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, January 25, 2018, 7:30 p.m.: Pines, Pikas and Pygmy Pussypaws: Flora of Rock Creek, Eastern Sierra Nevada with Joy England: Upper Rock Creek near Bishop, California, is a wonderland for plant enthusiasts. The watershed varies in elevation from 7360 to ca. 13,000 ft. The steep gradient contributes to high plant diversity. Plant communities range from pinyon pine woodland at the lowest elevations to alpine at the highest. Glacial erosion produced striking landscapes in and around Little Lakes Valley, including jagged peaks and numerous lakes surrounded by lush meadows. Previous floristic inventories in Rock Creek recorded a combined 396 taxa but were limited to the Little Lakes Valley area. Joy’s graduate research involved documenting the vascular plant flora of the watershed based on preexisting specimens and new collections. Between 2012 and 2016 she made 1504 collections and examined >1000 historical collections. The resulting checklist contains 591 taxa. Joy will present her findings, which include 32 CNPS-listed taxa and several new county records.

Joy England lives in Claremont and works at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, where she has been for nine years: first as Curatorial Assistant in the herbarium and more recently as Rare Plant Botanist in the Field Studies Program. In 2017 she earned her Master’s degree in Botany at Claremont Graduate University. Joy is a lifelong California resident and enjoys hiking, gardening and exploring new places.

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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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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 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.

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.

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

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Statewide and other CNPS chapter events

CNPS 2018 Conservation Conference: Every three years the CNPS Conservation Conference brings together California’s conservation community for the largest gathering of its kind. Scientific sessions cover a broad spectrum of topics, and special events provide time for collaboration, networking, and fun. The 2018 conference will be held in Los Angeles, at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott. The dates:
January 30-31, 2018: Workshops and field trips
February 1-3, 2018: The conference

Click here for the official conference web page.

As for previous CNPS Conservation Conferences, our CNPS San Gabriel Mountains chapter is offering financial incentives for those wishing to attend, especially students. See the  separate notice for details.

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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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Tuesday-Thursday, November 14-16, 2017: BLM Symposium in Barstow: This is the Native Plant Materials Development and Restoration Symposium 2017. It will be held at the Hampton Inn, Barstow, CA. The workshop is open to the public and free of charge. Speaker sessions take place on November 14-15. Then on November 16 a half-day field trip to the Afton Canyon restoration site, Barstow BLM Field Office. Click here for futher information including registration.

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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