California Native Plant Society

CNPS eNewsletter

July 2017

California's Rarest Conifer?

Julie Evens collects belt transect data in a thicket of yellow cedar CNPS has begun a collaborative mapping and inventorying project for yellow-cedar in California. The species is a CNPS Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants on list 4.3 (limited distribution) in the state, with only a handful of known locations. The majority of the stands are on the Klamath National Forest but a few are also on the Six Rivers. Over the course of summer 2017, Michael Kauffmann and Julie Evens will be visiting a number of these populations and collecting data on stand health, reproduction, and plant associations. The week of July 5-6 we visited the world’s southern-most stand, deep in the Siskiyou Wilderness.

Continue reading here.

Out on the Range

Basin Big SageIn the northeastern corner of California along the California-Nevada border, between Mt. Shasta in the west and the Warner Mountains in the east, lies a massive volcanic plain known as the Modoc Plateau. Shaped by vast basalt flows, this landscape is covered by a sea of sagebrush and perennial grasses and is more typical of the Great Basin. Although this may be the most undeveloped region of the state, the ecosystems here are considered among the most threatened in North America. Threats include invasive species, over-grazing, woodland expansion, and altered fire regimes, amongst others. Until recently, we have had very little vegetation data from this region.  Now, partners at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Natural Resources Conservation Service, and others are providing dedicated funding and support for resource-level assessment and mapping of vegetation.

Continue reading here.

Botanizing the Point Arena-Stornetta Unit of California Coastal National Monument

Coastline - Point ArenaFor those of us living inland from the coast of California, summer is the perfect time to make a trip to the western part of our state, where the fog lies thick and the natural air-conditioning seems to blow continuously.

In May and June 2017, CNPS Vegetation Program staff and hardy volunteers spent two weeks sampling coastal vegetation on the Point Arena-Stornetta unit of the California Coastal National Monument. This BLM-managed property in Mendocino County is the only accessible terrestrial component of this marine monument, which stretches over 1000 miles along our coastline. The 1600+ acres of land supports coastal prairie dotted by tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa) intertwined with native California   blackberry (Rubus ursinus) and sculpted riparian strips of red alder (Alnus rubra) and numerous willows (Salix spp.). Stands of shore pine (Pinus contorta ssp. contorta) and bishop pine (P. muricata) provide shelter from the wind, though you can also see planted and naturalizing stands of Monterey pine (P. radiata) and Monterey cypress (Hesperocyparis macrocarpa). The latter two conifers are classified both as rare plants in Monterey County, and as invasive in other parts of California and beyond, in an ironic twist of displacement.

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.

Wetland/Riparian Plant Identification
August 28-30, Sacramento
Taught by David Magney
$375 CNPS Members, $395 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

Yerba Buena Chapter
Program Meeting: Save the Superbloom
Thursday, August 3, 7:30 p.m.

Speaker: Dan Gluesenkamp, Executive Director, CNPS. This past spring Californians and indeed all the world were treated to a spectacular season of wildflowers. This talk will focus on the 2017 super bloom, its flowers, the frenzy, and the broader significance. Yes, there will be photos of flowers. There will also be pictures of industrial- scale solar farms and pot- growing fields, where flowers once flourished. Finally, there will be a discussion of the CNPS Important Plant Areas (IPAs) project, an ambitious endeavor that deploys scientific data and citizen science to identify the most important parts of California and ensure that we do everything possible to save them for the future. Recreation Room of the San Francisco County Fair Building (SFCFB) at 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

East Bay Chapter
Field Trip: Marin Headlands
Saturday, August 5, 10 a.m.

Come join us to hike the California coastal trail, looking for both summer flowers and plants in seed to ID. Fort Cronkhite has outdoor showers, drinking water, a relatively large parking lot, and a SF MUNI transit stop for the 76X express bus from Sansome Street in San Francisco. Bring lunch and your Flora of Marin County. Fort Cronkhite, Marin Headlands, Sausalito 94965.

Monterey Bay Chapter
French Broom Bash
Saturday, August 5, 1 p.m.

Join us on these 1st Saturday of the month visits to the beautiful Monterey pine forest on the east side of Point Lobos. We’ll use several techniques to remove French broom and help restore this area that wants to thrive with native plants. Meet at 1pm in Carmel at the Rio Rd. Park n’ Ride (across from the Chevron Gas Station). All supplies provided. Bring a friend, water, and a snack. Contact Bruce Delgado at for more info.

Shasta Chapter
Field Trip: Sifford Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park
Saturday, August 5, 8 a.m.

This field trip to beautiful Sifford Lake is a five-mile loop hike that includes Sifford Lake, Bench Lake, and Kings Creek Falls, with a 500-foot elevation climb. The trail ranges from lush riparian areas to open, bare volcanic terrain with scattered trees - overall, a beautiful hike. Parts of the trail are uneven terrain, so participants should have good balance. Bring a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water. No dogs allowed on Lassen Park trails. Meet at the Mt. Shasta Mall parking lot near Chase Bank at 8 a.m. For more information, contact David Ledger at 530-355-8542.

Dorothy King Young
Field Trip: Cape Vizcano
Saturday, August 12

Primarily coniferous forest, coastal meadows and coastal scrub. Four hundred acres of Cape Vizcano is owned by Save the Redwoods League, a non-profit organization which protects and restores coastal forests in California. We will be joined by League staff familiar with the property. The hike is a moderate 5-mile loop through redwood forest, coastal meadows and mixed evergreen forest. We will be doing a floristic survey as we walk, so the more the merrier! For more information and to RSVP, contact Rhiannon Korhummelat at . Once you RSVP, directions will be provided.

North Coast Chapter
Field Trip: Point St. George Day Hike
Saturday, August 12, 8:30 a.m.

Beaches, rocky cliffs, windy bluffs, coastal prairie, wetlands, sandy hills, seeps. All this and more is available for botanizing right outside Crescent City. The mild summer weather by the cold ocean means plants stay green and even blooming long into the summer season. We will walk trails and beaches with optional off-trail forays in the prairies to explore this diverse flora. Bring lunch and water; dress for the weather, especially wind. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at Pacific Union School (3001 Janes Rd., Arcata) or arrange another place. Return very late afternoon or evening. Tell Carol you are coming: 707-822-2015.

Marin Chapter
Third Thursday Weeders
Thursday, August 17, 9:30 a.m. - noon

A collaboration of the Marin Chapter of CNPS and the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin, to tackle invasive weeds that threaten important plant habitat in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Contact Carolyn Longstreth at or 415.669.7514 or at . To receive notification of the meeting places please contact Carolyn Longstreth.

Sierra Foothills Chapter
Rare Plant Treasure Hunt Echo Peaks
Saturday, August 19

Leader David Campbell. Hiking level: very arduous, this trip will involve off-trail mountaineering and climbing a rugged peak. The destination is about 5 miles into the backcountry from the trailhead with a 2500' elevation gain. The alpine spring beauty (Claytonia megarhiza is a CNPS list 2 B.3 rare plnat. Several reported locations exist in the alpine fell fields of Yosemite, but due to inaccessibility, most of these locations have not been visited since the 1980s. We will visit one such location at Echo Peaks, in the Cathedral Range of Yosemite's High Country. We will collect geospatial and habitat data on its occurrence, and make collections to be submitted to permanent herbaria. This foray will be logistically complicated and will require advance planning. Experience in high elevation mountaineering is a must for anyone attempting the trip. Contact David by August 1st if you are interested in joining. For more information or to sign up contact David at or 612-867-8700.

Bristlecone Chapter
Bishop Plant Sale
Saturday, August 26, 9-11 a.m.

This is the largest native plant sale of the year, and this year, we can accept credit cards! A wonderful array of native plants is offered every year.  A variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees adapted to our area will be for sale. Julie Fontaine will be at the sale with her magical compost tea. If you have your garden ready for your new plants when you come to the sale, adding the tea will really help the plants take root. As a reward for people keeping up their membership this year, people with current membership cards (remember to bring them) will be able to buy plants starting at 8 am. If you need to start a membership or renew one, then you can do that at 8 am as well. A plant list of what's available will be updated through the month, here.


Contributors and Photo Credits

  • Michael Kauffmann
  • Julie Evens
  • Jennifer Buck-Diaz
  • Jaime Ratchford
  • Kendra Sikes
  • Becky Reilly
  • Mark Naftzger
  • Stacey Flowerdew
  • Liv O'Keeffe
  • Julie Evens collects data on yellow cedar - Michael Kauffmann
  • Modoc Plain - Jaime Ratchford
  • Point Arena Vegetation - Jennifer Buck-Diaz
  • Workshop Participants - Becky Reilly



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