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, March 23, 2017, 7:30 p.m.: Mariposa Lilies of the Southern California Floristic Province, with Fred Roberts: The mariposa lilies (genus Calochortus) includes about 70 species found in western North America from British Columbia south to Guatamala, with its center of diversity in California.  The mountains, foothills, and coastal regions of southwestern California and northwestern Baja California, Mexico, offer 15 species. The flowers of these bulb-forming perennials come in an assortment of colors and forms varying from the all white globe-shaped white fairy lantern (C. albus) to the brilliant orange of the desert mariposa (C. kennedyi), the reds, whites, and yellows of the butterfly mariposa lily (C. venustus), and the Weed’s mariposa lily (C. weedii). Some species are widespread, others are included in the CNPS Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants because of rarity or threat. Fred Roberts gives us a tour of this delightful group of wildflowers.

Fred M. Roberts, author of Illustrated Guide to the Oaks of the Southern Californian Floristic Province (1995) and co-author of Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains (2013) has been working with native plants since high school. He was the assistant curator of the Herbarium at the Museum of Systematic Biology at U.C. Irvine for nine years, worked as a botanist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, primarily adding species to the endangered species list, and has spent the last 16 years as an independent botanical consultant, author, and artist. His specialties include the flora of Orange County, oaks, lilies and their relatives, and rare plants of southern California.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017, 7:30 p.m.: Berberis nevinii conservation, with Loraine Washburn: Details to be announced.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017, 7:30 p.m.: Mildred Mathais Botanic Garden, with Evan Meyer: Details to be announced

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Thursday, June 22, 2017, 7:30 p.m.: Program to be announced.:

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Thursday, September 21, 2017, 7:30 p.m.: Rock Creek flora, with Joy England: Details to be announced.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017, 7:30 p.m.: Program to be announced:

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

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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 13, 2016, 09:00

Sunday, December 11, 2016, 09:00

Sunday, January 8, 2017, 09:00

Sunday, February 12, 2017, 09:00

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 09:00

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Field outings for 2017

We sponsor outings on occasional Saturdays throughout the year. 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. Email Rebecca Latta, la.chene.amusant[at]gmail[dot]com, if unsure about weather, ability level, or directions.

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.

Field trips for 2017 will be announced here as each is organized.

Saturday-Sunday, April 29-30, 2017: Tejon Ranch Conservancy: Plans are under way for an overnight field trip on the weekend of April 29-30, 2017 to Tejon Ranch Conservancy, the 270,000-acre reserve in the Tehachapi Mountains. The following weekend, May 6-7, is being held as a backup in case of rain on the first weekend. This will be a docent-led tour of this enormous area of biodiversity during the peak of spring blooming. If you are unaware of this spectacular place, check it out at

Each participant must fill out a sign-up form — click here to download the form. Completed forms should be sent to John Thompson, Preference will be given to members of the CNPS San Gabriel Mountains chapter and other CNPS members. A wait-list will be maintained. Also, the Conservancy requests a $40 donation per person.

Plans call for a full day Saturday, beginning early, then overnight accommodations either at a nearby motel or at a primitive campsite on the ranch, and an additional half day of botanizing on Sunday. The trip is also open to those who wish to participate only on Saturday.

Details about camping and motels will be furnished in March, at least one month before the trip, along with details about appropriate clothing and logistics. Please be aware that Tejon Ranch is a remote backcountry area: you cannot enter or leave as you please; distances and travel times can be significant; weather and temperatures can be challenging; and no pets are allowed. The location is about 75 minutes' drive from the Pasadena area. Travel on the Ranch will be provided by the Conservancy, so participants do not need to bring their own special vehicles.

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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

CNPS 2016 workshops: The CNPS Plant Science Training Program specializes in providing workshops for professional botanists, biologists, and ecologists to teach the skills and provide the tools and resources for conducting sound scientific surveys for rare plants, rare plant communities, vegetation, and wetlands. Discounted registration fees are offered to CNPS members.

Further information:
Schedule, description, registration: CNPS workshops and training web page

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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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PlantRight 2017 Spring Nursery Survey: PlantRight works to stop the sale of horticultural invasive plants in ways that are good for business and the environment. Their Annual Spring Nursery Survey extends from February through June 2017. Volunteers to assist in this survey are invited to sign up. To find out about the survey, click here. A webinar for traning volunteers will be held on Wednesday, February 22, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. The webinar will be available subseqeuntly as a recording. Everyone is welcome to view the webinar, whether or not planning to take part in the survey. Click here to access the Webinar & Training Registration page on the PlantRight web site.

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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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