Monterey Bay Chapter

California Native Plant Society

CNPS Members Only—Buzzards Roost Trail, Pfeiffer State Park
FRI, MAY 5 · 9:45 AM PDT

Nature Hike Information:
If you plan to attend, read this entire write up including “How to Find Us”, below. This CNPS members only nature hike of ±3.5 miles has ±800 feet ascent. We’ll hike along fern lined trails through a redwood forest with beautiful views along the way. Bring a snack or lunch and water. CNPS members only, you may join online.

My hikes move along SLOWLY with stops to enjoy flora and fauna, and they are limited to ±5 attendees. Everyone who clicks “Attend,” then “Join Waitlist” buttons will be put on the Waitlist. Members on the Waitlist will be moved to the Attendee list based on various criteria besides the order of signing up. Criteria considered are 1st, attendance records (no “No Shows,” no cancelations within 24 hours of a hike without communication to the leader, which is also considered a No Show), 2nd, nature volunteerism, etc., and 3rd is the order of signing up. Members not moved to the “Going” list will be moved to the “Not Going” list. If you are moved to the Going list, be sure to check until the last minute to see if the hike has been cancelled for various possible reasons.

ARRIVE AT LEAST 15 minutes early to allow for possible traffic issues and in order to have everyone signed in, do introductions, and be ready to go at the written time. If a member arrives after we have left, they are considered a No-Show.

May General Meeting: Past Projects and Future Endeavors in the CNPS Vegetation Program

Wednesday, May 10th at 7:30 PM

The central coast has experienced large fires and intense storms within the past few years. The effect of the fires in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties touched hundreds of thousands of acres. The CNPS Vegetation Program took this opportunity to gather post-fire data on the resiliency of redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forests by installing 16 long-term monitoring plots throughout the Santa Cruz mountains. Vegetation Ecologists Mark Bibbo and Alexis LaFever-Jackson, from the statewide CNPS Vegetation Program, will discuss our post- fire long-term monitoring efforts as well as upcoming fine-scale vegetation sampling, classification and mapping efforts in Monterey, San Benito, and San Luis Obispo counties. This work builds on our similar and recent efforts in the greater San Bay Area counties, to expand our knowledge of vegetation types and continue to contribute to the state-wide fine-scale vegetation mapping and classification.

President’s Message

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.

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.

Local Plants

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.

The Wallflower

See our current newsletter for details of the next general meeting and upcoming field trips

Current Newsletter

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)