Speaker: Fred Roberts
Date: February 15, 2018 (doors open 7:00 pm, Speaker at 7:30 pm)
Location: Duck Club, Irvine (Directions)
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.
WELCOME to Nick Jensen, CNPS’ brand-new SoCal Conservation Analyst! His job is to bolster the efforts of the SoCal chapters’ volunteers, participate in ongoing collaborative planning efforts with CNPS’ partner organizations, and form new coalitions to ensure inclusion of underrepresented and non-traditional partners. He is the lead CNPS staff person covering conservation advocacy across the 11 Southern California Chapters. This area covers 10 counties and is home to 25 million Californians (64% of the state’s population), with an additional 3 million people in Baja California, Mexico. A BIG job!
VEGETATION TREATMENT PROGRAM
The CA Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (= CalFire) has reissued the DEIR for its proposed Vegetation Treatment Program (VTP), which aims to “treat” (withprescribed fire, mastication and/or herbicides) for “fire resistance” every bit of California’s State Responsibility Lands (SRL)—including in OC.
OC’s SRL are mostly the unincorporated areas in the foothills: i.e. our Wilderness and Regional Parks and Reserve areas. “Treatment” seems to mean cutting and maintaining fuelbreaks along every ridgeline. This is contrary to research that shows that the presence of a fuelbreak, in and of itself, doesn’t stop a fire from spreading; a fuelbreak’s main value is in giving firefighters a place to group (Syphard et al, 2012). A map showing OC’s SRL is Appendix A2.9 in http://bofdata.fire.ca.gov/board_committees/resource_protection_committee/current_projects/vegetation_treatment_program_environmental_impact_report_(vtpeir)/. The map has to be enlarged at least 400% to see the squiggly gray lines that denote the proposed fuelbreaks. Such extensive vegetation manipulation would result in:
1. Islands of CSS and chaparral in a matrix of grassy/weedy strips of fuelbreak.
2. A huge habitat disruption and loss for the myriad birds, insects and small animals that live within CSS and chaparral.
3. A huge increase in disturbance, wide open to invasive non-natives.
Native Gardeners Corner—Tips, Tricks and Techniques This column was first published in the January/February 2010 issue. The subject is timely as despite the absence of rain, we are still in prime planting season. The question was: “Which native plant would you confidently recommend for use in clay soil?”
Gene Ratcliffe—I vote for Festuca californica (California Fescue), a great evergreen grass that does well in heavy clay and even part shade, midway in size between the Nassellas and Muhlenbergia.
Celia Kutcher—Best shrub for clay soil on slopes within a few miles of the coast: Rhus integrifolia (Lemonadeberry). Best for clay soil flatlands: Nassella spp (Needlegrass species). & some other bunchgrasses. But it depends on how clayAey & how alkaline.
Alan Lindsay—The soil in my garden is clay, hard as a rock when it is dry. I have just one Chamise that thrives no matter what I do to it. It's been stepped on and broken, gone without water for an entire summer, and it keeps coming back. I believe its botanical name is Adenostoma fasiculatum var prostratum, which Tree of Life sells as Adenostoma fasciculatum 'Nicolas.' Mine has never gotten more than 3 feet high with a spread of 6 feet. The bloom is nothing to rave about but is abundant for a couple of months and its foliage is always dark green. I think this prostrate Chamise is overlooked as a landscaping plant, especially in clay soil.
Nancy Heuler—Fragaria chiloensis and/or Fragaria californica.
Greg Rubin—Some outstanding performers in clay include Baccharis 'Pigeon Point', Erigeron(glaucus (Beach Daisy), many Sages (S.(leucophylla,(S.(brandeegii,(S.(spathacea,(S.(apiana), many Buckwheats (Eriogonum sp)., Manzanitas (Arctostaphylos) such as 'Louis Edmunds’, ‘Sunset’, ‘Carmel Sur’, ‘Austin Griffith’, ‘Dr. Hurd’, ‘Howard McMinn', California Lilacs (Ceanothus) like 'Joyce Coulter’, ‘Frosty Blue’, ‘Blue Jeans’, ‘Ray Hartman’, ‘Yankee Point’, as well as California Fuchsia (Epilobium, Zauschneria sp).
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.