California Native Plant Society

CNPS eNewsletter

February 2017

Important Plant Areas – Promoting Plant Species and Communities on Maps for Conservation in California

1. Fremont’s tidy-tip– Blow wives vernal pool alliance, a rare vegetation type found at the Merced National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Gary Zahm.Over the 2016-2017 winter, the Conservation, Rare Plant, and Vegetation programs have initiated an effort to map Important Plan Areas (IPA) throughout California. With its diversity and endemism, the flora of California is unlike any other in the world, and CNPS is being proactive to protect and preserve its natural beauty and resources. The IPA initiative will produce tools that will aid and support decisions for local, regional, and statewide conservation planning.

Continue reading here.


A New Endangered Species Candidate: Coast Yellow Leptosiphon

coast-yellow-leptosiphon - Aaron Schusteff.On December 8, the California Fish and Game Commission approved the Coast yellow leptosiophon as an official Endangered Species Candidate.  Toni Corelli, a rare plant botanist and long-time CNPS supporter, successfully petitioned for the protection under the California Endangered Species Act.

Continue reading here.


2017 Plant Science Workshops

RA Workshop

In small classes taught by subject matter experts, CNPS workshops provide science-backed education and hands-on experience in beautiful locales. The CNPS Plant Science Training Program is gearing up for an exciting season of workshops in 2017, all of which are now open for registration! Further details, including a list of all upcoming workshops, and registration information are available here. Contact Becky Reilly at for more information.

Vegetation Mapping
March 1-3, Redlands
Taught by Julie Evens, Todd Keeler-Wolf, John Menke
$665 CNPS Members, $695 Non-Members

Introduction to Plant Identification, Part II: A Beginner Look at Nine Plant Families - Northern CA
April 4-6, Auburn
Taught by Josie Crawford
$375 CNPS Members, $395 Non-Members

Introduction to Plant Identification, Part I: A Beginner Look at Eight Plant Families - Southern CA
April 18-20, Frazier Park & Tejon Ranch
Taught by Nick Jensen & Sandy Namoff
$395 CNPS Members, $415 Non-Members

San Luis Obispo County Flora
May 2-4, San Luis Obispo area
Taught by David Keil
Details and registration coming soon.

Introduction to Plant Identification, Part I: A Beginner Look at Eight Plant Families - SF Bay Area
May 17-19, Berkeley
Taught by Josie Crawford
$375 CNPS Members, $395 Non-Members

Rare Plant Survey Protocols
June 7-8, Redding
Taught by Heath Bartosh & Aaron Sims
$399 CNPS Members, $429 Non-Members

Vegetation Rapid Assessment/Relevé
October 3-5, Bodega Bay
Taught by Jennifer Buck-Diaz & Anne Klein
$375 CNPS Members, $395 Non-Members; +$265 for onsite meals & lodging (optional)

CEQA Impact Assessment
October 24-25, Camp Pollock, Sacramento
Taught by David Magney
$335 CNPS Members, $365 Non-Members


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

Redbud Chapter
Field Trip: Spenceville Wildlife Area
Saturday, March 4, 10 a.m.

This hike is limited to 20 participants. R.S.V.P. by March 2 here. The highlight of Spenceville is Fairy Falls (aka Shingle Falls), which tumbles over a steep rock cliff into a large pool set in a rocky bowl. About 345’ in elevation, these foothills are dotted with Valley and Blue Oaks and are primed for the earliest of wildflowers. This hike is about five miles round trip with 150’ elevation gain hiking to the falls. It is an easy hike with gentle elevation changes. We will meet at the trailhead on Saturday, March 4, at 10:00 a.m. If you are carpooling, you must meet at 9:00 a.m. at the Hwy 20/Rough & Ready Road Park and Ride in order to get to the trailhead by 10:00 a.m. For directions to the trailhead, please see this link.

North Coast Chapter
Program Meeting: Tall Tree Physiology
Wednesday, March 8, 7:30 p.m.

Join us at Six Rivers Masonic Lodge, 251 Bayside Rd., Arcata. Speaker: Lucy Kerhoulas of HSU Forestry Department. Lucy will explain some basics of tall tree physiology and explore some of the adaptations local trees use to take advantage of water sources in their crowns. A number of tree species in the redwood forest produce aboveground roots and support a variety of epiphytes (plants growing on other plants without extracting nutrients from them). Examples include Bigleaf Maple, Vine Maple, Red Alder, Black Cottonwood, Sitka Spruce, and Redwood. As epiphyte mats are one potential local water source in tall tree crowns, this talk will introduce you to the rich community of liverworts, mosses, lichens, and ferns that live on tree branches high above the forest floor. Contact Michael Kauffmann at

Sacramento Valley Chapter
Program Meeting: Mistletoe – Friend or Foe? Well, it depends.
Wednesday, March 8, 7 – 9 p.m.

Mistletoe: to some people it inspires fear and loathing. To some others it is a sign of good wildlife habitat. The “depends” part of the title is related to whether it is one of our native mistletoes and whether it occurs in small to moderate amounts in a woodland or forested habitat. It turns out that in a healthy forest, native mistletoes typically do not occur in explosive numbers and instead occur in small clusters in scattered trees. Furthermore, native mistletoes contain high levels of carbohydrates and proteins and low levels of toxicity – thus providing good food resources for many species of wildlife. David Wyatt is a wildlife biologist that studies ringtails, a member of the raccoon family, and became interested in native mistletoes when he discovered during a food habits study how important oak mistletoe was to ringtails. Come learn more about mistletoe and wildlife interactions in this informative talk about these much maligned plant species. Shepard Garden and Arts Center, McKinley Park, 3330 McKinley Blvd, 95816.

Marin Chapter
Field Trip: Rock Spring Calypso Orchid Hunt
Saturday, March 11, 10:30 a.m.

Join Kristin Jakob to search through the forest looking for the fairy slipper orchid, Calypso bulbosa. The group will also explore the trails around the upper Rock Spring meadow, enjoy a picnic lunch, then head down the Cataract Trail as far as participants wish to hike, enjoying other early wildflowers and a diverse array of ferns. Meet at the Rock Spring parking lot on Mt. Tamalpais, located at the intersection of Ridgecrest and Pantoll Roads. This is approximately one mile uphill from the state park ranger station at Pantoll; turn uphill across the road from the ranger station. For those unfamiliar with the area, the ranger station is located on Panoramic Hwy. on the way from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach. Rain cancels; contact Kristin if in doubt, 415-388-1844.

Shasta Chapter 
Field Trip: Purple Elm Trail
Saturday, March 11, 9 a.m.

Approximately 4 miles. Uneven and rocky terrain. We will be in foothill oak woodland and expect to see lots of wildflowers such as stands of Indian warrior, brodiaea, skullcap, and shooting star. The top of the trail affords good 360-degree views. Meet at the parking lot on the Parkview Ave. side of Redding city Hall at 9 a.m. to carpool. The hike will take 4-5 hours. No dogs please. For more information, contact Jay & Terri Thesken at 530-221-0906.

Mount Lassen Chapter
Field Trip: Vina Plans Preserve
Sunday, March 19, 9:30 a.m.

Meet at the Chico Park & Ride west lot (Hwy 32/99) at 9:30 a.m. or the Vina Plains Preserve main gate at 10 a.m. This walk is a joint trip with The Nature Conservancy. In the spring Vina Plans Preserve comes alive with colorful wildflowers that carpet the grasslands, and the vernal pools are filled with rare, threatened, or endangered crustacean species that attract a large array of waterfowl and shorebirds. This one-mile walk is relatively flat, but the surface will be uneven and may be wet, muddy, or slippery in places. Bring sturdy shoes, water, hat, and windbreaker or raingear as needed for the day. Leader: Janna Lathrop 530-228-0010 or 530-343-2397.

Bristlecone Chapter
Field Trip: Death Valley
Saturday – Sunday, March 25-26

Meet at 9:00 a.m. at Panamint Springs on Highway 190 in Panamint Valley, about one hour east of Lone Pine. Camping Saturday night will probably be primitive (no water, no toilets, no tables). Trip locations will be scouted and determined just before the trip. We'll go to areas in either Panamint Valley and/or Death Valley depending on the bloom. Won't be able to tell you where that will be until we meet Saturday morning. With good rains this year it should be a good, perhaps very good, wildflower year. Easy to moderate walking. Trip will end on Sunday about 3 p.m. Standard car OK, but we will be on some dirt roads; don't forget to gas up ahead of time (there is very expensive gas at Panamint Springs and in Death Valley). Bring good walking shoes, plenty of water for the whole weekend and everything else you need for primitive camping. There's a $25 per vehicle park entrance fee, good for 7 days, if you don't have one of the Park passes. Leader: Mark Bagley, 760-920-2211.

Bryophyte Chapter
Annual Meeting of Bryophyte Chapter
Monday – Thursday, March 27-30

The three-day foray will be based in Three Rivers, just outside of Sequoia National Park. The bryophytes are very rich here where the fog from the valley hits the rock outcrops and scattered oaks. Variation in rock type further increases species richness. For more information, contact Paul Wilson at or 818-677-2937.

El Dorado Chapter
Program Meeting: Sustainable Gardening With California Natives
Tuesday, March 28 7 p.m.

Our recent drought is a reminder that resources are precious. Incorporating the right California native plants can help significantly reduce water use while providing food and cover for many species of birds and pollinators. The evening’s talk by Mahala Guggino, owner of the native plant nursery Flourish, will go over a few basics to keep your California native plantings flourishing and highlight some of her favorite native plants for two sustainable gardening applications, hedgerows and permaculture. Planning Commission Room, Building C, 2850 Fairlane Court, Placerville.


Contributors and Photo Credits

  • Kate Cooper
  • Jaime Ratchford
  • Becky Reilly
  • Mark Naftzger
  • Stacey Flowerdew
  • Liv O'Keeffe
  • Fremont’s tidy-tip– Blow wives vernal pool alliance, a rare vegetation type found at the Merced National Wildlife Refuge - Gary Zahm
  • Coast Yellow Leptosiophon - Aaron Schusteff



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