Monterey Bay Chapter
California Native Plant Society
Members make a difference
Annual Wildflower Show
April 22 – 23, 2023 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Carmel Woman’s Club, San Carlos Street and Ninth Avenue (south west corner), Carmel, CA 93921
From Ken McIntire
At the January Meeting, I was elected to serve as President of our local CNPS Chapter, so let me introduce myself. I was a long time resident of the San Francisco Peninsula before moving to Carmel Valley in the fall of 2018. I am also a long time environmentalist, and most of my work on that front was devoted to preserving San Bruno Mountain — an incredible island of biodiversity surrounded by San Francisco and its immediate suburbs.
That’s one mountain, while here in Monterey County we have mountain ranges, river valleys, coastal shorelines and farmland. I have barely scratched the surface of the rich natural world here, and I know there is so much to see, learn about and do in the service of the our native plants, which are the basis of the rich diversity of life here.
Climate change has been an organizing concern of mine since the late 1970s. I grapple with how we can protect California’s native plant diversity in this age of climate change, and the accompanying droughts, fires, floods and our responses to these. A friend of mine framed the question this way — how many species can we pull through the extinction crisis?
I hope to help our chapter regain the vitality it had before Covid locked everything down. If you have an interest in conservation, horticulture, habitat stewardship, field trips, or administration nuts and bolts, please contact me, or any board member. We’d love to work alongside you.
Meanwhile, I am sure we are all anticipating a beautiful spring. Come join us in our weekly horticulture work, and save the date for a spectacular Wildflower Show in April.
March 8, 2023 Meeting and Program
Wildflower Season Begins!
Great news! On Wednesday March 8 we will resume in-person meetings at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. Doors open at 7:00 with time to visit and browse the chapter’s book selection. The meeting starts at 7:30 with current news and announcements immediately followed by our Wildflower Show chairman Brian LeNeve’s presentation on what it takes to put the Wildflower Show together, photos of beautiful past wildflower fields we could possibly see again this year (due to this winter’s rains) and photos of plant specimens the collecting teams will more than likely bring in for the 2023 Show.
Brian has been part of the annual Wildflower Show since the 1980s and has chaired the Show since 1997. Along with coordinating all the pieces that lead to the actual event, he has been part of teams in nearly all the collecting areas, giving him an overall perspective on what is considered the largest Wildflower Show in the country and one of the largest in the world.
The 2023 Wildflower Show will take place on April 22 and 23 at the Carmel Woman’s Club, on San Carlos Street and Ninth (south west corner) in Carmel, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
See the About us page for more information about the chapter and its activities and links to the chapter’s newsletter. The main areas of the chapter’s activities appear below.
The California Native Plant Society (“CNPS”) is a statewide non-profit organization founded in 1965 by people with an interest in California’s native plants, and whose mission is to conserve California native plants and their natural habitats, and increase understanding, appreciation, and horticultural use of native plants.
The Monterey Bay chapter of the California Native Plant Society (“MB-CNPS”) was founded in 1966 to further the preservation and conservation of the native flora and plant communities of Monterey and San Benito counties. Our goal is to increase understanding, appreciation, enjoyment, and preservation of California native plants in their natural habitats through scientific activities, education, conservation, horticulture and stewardship.
Membership in the chapter is open to anyone interested in native plants. Both members and non-members are welcome to join us in activities such as general meetings with lectures, restoration workdays, and most field trips.
Activities & Education
These include the general meetings and regular field trips. They also include the annual Wildflower Show (one of the largest of its kind in the world) and the annual Native Plant Sale. It also has an active Gardening with Natives section.
The chapter has since its inception been actively involved in conservation issues including some, particularly those affecting environmentally sensitive areas like Fort Ord and the Del Monte Forest; these have been ongoing for many years and are still active.
Since its creation, the chapter has been concerned to extend its knowledge of the local plants, and to make that knowledge publicly available through the publication of books, the creation of websites devoted to the local flora, and by various other means.
CNPS Monterey Bay is proud to offer remote presentations, and we have posted our presentations in simple format for our members and guests to review online. We hope you will enjoy the information and we look forward to expanding our presentation library to keep our community educated and engaged.
See our current newsletter for details of the next general meeting and upcoming field trips
Bluff Lettuce (Dudleya farinosa)
Poaching of succulents
The summer and fall of 2018 saw large-scale poaching of succulents (especially Bluff Lettuce (Dudleya farinosa)) from our public lands to be shipped overseas for sale. Please contact the authorities if you see it happening. Click here for more information.
The problem is continuing – as can be seen from this article in the Monterey County Herald on 8th February 2019.
Spring Wildflower Sightings
With the public health and safety concerns of Spring 2020, the outdoors is still (mostly) open for responsible recreation and conscientious enjoyment. Since our Annual Spring Wildflower Show was moved online, enthusiasts continue to contribute to our chapter postings by bringing more ‘virtual’ bits of nature to us. Here is a collage of the “Usual Suspects” seen at Garland Ranch Park, photographed by David Laws on April 16, 2020.
2019 has been spectacular superbloom year. Parts of Southern California such as Antelope Valley enjoyed some extraordinary displays of poppies and the Carrizo Plains has experienced some outstanding displays of Monolopia, Great Valley and other Phacelias, and Owl’s Clover. Monterey County does not have the same great expanses of wildflower locations as areas like the Carrizo Plains, but there have been some fine displays, especially in the southern parts of the county. Some highlights include the following:
- Fort Hunter Liggett — Goldfields (Lasthenia sp.) along the Nascimiento–Fergusson Road, Common Blennosperma (Blennosperma nanum) at the Jolon entrance to FHL, Sky Lupine (Lupinus nanus) and Pink Owl’s clover (Castilleja exserta)
- Hames Valley (Jolon–Bradley Road) — Baby Blue-eyes (Nemophila menziesii), Douglas’ Fiddleneck (Amsinckia douglasiana), California Poppies (Eschscholzia californica)
- Highway 25 (north of Highway 198) — Monolopia sp. starting to cover the hillsides and displays of mixed Monolopia and Great Valley Phacelia (Phacelia ciliata) along the roadsides
- Fort Ord — Some of the vernal pools have seen glorious displays of the rare Contra Costa Goldfields (Lasthenia conjugens), Hickman’s Popcornflower (Plagiobothrys chorisianus var. hickmanii) and Dwarf Brodiaea (Brodiaea terrestris)