Newsletter 2007 March – April

California Native Plant Society

Orange County Chapter

March/April 2007





New Meeting Place

Garden Tour 2007

Wildlife Research Camps

Cal-IPC Field Course

Nature Knowledge Workshop

Jepson Workshops

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Native Plant Propagation Class

ROOTS Events

Field Trips

Local Parks

Pinus sabiana found in local mountains


CALENDAR Mar 15–Chapter Meeting Mar 31–Spring Plant Sale at TOLN Apr 6–Board Meeting Apr 14–Fairview Park Field Trip Apr 19–Chapter Meeting April 20 – 22–Green Scene at Fullerton Arboretum April 26 – 29–South Coast Plaza Garden Show May 3– Board Meeting May 5–Garden Tour


Weed and Seed:

Thurs 10-1……………… UCI Arboretum

Any day, 8:30-noon……… Fullerton Arb

2nd Sat……………….. Irvine Open Space

3rd Sat………………………… Bolsa Chica

4th Sat……….. Upper Newport Backbay

Chapter meetings are held at The Duck Club, Riparian View, Irvine. Doors open at 7 PM and the meeting begins at 7:30. Wildflower posters and a wide variety of books are available at the meetings.

The Irvine Ranch Water District neither supports nor endorses the cause nor activities of organizations that use the district’s meeting rooms that are made available as a public service.



As you can see from our calendar, March and April are busy months for us. On March 10, the quarterly meeting of the statewide Chapter Council will be held at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. The emphasis for this meeting is education and horticulture. The afternoon sessions are of general interest and all are welcome to attend. Contact a board member for more information.

Our annual Spring Plant Sale at Tree of Life Nursery will take place on March 31. These are the scheduled events:

  • 11:00 AM: a talk by Mike Evans—Native Plants for Containers—free to the public. Following the talk, you can “Build Your Own Nature Pot” for a materials fee of $15 that includes a terra cotta pot, soil, and plants—everything you need to construct a centerpiece-sized Habitat in a Pot. Assistance will be provided by Tree of Life staff and CNPS members.
  • 2:00 PM: a talk by Dan Songster—“Maintenance Tips for Home Gardeners”—free

Of course, knowledgeable TOLN staff members and CNPS volunteers will be on hand all day, from 9 AM to 4 PM to help you choose the best plants for your needs.


In April, we are once again participating in two major public outreach events—Green Scene at Fullerton Arboretum and the Garden Show at South Coast Plaza. Both events represent a commitment of time that is best shared among many. Both are fun and interesting. (Last year’s Green Scene was fun, interesting, and COLD!)

Looking ahead, we have also signed on for a week at the Orange County Fair, July 17 through 22. Our theme will be Natives in Containers. As was the case last year, we’ll be surrounded by an amazing variety of flower arrangements in the air-conditioned Flower Pavilion—a major attraction when the weather is hot. Think about setting aside a few hours on one of those dates to people our display and visit the fair.

Our June meeting traditionally takes place in a garden. This year we will take advantage of our new meeting location by doing an early evening tour of the San Joaquin Wildlife Preserve that surrounds the Duck Club. Unfortunately, the Duck Club was not available on the third Thursday. Instead, the June meeting will be held on Thursday, June 7. I hope that this advance notice will help you schedule accordingly. As usual, there will be no chapter meetings in July and August.

—Sarah Jayne, President

Chapter Meetings

Thursday, March 15—16 Years of Managing Biodiversity in Orange County

Speaker: Trish Smith

Since 1990, The Nature Conservancy has been under contract with The Irvine Company to manage their protected wildlands, including Limestone Canyon, Weir Canyon, and Fremont Canyon. This April, the Conservancy will be transitioning its day-to-day management role on the Irvine Ranch to the Irvine Ranch Land Reserve Trust, which was formed by Donald Bren and The Irvine Company in 2004.

In this retrospective, The Nature Conservancy’s Senior Ecologist, Trish Smith will review the Conservancy’s efforts to protect and enhance biological diversity on the Irvine Ranch over the past 16 years. Much of the Conservancy’s efforts have focused on two key fronts: opening appropriate sections of the reserve to docent led tours, and coordinating its stewardship programs with the managers of adjoining protected lands to ensure their seamless management. Much of this coordination was achieved through the

NCCP for Coastal-Central Orange County, which is overseen by the Nature Reserve of Orange County. Trish will discuss the challenges of managing biodiversity at the urban-wildland interface, and will discuss strategies that she has developed in coordination with other land managers as well as “lessons learned” over the past 16 years. Some of the accomplishments that Trish will discuss include her public outreach efforts, extensive research and monitoring of animal and plant life, development of programs for invasive plant control and fire management, and other programs developed in collaboration with scientists and local public agencies. Current and ongoing projects that the Conservancy is involved in locally include native grassland restoration studies, long-term ecological monitoring of Fremont Canyon and a bobcat telemetry study in the San Joaquin hills.

Ms. Smith is a well-known local biologist with a hard-earned knowledge of our local biological systems, including its flora. Her tireless, broad, and inclusive efforts have made her a much respected and admired friend of our Orange County environment. She earned her B.S. degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and followed that with a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Cal Poly Pomona.


Thursday, April 19—What has happened to the Cactus Wrens? The Intriguing 2006 Cactus Wren Census and Cactus Habitat Assessment in the NROC- Coastal Reserve
Speaker: Robb Hamilton

The 1993 Laguna Beach Fire burned 75% of the coastal reserve of the Nature Reserve of Orange County (NROC). Understandably, the Cactus Wren population dropped abruptly. Later, annual monitoring from 1999 to 2004 showed that the Cactus Wren population in the coastal reserve continued to decline, a 58% drop during those six years!

In 2006, Robb completed two rounds of focused Cactus Wren surveys in the coastal reserve. He mapped and classified all cactus-containing habitats and found that out of 2,323 acres of cactus scrub mapped, 1,336 acres (58%, mostly within the Laguna Beach Fire perimeter) appeared to be insufficiently developed for occupancy by Cactus Wrens. While estimates based on historic data suggest that approximately 1,473 acres were occupied in 1992, by 2006 only 187 acres were found to be occupied, an 87% decline!

The mystery continues. Portions of the coastal reserve experiencing significant losses included the Sycamore Hills and Aliso & Wood Canyons management areas, which did not burn in 1993. What do the declines in unburned areas reflect? How do edge effects, and biologically productive sites come into play? Robb’s presentation provides many insights and even some probable answers to the Cactus Wren plight. It also shows, given the small size of the Wren’s population in the coastal reserve, the slow recovery of burned cactus scrub habitat, and significant population declines in areas that have not burned recently, that the mystery of the Cactus Wren’s population decline warrants further focused study and the development of a management program that aims toward stabilizing the population.

Robb Hamilton is a biological consultant who has worked in Orange County since 1988. He was a member of Nature Reserve of Orange County’s original Technical Advisory Committee, and has monitored the reserve’s California Gnatcatcher and Cactus Wren populations since 1997. In 1996 he co-authored The Birds of Orange County, Status and Distribution, and he is nearing completion of a new book entitled Rare Birds of California. A longtime member and former Conservation Chair for Orange County CNPS, he currently serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Western Birds and co-edits the Baja California Peninsula region for the journal North American Birds. His consulting practice specializes in providing independent, third party review of environmental documents prepared under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Directions to the Duck Club: Driving south on the 405, exit on Jamboree and turn right. Turn left on Michelson, the first signal. Continue on Michelson. At the third signal, turn right on Riparian View. Follow the main road and the signs directing you to Audubon, The Duck Club, and the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. Pass the Irvine Ranch Water District water treatment plant. You will be on a paved two-way road for a 1/4-mile. Before you encounter a gate closing off the rest of the road, signs will direct you to turn right down a short hill and into the parking lot. The first building you see will be Audubon House. The Duck Club is the center building. There is a large restroom on the left.

Driving north on the 405, exit on Culver and turn left. At the second signal, which is Michelson, turn right. Continue on Michelson to the third signal, Riparian View, turn left toward the Irvine Ranch Water District water treatment plant and follow signs to The Duck Club.

[Thomas Guide to Orange County, page 859 J-7


Garden Tour May 5, 2007

Public and private gardens open from 10 AM to 4 PM for this year’s one-day tour will feature designs that demonstrate integration of California native plants into the landscape. You will find variety and inspiration. Some gardens incorporate natives without sacrificing fruit trees and vegetable gardens. Others show mature groupings of native plants. Most of the gardens are new to our tour.

Free brochures listing the gardens and their locations will be available after April 15. There are several ways to obtain a copy:

—Send a written request with a self-addressed stamped envelope to OC CNPS, P.O. Box 54891, Irvine CA 92619-4891.

—Visit our website at and click on the Garden Tour link to leave your email address for an emailed copy. The map will be posted on the website on May 4 and 5 only.

—Brochures may also be picked up at our April chapter meeting, the Audubon House, and Tree of Life Nursery



FIRE CLEARANCE INFO NEEDED: Do you live in the urban-wildland interface, e.g. close to the National Forest, a wilderness park, a preserved canyon? The California Chaparral Institute and the San Diego Chapter of CNPS would appreciate knowing about your and your friends’ and neighbors’ experiences with fire clearance regulations, with the Fire Authority and/or others who enforce the regulations, and with contractors who do the clearing. The Institute and CNPS-SD are working to clarify vegetation clearance regulations in the state. They are particularly interested in knowing if clearance has been required that seemed unreasonable, beyond CDF recommendations, or exploitative. Such information is important to their effort to successfully craft the necessary changes in the regulations. Send your experiences ASAP to Info about clearance regulations is at:

BOLSA CHICA: The 117-unit Shea Parkside Estates development is planned for a 49-acre site on Bolsa Chica’s northeastern corner. Aerial photos and old maps clearly show that the site was once a wetland. Despite decades of agricultural use, the site still supports many obligate and facultative wetland plants. (See Centromadia parryii ssp. australis, southern tarplant, CNPS 1B.1, is among the site’s wetland species. Approximately half the population would be removed by the planned development; mitigation calls for planting tarplant elsewhere on the site.

The developer’s application for a Coastal Development Permit will come before the Coastal Commission (CC) in May. CC staff recommends project approval, with modifications. Neighbors for Wintersburg Wetlands Restoration (NWWR), spearheading opposition to the development, contend that the modifications are inadequate and need refinement. NWWR believes that development is not the best use of this land; they are actively seeking alternatives, including but not limited to acquisition and wetlands restoration.

SANTA ANA MOUNTAINS: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff’s Preferred Alternative for the Lake Elsinore Advanced Pump Storage Project (LEAPS) calls for damming Decker Canyon for the project’s upper reservoir. The Final Environmental Statement (FEIS) that presents the Preferred Alternative also acknowledges many of the project’s risks and recommends how to address them. Doing so will make the project more difficult to finance and build. A downloadable map (1.8 MB) at shows locations of the dam site and alternate, other project components, and the route of the associated 30 miles of 500-KV transmission lines.

Using the Decker Canyon site would spare the extensive oak woodland and spring-fed freshwater wetland in Morrell Canyon (the project proponent’s choice for the upper reservoir). But Decker is considered to be better wildlife habitat than Morrell, because it is untraversed by road or trail and vegetated with dense chaparral and scattered oaks. One hundred and twenty acres of this habitat would be drowned by 2 billion gallons of Lake Elsinore water behind a 240-foot tall dam.

A host of environmental, geologic, hydrologic, and other problems surround the project. It has still to be reviewed and approved by the Forest Service and a number of other agencies. Each approval step is an opportunity to protest this environmentally destructive and financially-shaky project.

FERC staff’s recommendation of Decker Canyon over Morrell Canyon is at least in part due to the strong, year-plus effort to preserve Morrell that was spearheaded by the Sierra Club’s Southern California Forests Campaign ( and Santa Ana Mountains Task Force ( They are continuing to campaign against the project, joined by the Center for Biological Diversity and a growing number of local, regional and statewide enviro organizations.

ACTION NOW: The FEIS will be presented soon to the FERC Commissioners, who by late 2007 will approve or disapprove granting a license for the project. Public comments may be made before March 12. Address to: Joseph T. Kelliher, Chairman, FERC, 888 First Street NE, Washington DC 20426; cc to Commissioners Jon Wellinghoff, Marc Spitzer, Suedeen G. Kelly, and Philip D. Moeller. Tell them that the LEAPS project (FERC No. P-11858) has enormous environmental costs and financial problems that make it a bad deal for rate payers, residents, and visitors to the Santa Ana Mountains. There are better ways to produce electricity, that won’t be such an impact on our remaining wild places, our backyard mountains.

Celia Kutcher, Conservation Chair



About a year ago, CNPS announced changes to the ranking system used within the Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants. While information regarding these changes and current rank for CNPS list plants is available on the web, the new ranking system is only just coming into use. For those who are not familiar with the new system, we are summarizing these changes and show how these changes have affected our Orange County sensitive plants species. The last published version of the Inventory was released in 2003, and in that publication each species was assigned what has been called the “R-E-D” code, Rarity, Endangerment, and Distribution. Under each category, a value of 1-3 was listed denoting certain characteristics within each category as summarized below:

R – Rarity

1 – Rare, but found in sufficient numbers and distributed widely enough that the potential for extinction is low at this time.

2 – Distributed in a limited number of occurrences, occasionally more if each occurrence is small.

3 – Distributed in one to several highly restricted occurrences, or present in such small numbers that it is seldom reported.

E – Endangerment

1 – Not very endangered in California.

2 – Fairly endangered in California.

3 – Seriously endangered in California.

D – Distribution

1 – More or less widespread outside California.

2 – Rare outside California.

3 – Endemic to California.

While the standard rankings of List 1A, 1B, 2, 3, and 4 were widely used, the R-E-D code often received less attention. Under the new system, the R-E-D code has been abandoned. Instead, the Inventory uses a simplified system that conveys much of the same information. A code extension now replaces the endangered portion of the R-E-D code. This is the Threat extension. The extension is added to the List rank following a decimal point, for example List 2.2 or List 1B.1. The codes are defined as follows:

1 – Seriously endangered in California.

2 – Fairly endangered in California.

3 – Not very endangered in California.

List 1A (presumed extinct in California) and some List 3 (need more information—a review list) are not given extensions at this time due to lack of threat information. Other factors, such as habitat vulnerability and specificity, distribution, and condition of occurrences are also considered in setting the Threat Code. Other elements of the R-E-D code will appear in the California Native Natural Diversity Database but these codes will not appear in the Inventory. CNPS has elected to use State Rank and Global Rank in their place. If you are interested in reading more about the revised species rankings or other details on these sensitive plant species, check out the CNPS website (



Revised Inventory Rank for Orange Co. CNPS plants

Scientific Name/ Common Name/Rank

Abronia maritima, red sand-verbena, CNPS 4.2

Abronia villosa var. aurita, chaparral sand-verbena, CNPS 1B.1

Aphanisma blitoides, aphanisma, CNPS 1B.2

Asplenium vespertinum, western spleenwort, CNPS 4.2

Aster defoliatus [Symphyotrichium defoliatum], San Bernardino aster, CNPS 1B.2

Astragalus brauntonii, Braunton’s milkvetch, CNPS 1B.1

Astragalus pycnostachyus var. lanosissimus, Ventura marsh milkvetch, CNPS 1B.1

Atriplex coulteri, Coulter’s saltbush, CNPS 1B.2

Atriplex davidsonii [Atriplex serenana var. davidsonii,], Davidson’s saltscale, CNPS 1B.2

Atriplex pacifica, south coast saltbush, CNPS 1B.2

Atriplex parishii var. parishii, Parish’s brittlescale, CNPS 1B.1

Baccharis malibuensis, Malibu baccharis, CNPS 1B.1

Brodiaea filifolia, thread-leaved brodiaea, CNPS 1B.1

Calandrinia breweri, Brewer’s calandrinia, CNPS 4.2

Calandrina maritima, seaside calandrinia, CNPS 4.2

Calochortus catalinae, Catalina mariposa lily, CNPS 4.2

Calochortus plummerae, Plummer’s mariposa lily, CNPS 1B.2

Calochortus weedii var. intermedius, intermediate mariposa lily, CNPS 1B.2

Camissonia lewisii, Lewis’s primrose, CNPS 3

Centromadia parryii subsp. australis [Hemizonia p. subsp. australis], southern tarplant, CNPS 1B.1

Chaenactis glabriuscula var. orcuttiana, Orcutt’s pincushion, CNPS 1B.1

Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina, San Fernando spineflower, CNPS 1B.1

Chorizanthe polygonoides var. longispina, long-spined spineflower, CNPS 1B.2

Comarostaphylos diversifolia subsp. diversifolia, summer holly, CNPS 1B.2

Convolvulus simulans, small-flowered morning-glory, CNPS 4.2

Cordylanthus maritimus subsp. maritimus, saltmarsh bird’s-beak, CNPS 1B.2

Cupressus forbesii, Tecate cypress, CNPS 1B.1

Deinandra paniculata [Hemizonia p.], paniculate tarplant, CNPS 4.2

Dichondra occidentalis, western dichondra, CNPS 4.2

Dudleya blochmaniae subsp. blochmaniae, Blochman’s dudleya, CNPS 1B.1

Dudleya cymosa subsp. ovatifolia, Santa Monica Mountains dudleya, CNPS 1B.2

Dudleya multicaulis, many-stemmed dudleya, CNPS 1B.2

Dudleya stolonifera, Laguna Beach dudleya, CNPS 1B.1

Dudleya viscida, sticky dudleya, CNPS 1B.2

Eleocharis parvula, small spikerush, CNPS 4.3

Eriastrum densiflorum ssp. sanctorum, Santa Ana River woolly-star, CNPS 1B.1

Euphorbia misera, cliff spurge, CNPS 2.2

Harpagonella palmeri, Palmer’s grappling-hook, CNPS 4.2

Helianthus nuttallii var. parishii, Los Angeles sunflower, CNPS 1A

Holocarpha virgata subsp. elongata, graceful tarplant, CNPS 4.2

Hordeum intercedens, vernal barely, CNPS 3.2

Horkelia cuneata ssp. puberula, mesa horkelia, CNPS 1B.1

Imperata brevifolia, satintail, CNPS 2.1

Juglans californica var. californica, Southern California black walnut, CNPS 4.2

Juncus acutus subsp. leopoldii, southwestern spiny rush, CNPS 4.2

Lasthenia glabrata subsp. coulteri, Coulter’s goldfields, CNPS 1B.1

Lepechinia cardiophylla, heart-leaved pitcher-sage, CNPS 1B.2

Lepidium virginicum var. robinsonii, Robinson’s peppergrass, CNPS 1B.2

Lilium humboldtii subsp. ocellatum, ocellated Humboldt lily, CNPS 4.2

Lycium brevipes var. hassei, Santa Catalina Island desert-thorn, CNPS 1B.1

Lycium californicum, California boxthorn, CNPS 4.2

Malacothrix saxatilis var. saxatilis, cliff malacothrix, CNPS 4.2

Microseris douglasii subsp. platycarpha, small-flowered microseris, CNPS 4.2

Mimulus clevelandii, Cleveland’s bush monkeyflower, CNPS 4.2

Mimulus diffusus, Palomar monkey flower, CNPS 4.3

Monardella macrantha ssp. hallii, Hall’s monardella, CNPS 1B.3

Myosurus minimus var. apus, little mouse-tail, CNPS 3.1

Nama stenocarpum, mud nama, CNPS 2.2

Navarretia prostrata, prostrate navarretia, CNPS 1B.1

Nemacaulis denudata var. denudata, coast woolly-heads, CNPS 1B.2

Nolina cismontana, chaparral nolina, CNPS 1B.2

Ophioglosum californicum, California adder’s tongue, CNPS 4.2

Pentachaeta aurea, golden-rayed pentachaeta, CNPS 4.2

Periderida gairdneri subsp. gairdneri, Gardner’s yampah, CNPS 4.2

Phacelia suaveolens subsp. keckii, Santiago Peak phacelia, CNPS 1B.3

Piperia cooperi, chaparral rein orchid, CNPS 4.2

Piperia leptopetala, narrow-petaled rein orchid. CNPS 4.3

Polygala cornuta var. fishiae, Fish’s milkwort, CNPS 4.3

Quercus dumosa, Nuttall’s scrub oak, CNPS 1B.1

Quercus engelmannii, Engelmann’s oak, CNPS 4.2

Romneya coulteri, Coulter’s matilija poppy, CNPS 4.2

Rorripa gambelii, Gambel’s watercress, CNPS 1B.1

Sagittaria sanfordii, Sanford’s arrowhead, CNPS 1B.2

Satureja chandleri, San Miguel savory, CNPS 1B.2

Selaginella asperella, bluish spike-moss, CNPS 4.3

Senecio aphanactis, rayless ragwort, CNPS 2.2

Sidalcea neomexicana, salt spring checkerbloom, CNPS 2.2

Suaeda esteroa, estuary sea-blite, CNPS 1B.2

Suaeda taxifolia, woolly sea-blite, CNPS 4.2

Tetracoccus dioicus San Diego buttonbush, CNPS 1B.2

Verbesina dissita, big-leaved crown-beard, CNPS 1B.1

The advantage of this new system is that it is easier to remember and work with than the old R-E-D code. The reviewer instantly knows one additional piece of information simply by looking at the threat extension. However, the system is new, and local experts have generally not had the opportunity to fully review it. Most threat extensions appear to be correct but a few should probably be modified. For example, Coulter’s saltbush (CNPS 1B.2) and mud nama (CNPS 2.2) may be more appropriately treated as “high risk” species (CNPS 1B.1 and CNPS 2.1 respectively). In both species, the overall extant populations are limited and significantly threatened. On the other hand, southwestern spiny rush (CNPS 4.2), considering its association with protected wetlands and its broad distribution in coastal southern California, might better be considered a species of low risk (CNPS 4.3). It should be noted that San Bernardino aster (Aster defoliatus) has been added to the Inventory since the Sixth Edition was published. San Diego Sunflower (Viguiera laciniata), a CNPS List 4.2 species is also found in Orange County, but there have been no documented native occurrences.

—Fred Roberts and Dave Bramlet, co-chairs, Rare Plants



Adult Wildlife Research Camps at Starr Ranch

Audubon California’s Starr Ranch Sanctuary in southeast Orange County invites you to our overnight research camps for adults. Join staff biologists for a peaceful weekend at the beautiful 4000-acre Ranch and experience nature hands-on as a wildlife researcher. Our May 18-20 camp will focus on bird research in the rare coastal sage scrub habitat. The June 2-3 campers will investigate small mammals, invertebrates, and reptiles & amphibians of oak woodlands. For more information, visit or call 949-858-0309. For reservations call 949-858-0131. Space is limited!

Cal-IPC Field Course: Wildland Weeds Control Techniques, Southern California

Wednesday, March 21, 2007, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Paramount Ranch, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Find your way out of the thistle and come to a 2007 Cal-IPC Wildland Weeds Field Course.

Cal-IPC control courses provide practical demonstrations of weed control methods, taught by invasive weed experts with years of on-the-ground experience. Courses focus on locally important weeds and relevant control strategies, and cover a spectrum of techniques including mechanical, chemical, and cultural controls, revegetation and propagation.

Registration is $125 for Cal-IPC members and $145 for non-members. Register on-line at

California Invasive Plant Council

1442-A Walnut St. #462

Berkeley, California 94709

The California Invasive Plant Council’s mission is to protect California’s wildlands from invasive plants through research, restoration, and education.


Nature Knowledge Workshop

Friday – Sunday, June 15 – 17

Join the Sierra Club Natural Science Section for a weekend of discovery and enjoyment as you learn about the natural wonders that surround you. Enhance your knowledge about our precious natural resources from professional naturalists who share their expertise in bird and bat identification, reptile, plant, geology and insect studies.

From our streamside camp accommodations in the San Bernardino Mountains. we’ll explore three habitats—chaparral, forest and riparian—via easy guided walks led by our naturalists. There will be a program Friday night and special interest and hands-on workshops Saturday afternoon and evening. LTC credit available.

The fee includes 2 nights lodging in dormitory cabins (bring own sleeping bag), 6 full-course meals and instruction. (Tent or car camping available). Reservation deadline June 1. Send check made out to “Sierra Club/NSS” along with 2 SASE (or Email address), H&W phones, names of all participants, $138 with SC#/$158 non-member to Reservationist: Monica Donley, 5551 Mammoth Ave., Sherman Oaks, CA. 91401.

Visit our website for reservation form. Participants must be 13 years or older (under 18 must be accompanied by adult). Leader: Liana Argento. Asst Leaders: Cliff & Gabi McLean.


Jepson Herbarium Weekend Workshops 2007

The Friends of the Jepson Herbarium is pleased to present a broad range of topics this season. While most of the workshops are held at UC Berkeley, several will take place off-campus field sites. Among those are Spring Flora of Eastern San Diego and Imperial Counties, April 5 – 8, Anza Borrego, Spring Flora of the White Mountains, May 10 – 13, White Mountain Research Station, Owens Valley Lab in Bishop, Mimulus, June 1 – 3 in Sequoia/Kings Canyon, and Flora of the Panamint Mountains, June 20 – 23, Death Valley.

Sound tempting? Find out about these workshops and others at htp:// or contact Cynthia Perrine at 510.643.7008 or

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden—Community Education 2007

The Garden offers a wide variety of programs for the public, from walks in the garden, Field Botany classes, and weekend field trips, to art classes and family activities. Too numerous to list here, you will find them listed at and click on Calendar. There you will see the events for the month or you can see the whole calendar (choose Flat View). How about “Guerilla Gardening! The Politics of Using Native Plants in Your Landscape”? That’s on Saturday, May 19, from 10 AM to noon. Or “Plant-Insect Interactions” on June 2 from 9 AM to 1 PM. There’s much much more so check out the schedule on the website.

By the way, RSABG’s Spring Plant Sale is March 31 (hmmm—same as ours), from 9 AM to 10 AM for members, 10 AM to 2 PM for the general public.


California Native Plant Propagation Class

Are you interested in learning how to propagate California native plants? Do you want to help grow plants to be used in the restoration of the Orange Coast River Park and associated Santa Ana River Restoration projects? The Orange Coast River Park, Friends of Harbors Beaches and Parks and the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy may offer a 10 week propagation class at a possible new Native Plant Nursery located on the grounds of the new HBWC interpretive center. Reginald Durant, of Back to Natives Restoration, will guide participants through the proper treatments and propagation methods for dozens of species endemic to the Santa Ana River Delta and Huntington Beach Wetland area. The OCRP is hoping for a June installation of the greenhouse with a late June start for the summer propagation class. Tuition for the 10 week class has not been set, but would be approximately $50, with proceeds to be used for the purchasing of seed and other propagation supplies for the project. This exciting project will only happen if enough people are interested. To let your interest be known, contact Lena Hayashi with the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy. (714) 963-2123

Upper Newport Bay ROOTS Events

ROOTS volunteers work on restoration projects in the Upper Newport Bay area under the direction of Matt Yurko. Each event is from 9 AM to Noon on the on the 4th Saturday of the month. To get on the list to be notified by email of the location, contact Matt at


Join us as we monitor the new plantings in the California Garden and the new Oak Woodland and begin the Spring weeding, Thursdays 10-1. Canceled if rain within 24 hours beforehand. Contact Celia or the Arboretum office, 949.824.5833, if in doubt. Sturdy work shoes, gloves, water, and hat are advised; bring your favorite shovel if you like.


Sierra Club Natural Science Section Field Trips

Sunday, March 25: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Slow paced, 3-4 hour walk to learn about the unique flora of the RSABG in Claremont with botanist Bob Muns and naturalist Liana Argento. Meet 10 AM at the entrance to the garden. From 210 E. Fwy exit Towne Ave South, 1 mile to Foothill Blvd. Left on Foothill Blvd to College Ave. Turn left and follow driveway to garden entrance. Bring water, binoculars, lunch, hand lens, (optional $1 for plant list and $1 for hand lens). Suggested $2-$4 entrance donation. Rain cancels. Leader: Liana Argento, co-leader: Margot Lowe (, 310.370.2950)

Sunday, April 29: Plant ID Walk, Santa Ana River Regional Park

Slow paced, 3-4 hour plant walk to identify spring wildflowers with botanist Bob Muns and naturalists Liana Argento & Gabi McLean. Meet 9:30 AM at the Rubidoux Nature Center parking lot (5370 Riverview Dr, Rubidoux) Take Pomona-60 Fwy S to Rubidoux Blvd, turn right to Mission Blvd, right to Limonite Ave, left on Riverview Dr to the Rubidoux Nature Center. Bring water, lunch, binoculars, hand lens, (optional $1 for plant list and $1 for hand lens). Rain cancels. Co Leaders: Liana Argento (, 310-370-2950), Gabi McLean

Sunday, May 20: Plant ID Walk, Verdugo Mtns:

Slow paced 3-4 hour plant walk to identify spring wildflowers and learn about plant uses with botanist Bob Muns and naturalist Liana Argento. Meet 9:30 AM at 210 Fwy and La Tuna Canyon Rd (parking area on S side of 210 Fwy and W side of La Tuna Canyon Rd). Bring water, lunch, binoculars, hand lens (optional $1 for plant list and $1 for hand lens). Rain Cancels.

Leader: Liana Argento (, 310-370-2950), Co-leader: Margot Lowe

Sunday, June 24: Plant ID Walk, Cobol Canyon San Gabriel Mountains

Slow paced 3-4 hour plant walk to identify wildflowers and learn about fire ecology with botanist Bob Muns and naturalist Liana Argento. Meet at 9:30 AM at trailhead. From the 210 E Fwy in Claremont take Towne Ave exit N to Baseline Rd, E on Baseline to Mills Ave, N on Mills until road ends. Bring water, lunch, binoculars, hand lens; (optional $1 for plant list and $1 for hand lens) Rain cancels. Leader: Liana Argento (, 310-370-2950), Co-leader: GinnyHeringer



Crystal Cove State Park

Guided Backcountry Walks most Saturdays and Sundays. Meet at 9 AM at the El Moro Visitor Center. Parking is $10. 949.494.3539

The Donna O’Neill Land Conservancy

For information about events, reservations, and directions visit or call 949.489.9778

Laguna Coast Wilderness

Open to the public every day from 7:30 AM to 4 PM. Maps provided for self-guided tours. Docent-led tours Saturdays. Parking $3. Call 949.494.9352 or visit

The James and Rosemary Nix Nature Center will open to the public daily beginning Saturday, March 17, 2007. The Nix Nature Center is located at 18751 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park’s Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area, 3.5 miles south of the I-405 and SR 133 interchange. Hours will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m., including holidays, with free admission. Parking will be available from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and will cost $3.

Irvine Ranch Land Reserve

For walks in the Northern and Southern Reserves call The Nature Conservancy at 714.832.7478. Visit for a complete list.

Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park

The Orange County Natural History Museum is located at the entrance to the park, 949.831.2790.

Thomas Riley Regional Park For more information call 949.728.3420

An Interesting Find in the Santa Ana Mountains…

—Bob Allen

Recently, Fred Roberts and I went up into the Santa Ana Mountains with a bunch of the good folks from the Irvine Ranch Land Reserve Trust. Their new Director of Science and Stewardship, Dr. David Olson, had recently spotted a handful of pines down the hill from Beek’s Place and asked us to check them out with him. Being from up north, he is accustomed to seeing Pinus sabiniana and thought these were the same species. Well, he was correct. We found 2 adult trees and 1 juvenile tree down-canyon from the forest gate atop Black Star Canyon. We could see Beek’s Place above us and noticed a few of them there as well. Next we spent some time at Beek’s Place and documented a number of conifer species at the old homestead; some are reproducing, some are not. I’d been by there numerous times but didn’t want to deal with the yahoos that frequent the place, so I’ve never stopped. Though we did voucher the conifers, we do need to return and do a more thorough job of exploring the vicinity to better document its flora.

How do you tell the two pines apart? Glad you asked…. Pinus sabiniana (Ps) is similar to Pinus coulteri (Pc) but differs in a few ways. Both have large, heavy cones. Ps has shorter, squatter cones that are brown; Pc has longer cones that are yellow. The cone scales on Ps have a bend out near the distal end; the bend on Pc is just about in its middle. Ps has grayer leaves that often hang down, Pc has greener leaves that stand up (but can hang down with age). Pc has denser foliage; Ps has sparse foliage and looks wispy. They have very different odors: Ps contains heptanes and smells a bit like gasoline; Pc contains terpenes and smells a bit like turpentine. Both have lots of resin on their cones, which gets all over everything when you pick them up, especially when collecting voucher specimens. So… since it is reproducing there, Pinus sabiniana (gray pine) has now been added to the Flora of the Santa Ana Mountains and Flora of Orange County. Thanks, David!