California Native Plant Society - Orange County

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California Native Plant Society - Orange County

Chapter Meeting: September 2015

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Wild by Nature: Sowing Seeds for Spring Wildflowers

Speaker: Genevieve Arnold

Date: September 17, 2015 (doors open 6:45 pm, Speaker at 7:30 pm)

Location: Duck Club, Irvine (Directions)

In Southern Genevieve ArnoldGenevieve ArnoldCalifornia, fall is the prime time for sowing wildflower seed in the garden. Our State’s famed spring-blooming annuals provide an array of colors and forms – and perform well in many garden spaces, from meadows to mixed beds and borders to containers. This presentation offers tips and tricks on soil preparation and sowing techniques; and an illustrated overview of the speaker’s most-beloved species. Come and learn how to use California wildflower seeds to create and maintain a stunning native plant garden around your home!

Genevieve Arnold is the Seed Program Manager for Theodore Payne Foundation. Previously, she served as the Seed Conservation Program and Research Plant Collections technician at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. Genny has been working with California native seeds for over 10 years. She enjoys the beauty of the native garden in all its phases, including the magical stage of fruit and seed development as well as viewing California native plants and flowers in their natural habitats on the trails of southern California.

Conservation Report: July/August 2015

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•AT TALBERT:  See, contact

•AT PETERS CYN:  See, contact

ACTION NOW:  If you are familiar with either of these parks, please contact its link, above, to have input into the planning for its future.

ALISO CREEK WATERSHED:  GOOD NEWS!!!!  The new Aliso Canyon Preserve protects two properties, totaling 151 acres, in southerly Laguna Beach. The Preserve is the final open space connection between the south end of the Laguna Greenbelt, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, and the sea. It features generally unsullied terrain of chaparral, grassland, and coastal sage scrub, and allows for several important wildlife movement corridors. Several special status plant and animal species are known within a one-mile radius of the study area.

This land was acquired as part of the Orange County Transportation Authority's Environmental Mitigation Program. The program was negotiated by a coalition of conservation groups led by Friends of Harbors, Beaches, and Parks, to be part of the Measure M2 approved by Orange County voters in November 2006.


Native Gardener's Corner: July/August 2015

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Native Gardener’s Corner—Members’ Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

This column is a regular newsletter feature offering chapter members and local experts a chance to briefly share information on many things related to gardening with natives. Answers are listed in order received.

Our question for this newsletter is: What strategies are you currently using to save water in this drought (gray water, special irrigation heads, smart controller, etc.) and how are those efforts working for you?”

Nancy Harris - “We installed a hot water recirculating pump years ago. It can be set on a timer for the hours you need hot water. We take Navy showers and not every day. Washing clothes every two weeks with new machines. Our whole yard is planted in drought tolerant plants. Unfortunately we have a pool and vegetable garden, which negates the saving of a lot of water. If we ever get some rain we can install a rain barrel for the vegetable garden.”

Joe Gautsch - “Keep water away from drains and the street. Water collection has become 2ndnature for me now. I harvest rainwater on three corners of my house and use it to water outdoors. I keep a 5gallon pail in the shower to catch water until it warms up and use it as toilet flush. I use the dishpan to capture reusable water in the kitchen. I also capture the water from my washing machine and use it on my natives, succulents and trees out back. I am considering a cistern outside of the back bathroom to catch wastewater from the shower and vanity but just in the dream phase now.”


Conservation Report: May/June 2015

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On March 31, OCCNPS member Barbara Boethling discovered Moroccan Knapweed (Volutaria tubuliflora)--one of California's greatest invasive-plant threats--in the Big Canyon area of Upper Newport Bay. Barbara immediately reported it to our Invasives Committee; within hours Committee members had mapped the colony and sent alerts about it to the 6 agencies that cooperatively manage UNB. Within 12 days the Irvine Ranch Conservancy had removed the colony (3,600 plants); IRC will continue to monitor and manage the site for the next few years. 

Local newspapers The Daily Pilot (,0,6141938.story) and Newport Beach Independent ( have covered the action on Moroccan Knapweed, bringing extra attention to the threats posed by invasive plants. 


The Appeals Court has reversed the Superior Court's decision to deny the County’s approvals for the Saddle Crest development. This means that the approvals are reinstated and the development can go forward—and the enviro coalition (CNPS is a member) that opposed the appeal has lost. So has the Saddleback canyons’ and foothills’ natural environment. 


Native Gardener's Corner: May/June 2015

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Native Gardener’s Corner—Members’ Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

This column is a regular newsletter feature offering chapter members and local experts a chance to briefly share information on many things related to gardening with natives. Answers listed in order received.

Our question for this Newsletter is: What is your favorite native geophyte (bulbs, corms, tubers, etc)? Oh, and where did you get them?”

Laura Camp - “I really enjoyed the Redskin Onion—Allium haematochiton (purchased at Tree of Life Nursery). It was pretty and grew bigger and was perfectly adapted to my yard with no water - until a gopher came and ate it. Must be delicious, too!”

Thea Gavin - “Dichelostemma capitatum is my favorite! I collected seeds from my sister's property in Murrieta years ago, scattered them throughout my back yard. Now there are lovely purple surprises of "school bells" ringing around my garden every spring. Last fall I dug up a few hundred corms (and cormlets), nibbled on some, and replanted the rest at home and in the Heritage Garden. Besides being easy to grow, this plant was an important food source for Native Americans--I highly recommend it (and will have corms to share later this year).”


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Our newsletter is published six times a year and is the best source of information about current activities. The newsletter also contains useful and fun articles.


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