Ledger will teach participants how to identify up to 35 trees and shrubs in the area. A free plant ID guide noting key plant features will be given to participants to aid in learning the trees and shrubs of the area. Meet at the Holiday Market parking lot on Placer Street near CVS in Redding at 9 AM. For more information call 530-355-8542.

Willis Linn Jepson
Fall Plant Sale
Saturday, October 15, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Heritage Presbyterian Church, 1400 East Second St, Benicia. For more information call 707-747-5715. Perennials, shrubs, and groundcovers will be available for purchase to help you create a wildlife friendly, attractive garden. A plant list will be posted on our website one week prior to the sale.

Sequoia Chapter
Water-Wise Plant Sale and Fair
Saturday, October 15, 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM

This is the 12th year that the Sequoia Chapter has joined forces with the Clovis Botanical Garden (CBG) to help local residents learn about and purchase California native plants and water-wise plants in general. We can use your help and your attendance. Surely you are ready to add a long-admired native plant to your garden! Or perhaps you're finally ready to start "going native." Clovis Botanical Garden, 945 N Clovis Ave, Clovis.

South Coast Chapter
Volunteer Work Day
Sunday, October 16, 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 oceanside garden. Participants learn about native California plants and valuable gardening skills. Ages 14 and older and all skill levels are welcome. Close-toed shoes are required and please bring sun protection and water. To join us, RSVP to Megan Roy at two days prior the the event if possible. Pount Vincente Garden, 31501 Palos Verdes Dr. W., Palos Verdes, CA.

Sierra Foothills Chapter
Fall Plant Sale
Saturday, October 22, 9:00 AM - noon

Location: Rocca Park, Main Street, Jamestown. We will have many different species of shrubs and perennials that need minimal water, once established, during our hot summer months. At the sale there are always many knowledgeable volunteers who can answer your questions!

North Coast Chapter
Field Trip: Crothers Cove
Sunday, October 23, 9:00 AM

Why hike this short trail in Prairie Creek State Park? Because we never have! And there's a small lagoon at the bottom. Even small wetlands can hold botanical treasure, and short trails can pass interesting plants. This trail goes over the ridge from the road to the beach, less than 2 miles round trip. Meet at 9:00 at Pacific Union School (3001 Janes Rd., Arcata). Dress for the weather, including the beach; bring lunch and water. Return late afternoon. It helps to know you are coming: call Carol 822-2015.

San Gabriel Mountains Chapter
Field Trip: Blue Ridge, PCT
Saturday, October 29, 10:00 AM

This walk along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) will show the beautiful stands of black oak (Quercus kelloggii) with their brilliant yellow fall foliage. We'll also be able to see the other plants of the area with fruits and fall colors. Depending on weather conditions, there may still be some late-flowering species in bloom. The route provides spectacular views of the desert, the nearby mountains, and the canyon carved by the headwaters of the San Gabriel River. The walk is a little less than 2 miles with about 400 feet of elevation gain. Leader: Jane Tirrell at . We will meet in the parking area on the south side of the Angeles Crest Highway (California State Route 2) at Inspiration Point, about 53 miles above La Cañada or about 2 miles from Big Pines. Restrooms are available; an Adventure Pass from the local ranger station is required for parking. Bring lunch and plenty of water.


Contributors and Photo Credits

  • Steve Hartman
  • Nancy Bauer
  • Greg Rubin
  • Mark Naftzger
  • Stacey Flowerdew
  • Laureen Jenson
  • Palo verde trees attract birds such as nesting bushtits, hooded orioles, flycatchers, and mockingbirds...not to mention thousands of insects during blooming season. - Steve Hartman
  • Salvia leucophylla 'Pt. Sal' in the garden - Nancy Bauer
  • A small portion of a 1.5 acre wildflower meadow created by the author in Fallbrook in 2011. - Greg Rubin
  • Penstemon ssp. - Stacey Flowerdew



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