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Fall 1999 Newsletter


And Photography Exhibit
9:30 am to 2pm at the Sierra College Campus in Grass Valley

We can think of many virtuous reasons why you should grow native plants-like reducing the impacts of development on native plants, restoring natural communities, creating backyard habitat, enhancing your kids appreciation of our native flora---- but the simplest reason, the reason that's most persuasive, is that so many are so extraordinarily beautiful that we just want to bask in their beauty, to satiate our wild hearts with wild gardens.

This year's sale brings to you, for the first time, some of your favorite locally native wildflowers that you admire each spring, e.g., in the Spenceville Wildlife Area or the American River Canyon---your favorite Brodiaeas, the luxuriant Humboldt's tiger lilies, Mariposa lilies, Ithuriel's spear and a dozen other hardy native bulbs. These bareroot bulbs come to you from a new grower in Nevada County---Far West Bulb Farm, the blood, sweat & tears of landscape architect Nancy Gilbert and Ames Gilbert.

Another new appearance at this fall's sale is a selection of native plants from the east slope of the Sierra, favorites of the Highway 80 corridor like fall-blooming rabbitbrush, Mormon tea, the always fragrant sagebrush, and specialties from the Great Basin like 2-needled pinyon pines, apache plume and many more.

Also new this year is a promising new grower of native plants and drought-tolerant perennials that grows a very good product-Sierra View Nursery of Loomis. And if you can't control your compulsion to buy one of everything, Cornflower Farms is bringing a selection of tubelings, liners and other small sizes to keep you in the black.

Photographers Karen Callahan and Richard Hanes just keep getting better. Their photography exhibit of locally native trees, shrubs and wildflowers will amaze you and inform you. The classic CNPS wildflower posters Spring Wildflowers, Sierra Wildflowers, Wildflowers of the Desert and more will be there too along with a selection of books on California's remarkable native flora- Michael Graf's new book Plants of the Tahoe Basin, California's Wild Gardens, the classic Growing Natives by Marjorie Schmidt, Seed Propagation of Native Plants, and a few more.

Note cards by Karen Callahan, botanical t-shirts, bumper stickers, like my favorite " Make some seedy friends-join the California Native Plant Society", plenty of experts on hand to answer your questions about designing with natives, culture and propagation, large-scale restoration plantings, and the Girl Scouts will be looking out for your refreshment needs--- sodas, juices, bagels and muffins. Sounds like a perfect day to me. This is a fundraiser for our CNPS chapter, the proceeds of which all help pay for our local conservation efforts our free, public education programs and our upcoming photographic guide to the flora of Nevada and Placer Counties. Forgive me for bringing up the Holiday season so early, but in this case, buying gifts is good for the environment. Charging by MasterCard/Visa available this year, checks are ok too!

How to get there: (From Grass Valley and points south) take the Brunswick exit off Highway 49, midway between Grass Valley and Nevada City. Turn left at the end of the exit, over the freeway and stay in your left lane. Go through the first light, left at the second light (at the 76 station) onto the Old Nevada City Highway (E. Main St.). Turn right at Sierra College Drive, go approximately 1/2 mile, follow the plant sale signs to the north side of the campus. Bring a box or two to help carry your new treasures.


Friday, September 17, 1999 7:30 pm
And a 6:30 pm potluck !
Seaman's Lodge, Pioneer Park in Nevada City

This workshop is a joint presentation of the Sierra Foothills Audubon Society & the Sierra Club

Flower City.... 1998, the Spring that finally came to Western Nevada-Wildflowers of southern Mineral County, Nevada

by Jerry Tiehm
Wednesday, September 22 7pm
Nevada County Madelyn Helling Library

"The wildflower year of the century" many called the spring of 1998. Magical places in the Great Basin mountains and valleys east of Mono Lake and north of the White Mountains with names like Huntoon Valley, the Anchorite Hills, Teel's Marsh and the Excelsior Mountains were washed in array of colorful ephemeral annual wildflowers, the result of the cool, wet winter and spring of 1998.

The speaker is equally intriguing-Arnold 'Jerry' Tiehm made national news this year and last in US News & World Report (Nov. 16, 1998) and Science News (Jan. 2, 1999) as the discoverer of 19 new species of plants, all from his native state of Nevada. Wait, it gets better.....Jerry Tiehm is the only bellhop in Reno and probably worldwide with a master's degree in botany and the 19 new species (so far) to his credit. Jerry works full time as a limo driver and bellhop for the Peppermill Hotel Casino in Reno, Nevada. On weekends, he "goes botanizing", " I don't really look for plants---I look for habitat". Most of the new plant discoveries are made in geographically distinctive or isolated areas, such as the Nevada Hills where he turned up a new Astragalus, or Lewis Mountain midway between Elko and Reno where he found a new Penstemon clinging to weathered rocks.

In spring of 1998, Jerry and Jan Naschlinger traveled to southern Mineral County, Nevada, east of Mono Lake, and shot seven rolls of film of what he described as "flower city", the best of these shots are the subject of our September 22nd program at the Nevada County Library-but we're sure he'll take a few questions about his new discoveries, or about driving limos.

How to get there: (From Grass Valley and points south) Take Highway 49 past Nevada City to the junction of 49 North (to Downieville) and 20 East (to Truckee). Turn left onto 49 North, go approximately 3/4 mile, turn right onto Maidu Lane to the Nevada County Administration Building. Turn right at the top of hill (Helling Way), following signs to the Madelyn Helling Nevada County Library.

Stream Restoration Planting

Let's get dirty..... join your 'seedy friends'
in the California Native Plant Society
for a day of stream restoration planting
Condon Park in Grass Valley
Saturday, November 13, 9am

In the fall of 1998, CNPS, Friends of Condon Park and the Rural Quality Coalition hammered out an agreement with the City of Grass Valley to mitigate for the impacts of a 1997 timber harvest in the 78-acre park of ponderosa pine forest. Part of the agreement required that the City would use revenues generated by the timber harvest to pay for a restoration planting of locally native riparian species on a small perennial stream that crosses the park near its entrance. The City was also asked to remove, and has done so, the tangle of the invasive exotic Himalayan blackberry (Rubus discolor) that had dominated the creek so it could be restored to a diverse, multi-layered foothill riparian corridor. Cornflower Farms wholesale native plant nursery is providing locally native species grown from seed or cuttings collected in the area. The species chosen for this shaded site include bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), spicebush (Calycanthus occidentalis), giant chain fern (Woodwardia fimbriata), leopard lily (Lilium pardalinum), western ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus), California wild grape (Vitis californica), hoary honeysuckle (Lonicera hispidula var. vacillans) and several hundred bareroot native bulbs. We'll get the City personnel to auger the planting holes, leaving the fun part for us-planting, fertilizing, installing the weed mats and tree shelters and watering them all in. Bring a dish for lunch if you're up to it, we'll bring some deli food from La Cucina. RSVP now or call Carolyn Chainey-Davis if you have any questions @ 530-273-1581.

Saving California's Last Wild Places---

Wildlands 2000:
New Wilderness for the New Millenium
Wednesday, November 24 7pm
Nevada County Madelyn Helling Library

California is renowned for its unique and extraordinarily diverse flora---about 6300 species of native plants are found here, more than any other state and nearly 1/4 of all the plants found in North America. In an area comparable in size, all of the New England states have fewer than 2000 species.

California also leads the nation in endemic species, i.e., plant species that only grow in California. Over one third (36%) of our native plants are endemics, many restricted to a particular locality, habitat or soil type. By comparison, the whole state of Alaska has only one endemic species. California is also renowned for its natural beauty and scenic wonders--- the coastal redwood forests, pristine deserts, rugged coastline and alpine gardens attract millions of visitors each year. Unfortunately, many of California's last unprotected wild places are threatened now by road construction, logging, mining, hydroelectric projects and other harmful activities. Portions of the southern Sierra, the Mohave desert, the Sequoia National Forest and the Modoc Plateau are just some of the wild places now under threat. Without the permanent protection of Wilderness designation, these precious and irreplaceable wildlands will continually be in jeopardy. The California Wilderness Coalition (CWC) is working with numerous other conservation groups, including CNPS, to develop a proposal for the permanent protection of millions of acres of California's most important wild areas. All of these areas are already in public ownership but lacking the protection of wilderness designation to ensure their long-term sustainability. Areas such as the rugged Lost Coast or the floristically- unique White Mountains east of the Sierra Nevada contain some of the wildest lands left in California that must be protected from the degrading effects of road construction and resource extraction. Locally, the Grouse Ridge and Castle Peak areas are proposed for wilderness designation by CWC.

Bill Ritter of the CWC will give a slide presentation that explains the Wildlands protection proposal and answer your questions about why it's important, what's at risk and what we can do to help.

How to get there: (From Grass Valley and points south) Take Highway 49 past Nevada City to the junction of 49 North (to Downieville) and 20 East (to Truckee). Turn left onto 49 North, go approximately 3/4 mile, turn right onto Maidu Lane to the Nevada County Administration Building. Turn right at the top of hill (Helling Way), following signs to the Madelyn Helling Nevada County Library.

Rare Plants

by Richard Hanes

The Redbud Chapter has entered into a Cost-share Agreement with Botanist Carol Witham and the Tahoe and Plumas National Forests. The agreement is to collect information and develop a conservation strategy for the management of the sensitive plant species, Pyrrocoma lucida, the Sticky Pyrrocoma. This is a CNPS List 1B plant (plants Rare, Threatened, or Endangered).

Pyrrocoma lucida is a member of the Asteraceae family and is known to occur in only one place worldwide. It is located in northern Sierra Valley (north of Truckee and Sierraville off Highway 89/ 49). It is a perennial about 10 to 30 inches tall with yellow flowers in a crowded spike-like cluster. Glands give it the name "sticky". It blooms late (July - Sept.) and is about the only green plant seen in vernally wet areas when everything else is brown and dying. Cattle and sheep love it.

This plant is not known to occur in Nevada County, yet. Part of our agreement is to survey likely habitats in Nevada and Sierra Counties for new populations and to provide photographs of the plant and its habitats. Karen Callahan and I have volunteered for the photography and some of the survey work.

If you would like to participate in surveying for this plant, please call Richard at 477-0643, or Karen at 272-5532. We hope to schedule another trip one day before September 18 and need your help. You don't need to be a botanist; botanists are on hand for plant ID. Generally you visit a known population first, get a 'search print' for the plant, and then you're ready to start hunting for rare plant treasures in areas with suitable habitat, under the direction of a botanist of course. If you're not available for the upcoming survey, call or email me if you'd like to participate in other rare plant surveys. Richard Hanes, Rare Plant Coordinator, 530-477-0643 or email:

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Last updated
Sept 15 1999