Newsletter 2003 July – August

California Native Plant Society

Orange County Chapter Newsletter

July/August 2003



Calflora: Back On Line

Great news! The pioneering online database of information on the flora of california, including taxonomy, imperilment, photographs and much, much more, is now back on line.

It was just last February we found CalFlora in a comatose condition, and we feared for the wonderful resource so many of us have come to depend upon, whether we are land use planners, restorationists, rare plant experts, invasive exotic folks, or just people wishing to have a particular plant we have found identified. This unselfish, cooperately built database, is now back in use thanks in part to the donations, big and small, of many CNPS members. At our last CNPS Chapter Council meeting, June 7th, 2003. Ann Dennis, a CalFlora Director and active CNPS member, gave a big thanks to all of CNPS for our support in helping revive CalFlora.

What now? To provide a stable funding base for this complex accumulation of information and photos, CalFlora will be instituting a user support structure. Depending upon your level of use (professional, personal or educational) you may be required to pay a fee for the services CalFlora provides. A great amount of careful thought was put into this decision so as not to conflict with Cal Flora’s mission in making this great store of information regarding California’s wild plants available to as wide a portion of people as possible while balancing its need for a stable income helping to guarantee CalFlora’s future operation. If you are a professional (government agency, land managers, environmental consultants, corporations, etc.) you will pay a fee, (exactly how much has not been determined). If you are a personal user, you will be encouraged to make a small yearly donation, while educational users (students and educators) will have free access without requests for donations.

We are happy to see this valuable resource available once again and thank the staff and volunteers who have helped get it back online! Any donations may be sent to: CalFlora Database, 937 San Pablo Avenue, Albany, CA 94706. And be sure to check it all out at !

Calendar of Events

July 10……………………. Board Meeting

July 12-13……. San Bernadino Mtns FT

July 19……………….. Crystal Cove walk

July 29-31…………. Telescope Peak FT

Aug 14…………………… Board Meeting

Sep 4……………………… Board Meeting

Sep 18…………………. Chapter Meeting

September 27……………… Plant Sale

Thursday mornings……. UCI arboretum

Local walks

RSABG classes

There are no chapter meetings in July and August


CNPS is a non-partisan organization, but we do take stands on state and federal legislation and rule making insofar as these affect our goal of preserving California’s native plants and plant communities. State policy analyst Emily Roberson and our chapter Conservation Committee urge our members to write to their Congressional representatives and senators and urge them to oppose:

  1. any attempt to weaken environmental laws and regulations;
  2. any attempt to reduce or eliminate the public’s ability to participate in planning for federal activities that affect the environment and public lands through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or through administrative processes such as Forest Service appeals;
  3. attempts to pack the courts with judges biased against environmental protection.

Another point: The federal government should not be in the business of violating the right of Californians to protect their environment.

Members may want to thank Senator Boxer and Attorney General Bill Lockyer for their strong opposition to rollbacks in environmental protection. You may also want to suggest to Governor Davis that he should be doing more on this front.

You can find email addresses for Congress members by going to and typing in your ZIP code.

—Joe Willingham

Reprinted with permission from The Bay Leaf, newsletter of the East Bay Chapter

AB 406 not endorsed by California State Assembly.

OC CNPS-ers with email may remember receiving, on June 1, a last-minute plea to urge their State Assembly Members to support AB 406. This little-heralded but very important bill would have made much-needed amendments to CEQA environmental review procedures (see analysis at On June 4 it became apparent that the bill would not get sufficient votes, by the June 6 deadline, to move forward this year. The bill’s author, Hannah-Beth Jackson (Santa Barbara), decided to rescind the initial vote so it could be tried again next January without prejudice. State CNPS will continue to coordinate with Ms. Jackson and co-sponsoring Planning and Conservation League in anticipation of another vote next year.

Many thanks to you who contacted your Assembly Members in support of AB 406. Four of Orange County’s Assembly Members were able to vote on the bill in committee:
– Tom Harman, 67th Dist., Natural Resources Comm., absent for vote April 7.
– Lou Correa, 69th Dist., Appropriations Comm., absent for vote May 28.
– Lynn Daucher, 72nd Dist., Appropriations Comm., voted no May 28.
– Pat Bates, 73rd Dist., Appropriations Comm., voted no May 28.

Action: Tell your Assembly Member—especially if he/she is among the above—that you want approval of AB 406 (or its equivalent) next time! (Find the name of your Assembly Member at

Dana Point Headlands Plan being revised!

The Headlands Development and Conservation Plan is being revised to include more conservation and less development! Coastal Commission staff, and pressure from the Dana Point Headlands Action Group (which includes OC CNPS), has convinced the landowner and the City of Dana Point that the Plan must be revised to conform to the Coastal Act. The full extent of changes are not known at press deadline, but do include removing development from Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas.

Action: Contact for dates and locations of the Action Group’s Rally for the Headlands and chartered bus from south Orange County to the hearing.

OC CNPS Conservation Co-Chair Fred Roberts, who has written several letters regarding Headlands rare plants and Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area, was invited by the Headlands owner/developer to see the revised plan. According to Fred, the revision is much like what he suggested in his 2001 DEIR comment letter. OC CNPS’ response is currently under discussion by the Chapter Board.

Santa Ana River Conservancy legislation now in State Senate

AB 496 (Correa), to create a Santa Ana River Conservancy, seemed, as proposed, a welcome change. It offered a way to think of a river in terms of its entire watershed, and how it may be managed for conservation, rather than in terms of jurisdictions that may include a stretch of the river. (Contact for a backgrounder.) However, amendments made in Assembly committee deleted language that would have insured conservation-minded appointees to the Conservancy’s governing board. This has caused the Sierra Club to withhold support of the bill as not meeting its standards for good environmental legislation. State CNPS does not have a position on the bill at this time.

The bill is now in the State Senate, where substantial amendments, some aiming to restore a conservation-oriented governing board, can be expected in committee. The bill passed the Assembly 52-24 on June 4. OC Assembly Members’ votes: Yes: Correa, Daucher, Harman, Maddox. No: Bates, Campbell, Spitzer.

Action: OC CNPS really needs someone to track this issue, so that we can have timely and effective input into making a conservancy that truly conserves the watershed and its remaining native habitats. If you live in the middle third of the County, roughly between Prado Dam and the ocean, you are in the Santa Ana River watershed. If you can work on this issue, contact Celia at

SCORE Committee prepares final recommendations

The SCORE Committee has begun its analysis of the chosen Alternatives for development of Rancho Mission Viejo. Ultimately, the committee’s recommendations will advise the Orange County Board of Supervisors as they deliberate the Rancho’s future.

The resource agencies (US Fish & Wildlife, Calif. Fish & Game, Corps of Engineers, OC Planning Dept.) sifted four alternatives out of a dozen or more preliminary ones. The selected Alternatives (see maps at are:
B-4: The Rancho’s Plan, development areas spread fairly evenly over the Ranch, with wide areas of open space reserve between.
B-5: Similar to B-4, but no development in the Cristianitos watershed. This would ensure that the larger San Mateo watershed (of which Cristianitos is a major tributary) remains as unspoiled as it is now. Chiquita Canyon would be developed.
B-6: Similar to B-4, but Chiquita Canyon is undeveloped and the Cristianitos watershed has some development.
B-8: No development in Chiquita or Cristianitos. Development only in the main San Juan watershed, with about half the projected population as the other three.

OC CNPS feels that B-8 is minimally acceptable for habitat and rare-plant preservation. We would prefer an Alternative with even less development, such as B-1, a preliminary Alternative that didn’t meet the resource agencies’ final criteria.

Action: Tell your County Supervisor (and state and federal legislators) that you want Alternatives B-1 and B-8 to set the low-to-high parameters for development of Rancho Mission

Viejo, if development must occur. Tell your Supervisor, et al., that you really want all the remaining Ranch to become a wilderness park or land conservancy or similar. This land is far more valuable as protected natural open space than any short-term economic gain it may bring.

Connie Spenger: OC loses an environmental leader, but Owens Valley gets her!

Connie Spenger has been a leader, and a do-er, in OC environmental issues for at least the two decades I’ve known her. She had a part in nearly every north OC issue; these are just the major ones:
?Founded Friends of Tecate Cypress with Gordon Ruser
?Coal Canyon Ecological Reserve: saved 953 acres, by gathering signatures for a Bond Act initiative. When a CalTrans biologist identified Coal Canyon as the last linkage between the Santa Ana Mountains and the Chino/Puente Hills, she began campaigning to save it. She eventually filed lawsuit with Calif. Fish & Game Dept. to stop the development. And led monthly hikes there throughout.
?Helped found Save Coyote Hills.
?Save Brea’s Hills: helped with signs, petitions and garage sales.
?Led hikes in Chino Hills State Park.

In addition, she was active in Sea and Sage Audubon, OC CNPS, and the OC Group of the Sierra Club. She was a Board member of Tri-County Conservation League and Friends of Harbors Beaches and Parks, and secretary of the Wildlife Corridor Conservation Authority Advisory Board.

While doing all that, she somehow found time to go horseback riding and be a photographer, artist and writer.

Now that Connie and her husband have retired to Owens Valley, the OC environmental community will miss her warm smile and infectious giggle, and most of all her example of quiet but firm and persistent grass-roots pursuit of protection for our natural environment. But our loss is Owens Valley’s gain: the many environmental issues there will benefit from her energy and experience. Celia Kutcher



Plant Lore

If each of us were asked to define the term, plant, I suspect this plant would not fit it very well. I also would guess that most of us would define a plant as a rooted, green individual that is capable of making its “food.” The energy trapped by the green chlorophyll is used to combine soil water absorbed by roots with carbon dioxide taken from the surrounding air into sugars. But, what is “food”? When we animals think of food, we do not make a distinction between energy and matter. This is because both are conveniently packaged together in what we eat, our food. And we also know that all this food comes to us directly or indirectly from green plants. Biologists term such organisms, heterotrophs. On the other hand, biologists use the term “autotroph” for plants. Plants are capable of combining non?organic energy (e.g. sunlight) with separately acquired inorganic molecules to produce energy and material rich organic compounds. The process is called photosynthesis.

Most all green plants are obviously autotrophs. However, this plant is totally brown, with small brown scalelike leaves. Since it produces no chlorophyll, it can’t photosynthesize. Without photosynthesis it obtains its “food” from some other source. In other words it must be a heterotroph like us animals. Indeed it is one of the few, fully parasitic plants.

The drawing is of Orobanche fasciculata or, as it is commonly known, broomrape. The broomrapes are usually annual to perennial herbs that usually parasitize several species of Dicots. The original plant, from which this drawing came, was growing along the Pozo Road in the La Panza Range near the Queen Bee Campground in San Luis Obispo County. It consisted of several clusters. Each cluster grew close to a shrubby California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum) plant. The Jepson Manual reports that this 0. fasciculata tends to parasitize native shrubs such as sagebrush (Artemisia), California buckwheat (Eriogonum) and yerba santa (Eriodictylon). Therefore, it appears safe to assume we know the host species. Broomrape produces a simple root system that grows until it encounters a suitable host root. When it does so, it produces a swelling at its tip that will spread around the host root. From this swelling “filaments” grow into the host root. The filaments are able to tap into the host plant’s water/mineral conducting tissue (xylem) as well as its processed food conducting tissue (phloem). Broomrapes can occasionally become so numerous that they kill their host plant, especially when the host is an annual herb. Since very few species of broomrape attack economically significant plants, it is not considered a significant pest.

A glance at the flowers might lead you to guess that they resemble those of paintbrushes, owl’s-clovers, and Indian warriors. Since the resemblance is real, can we assume they all belong to the same family? Up until recently, broomrapes were in one family, the Orobanchaceae, and the other genera were in the Scrophulariaceae. This separation was based primarily on the broomrape’s parasitic habit whereas the other genera are either fully autotrophic or more often hemi-parasitic. Hemi-parasites get their water and minerals from their host but do their own photosynthesis. However, recent work on flowering plant relationships indicates that the hemi-parasitic Scrophulariaceae are more closely related to the broomrapes than they are to the rest of the Scrophulariaceae. Therefore the hemi-parasitic Scrophulariaceae must be combined with the existing genera of the Orobanchaceae. This means that our new combined “family” contains genera from at least two (actually several) different families. What should we call this “new” assemblage? We can’t call it Scrophulariaceae because it does not contain the genus Scrophularia or bee plant. Scrophularia is the only genus that the ­Scrophulariaceae must contain if the name Scrophulariaceae is to be used for the assemblage as it is the type of reference genus. The family name that has both priority of use, i.e. it was in use for one of the genera within the assemblage before any other available name was used and since the new assemblage contains the genus Orobanche, we must use the name, Orobanchaceae. So it will appear that the hemi-parasitic genera from the old Scrophulariaceae will be “moved into” the formally fully parasitic, Orobanchaceae. See the April 2002 issue of Fremontia for more information on the new classification.

—Dirk Walters

Reprinted with permission from The Obispoensis, May 2003 ?


Second Bloom

Remember Heard’s Country Garden In Westminster? It was a small but wonderful nursery for those who had a loved creativity and an unusual plant. It was the sort of place that people talked about. Perhaps we were told of the nursery by an enthusiastic friend anxious to share a wonderful secret and then had somehow found the place after winding through a hybrid neighborhood of residencies and small commercial properties. Mary Lou Heard had started the place with help from lots of friends and was often found behind the counter in the “cottage” ringing up sales, giving (or getting) plant advice, or just chatting with the customers who had become friends. The place was a charming institution of light-hearted horticulture, a small but steady source of adventure for the plant lover on the prowl, and a shockingly needed break from big, impersonal chain nurseries. (And there were even natives mixed in there!) The newsletters were a real treat, humorous, light, and full of information on the plants for sale at the nursery. It was in the last issue that we learned (from her own lips) of Mary Lou’s battle with cancer and the gracious and loving way in which she faced it, and of the imminent closing of the nursery. I was not the only person going down to say good-bye and purchasing a keepsake plant to remember both the nursery and its founder.

Well, time has slowly passed and I received a card in the mail a few months ago that said the Nursery was reopening. This I had to see! Two former employees, sisters Jayme and Stacy Cox, have started it back up on a shoestring (and a prayer) and have a wonderful display of plants for sale once again. I found many natives among the stock including several annuals (a nice white selection on Nemophila maculata as well as Scarlet delphinium!) and several perennials such as the Gooseberry selection ‘Spring Showers’. (The longer I looked the more I found!)

The new name is Cottage Nursery Gardens and if you were a customer back in the “old days” you will see little has changed in the Nursery. The comfortable feeling is still there along with an excellent assortment of plants. Stop by and say hello, Jayme or Stacy will be there to welcome you. The hours are Wednesday through Saturday 9:00 to 5:00, Sunday 10:00 to 4:00, and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. If you have never been you may wish to call first to get directions, (it can be tricky the first time). Cottage Nursery Gardens, 14391 Edwards, Westminster, CA 92683, (714)890-5511
—Dan Songster


Considering Summer Watering of Natives

Advice is always a two-edged sword, something that should be dispensed and received with caution. No supposed expert is ever the last word on matters, especially when these issues relate to our wondrous native plants. One question I have often been asked is about watering natives—especially in the summer months. Rather than write a book on the subject, I direct you to the very informative Tree of Life Nursery catalog, which gives you much detailed and needed information regarding watering times per week or month and whether a particular plant has the desired potential to naturalize in our landscape. (If you do not have the catalog, purchase it—it’s a wealth of information in a small package.)

Still, here are a few (hopefully helpful) hints on summer watering of natives, sometimes a tricky concept. It is certainly a tricky concept to discuss with every gardener having slightly (or greatly) different soils, exposures, techniques, and levels of success that seem to transcend logic. This advice will probably be all right as long as you remember there are no hard and fast rules that apply in all situations. There is no magic formula for treatment of all native plants. Now that you have been warned and read the disclaimer, lets consider some seemingly disjointed factors that may directly influence our watering practices during the hot months.

Basic Concepts

A few words about Root Rot. Almost everyone’s soil has various species of Root Rot pathogens swarming around in it, even yours. They aid in the decomposition of sick plants and such, but also are enemies of a few of our favorite natives such as Manzanita, Woolly Blue Curls, Fremontodendron, etc. The pathogen itself can’t do much unless given the right conditions—at which point it can infect and devastate your favorite plant, seemingly overnight. What conditions do Root Rot pathogens need? Warm, moist soils, preferably heavy soils. And if you have natives planted in clay-based soils and it’s summertime and you water, what do you have? A prime hunting ground for the various plant-killing fungus pathogens. And since you cannot change the soil you have (well, not really, see ‘Soils?’ below…), then you can try to limit summer water at least for those sensitive natives you really want, or take the reasonable road and plant only natives that are not susceptible to the Root Rot pathogens and can thereby tolerate some summer water. (I’m afraid I am not reasonable in this regard; I must have a Fremontia and Manzanita.)

Root to shoot ratio. Lush growth in late spring can lead to summer trouble. Even if plants are able to handle more water than they need without Root Rot pathogens attacking, it often leads to more growth than a plant’s young root system can later provide water for, especially during those hot summer months. Example: Let’s say you provide generous watering for your Chaparral Currant (Ribes malvaceum) through spring and into early summer. It grows fine, does not rot away—in fact it puts on a proud amount of lush foliage. The proportion of root mass to foliage is called the root to shoot ratio. Envision a small root system, only slightly larger than the root ball you planted in November, with just a few adventurous roots probing more than half an inch into the surrounding native soils. Also envision the above ground portion of the plant. A pleasure to the eye, twice or three times its original size when you installed it just a few months ago, due in large part to your thorough watering. You may have a problem. Why? Most water leaves a plant in one way—evaporation from leaf surfaces. There are other factors to consider, humidity (or lack of), wind, exposure to sun, etc, but basically the more foliage there is the more water a plant looses and thereby the more water a plant needs. If that moisture is not provided, cell structure breaks down and leaves and even small stems are abandoned, dying and drying. Sometimes a plant will put on new leaves and if water is made available it may survive, but oftentimes with young plants that first big shock is too much, and the plant never recovers. So, since a rather small root system cannot really support a large amount of foliage easily, you will notice it wilting dramatically on a summer’s afternoon. You water it and the plant may respond well or certain plants could die from the previously described Root Rots. Either way it’s not a healthy way to grow a plant; better a moderate rate of growth.

Where do you live? Climate in Mediterranean areas like ours is mainly affected by your proximity to the coast. Very close to coast means cooler summer and fall seasons and less evaporation of water through the leaves. Sometimes that bit of moisture saved is enough to help a plant through the summer. Inland a few miles? The need for cautious irrigation increases. Riverside? Wow! Lots of evaporation and the need for added water. The more extreme the climate (hot days and cold nights) the greater the need for picking plants that can take those conditions and still do well, without lots of additional summer water. Plant selection becomes key and logically, local natives often have an edge. Thankfully in some of those hot areas the soils are sandy or rocky enough to help prevent Root Rots, but not always.

Other Considerations

When did you plant? Hopefully in the late fall or early winter giving your new native the best possible start towards life in your garden—allowing roots to penetrate surrounding soil just a bit before summer hits. Those small silvery-white root hairs moving outward from the original root ball mean a great deal when considering a new plant’s abilities to gather water. Note: Planting in spring is actually OK for a large number of Riparian species, a lot of the Oak understory material, as well as many of the cultivars whose origins are on the central and north coastline (a surprising number!). I have also planted many plants from the Coastal Sage Shrub community in spring with fair results. But generally, most of these plants do better with a fall or early winter planting, sometimes drastically so.

Where did the plant originally come from? There are many plants that do fine with summer watering. Consider what plant community your plant came from and that can sometimes tell you a lot about its watering requirements. Plants from Riparian, Redwood, Mixed Evergreen Forest, North Oak Woodlands, and even several of the Foothill woodland species do fine with summer watering of reasonable proportions. Even a lot of the Coastal Sage Scrub plants do fine with summer watering, especially that first summer season, to help them become established. Watering a young Sage, Buckwheat, Lemonade Berry, or Bladderpod once or twice a month that first summer is expected (and appreciated). Some Chaparral plants are not bothered by moderate water during summer (Mountain Mahogany, Toyon, Ceanothus); while others such as Manzanita, Woolly Blue Curls, or Fremontodendron, are extremely sensitive to fungus pathogens and can perish from a single summer watering. With such plants you should strive to limit watering in summer if possible, especially in the heavy clay soils, and after the first year avoid summer water entirely unless in that heaven of perfect drainability mentioned below in ‘Soils?’.

Soils? It may not be fair but clay soils have poor drainage and you may be walking the tightrope that first summer with some plants, trying to water as little as possible and still keeping the plant alive if you have clay. Too little water and the cells breakdown, too much and root rot pathogens have a chance to attack susceptible natives in the warm and heavy soils. Now if you have a mound of decomposed granite, sands, and light gravel, you may find that you can water more frequently without the trouble. Establishment of plants in such situations becomes far easier! Owners of such mounds have been seen gazing at a healthy Manzanita and chuckling to themselves. Clay does have some advantages, but better draining soils are almost always preferred.

How old is the plant? A plant which has been in the ground for a few years is much more likely to do OK without needing too much in the way of summer water. The root system has grown and is more likely to obtain enough moisture to make it through the summer. That does not mean you would deliberately withhold water from natives that appreciate summer watering. Deergrass, Douglas Iris, Yarrow and many others could probably make it through a summer without irrigation but do much better with that added water. Of course, on becoming familiar with the natives you have, you will find out if a little summer water keeps your plant fresh or if such watering creates problems. Ask people who also grow natives!

Sun or Shade? Often just the amount of sun a plant gets means you will need to water it a bit more (if it can tolerate it). The same plant with high shade from a nearby tall tree or the afternoon shadow of a structure will loose less water. Also of note: a piece of shade-screen staked on the south-west side of a Woolly Blue Curls (another summer water hater) may not look great but could help it through that first critical summer by slowing evaporation of water from sun-heated leaf surfaces, thereby lessening the need of water from you.

Mulching benefits: As long as it is kept a few inches away from the plants main stem or trunk, mulch is highly desired in keeping water evaporation (from the soil itself) to a minimum, meaning less need to get out the hose or turn on the drip system. Also is the added benefit of keeping the soil temperatures somewhat balanced, the mulch acting as an insulating blanket, preventing extremely hot or cold soils. These more moderate soil temperatures mean longer periods of root growth allowing the plant to gather more of its own water without you needing to get out the hose.

Planted or in containers? Normally, plants in the ground have less need of frequent watering than do plants in containers. The very fast draining soils normally used in potted plants and the drain holes in the bottom mean that (even with a shallow tray underneath) water runs past the roots and out the bottom rather fast. While this helps prevent Root Rot issues, it does mean a plant can dry out much more quickly.

If you must water, when is best? If you must water then generally at the coolest time of the day, early morning or even late evening is best. If there is a day you “know” (or the weatherman claims) will soar into the 90s then wait, if possible, for a day of lower than normal projected temperatures to water that morning. So, to improve the success rate with watering natives, do it infrequently, at the coolest time of day (early morning), on days which are expected to be cool, and as a rather deep soaking normally accomplished by a slow drip.


Talk to people. If you read this and are more confused than ever, my apologies. In that case ask someone who also grows natives and you will often find someone willing to share experiences and knowledge. This is perhaps the best way to improve your native garden in many ways. Don’t know anyone who grows natives? You can easily go the State CNPS website ( and click on the “Growing Natives” discussion board. Questions are answered thoughtfully by various competent people. You can also attend chapter meetings and ask those there about particular problems you are having. Don’t be shy, chances are someone has had and possibly overcome the same problem.

Determine which plants you have that are most sensitive to summer water and remove drip emitters from the area after the first summer. Also be sure that a neighbor’s irrigation runoff cannot collect nearby and that family members coming out to spritz the garden understand that those plants are to stay dry in summer months. The staggering beauty of a fully flowering Flannel Bush is a sight to see—protect it if you can.

Fear is the enemy, knowledge your friend. Don’t feel thwarted by the possibility of a plant not doing so well if you water too much or too little, learn what you can and give it a try! You won’t be sorry and you will learn as you go with far fewer losses than I may have caused you to envision.

Get to know your garden. Unlike conventional landscapes demanding copious amounts of water at most times of the year, a native landscape asks that you get to know its citizens and its seasonality and not provide what it cannot use. Realize that the summer downtime most natives enjoy is also a respite for you. As seeds mature through the summer, the leaves of the Buckeye drop in summer dormancy, and the bulbs sleep beneath a cover of native grasses. Take a break yourself and enjoy a garden in seasonal transition.

—Dan Songster


UCI Arboretum Weed War to Carry On Through Summer!

Our hardy little band of weed warriors will keep after pesky weeds in the UCI Arboretum California Collection through the summer. Though the glorious burst of spring bloom is fast fading, there is always a flower here and there, and birds and butterflies too.

Please join us on Thursday mornings! To beat the heat, feel free to come at 8 AM, when the Arboretum opens, and work for an hour or two. Hat, gloves, water, sturdy work shoes, sunscreen are advised; bring your favorite weeding implement or use the Arboretum’s tools

Directions: from 405, go south on Jamboree to Campus Dr. Turn left on Campus, then immediately right on an unnamed campus service road. Turn left into the Arboretum gate, park on the gravel behind the greenhouse.

Hold The Date!

Public workshop for proposed Big Canyon Restoration Plan:

Thursday, September 4th, 2003

6:00-9:00 p.m.

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

600 Saint Andrews Rd, Newport Beach (across from Newport Harbor High =


Help restore the health of Upper Newport Bay. Big Canyon suffers from serious water contamination, flood damage and loss of habitat. The Big Canyon Creek Restoration Project will develop a conceptual restoration plan to restore critical native plant communities, including tidal salt marsh, mudflats, freshwater marsh and riparian habitat as well as restore tidal influence, improve public access and trails, and clean up polluted urban runoff. For more info, call Community Conservancy International at 310-475-0797.


Field Trips

For more information or to make a reservation, contact Sarah Jayne at 949-552-0691 or

July 12-13 (Saturday, Sunday)—San Bernadino Mountains, Crab Flat/Green Valley Lake Area

We have been invited once again to the Parker cabin for an overnight stay. Possibilities for exploration take off in all directions. Among our discoveries in previous visits have been glorious Lemon Lilies and California Dogface butterflies in abundance.

We will meet there at 10 AM in order to get in a good hike on Saturday then set off in a different direction on Sunday morning. In the evening, we’ll share a simple communal meal and enjoy the clarity of mountain skies. Feel free to join us just for the day, Saturday or Sunday.

Please RSVP so that we can carpool where possible. To get to Crab Flats via Running Springs, take the 55 to the 91 then go straight to I-215. You can exit on I-10 then take CA-30 to 330 or exit on Highland Avenue, which goes to 330. At Running Springs, continue east on 18. After about 2½ miles, look for Green Valley Lake Road and make a sharp left. After about 2 more miles, start looking on the left for Crab Flats road. A Forest Service sign “Crab Flats 4 Miles” marks it. This pleasant roller coaster road passes several side roads and the Crab Flats campground. Finally at a sign with an image of a backpacker, turn left. Shortly after passing Tent Peg Group Campground, go througha gate. The cabin is to the right. Driving time is about 1 hour 45 minutes.

July 29-31 (Tuesday-Thursday): Telescope Peak, Death Valley National Park

Well above the hot valley floor, the trail to Telescope Peak provides an amazing variety of vegetation and spectacular views. The trailhead is located near Mahogany Flats campground at 8000 feet where we will camp Sunday and Monday nights. Many of the campsites have spectacular views of the valley below.

The Telescope Peak summit is at 11,049 feet; the round trip is 14 miles. Some of the 3000 feet of elevation gain is fairly gradual, but some isn’t—be warned. Temperatures at that altitude are very comfortable even in July, but solar radiation is intense so be prepared for that. The Bristlecone Pines are pretty close to the top and the view from there is an incredible 360-degree panorama, but a person shouldn’t fee duty-bound to go to the top. Still…there’s a rare species of Evening Primrose that occurs only there.

Please RSVP for this trip. We like to know who to expect. To get there, follow your choice of routes to Ridgecrest, an excellent place to gas up. From there, follow signs to Trona (last gas!). From Trona, continue north about 35 miles through the Panamint Valley to a signed junction of Death Valley routes. Take the road signed “Death Valley via Wildrose—rough road”. Proceed about 8 miles up Wildrose Canyon then look for a sign on the right marked Ranger Station and Charcoal Kilns. Turn right onto that road and continue about 8 more miles up the off-and-on gravel road to the Charcoal Kilns. Stop for a little echo experience if you’ve never been there, then continue up the road, passing Thorndike Campground at the 7000 feet. Go on another 1.5 miles to Mahogany Flats. Aside from picnic tables and a porta-potty, there are no amenities. Driving time is about 5 ½ hours.

Local Walks

Laguna Coast Wilderness: 949-494-9352. Open days every Saturday and Sunday 8 to 3.

For walks in the Northern and Southern Reserves call The Nature Conservancy at 714-832-7478.

Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park:

Thomas Riley Regional Park: 949-728-3420

Rancho Mission Viejo Land Conservancy: 949-489-9778

Crystal Cove State Park: 949-497-7647
Docent-led hikes in the backcountry every Saturday and Sunday. Plant walk with Sarah Jayne third Saturday of the month, July 19 and August 16, 9 AM. Meet at the El Moro Ranger Station. Parking is $5



Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Summer Classes 2003

Irrigation Basics for Native Plant Gardens: An Introduction to Drip Irrigation Systems for Water Conserving Gardens
Susan Frommer, Landscape Designer
Saturday, July 19, 9 AM – 2 PM
$55 ($66 nonmembers) Limit: 20

Summer Maintgenance of a Native Plant Garden
Susan Jett, Nursery Manager, RSABG
Saturday, August 23, 9 AM – 2 PM
$55 ($66 nonmember) Limit: 20

Introduction to Foliose and Fruticose Lichens
Charis Bratt, Lichenologist, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
Saturday and Sunday, July 12 and 13, 9 AM – 4 PM
$120 ($135 nonmembers) Limit: 15

Optional Field Trip: Saturday, July 19, 8 AM – 5 PM
$35 ($42 nonmembers)

Montane Flora of Southern California: Summer Field Trips
San Bernadino Mountains: Lorrae Fuentes, Director of Education, RSABG
Saturday, July 19

San Jacinto Mountains: Katie Barrows, Assoc. Director, Coachella Valley Conservancy
Saturday, August 16

All trips are 8 M – 5 PM, $65 ($79 nonmembers) Limit: 12

Tree of Life Nursery Spring Sale!

The April 5th Spring Sale and Benefit for the Orange County Chapter of CNPS was enormously successful! It set a record for retail sales at the nursery and a portion of the profits were generously donated to our chapter. An article in Sunset magazine helped prompt a large turnout of people. The Nursery staff responded courageously, despite being overwhelmed at times. Our genuine thanks to the Tree of Life Nursery and its entire staff for the tremendous effort for this sale and their backing throughout the year! This donation helps assure the 2003/2004 Grants Program will be funded as well as several outreach activities for the chapter.