California Native Plant Society
San Gabriel Mountains Chapter

Events and news


Both members and visitors are welcome at our regular meetings, held at Eaton Canyon Nature Center beginning at 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month except July, August, November, and December. The meetings are preceded from 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. by social time and informal plant identification.

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 7:30 p.m.: Talks from two of our members: Katie Gallagher and Keir Morse were two of the recipients of a stipend from our chapter to attend the CNPA Conservation Conference in February 2018.

Tamarisk control in maritime succulent scrub: Method refinement for region-wide control in Baja California with Katie Gallagher: Tamarisk or saltcedar is an invasive tree that grows all over the deserts of North America. It grows in maritime succulent scrub habitat, an ecosystem in Baja California that is dominated by drought deciduous shrubs and succulents. Katie Gallagher is experimenting with tamarisk populations on nature preserves to find control methods that are the least impactful to the ecosystem. Which equipment and how much manpower is needed? What is the most effective way to cut and treat the trees? After mapping, performing a pilot treatment, and monitoring success, the results are in! We are on our way to controlling the tamarisk populations for the benefit of the land.

Katie Gallagher is a professional botanist at an environmental consulting company in Pasadena, California. She has a decade of experience studying and working with plants inside and outside of California. Her passion is exploring the flora of unfamiliar lands, including Baja California, and she enjoys volunteering her skills for conservation and habitat restoration.

Bush Mallows — The Genus Malocothamnus with Keir Morse: Malacothamnus is a genus of fire-following shrubs native to California, Arizona, and Baja California. Delineation of taxa within the genus is controversial due to many overlapping morphological characteristics. This in turn makes identification difficult. This presentation gives an introduction to the genus, focusing on characteristics that can be useful for identification and avenues that Kier intends to research to resolve the taxonomy.

Keir Morse is a PhD student at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden / Claremont Graduate University studying the taxonomy of the genus Malacothamnus. He has 21 years of experience as a professional field botanist throughout much of the U.S., but mostly in California. He is well known for his diagnostic botanical photography and has over ~36,000 photos available on the Calphotos website to help people with plant identification.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018, 7:30 p.m.: Rare plants of the high San Gabriel Mountains: Oreonana vestita (woolly mountain parsley) and its associates, with Jane Tirrell: The woolly mountain parsley, Oreonana vestita (Apiaceae), California Native Plant Rank 1B.3, occurs primarily on ridges and summits that are intermittently covered with snow during the winter and spring. A study of this plant and its habitat may yield information on how plants adapt to climate change. O. vestita occurs over a wide elevation range, from 5,200 to 10,060 feet above sea level, and is associated with different plant communities according to the elevation. This talk will discuss O. vestita's natural history and phenology (the timing of events such as flowering and fruiting) and will showcase associated plants and trees across this elevation range with a focus on rare plants.

Jane Tirrell became interested in native plants when she retired in 2010 from Keck Graduate Institute (one of the Claremont Colleges), where she had been Associate Dean of Faculty. She joined the California Native Plant Society that same year and became a participant in our chapter's Lily Spring Area Survey. The Lily Spring Area Survey was a phenology study and plant species survey that compared observations made in 2010 to 2012 with those made in 1981. Her degrees are in biology and chemistry (BA Wellesley College) and biochemistry (PhD University of Massachusetts at Amherst). Her interest in Oreonana vestita and other plants at high elevation in the San Gabriel Mountains grew out of the Lily Spring Area Survey. Jane is our chapter's current treasurer.

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Past programs of our chapter: See the Past Events page.

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For a schedule of state-wide events: California Native Plant Week

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Email notification: If you wish to be notified by email of upcoming field trips, please click here to subscribe to our email list.

Leaders: Each outing has one or more appointed leaders. It is not necessary to contact the leader beforehand in order to participate. All you need to do is turn up for the event.

Eaton Canyon Plant Walks

Plant walks are held on the second Sunday of each month except July and August.

Meet in front of Eaton Canyon Nature Center at 9:00 a.m. Then go on a leisurely walk, about 2 hours, through the native plant garden that surronds the Center and into the nearby wild areas. The walk is different each time — what's leafing out, flowering, in seed, etc., determines what your leade will talk about — and different leaders bring drifferent points of view.

Current plant walks: Sunday, November 12, 2017, 09:00

Sunday, December 10, 2017, 9:00

Sunday, January 14, 2018, 09:00

Sunday, February 11, 2018, 09:00

Sunday, March 11, 2018, 09:00

Sunday, April 8, 2018, 09:00

SUnday, May13, 2018, 09:00

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Field outings for 2018

We sponsor outings on occasional dates throughout the year, usually on a Saturday. The walking ranges from easy, typically on wide fire roads, to moderately strenuous, such as on forest trails. If a convenient place is available nearby, we love to picnic afterward. Weather is unpredictable; snow, rain, fire and ice cancel.

Important note: The chapter does not advertise all field trips in the newsletter. Instead we have two levels of field trip, those with dates known well ahead to places expected to be good regardless of the season; and spur-of-the-moment trips organized with 1 to 2 weeks of notice, based on seasonal conditions and notified via this web site, email, and Facebook. This gives us more flexibility in finding wildflowers in bloom or fall color at its peak.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 10:00 a.m.: Nursery tour at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG): The nursery tour includes an overview of the nursery and a brief history of the Restoration Department’s adoption of Best Management Practices (BMPs) and how these pertain to achieving a healthy and sanitary nursery. In addition, you will get to see all growing areas with plants grown from different propagation methods, which include seedlings, vegetative cuttings, and divisions. All plants are located in greenhouses, a shade house, and outdoor areas. The tour will highlight all the BMPs currently being administered in the nursery, which include steaming of pots, utilization of foot mats, testing of plants for pathogens, and sanitization of all surfaces. Plants produced under these practices are used for local restoration and mitigation projects. Following the tour, everyone is welcome to tour the garden on their own.

This tour will be led by the Restoration Project Manager, Billy Sale. Billy recently presented at the 2018 CNPS Conservation Conference, speaking on RSABG’s path to implementing the BMPs to be discussed in the tour. These BMPS have enabled the propagation of healthier plants for restoration and mitigation projects.

Directions: Turn left onto College Avenue from Foothill Boulevard if coming from the Pasadena side. Alternately, turn right onto College Avenue from Foothill Boulevard if coming from the San Bernardino side. You will pass a black gate and find the general parking lot on the left. We will meet at the Kiosk at 10:00 a.m. Please wear closed-toed shoes since you must step on foam-like mats to enter the nursery. Hat and sunglasses may prove helpful as the tour will be partially outdoors. Note that this tour is free.

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Past outings/field trips of our chapter: See the Past Events page.

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Statewide and other CNPS chapter events

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Our chapter becomes involved in projects from time to time. Some recent projects include:

Lily Spring Area Survey: Click here for the Lily Spring Area Survey page.

The Paintbrush Quest: A survey of Castilleja gleasoni, our chapter logo. Click here for the Paintbrush Quest pages.

Millard Canyon Project — a fundraiser in support of Altadena Foothills Conservancy

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Next board meeting: See the Our Chapter page. Everyone is welcome.

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Our 2016 Plant Sale

Held in early November, the next sale is on November 5, 2016, at Eaton Canyon Nature Center. See the Plant sale page for details.

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February-July 2018, Saturday Strolls in the Nature Gardens, with Carol Bornstein: On the second Saturday of each month February through July 2018 from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m., join Carol Bornstein, director of the Natural History Museum's Nature Gardens, on a morning walk through the always-changing Nature Gardens. This will be especially helpful if you are needing to choose plants from the wide variety in local nurseries. Carol will discuss which plants are tough, which are fussy, how much to water, and what kind of plants attract butterflies, birds, and other wildlife to your home garden.

The cost is free with museum admission. The Natural History Museum is at 900 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007. Click here for a flier.

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Volunteer opportunity: Sunland Welcome Nature Garden: The Sunland Welcome Nature Garden, a volunteer native plant garden on Sunland Boulevard at the 210 freeway, is a showcase of local native plants. Stop in and smell the flowers, visit the garden's Facebook page, or contact the garden's instigator Roger Klemm at for more information or to join in the next workday.

Southern California Botanists: See their Field Trips and events page (click here.)

Natural Sciences Section of Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club, 2015 outings: For their current schedule, please see their web site (click here.)

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Click here for the past events page.

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