California Native Plant Society

CNPS eNewsletter

June 2017

Annual Wildflower Tests Challenge Conventional Wisdom

Wildflower seeds sown in June 2016 produced a nice bloom in April 2017 - Lee GordonLee Gordon

Conventional wisdom says that the best time to sow annual wildflower seeds is in the fall, just before the rains, and that seeds should be covered with a thin layer of soil to protect them from predation. This conventional wisdom may be wrong. Tests in Scripps Ranch and Poway (San Diego County) suggest that it is better to sow wildflower seeds months in advance of the fall rain, and that covering seeds may actually prevent them from germinating.

Continue reading here.

CNPS 2018 Conservation Conference: Call for Abstracts Deadline July 10!

Conference 2018Calling scientists, researchers, and students! Do you have interesting research, a groundbreaking project, or novel idea you think California's conservation community should know about? Give a talk or present a poster at the CNPS 2018 Conservation Conference, coming up this February 1-3 in LA! There are less than two weeks left to submit an abstract for your presentation before the July 10 deadline, get the full details now at

Presenting at the conference means sharing your expertise with 1,000 other conservationists and native plant enthusiasts who can learn from your work and put new science into action. You may find opportunities for collaboration and new projects or identify research needs, directly impacting the future of native plant and natural resource conservation in California. And there's a special bonus for student presenters too: cash prizes will be awarded for the most outstanding student oral and poster presentations!

The conference program will focus on communicating the most recent and effective conservation science; all presentations should have a clear connection to native plants or natural vegetation conservation. Presentations are organized into 24 themed sessions, including Current Research (dedicated to student presentations), a poster session, and Lightning Talks. View the complete list of session topics or submit your abstract now at

Advice for a New Native Gardener

Beautiful front yard native garden - Pete Vellieux, East Bay WildsThis article has been adapted from the CNPS-Orange County Chapter's "Native Gardener's Corner - Member's Tips, Tricks, and Techniques" newsletter column, which offers chapter members and local experts a chance to share information on many things related to gardening with natives.

The tips that follow were given in response to the question, "What advice regarding installing a new native plant would you give to a new native gardener?"

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 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

North Coast Chapter
Field Trip: Mill Creek Lake and Red Cap Hole
Saturday, July 1, 8:30 am

In Six Rivers National Forest east of Hoopa at about 5,000 feet is a world of White Fir and Sadler Oaks and a host of wonderful, mountain plants with them. This trail is rough but an even grade, a bit more than a mile to the lake, another mile to the small meadows that are Red Cap Hole. It passes through regrowth of the 1999 Meagram Fire. The trailhead is about 2.5 hours from Arcata, the same trailhead as Waterdog Lake. To allow more time for exploring, some of us may choose to spend the night camping or in a motel in Willow Creek. For the hike bring lunch and lots of water, layers of clothes for any kind of weather, and sturdy hiking footwear. Meet at Pacific Union School at 8:30 am or arrange another place. Return time is flexible, probably after 6 pm Tell Carol at you are coming and if you want to camp Saturday night: 707-822-2015.

Sanhedrin and Milo Baker Chapters
Field Trip: Plaskett Meadows
Thursday July 6 - Tuesday July 10

Trip limited to 30 participants. Come for one to four days of exploring the finest upland wet meadows and mountains this side of the Sierra Nevada! We'll spend time around the Plaskett Meadows campground, nearby Snow Basin and Black Butte, and travel local roads at least to Anthony Peak in search of the many rare plants in the area, along with numerous displays of wildflowers. Most destinations are easy walks from camp, or relatively short drives. The walk from the nearest road to Black Butte summit is very steep, but less than 1/2 mile. Mostly, we wander about finding something worth discovering about every two minutes or so. Please come prepared to feed yourselves, and for at least one shared pot-luck dinner. Allow about four hours from Santa Rosa, driving time each way (101 N to CA 162 north of Willits, then many miles of dirt road from Covelo east and beyond Mendocino Pass another 10-15 miles). Dogs OK, but must be well-trained charm school graduates (leashes required). Contact: Peter at or (707) 666-9071

El Dorado Chapter
Field Trip: Sun Rock Walk
Wednesday, July 12, 10 am

Meet the leaders at Pollock Pines Safeway at 10 am. Trail goes over to Upper Bassi Creek. Glistening little sundews (Drosera) are to be seen in small meadow there. We will follow trail along the stream for granite views and go by the 1944 plane wreck which is always a treat. "Much granite and rushing water. Lovely in July." Bring everything you need for a walk in the woods - a knapsack with your lunch, water, bug repellent and extra jacket. Adequate hiking shoes or boots are a must. Check out our event page a week before the walk on Facebook. LEADERS: Annie at and Tal at .

Bristlecone Chapter
Field Trip: Glass Mountain Peak and Sawmill Meadow
Saturday, July 15

We will explore the eastern flank and summit plateau of this obscure volcanic peak, following a vague hiking trail near Sawmill Meadow. Starting in lodgepole and Jeffrey pine woodland, we'll quickly ascend a deep pumice valley passing things like Penstemon newberryi, Monardella odoratissima, and Eriogonum lobbii. We'll lunch on the wide summit plateau accompanied by dwarfed Pinus albicaulis, Penstemon speciosus, Astragalus monoensis, and Raillardella argentea. Stupendous 360-degree views of the Mono Basin, Adobe Valley, Long Valley, Sierra and White Mountain crests will be unavoidable. We should return to the cars around 3:00. Check back closer to the date for more logistical details and a map. Contact Julie Anne Hopkins at for more information.

Sierra Foothills Chapter
Rare Plant Treasure Hunt: Glacier Point Road Meadows
Saturday, July 29

Leaders Peggy Moore and Alison Colwell. Hiking level: easy to moderate, depending upon participant preference, but including some off-trail hiking. Glacier Point Road has provided tourists access to the famous overlook of Half Dome since the 1880s. The greater bounty, however, has since been enjoyed by botanists, who have relished the easy access to the diverse plant communities of the red fir zone and the lush wet meadows of this granitic upland. The botanical rewards are many, as this area was largely unglaciated during the recent Tioga Glaciation and is thus a refugium, including for several CNPS-listed species. We are likely to see Bolander's clover, Yosemite Ivesia, and Yosemite bog-orchid. We may split into small groups to visit multiple meadow sites to census populations of one or more rare species. Note that an entry fee to Yosemite National Park of $30 is required. Please sign up so that updates and directions can be sent and carpools arranged. For more info or to RSVP, contact Peggy at 209-966-5728.

Mount Lassen Chapter
Field Trip: Silver Lake, Gold Lake, and Mud Lake
Sunday, July 30, 8:30 am

Meet at the Chico Park and Ride west lot (Hwy 99/32) at 8:30 am. Back by 4-5 pm. We'll drive Hwy 70 to Quincy, take the Bucks Lake Rd to Meadow Valley, and turn north on a Forest Service road to Silver Lake. The easy 1.5 mile trail takes us to Gold Lake, and an extension for those who desire, may follow a trail 0.9 mi past Mud Lake and Rock Lake up a steep but easy incline to Eagle Cap and the Pacific Crest Trail. We hope to see penstemon, larkspur, and others. Bring sturdy stoes, lunch, water, sun protection, and money for ride-sharing. Leader: Marjorie McNairn 530-343-2397.


Contributors and Photo Credits

  • Lee Gordon
  • Dan Songster
  • Becky Reilly
  • Mark Naftzger
  • Stacey Flowerdew
  • Liv O'Keeffe
  • Wildflower seeds sown in June 2016 produced a nice bloom in April 2017 - Lee Gordon
  • Beautiful front yard native garden - Pete Vellieux, East Bay Wilds
  • Workshop Participants - Becky Reilly



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