The Orange County Chapter of The California Native Plant Society provides speakers on the topic of native plants.

OCCNPS is a non-profit organization of volunteers devoted to the conservation of California’s native plants and their natural habitats, and to increasing the understanding, appreciation, and horticultural use of our native plants. Through our activities we fund native plant outreach efforts, research and educational grants, field studies, symposium, conservation efforts and other important work.

Our programs are best suited for groups with an interest in California native plants, local natural history, the outdoors and similar topics. Because our programs are presented by volunteers, availability varies. Please inquire with your program preference, but also include one or two alternatives where possible.

Our requested donation helps fund our outreach, conservation and education efforts and helps to offset the travel costs of our speaker’s.

For more information or to schedule a presentation please contact us.

Our current program offerings:

Emergent Invasive Plants in Orange County                                                                                       Suggested donation - $100

30-60 Minutes, Ron Vanderhoff

This important presentation briefly discusses the issue of invasive plants in Orange County and specifically the actions taken by OCCNPS. The program, which was presented at The California Invasive Plant Council's Annual Symposium, provides an overview of our chapter model of early detection and effective response to emergent invasive weeds. If desired, the individual plants currently determined as Emergent Invasives in Orange County can be profiled and discussed for the group, complete with photos and identification highlights. This program is especially useful for local land managers, naturalist groups, public agencies involved in resource management, volunteer and land steward organizations.

Powerpoint/Keynote and Plant Profile Handout


Color with Natives in the Off Season                                                                                                   Suggested donation - $100

45-60 Minutes, Ron Vanderhoff

This illustrated talk will discuss the occasional misconception that California Native plants may not be attractive in their “off” season. Flowers, foliage, fruit and many other aspects will be highlighted. A few of our native plant habitats will be explained, helping to understand the “cycle of bloom” from coast to foothills to mountains and even deserts.


Goldilocks Native Plant List for Orange County Gardens                                                                  Suggested donation - $100

45-60 Minutes, Brad Jenkins                                                                            

Native plants are intriguing, but sometimes they are too much this or too little that for urban gardens. The Goldilocks List presents plants with a “just right” balance of aesthetics, low water use, year-round color, maintenance simplicity, value to wildlife, nativeness, and availability for Orange County gardens.

                                                                                                                                           PowerPoint/Keynote and Handout List

Native Adventures                                                                                                                                 Suggested donation - $100

45-60 Minutes, Ron Vanderhoff

Ron Vanderhoff is a prolific native plant explorer. In this presentation he will profile a few of his more interesting and entertaining local botanical trips. From the Orange County coast to the highest peaks he will discuss a selection of our native plants and many of the adventures involved in attempting to locate or re-locate them.


Native Gardens: Plant Community Garden Design                                                                            Suggested donation - $100

45-60 Minutes, Laura Camp

Using the philosophy of natural plant communities as a basis for garden design, this talk includes examples of beautiful, natural California plant communities, and great gardens and interesting garden styles from throughout the world. It provides examples of native plants that can be adapted to many styles, and inspires you to bring our incomparable California heritage into our gardens

Laura is the President of the board of the California Native Plant Society. She is an avid hiker, photographer and native plant enthusiast, and works at Tree of Life Nursery, the renowned specialty nursery in San Juan Capistrano. All native plants, all the time!


Native Plants for the Small Garden                                                                                                     Suggested donation - $100

45-60 minutes, Celia Kutcher

A "small" garden can be anything from a large container to an average-sized yard.  This talk depicts and discusses landscape uses of some of the many California natives that are inherently small and/or don't mind being kept within the bounds of a small garden.  Accompanying handouts extend the ideas and the choices.


Orange County's Native Plants: Preservation and Challenges                                                          Suggested donation - $100
45-60 minutes, Celia Kutcher

About 144,000 acres--or about one-fifth of Orange County's total acreage--are protected natural open space.  These acres are essentially all the natural open space that Orange County will ever have.  This talk explores the many challenges to--and some opportunities for--maintaining and enhancing these lands, with an emphasis on the role of Orange County's native plants.


The Dudleya’s - Live-Forevers of Orange County                                                                                Suggested donation - $100

45-60 Minutes, Ron Vanderhoff

This illustrated talk will introduce the audience to one of our most interesting and loved group of local native plants – the Dudleya’s, or “Live-forevers”. All seven of our Orange County species will be discussed with beautiful photography from here in Orange County. Habitat preferences, conservation issues, general distribution and more will be provided.


The Eco-system Garden: How Native Plants Make the Best Neighbors for Your Edibles                 Suggested donation - $100

45-60 Minutes, Thea Gavin

Learn about Eco-system Gardening, a “new, old” way to enhance your edible garden efforts by creating nearby habitat with California native plants. Sustainable techniques for dealing with water, kitchen scraps, and green waste will also be explored, with plenty of images to inspire you.


Wild Plants, Places, and Poems: Celebrating OC’s Natural History in Words and Images             Suggested donation - $100

45-60 Minutes, Thea Gavin

Our nearby sage-scented foothills—and the plants and creatures that make their homes there—have inspired Orange County poet-naturalist Thea Gavin to create this presentation of words and images to share the beauty of our local wild places. Via her vivid, accessible, and sometimes humorous poetry, you will meet an enticing sample of some of our lesser-known Orange County neighbors—and perhaps be inspired to go on your own adventure and create your own wild stories.   


2018 CNPS Conservation Conference Travel Grant

Congratulations to Marlee Antill, James Bailey, Rebecca Crow, Hailey Laskey, and Wilnelia Ricart, winners of our 2018 CNPS Conservation Conference Student Travel Grant! We look forward to seeing them at the Conference next February. 

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