California Native Plant Society

CNPS eNewsletter

October 2016

California Botanist Certification Exams Nov. 21

Rhus integrifolia - lemonade berry - Catherine CurleyThe 2016 California Botanist Certification (CBC) examinations will take place in Ojai, California on November 21st from 8 am to 5 pm, for those seeking to become certified as either a Field or Consulting Botanist. To register on-line, please go to the California Botanist Certification homepage at The exam will feature both written and plant identification portions, and is recommended for field and consulting botanists with 3-5 years of experience. An entry-level certification for those just starting out in their botany careers may be added to the program in the future.

One of CNPS's newest projects, the CBC fulfills an important role in the realm of professional environmental consulting, which is to ensure high professional standards for those working with botanical resources as well as to recognize botanists that meet these standards and continue to expand their professional knowledge and expertise. The standards importantly include a Code of Ethics, which defines the pivotal role of botanists as both objective experts and conscientious stewards of California's native flora. Ultimately, the goal of the program is to improve the quality of botanical resource management across the state and thus, to also improve the effective protection of our State's native rare plants and plant communities.

The program is administered by CNPS through three standing committees: the Board of Certification, which is a diverse collection of consulting botanists from throughout the state vetted by their peers; the Professional Ethics Committee, consisting of Certified Botanists and an Ethics and Professional Responsibility attorney; and an Advisory Committee with members from the collaborating organizations of the CBC. Currently, those collaborating organizations are the Northern California Botanists, Southern California Botanists, California Botanical Society, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, University and Jepson Herbaria, UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, Botanical Society of America, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

For additional information, and to register online, please go to For a flyer and mail-in registration form, please click here. If you have questions or comments on the CBC, please e-mail Catherine Curley, Assistant Botanist for the CNPS Rare Plant Program and administrative support for the CBC, at .


Exploration of Fens in Carpenter Valley

CNPS Veg Staff in Carpenter Valley - Courtesy CNPS Vegetation ProgramThe rattling calls of three sandhill cranes echoed across Carpenter Valley as ecologists from the CNPS Vegetation Program investigated a large fen/meadow complex last August. Soon, in lower Carpenter Valley, north of the town of Truckee, more than 1,000 acres of lush meadow and forest will be protected through ownership by the Truckee Donner Land Trust and a conservation easement held by The Nature Conservancy.

Continue reading here.


Why would anyone in their right mind keep a collection of dead plants? A visit to the herbarium at UC Davis.

Student assistant Mayra Huerta shows off the type specimen of Lycianthes jalicensis, a species described by Curator Ellen Dean in 1998. Type specimens are the most valuable specimens in a herbarium, because they represent what an author means by a speciesEllen Dean

In natural history museums around the world are collections of dead plants that are curated by scientists called plant taxonomists. These collections are known as herbaria (in the plural) – a single collection is called an herbarium. If you go to see a bug museum, you say you are going to an entomology museum. If you go see the collection of dead plants, you say you are going to the HERBARIUM! This is generally confusing, because the name makes people think that it is a collection of living herbs – like oregano. But no, it is dead and flattened plants.

Continue reading here


Increasing Insight into the Plant Communities of the Channel Islands

A stunning display of Giant Coreopsis (Leptosyne gigantea or Coreopsis gigantea) Coastal Bluff Shrubland on San Miguel Island. Photo by Julie Evens.
A stunning display of Giant Coreopsis (Leptosyne gigantea or Coreopsis gigantea) Coastal Bluff Shrubland on San Miguel Island. Photo by Julie Evens.

The CNPS Vegetation Program is wrapping up a four-year project assisting Channel Islands National Park in inventorying, classifying, and mapping vegetation on Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Anacapa Islands. These are three of the eight Channel Islands that are located off the southern California coast. Like other islands, isolated from similar mainland habitats, they have developed a unique flora with many endemic species and unique plant communities.

Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara Islands are also part of the National Park but were mapped in earlier efforts. The Nature Conservancy, who owns a portion of Santa Cruz Island, is spear-heading an effort to create a new vegetation map for Santa Cruz, as it has been 10 years since the previous map was completed. Meanwhile, the vegetation has been rapidly changing due to the successful eradication of feral livestock on the island.

San Nicolas and San Clemente Islands are controlled by the U.S. Navy and the Department of Defense, who have initiated similar efforts to inventory and map their unique habitats. A vegetation map for San Nicolas was completed in 2014 and work towards sampling and mapping San Clemente Island is well underway.

Santa Catalina is singular among the Channel Islands in being a developed tourist destination and having a significant population of over 4,000 people. The Catalina Island Conservancy administers most of the island and has been instrumental in protecting and restoring the native flora.

CNPS is happy to be a part of the collaboration of many partners to conserve and increase our understanding of the extraordinary vegetation of the beautiful Channel Islands.

Conservation planning
Silver Bush Lupine (Lupinus albifrons) dominates the midground in this landscape from San Miguel Island. Photo by Todd Keeler-Wolf.

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
Maintaining Your Native Garden Year by Year
Wednesday, November 2, 7:00 - 8:30 PM

Presented by Peigi Duvall. Garden maintenance tasks change as your California native landscape grows and matures. Early on, you'll be getting your plants off to a good start, watering carefully, and pinching for good form. As they develop, you may need to replace short-lived plants, discover just when to divide those that have loved your garden to the point of getting out of bounds, or modify any irrigation layout to serve full-grown species. As the garden becomes established you may even need to modify your design based on what has failed despite your best efforts or if one specimen is now shading out its neighbors. Learn how to successfully guide your CA native garden from its youth into its ripened natural beauty. Los Altos Library, 13 S. San Antonio Road, Los Altos.

Yerba Buena Chapter
Program Meeting: Isla de Cedros in Baja
Thursday, November 3, 7:30 PM

Speaker: Michael Uhler, Regional Parks Botanic Garden. Located at the southernmost edge of the California Floristic Province, Isla de Cedros is an intriguing, wild, and beautiful island. On the highest points of this island persistent fog creates conditions suitable for plant species that might otherwise be found much further north, where the annual rainfall amounts are significantly greater. Please join him on a pictorial journey of his latest visit to Huamalaguaor "The Island of Fogs." Recreation Room, Francisco County Fair Building, 9th Ave. and Lincoln Way, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

Sanhedrin Chapter
Program Meeting: The Wild Gardens
Thursday, November 3, 7:00 PM

Ann Baker and Sherrie Smith–Ferri will present the Grace Hudson Museum Nature Education Project currently under construction called The Wild Gardens. The project is reconfiguring the existing Museum campus into a series of native plant gardens, with exhibits and artworks aimed at teaching visitors about the local environment and how Pomo Indian people managed the landscape and used many of these native species. In addition, the project will model how to integrate modern environmental values and sustainable technologies in today’s residential landscapes. This is a free event open to the public, though, of course, donations are greatly appreciated. Ukiah Garden Clubhouse, 1203 W Clay St, Ukiah.

San Gabriel Mountains Chapter
Fall Plant Sale
Saturday, November 5, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Approximately 1,900 reasonably priced California native plants and wildflower seeds appropriate for gardens in the Los Angeles basin will be available, including plants for attracting birds and butterflies to your home garden. Knowledgeable chapter members will be on hand to answer questions. Eaton Canyon Nature Center, 1750 N Altadena Dr, Pasadena.

South Coast Chapter
California's Botanical Landscapes Program and Book Signing
Saturday, November 5, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

California’s Botanical Landscapes provides a vivid exploration of the Golden State’s Native Vegetation. It is a must-have book for anyone interested in the botanical diversity of California-botanists, ecologists, environmental scientists, natural historians, and plant lovers of all kinds. Julie Evens manages CNPS's Vegetation Program and is coauthor of California's Botanical Landscapes. She will present highlights, answer questions, and sign copies of the book. Long Beach Main Library, 101 Pacific Ave., Long Beach.

Shasta Chapter
Plant Propagation Work Party
Sunday, November 6, 9:00 AM

Meet us at the Shasta College greenhouses for a two- to three-hour work session. The greenhouses are located in the northeast corner of the Shasta College campus, near the livestock barns. We will likely be starting propagating with seed trays - please bring any California native seeds that you would like to contribute. Cuttings from your native plants are also welcome. Please call Jay and Terri at 530-221-0906 for further information.

Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains
Program Meeting: Bryophytes 101
Tuesday, November 8, 7:30 - 9:30 PM

CNPS has a new chapter, the Bryophyte Chapter. Paul Wilson will consequently tell us what bryophytes are and give us a fun-filled introduction to their lives. Paul is a professor of biology at Cal State University Northridge where he teaches such courses as Plants & Animals of Southern California, Nonflowering Plants, and Field Ecology, and he is the founding president of the new chapter. Expect to be regaled thusly. Paul will also integrate pretty pictures of local species. Learning a few of those promises to greatly increase the naturalist mojo of attendees. Sepulveda Garden Center, 16633 Magnolia Blvd., Encino.

Sacramento Valley Chapter
Program Meeting: Virtual Tour of Yolo County's Restoration Projects
Wednesday, November 9, 7:00 PM

Joanne Heraty, of the Yolo County Resource Conservation District, will explain the history of resource conservation districts, how RCD’s cooperate with many partners to promote natural resources, and how local California native plants play an important role in these projects. Joanne will showcase a diversity of restoration projects in Yolo County, ranging from Davis urban greening projects, to farm field hedgerows, and riparian enhancement projects throughout the Capay Valley. Shepard Garden and Arts Center, McKinley Park, 3330 McKinley Blvd, Sacramento.

Monterey Bay Chapter
Thursday, November 10, 7:30 PM
Program Meeting: Hitched to Everything: the Amazing Manzanita

Speaker: Kate Marianchild. Manzanita first appears in the fossil record 37 million years ago in central California; 35.5 million years ago it began diversifying and dispersing. California now hosts a whopping sixty-two Arctostaphylos species, some of which have dispersed naturally as far as Guatemala and Eurasia. In this illustrated lecture, author and naturalist Kate Marianchild will discuss manzanita’s multiple adaptations to drought, the evolutionary rationale behind the smooth, thin red skin that peels at the height of summer and “buzz pollination in middle C.” We’ll hear about manzanita’s relationships with other members of the oak woodlands, including lace lichen, silk moths, ants, bushtits, pileated woodpeckers, and mycorrhizal fungi. Doors open at 7 PM. Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, 165 Forest Ave, Pacific Grove.

Bristlecone Chapter
DeDecker Native Plant Garden Work Party
Thursday, November 10, 9:00 AM - noon

Come help clean up the DeDecker Native Plant Garden at the Eastern California Museum in Independence. We will be pruning, planting, weeding, and hauling away garden debris. Bring gloves, hats, water, lunch or snacks, trowels, pitchforks, pruners. For more info: Contact Richard Potashin at 760-263-5022. Eastern California Museum, 155 N Grant St, Independence.

Marin Chapter
First Annual Marin CNPS Member Appreciation Event!
Friday, November 11, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Get to know your fellow plant lovers in Marin! We are holding an informal gathering for members and friends. Please stop by and have a drink with us and hear what we have planned for the upcoming year. Meet the Board members and tell us your ideas— we’d like to get to know you and hear from you. The invitation is open to friends as well as members who would like to learn more about who we are and what we do. Beer, wine, and light refreshments will be served. We hope to see you there! Drake’s Landing Community Room, 300 Drakes Landing Road, Greenbrae.

East Bay Chapter
November Plant Sale Weekend
Saturday and Sunday, November 12 & 13, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Are you waiting for manzanitas? Mark this weekend on your calendar as the time to get Arctostaphylos species at Native Here, along with other locally native plants that are ready in the fall. Native Here Nursery, 101 Golf Course Dr, Berkeley, across from Tilden Park Golf Course.

Mount Lassen Chapter
Middle Bidwell Park Trail
Sunday, November 13, 10:00 AM

Bidwell Park, Chico. Meet at the middle park trailhead where Centennial Ave. and Chico Canyon Road join at their east ends at 10 AM. We will walk for about an mile along the south side of Chico Creek crossing the footbridge at the golf course and continuing along the north side of the creek to the start of the Yahi Trail. We will explore for mushrooms, ferns, and fall color. Rain cancels. Leader: Janna Lathrop: (530) 228-0010 or 343-2397.

Milo Baker Chapter
Audubon Canyon Ranch Modini Mayacamas Preserve
Sunday, November 13, 9:00 AM - noon

Leader: Dave Self, Preserve Ecologist. We will look for fall flowers-we should see asters and goldenrod, fruits and seeds as we hike through Pine Flat and along part of Little Sulphur Creek. Then we will head up to a serpentine ridge at the top of Redhill for views and lunch. Total distance will be about 4 miles with a 600’ elevation gain. There is no charge for the field trip, but the preserve is supported by donations, so feel free to donate. Bring; hat, plenty of water, sunscreen and lunch. Carpool at 8:15 AM from “Under Hwy 12” Park & Ride-east end, back by 3:00.

Orange County Chapter
Program Meeting: Wild About Monkeyflowers
Thursday, November 17, 7:30 PM

Speaker: Naomi Fraga. Plants placed in the genus Mimulus L. (Phrymaceae), as traditionally defined, are commonly known as monkeyflowers. These charismatic plants are exceedingly diverse in western North America with over 150 of the nearly 200 species worldwide occurring here. Nearly 60% (ca. 100) of the species native to western North American occur in California. However, Mimulus has recently undergone significant changes in taxonomy leaving the name Mimulus virtually absent from the California flora. Naomi will present an overview of these changes and provide information on how to identify the genera recognized in California: Erythranthe, Diplacus and Mimetanthe and how these differ from Mimulus in the strict sense. Doors open at 6:45 PM. Fullerton Arboretum,1900 Associated Road, Fullerton.


Contributors and Photo Credits

  • Julie Evens
  • Kendra Sikes
  • Jennifer Buck-Diaz
  • Mark Naftzger
  • Stacey Flowerdew
  • Liv O'Keeffe
  • A stunning display of Giant Coreopsis (Leptosyne gigantea or Coreopsis gigantea) Coastal Bluff Shrubland on San Miguel Island - Julie Evens
  • CNPS Veg Crew in Carpenter Valley - Photo Courtesy CNPS Vegetation Program
  • Student assistant Mayra Huerta displays a Lycianthes jalicensis specimen - D. McNair
  • Rhus integrifolia, aka Lemonade berry - Catherine Curley



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