California Native Plant Society - Orange County

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California Native Plant Society - Orange County

Chapter Meeting: January 2015

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Geology of Orange County and Vicinity

Speaker: Bill Neill

Date: January 15, 2015 (doors open 6:45 pm, Speaker at 7:30 pm)

Location: Duck Club, Irvine (Directions)

The geological history of coastal California is more complex and much younger than most of North America. This results from Southern California's location at the continent's edge, which has been a tectonic plate margin for about 220 million years. The most remarkable event was about 18 million years ago, when sideways movement starting on the proto-San Andreas Fault rotated the western Transverse Ranges, including the Santa Monica Mountains, about 120 degrees clockwise, away from the present coasts of Orange and San Diego Counties, thus forming the deep Los Angeles sedimentary basin.

For the January 15 program at the Duck Club in Irvine, Bill Neill will describe and illustrate the geology of Orange County, in relation to other regions of Southern California. This presentation will provide an introduction to the various sedimentary and volcanic rock units, which can influence native plant communities, and will make the structures and rock types more understandable to the casual observer.

Bill studied geology at UCLA and Stanford University, then was employed about 20 years as a petroleum engineer, and has worked about 15 years as a professional herbicide applicator at controlling invasive wildland weeds in natural areas.

Conservation Report: November/December 2014

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A colony of Stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens) has recently been discovered in Arroyo Trabuco at the edge of Ladera Ranch. Stinkwort is one of California's most serious invasive plant threats, especially in the Bay Area and northern Central Valley. This was the first time it had been discovered in OC. It was found by OC wildflower expert Bob Allen. The population covers about 1.7 acres along a narrow gravel roadway and adjacent footpath in an area just north of the Crown Valley Parkway bridge over Trabuco Creek.

Bob immediately reported the infestation to OCCNPS and within a few days chapter members had mapped the infestation and begun steps to insure its immediate removal. 

OCCNPS’ Invasive Plant Subcommittee, led by Dr. Jutta Burger, Ron Vanderhoff and Celia Kutcher, with Bob’s assistance, communicated the significance and urgency of the infestation to Jennifer Naegele, Chief Restoration Ecologist at OC Parks. Because the plants were already dispersing seed, if OC Parks was unable to act swiftly, our chapter offered to mobilize its own volunteers. With our urging, Jennifer and OC Parks have organized resources to remove this year's infestation. Ongoing removal efforts, combined with several years of monitoring will be needed to ensure complete eradication. OCCNPS will continue to monitor the area. (Many thanks to Ron Vanderhoff for the information in this article.)


Native Gardener's Corner: November/December 2014

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Native Gardener’s Corner-Member’s Tips, Tricks, and Techniques has been a regular newsletter feature since the September/October 2009 issue, offering chapter members and local experts a chance to briefly share information on many things related to gardening with natives. Now that planting season is here, this seemed a good opportunity to share some of the excellent information from past columns.
Here are excerpts from November/December 2009: “Which native plant do you find to be the most successfully grown in a wide variety of landscape situations and “looks good” for much of the year?”

Laura Camp: Arctostaphylos 'Howard McMinn' - Lovely glossy leaves, absolutely gorgeous flowers, hummingbird plant, with terrific bark. It can be pruned every which way, works in clay soil, can take full sun (to quite a bit of shade), and although it can take some peripheral water, it is of course drought tolerant.  Manzanitas are great, great plants, and this hybrid/cultivar is a best seller and sometimes can be found at Home Depot for good reason.

Sarah Jayne: Rhus integrifolia, Lemonadeberry. It's trainable and tractable, produces flowers in late winter and red berries most the summer. Can be ungainly in shape, but can be pruned to fit any situation. Seeds sprout all over, but they are easily removed (when young) To me, it is one of the great, reliable, locally appropriate garden backbone plants.


Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains

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Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains
Robert L. Allen and Fred M. Roberts, Jr

Paperback, 500 pages

Laguna Wilderness Press, July 2013

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Resources from At Home With Natives 2012

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Shared presentations, materials, and links from the symposium: 
Ecotone Studios landscape architecture and urban design
Orchid Black presentation “Green Native Gardens and Water!”
Ron Vanderhoff presentation “Color with Natives in the ‘Off’ Seasons”
Barbara Eisenstein presentation “Caring for a California Native Plant Garden”

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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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