California Native Plant Society

CNPS eNewsletter

May 2017

Rare Plant Treasure Hunt Update: the CNPS De-Extinction Project

Plummer's mariposa lily (Calochortus plummerae-- CRPR 4.2) growing amidst Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) in the Jarupa Hills - Catherine CurleyIn early May, a team from the Rare Plant Program went down into the urban wilds of the greater Los Angeles area in search of plants presumed to be extinct. Amidst the piles of trash, stealthy homeless encampments, fields of invasive weeds, cookie-cutter stucco houses, and mining lands, it could seem like a search for a needle in an inhospitable haystack. Yet, the CNPS De-extinction Project is far from that.

Continue reading here.

Botanist Certification Update

Fullerton Arboretum was the site of the recent BotCert exam. The gardens here host a plethora of native plants, including desert species (shown here) as well as Channel Islands endemics. - Catherine CurleyOn May 9, CNPS administered the second California Consulting Botanist Certification exam at the Fullerton Arboretum on the California State University, Fullerton campus. Test-takers gathered at the Arboretum's beautiful classroom facilities for both the Field Botanist (intermediate) and Consulting Botanist (advanced) levels.

About the Exam
The rigorous, all-day exam consists of three portions:

  • written
  • keying out of unknown plants utilizing a dichotomous key, and
  • sight ID of 100 specimens.

We will be holding our next exam in the fall in Northern California. For more information, please visit the Botanist Certification webpage!

Get Outside and Lead a Solo Walk

Solo Card WalkWhat's the loudest animal on Earth? This is one of my favorite questions to ask students. Initial responses often include anything from whales to elephants to monkeys. Few suspect that human animals are the loudest. This then becomes the challenge: can we stay quiet while on a hike in nature?

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.

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

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

Sanhedrin Chapter
End of Season Chapter Potluck & Native Plant Exchange
Monday, June 1, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Come celebrate the end of a beautiful spring with the Sanhedrin Chapter. We'll present a short wrap-up of the season's activities, including pictures of this amazing spring, a native plant exchange, and a potluck-style social. Please email your digital plant to and field trip photos from this spring to include them in the slideshow. Bring a potluck item to share and a native plant or bulbs/seeds to exchange. We'll provide sparkling drinks, including sage and yerba santa sparkling teas. Ukiah Garden Clubhouse: 1203 West Clay St, Ukiah.

North Coast Chapter
Field Trip: Azaleas at Stagecoach Hill
Sunday, June 4, 9am - noon

Day trip. Famous for their great variation of form, color, and every other plant feature, the Western Azaleas at the Stagecoach Hill Azalea Management Area should be glorious. We will walk the short loop trail, and possibly venture off it, admiring all possible plants. Douglas iris, other trailside plants, and the ocean view will enrich the visit. Bring your lunch for a picnic opportunity among the beach plants at Dry Lagoon afterwards. Meet at 9 am at Pacific Union School (3001 Janes Rd, Arcata) or at 10 am at the Kane Rd parking area (from 101 north of Big Lagoon, at mile marker 112.5, turn right onto Kane Rd, turn left at the "T" and follow along to the parking area under large spruces).

San Diego Chapter
Seed Sorting Party
Saturday, June 10, 9:00 a.m. – noon

Please join us for our seed sorting party to prepare for the October 14 Fall Plant and Seed Sale! Come for the whole time or just an hour, we'd love your help and a chance to catch up. We have seeds from S&S and Lee Gordon to package. This year we will will be putting labels on the envelopes before sorting to keep things a bit more organized. If you have seeds to clean, please bring them! Tecolote Canyon Nature Center, 5180 Tecolote Rd, San Diego 92110.

Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains Chapter
Program Meeting: Shot-Hole Borers are Here! Look Out!
Tuesday, June 13, 7:30 -9 p.m.

Five years of drought have weakened trees' resistance to shot-hole borer invasions, resulting in the spread of these pests, weakening or death of many species of native and non-native trees. What do these shot-hole borers look like? How do you tell shot-hole borer species apart? What have UC researchers discovered? Find out what is happening, where you might find them and what to do if you think you have an infestation. Julie Clark De Blasio is a native Californian currently working for the UC Cooperative Extension, Ventura, on studies of the spread of non-native, destructive shot-hole borers in Ventura and LA counties. First United Methodist Church, 1008 11th Street, Fireside Room, Santa Monica.

Sacramento Valley Chapter
Program Meeting: Finger Foods and Gardens Gone Native Virtual Tour!
Wednesday, June 14, 7 - 9 p.m.

No utensils needed! Just bring yourself for a relaxing evening. Or, if you like, you may bring a favorite finger food or non-alcoholic beverage to share. We'll provide napkins, plates, and cups – but feel free to be really earth-friendly and bring your own re-usable dishes. Snack time will be followed by a virtual Gardens Gone Native tour. If you missed the gardens during our April tour, or were not able to get to all of the gardens you wanted to see, here's your chance to see what you missed! This virtual tour will showcase our own CNPS member gardens and take you all over town in just one evening. They include drought tolerant gardens and ponds, well-manicured "traditional look" gardens, habitat gardens, artistic gardens, and "wild" gardens. From newly planted to long-established, our members' gardens are as diverse as we are! Our tour will certainly have something for everyone, to inspire your own native landscaping ambitions. Shepard Garden and Arts Center, McKinley Park, 3330 McKinley Blvd, 95816.

Orange County Chapter
Program Meeting: Exploring the Revillagigedo Archipelago and Chapter Celebration
Thursday, June 15, 6 -9 p.m.

Speaker: Sula Vanderplank, Ph.D. Ready for a fun and educational evening? Join the adventure that Ms. Vanderplank and her group of researchers and citizen scientists recently experienced on an 18-day boat trip to the Revillagigedo Archipelago. Only 250 miles off the tip of Baja California peninsula, it is often referred to as Mexico's Galapagos Islands. Rich in plant and animal endemism, these volcanic islands seem to hark back to the beginning of time. One has a flora of just a handful of species and on another, steaming vents and fumaroles rise above a tropical forest near the summit! As a field botanist, Ms. Vanderplank focuses on natural history, floristics, and conservation science in Baja California. She actively collaborates on both sides of the US/MX border and serves as adjunct faculty at Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE) and San Diego State University. This evening in June is also our annual chapter celebration. For any one who can arrive a little early, Rich Schilk will lead a bird walk in the preserve starting at 6 pm. The Duck Club will open at 6:45 for potluck refreshments. Early comers may bring something savory while later arrivals might bring something dessertish. (Or just bring a friend.) The chapter will supply drinks, utensils, and paper goods. Celia Kutcher wants your great photos of 2016-17 chapter activities for our year-end picture show. Send them to Celia at . Irvine Duck Club, 15 Riparian View, Irvine, CA 92612.

Shasta Chapter
Field Trip: Warner Mountains Three-Day Camping Trip
Thursday-Saturday, June 16-18

This field trip is in the Warner Mountains, part of the Modoc Floristic Province. Co-leaders: Paul Davis and David Ledger. 80+ plant list. There will be a two to three-mile hike each day from our primitive campground in the Warner Mountains, at 6700 feet of elevation. Those with more energy are welcome to hike farther. No dogs, please. Carpool from Redding available. Contact David Ledger at or (530) 355-8542 for detailed information, list of supplies, and maps.

Bristlecone Chapter
Field Trip: Conglomerate Mesa
Saturday, June 17, 7 a.m.

Nestled in the southern Inyo Mountains, Conglomerate Mesa is the second most southern peak in the Inyo Mountains, and the has the most southern pinyon/juniper woodlands in the range. Unlike the basalt covered Malpais Mesa to the south or the granitic pluton of Cerro Gordo to the north, Conglomerate Mesa is composed of older Permian sedimentary rock. This part of the Inyo Mountains has great potential to hold numerous botanical treasures as much of the Inyo Mountains have not been explored botanically especially away from established roads. We will begin at the northeast side of the mesa and hike and botanize our way up to the summit and mesa flat above 7000'. There will be about 7-10 miles of moderate to challenging hiking at a botanist pace which should take us a full day, 8 hours or so. Participants should bring lunch, ample snacks, and plenty of fluids as this is a dry hike. Dress for the weather conditions, hat, sunscreen, hiking shoes, appropriate clothes. Bring field guides, hand lens, binoculars, topo maps, and a willingness to hike and explore. We will meet at 7:00 am at the intersection of SR 190 and Saline Valley Rd. Alt. Route (34.5 mi E of US 395 near Lone Pine or 17mi E of SR 190 x SR 136), we then have a 1 hour drive to the beginning of the hike. 4WD vehicles with clearance are required because the dirt roads can always be unpredictable. For more information, contact Jerry at .

Santa Clara Chapter
Beginner's Bird and Plant ID Walk at Lake Cunningham Park
Sunday, June 18, 9 a.m. - noon

Join us for a beginner's bird and plant identification walk through Lake Cunningham Park in San Jose. The park is a major destination for waterfowl and migratory birds, and its native garden draws many birds for its habitat value. On this walk, Vicki Silvas-Young will show you how to identify the common birds of our area, as well as the native plants they depend on for food, shelter, and nesting places. The distance will be four miles, round trip on a level path. Bring a hat, water, your plant and bird lists, and binoculars. Wear comfortable walking shoes. RSVP to to reserve your spot and receive directions and details.

San Gabriel Mountains Chapter
Program Meeting: Conservation gardening, citizen scientists, and the fight to save our flowers
Thursday, June 22, 7:30 p.m.

Speaker: Dan Gluesenkamp, Executive Director, CNPS. For over 50 years, the California Native Plant Society has protected our native plants and celebrated California's wild gardens. During those decades, the human population has doubled and conservation in California has been dramatically transformed. Against all odds, a dedicated community of plant lovers, using a growing diversity of conservation tools, has somehow managed to save most of the plants and places that make California special. As we look to the future, we see continued population growth, as well as new threats, and wonder how to save California for the future. Dan will speak about plants, places, projects, and engage in a discussion of how to learn and work together to make a real and lasting difference. Eaton Canyon Nature Center, 1750 N. Altadena Dr., Pasadena, CA 91107.

Sierra Foothills Chapter
Field Trip: Bell Meadow
Saturday, June 24, 9:30 a.m.

Leader: Jennie Haas. Hiking level: moderate. Bell Meadow, near Dodge Ridge ski area, was set aside by the Forest Service as a Research Natural Area for the aspens that grow there. The aspen stands are protected from other uses so that they can be preserved for future study. There is a large diversity of wildflowers in and around the meadow. The geology of the area is interesting and a diversity of plant communities awaits our exploration. Meet at 9:30 am at the parking lot between KFC and Kohl's in the Junction Shopping Center in east Sonora. Sign up in advance to ensure you get the latest information on the trip. Contact Jennie at or 209-962-4759.

Mount Lassen Chapter
Field Trip: Lumpkin Ridge, Plumas National Forest
Sunday, June 25, 9 a.m.

Meet at Chico Park & Ride west lot (Hwys 99/32) at 9 am. Call for alternate meeting place. Bring lunch, water, hiking gear, sun/insect protection, and money for ride sharing. Back by late afternoon. Lumpkin Ridge, east of the village of Feather Falls, sits on volcanic Lovejoy basalt at 4200 ft elevation. It is an interesting spot which boasts five habitats and a great diversity of species. A plant lists exists on the florulae section of the chapter website as a result of previous plant listing field trips in 2007. Leader: Marjorie McNairn, 530-343-2397.


Contributors and Photo Credits

  • Kate Cooper
  • Catherine Curley
  • Becky Reilly
  • Mark Naftzger
  • Stacey Flowerdew
  • Liv O'Keeffe
  • Plummer's mariposa lily (Calochortus plummerae-- CRPR 4.2) growing amidst Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) in the Jarupa Hills - Catherine Curley
  • Fullerton Arboretum was the site of the recent BotCert exam. The gardens here host a plethora of native plants, including desert species (shown here) as well as Channel Islands endemics. - Catherine Curley
  • Solo Walk Card Example - Allison Poklemba
  • Workshop Participants - Becky Reilly



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