Apr 1 – Lanny Kaufer on Common Healing Plants

Dee’s notes:

Lanny Kaufer – member of Channel Islands CNPS.  Published 2020 book – Medicinal Herbs of California – Field Guide to Common Healing Plants.  www.herbwalks.com – provides information on walks and other knowledge

Discussion of these plants native to California:

  • Salvia leucophylla (purple sage)
  • Salvia mellifera (black sage)
  • Salvia apiana (white sage)
  • Salvia spathacea (hummingbird sage)
  • Salvia columbariae (Chia sage)
  • Artemesia californica (California sagebrush)
  • Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea (Blue elderberry)
  • Pseudognaphalium californicum (California everlasting) – “maple syrup” everlasting
  • Eriodictyon crassifolium (Thick leaved Yerba santa)

Find a YouTube recording on this meeting at the usual place.


Join CNPS member Lanny Kaufer, author of Medicinal Herbs of California via Zoom on April 1 at 7:30.   Lanny takes us on a 1 hour voyage of discovery focusing on local plants of ethnobotanical importance, i.e., those that have a history of human usage.
His presentation is “Medicinal Herbs of California: [An Environmentally Sensitive] Field Guide to Common Healing Plants.”  The presentation title reflects the attention he gave to native plant conservation in his book, a subject of great importance to all CNPS members.  The talk will discuss his process for choosing and describing the plants with conservation in mind and will focus on native plants of the Coastal Sage Scrub plant community common to the South Coast area.


Lanny lives in Ojai, CA with his wife Rondia and he’s been leading what he calls Herb Walks — interpretive native plant walks and nature hikes — in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles Counties since 1976.  They are called “Herb Walks” rather than “native plant walks” because they focus on the plants defined as “herbs,” i.e., those that can be used for food and medicine.

Lanny has acquired much of his knowledge in field study and collaboration with well-known herbalists and ethnobotanists and has co-led workshops, walks, and expeditions with noted herbalists such as the late Chumash plant expert Juanita Centeno; the late herbalist/author Michael Moore; herbalist/author Michael Tierra; herbalist/author Amanda McQuade Crawford; the late Sidney Yudin; Chumash educator Julie Tumamait and her brother Patrick Tumamait; renowned author and forager Christopher Nyerges; and Professor Emeritus James Adams of the USC School of Pharmacy. His mission now is to pass on this time-honored knowledge to the next generation of herbalists, ethnobotanists, and just regular folks who want to regain their ancestral connection to the plants.

Lanny graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1974 with a degree in Biology and is retired from teaching Science and Special Education at Santa Paula High School. He serves as chief consultant on medicinal plants for the Swimmer Medicinal Garden in Playa Vista.

See his latest ventures at HerbWalks.com and at OjaiHerbal.org, the internet home for the Ojai Herbal Symposium.


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