CNPS Redbud Chapter
Native Plant Photos
About Our Chapter
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Spring 2006 Newsletter
Vol 15, No. 2. Apr. 2006
Upcoming Chapter Meetings
Conifers of California
By Dr. Ronald Lanner,
Wednesday May 24, 2006, 7:30 PM
Nevada County Library Community Room
For our May meeting Dr. Ronald Lanner will present a
slide program on longevity in trees particularly as it applies to the
Bristlecone Pine, Pinus longaeva, a tree that may live as long as 5,000
years! His scientific credentials, lively mind, experience in the
field, and this fascinating topic promise to make this a memorable
evening. His major research interests include natural
hybridization in pines, effects of aging on trees, bud development in
pines, and the ecological and evolutionary effects of mutualism of
birds and pines. His books include the outstanding Conifers of
California (1999), Made For Each Other: A Symbiosis of Birds and Pines
(1996), A Guide to the Fall Colors of the Northwoods (1990), Trees of
the Great Basin—A Natural History (1984), and The Pinon Pine—A Natural
and Cultural History (1981). We’ll have several of these titles for
sale at the meeting. A native of Brooklyn, Dr. Lanner, spent many
years as a teacher, forestry researcher, and as the editor of the
Western Journal of Applied Forestry. Dr. Lanner is now retired and
living in Placerville where he is an emeritus visiting scientist at the
Institute of Forest Genetics.
The Alpine Region of the Sierra Nevada
By Roger McGehee
July 27, 2006. 7:30 PM
Nevada County Library Community Room
Join our Redbud Chapter president on an armchair trip
into the Alpine Region of the Sierra Nevada! Roger McGehee will show
slides of this region in Yosemite National Park. Included will be
slides of the largest alpine meadow in the Sierra Nevada and with
slides of both summer and winter at these high altitudes. Animals
as well as plants will be shown. Popcorn and drinks will be provided.
Bring the family, as Roger promises that it will be entertaining
as well as informative.
Directions: The library is located at 980 Helling
Way, Nevada City. At the intersection of Hwy 49 and 20 in Nevada City,
turn west toward Downieville on Hwy 49. At about 1 mile, turn
right at the Nevada County Government Center and follow signs to the library.
Spring Wildflower Show & Native Plant Sale
Saturday, April 29, 2006 • 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM
Sierra College, Rocklin Campus
•Wildflower show—spectacular native plants in bloom
•Wildflower walk with botany instructor Shawna Martinez
•Children’s Discovery Zone
•Native plant gardening advice
•California native trees, shrubs, perennials, and seeds
•Books, posters, and note cards of native plants
•Beautiful color botanical image T-shirts and sweat shirts by Delo Rio
• Great Mother’s Day gifts
For more information, call Frances at 530-265-4838
or online at www.nccn.net/~cnps
To get there: Take the Rocklin Road exit off I-80 to
the west entrance of Sierra College. Go to parking lot S and building S
(first turn on left). Follow the signs.
Sponsored by the Sierra College Natural History
Museum and by and a benefit for the Redbud Chapter California Native
Plant Society of Nevada & Placer Counties.
Prepublication sale Wildflowers of Placer and Nevada Counties
A forthcoming field guide by members of the Redbud Chapter of CNPS
Target publication date, late 2006
Presentation at 10:30 AM
Restoration with Native Plants
Special Program: Nevada County Fire Plan
Thursday, April 20, at 7:30 PM
Nevada County Library Community Room
Steven L. DeCamp, Director, Community Development
Agency, County of Nevada, and Virginia Moran, Biologist, Citizens for
Fire Safety Sanity, will give a presentation on regulations and
ecological issues related to brush clearing.
Topics will include:
•An overview of sensitive plant and animal species of Nevada County
•Current county regulations regarding brushing
•Pertinent state and federal regulations on same Representatives from
the county and CDF will be present. Questions and discussion will
For more information call: 530-272-7132.
Activities of Other Organizations
Save Clair Tappaan Lodge
The next time you plan a visit to the Donner Pass
area, consider staying at the Sierra Club’s Clair Tappaan Lodge. To
stay in business, the historic Lodge especially needs mid-week guests.
The Lodge’s prices for meals and lodging are very reasonable. The Lodge
is located on old Highway 40 near dozens of wild flower and hiking
areas. For more information go to www.savectl.org or phone
Meadow Restoration Initiated by the Yuba Watershed Institute
By Daniel Nicholson
Inside of the ’inimum forest on the San Juan Ridge
lies a sweet little meadow. This meadow is being threatened by tree
encroachment due to fire suppression and by nonnative plant invasion.
Our goals are to reestablish the natural state of the meadow by removal
of encroaching trees and invasive plants, and to provide an opportunity
for the community to participate in local land issues. Work parties and
a Meadow Ecology and Plant Workshop are planned. For more information
call Wendy Bose at 292-3772 or Daniel Nicholson at 288-3304.
Lush New Book
Is a California Gardener’s Delight
Review by Bobbi Wilkes
California Native Plants for the Garden by Carol Bornstein, David Fross, and Bart O’Brien (2005,
$27.95, Cachuma Press, Los Olivos, California)
For more than 25 years, the go-to book on growing California native
plants has been Growing California Native Plants by Marjorie G.
Schmidt. This practical guide, which was the first comprehensive book
on cultivating California natives, has proven to be over and over again
an essential vade mecum for venturing into the world of native
gardening. It is a sensible shoes book, primarily illustrated with
simple line drawings, and deserving to be in the library of anyone who
is seriously interested in growing California natives. But, I must
confess, my head had been turned
by the entrance of a new and much showier book.
Illustrated with 450 color photos, the recently published California Native Plants for the Garden
has coffee table book appeal, while still serving up extensive and
germane gardening information. Many of the photos show inviting gardens
that have incorporated native plants, showcasing how stunning native
plants can be in our own yards. Authored by three prominent
horticulturists, this well-written book covers more than 200 featured
native plants, as well as more briefly describes another 300 species,
cultivars, and hybrids. The primary criteria used in determining which
plants to include in the book were reliability, availability, aesthetic
value, and resistance to insect and
pest problems. The book covers everything from grasses and sedges to
bushes and trees, with ample treatment of my beloved perennials. It
also has separate smaller sections on annuals and
on bulbs. Many of the plants covered in the book have been for sale
over the years at the Redbud Chapter plant sale, and have been
successfully grown in our area. Some of the familiar native plants
described in this book are penstemons, Oregon grape, spicebush,
ceanothus, coral bells, buckwheats, snowberry, and salvias.
In addition to the plant profiles, the book has a number of other
valuable sections. The chapter on designing native gardens nicely lays
out the considerations that should go into planning a garden that
incorporates native plants. A chapter on native plant care contains
vital general information on planting, watering, fertilizing, mulching,
and pruning. In the spirit of “right plant for the right place,” the
authors have compiled 30 different plant selection lists that provide
recommendations of species and cultivars for a variety of landscape
conditions or plant attributes. There are lists for under oak trees,
groundcovers, meadows, attracting hummingbirds, deer-resistant plants,
even one for plants with aromatic foliage. The book also contains
appendices on both places to see and to buy California native plants.
authors admit that buying native plants can be an adventure and require
a bit of research because some native plants are not widely grown. Of
course, an excellent and convenient place
to find a good selection
of native plants is at the Redbud Chapter’s semi-annual plant sales.
The next one is Saturday, April 29 at Sierra College in Rocklin. Julie
Carville, our book chairperson,
will have a supply of California Native Plants for the Garden at the
book and poster tent. This will provide you a good chance to look over
the book yourself, and gain a little inspiration. With the caveat that
I have a particular weakness for books that celebrate nature, I give
this book the
highest rating. It is well worth the price.
Thank you, Suzanne!
Thank you to Suzanne Olive for the use of her artwork
for our plant sale flyer. Suzanne is a botanist, artist, and long-time
CNPS member. Her botanical graphite pencil drawings reveal her deep
appreciation of our Sierra environment and have been included in
several national exhibits.
Let’s Take our Children “to the Woods”!!
By Julie Carville
I just finished reading a book called, Last Child in
the Woods; Saving our Children from Nature- deficit Disorder by Richard
Louv. It confirms what my heart has always told me: that a deep
connection with nature is vital for the mental and emotional health of
our children—and for us adults as well.
I have experienced the
healing and revitalizing power of nature in my own life and with the
students in my wildflower classes for over 30 years. I have had adults
in high-powered city jobs come to the mountains and, for the first
time, write poetry about what the flowers taught them in a weekend
class. I have seen “healings” in children, like the little second
grader who told me that he was “hyper” and had trouble being quiet, but
that now she knew that there was a place where she belonged, where she
could go to be quiet—in nature and with the wildflowers.
Running outdoors (without adult supervision!!) to explore and play in a
vacant lot, to wander in the woods or to build a fort was taken for
granted when I was a kid. Now too many children lack free access to
nature, and instead spend long hours indoors in front of the tv or with
video games and are so overscheduled that there is no time after school
to just play outdoors.
This lack of free play in nature is a concern because something has
changed in our children. We’re seeing children now that are generally
more stressed, who have more difficulty focusing on tasks and who
experience greater performance anxiety than previous generations.
Children with extreme problems in these areas are diagnosed as having
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This condition was
virtually unknown when I was raising my children, but we now accept
drugging these children, without knowing what long-term health problems
they may suffer in the future.
The hopeful news is that researchers are now finding that children with
ADHD improve after being in nature and that many are able to give up
their dependence on drugs entirely. They have found that children in
general who develop a nature connection are better able to focus, to be
relaxed, and more easily make friends. They find that they do better in
school and are just plain happier. Studies show that even organized
sports do not have as positive an effect on a child as does time spent
Edith Cobb who studied and wrote about the effect of nature on children
found that most of the great contributors to society had spent time in
nature as children. These contributors had transcendent experiences, in
nature, that gave them the confidence to be different from the crowd,
to ask questions, to create in new ways and to feel a deep sense of
belonging that carried them through life. So how can we as parents and
grandparents help our children develop these qualities? With the
natural environment we have here in Nevada County all we need to do is
to set time in nature as a priority for our children and us.
Many parents tell me that they take their kids on hikes, but feel
inadequate to “teach their children” about nature. Let’s not forget
that kids teach themselves if given the chance to explore on their own.
Can you remember back when you were a kid, when nature showed you
something that awakened your senses and made you feel alive and excited
about life. Nature was all the “teacher” that was needed. A loving
parent or friend just adds to the fun.
•It is important that children feel safe and at home
in nature. Children will feel safe if you feel safe when you share time
with them. Take your child out under a full moon on a summer night and
snuggle in a blanket under the stars as you listen to the night sounds
or head out together, all bundled up, in a snowstorm to a safe area to
feel the wildness of the wind, the snow, and the cold.
•Go to Bridgeport on the South Yuba River or to the
Spenceville Wildlife Area in April with a magnifying glass to
experience the exquisite detail in a flower or to view “cool” things
that you and your child find.
•Lie on your backs together in a wild place, watching
birds flying overhead and cloud formations moving across the sky—with
•Do as Rachael Carson did with her young nephew—go
into the garden at night with a flashlight (covered with red cellophane
to dim the light) to look for little insects in the grass and to find
the little crickets that make music at night.
•Let your children name the flowers that they find
and learn about the plants later to discover how the Nisenan ”Indians,”
who lived in our area, gathered them for medicine, weapons, or food.
•Find a special place together and return to it again
and again; get to know it in all its different seasons, in the flowers
that bloom and set seed, in the animals that live there or pass
through, in the power of the trees—so that it becomes a place that will
always be in your child’s heart.
•Make sure your child has safe areas where he or she
can go to play with friends, without adults, to develop friendships,
imagination, self-confidence, and creativity.
Expose your children to nature and the rest will
unfold. They will discover that we all belong to something much bigger
and wiser than ourselves and that no matter where we are, we are home.
Just take your children out and Nature will do its magic!
P.S. Learn what poison oak looks like and, after you get home from a day of play, check for ticks!
A Restoration Work Party
By Frances Jorgenson
Friends of Deer Creek had a restoration work party in
Pioneer Park, Nevada City, on Saturday, February 11. I brought 13 trees
that were donated by Redbud Chapter. About a dozen members of the high
school environment club showed up. They were awesome and mostly girls.
Julie Becker removed blackberry vines— roots and all! Others planted
trees—all of them—and others worked on willow waddles. The project is
looking good, especially considering that this wetlands area has been
confined to one little corner of the ball field!
Go to Pioneer
Park and see what we have done. It is at the far end of the park along
the creek and near the parking lot and ball fields. I’ve requested more
donations of plant material from Redbud Chapter for several other
exciting restoration projects by South Yuba River Citizens League, Wolf
Creek Alliance, and Friends of Deer Creek. Contact me if you’d like to
help at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chapter Field Trips:
Late Spring and Summer 2006
All field trips are open to the public and free of
charge. CNPS insurance rules prevent us from assigning car pools, but
we do suggest ride sharing. Parking space at most trailheads is
limited. Field trips will “go” unless it is pouring rain. Bring water,
lunch, hand lens, and sun protection or raingear, as needed.For more
information, call Frances Jorgensen, Field Trip Chair, at 530-265-4838
or e-mail her at email@example.com or check our web pages for updates at www.nccn.net/~cnps.
Bear Valley in Colusa County
This is essentially a car trip with frequent stops involving very little hiking other than wandering around at the stops.
Saturday, May 6, 9:00 AM
parking lot at Granzella’s Restaurant in Williams
Leader: Chet Blackburn
Nestled between hills in the inner Coast Range, Bear
Valley in Colusa County is home to one of the most spectacular displays
of wildflowers in the state. It provides a little touch of what
California was like before before settlement. In good years, a sea of
blues, yellows, and whites roll across the expansive valley floor. Mass
displays of Douglas Lupine, Cream Cups, Woodland Layia, Tidy Tips, and
Owl’s Clover make up most of the floral carpet, but there are literally
hundreds of species to be found there and on nearby Walker Ridge. The
peak of the bloom is generally in late April, but there will still be
plenty to see on our early May trip. After passing through the valley,
we will drive up to Walker Ridge for a completely different type of
floral experience. A number of rare plants occur in the serpentine
soils of the ridge, which separates Colusa and Lake Counties.
Directions: Bear Valley is a two-hour drive from theAuburn Area, a
little less from the Grass Valley area. Granzella’s is approximately
11⁄2 hours from Auburn and Williams is the last stop for gas and
supplies on our trip. Granzella’s is located at 451 Sixth Street in
Hwy. 20 crosses I-5) and is a rather unique place to spend some time
beforehand if you have not been there. If you would like to share rides
from the Auburn area, contact Chet Blackburn at 530-885-0201. If you
would like to share rides from the Grass Valley/ Nevada City area,
contact Frances at 530-265-4838.
Vegetation Workshop at Hells Half Acre
Saturday, May 13, 8:45 AM Rood Center parking lot
Please pre-register for the workshop: 916-327-8454 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. Josie will send you more complete information on
Leader: Josie Crawford
As part of a large-scale effort to define the
vegetation types in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Josie Crawford from
the Vegetation Program of CNPS will be teaching a free workshop on the
Rapid Assessment method for surveying plant communities from 9:00
AM–4:30 PM at Hell’s Half Acre near Grass Valley. We will begin the day
with a tour lead by Josie and Karen Callahan of the unique wildflower
habitat on ancient volcanic mud flows that form the 25 acres known as
Hells Half Acre. The Sierra Nevada foothills project is in its
second year of data collection. We are sampling vegetation types from
Shasta county to Mariposa county with the goal of collecting enough
information to represent the range of plant communities that occur
across the Foothills landscape. We cannot do this without the help of
chapter members who know their habitats better than we do. You know the
unique habitats of your foothill land. As 85% of land in the foothills
is private land, we need your help gaining access to some of these
lands. If you would like to participate in this project in any
way—sampling, locations for unique plant communities, or access to
private land, please call Josie at 916-327-8454 or e-mail at
Cottonwood Ecological, Wildflower, and Bird Walk
Saturday, June 10, 8:30 AM
Rood Center parking lot, return by 4:00 PM
Leader: Don Rivenes
We will be observing conditions twelve years after
the Cottonwood fire that burned 46,000 acres near the Little Truckee
summit near Loyalton, Sierra County. The U.S. Forest Service is
currently being challenged in court over plans to spray 13,500 acres in
Cottonwood with herbicides. Steve Benner, forest ecologist with the
Forest Issues Group, will be pointing out conifer growth conditions
since the fire, and discuss effects of shrub competition on growth.
Vivian Parker of CNPS and California Indian Basketweavers Association
will help with plant identification and talk about impacts of herbicide
use on biota. Don Harkin will provide his usual insightful analysis of
ecological conditions for the area, and Don Rivenes of Audubon will
divert wildflower enthusiasts by calling attention to local bird songs.
Sugar Pine Point Research Natural Area
Saturday, June 17, 10:00 AM
Rood Center parking lot, return by 6:00 PM
or meet at the Yuba Gap Exit from I-80 at 11:00 AM
Leader: Russell Towle
The Sugar Pine Point Natural Research Area of the
Tahoe National Forest overlooks the North Fork American River canyon.
This south-facing, old-growth mixed conifer forest at about 6,000 feet
elevation is bounded on three sides by cliffs. On these rocky cliffs
may be found the Wooly Violet, the Common Juniper, and Kellogg’s
Lewisia, in association with storm-blasted Douglas Fir. The walking
involves a round trip distance of about 5 miles with some climbing on
gentle grades of about a thousand feet in total. We’ll look for bear
trails and other wildlife of this unusual forest of towering Sugar
Pines. Be prepared for some cross country walking in areas without
maintained trails. Russell has lived near and hiked the North Fork
Canyon for many years. He maintains a website about the Canyon—be sure
to browse the wildflower gallery:
Directions: From Yuba Gap we will ride together,
using high clearance vehicles, on Forest Road 19 several miles past
Lake Valley Reservoir.
An Afternoon With Leaves of Grass in the Bear Valley, Nevada County
Picnic and Walk
Saturday, June 24, 10:30 AM Rood Center parking lot
Leader: Virginia Moran
First we will spend time looking at the
grasses. Hike will be off-trail sometimes and bumpyish through a
grass-dominated meadow with at least 10 different native and nonnative
grass species growing in it, including some only typical of wetlands.
General anatomy of the grasses necessary for keying and categorizing
them into various groups and families will be covered. A list of the
grasses we identify will be provided. A fish habitat restoration
project is in progress on certain portions of the Bear River and a
speaker to address this topic will also (hopefully) be supplied. A
reading from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass will take place as we
picnic in the shade of the pines on the edges of the meadow. Bring a
lunch, snacks, and maybe even a blanket because we will picnic in the
shade while Walt Whitman is read aloud. (He would approve of this I
think.) The area we’ll visit is a meadow with trees on the edges, but
little to no cover. It could be hot. Dress sensibly for the weather
including plenty of water, hat, sunscreen, long sleeves, and definitely
wear hiking boots, not tennis shoes. Bring bug stuff just to be on the
safe side. Virginia is a professional botanist and local activist on
matters effecting the environment.
Directions: From the Rood Center we will caravan to
Bear Valley on Highway 20. We will make one stop on the way at the
Omega Rest Area, about 14 miles out of Nevada City on the left, which
is the last rest area before we start the walk. People can also leave
their cars and share rides from here if they so desire. From the Omega
Rest Area we will take the road to the Boy Scout camp and park along
and off this road.
Donner Peak Wildflower Hike
Saturday, July 15, 8:30 AM Rood Center parking lot
Leader: Julie Carville
The Donner Peak hike starts near Lake Mary at Donner
Summit on the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail begins in a forested seep
garden of pink and yellow monkey flowers, orange alpine lilies, crimson
columbines, and lush ferns. It soon opens to a sunlit, rocky trail that
winds its way up the mountain on gradual switch-backs through hillsides
of rock garden flowers. If we hit peak bloom, we’ll see penstemons,
sedums, mallows, violets, lilies, and other beauties in a vibrant
display of color. We’ll talk about Native American uses of plants and
view the delicate beauty of flowers through hand lenses. In about a
mile, the trail levels out and continues on through wet gardens of
lupines and other flowers until we arrive at a notch in windswept,
craggy Donner Peak. We’ll have lunch near the top of the peak with
stunning views of Donner Lake and the mountains beyond. Boots are
recommended for the rocky trail. Distance is about 4 miles round trip,
but the uphill climb may make it seem longer! Bring hand lenses. Julie
will have 10-power Bausch & Lomb lenses for sale for $30. Contact
Julie for any questions at email@example.com.
Squaw Peak and Shirley Canyon
Saturday, July 29, 7:45 AM Rood Center parking lot
$20.00 per person for the cost of the tram ride
Leaders: Sue Graf and Bobbi Wilkes
We will need to leave the Rood Center promptly at
8:00 AM to catch the first tram in Squaw Valley to ride to the top.
After leaving the spectacular tram ride, we will walk about a mile to
the peak and see masses of wildflowers including Lewis’ Monkeyflower,
White-veined Mallow, Showy Penstemons, and Lavender Gilia. We’ll
explore around the top peak at 8,000 feet, enjoy the views of Lake
Tahoe in the distance, then drop down to Shirley Canyon and Shirley
Lake. After lunch and a swim, we’ll hike the three miles down to the
bottom along the creek. The tram leaves every 20 minutes from the
Squaw Valley parking lot and costs $20 (senior discount available).
That’s one way or round trip, in case you don’t want to walk back down
to the Squaw Valley parking lot. This field trip involves some
elevation gain and climbing. It’s a moderately difficult walk over
rocky terrain at times.
We have an overstock of the following posters:
Redwood Wildflowers, Coastal Wildflowers, and Coastal
Shrubs, so we will be offering them at the plant sale or through Julie
Carville (265-4741) at our cost of $6.00 for laminated posters and
$4.00 for unlaminated, plus tax. The regular retail price is $15.00 for
laminated and $12 for unlaminated. This is a real bargain for schools,
organizations, and others.
Sierra Wildflower CD
500 Sierra Wildflowers is the title of a new
CD with photography by Larry Norris, Jim Shevock, and Karen Callahan.
Editor Steve Hartman of NatureBase has added a wealth of information to
the photographs. Multiple photos can be displayed side-by-side on your
computer screen. With audio turned on, you’ll even learn how to
pronounce plant names. Copies will be available at our plant sale’s
book table on April 29.
Calendar of Upcoming Events
April 20 7:30 PM Special Program by Redbud Chapter and Citizens for Fire Safety Sanity:
Nevada County Fire Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Nevada Co. Library
April 26 7:30 PM Redbud BOD Meeting: All members are index . . . . . . . .firstname.lastname@example.org
April 29 9:30 AM Spring Native Plant Sale and Wildflower Show . . Sierra College, Rocklin Campus
May 6 9:00
AM Field Trip-Bear Valley in Colusa County . . . .
Granzella’s Restaurant in Williams
May 13 8:45 AM Field Trip-Vegetation Workshop at Hells Half Acre . . . . . Rood Center parking lot
May 24 7:30 PM Redbud Chapter Meeting:
Conifers of California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . .Nevada Co. Library Comm. Rm
June 10 8:30 AM Field Trip-Cottonwood Ecological, Wildflower, and Bird Walk . . Rood Center lot
June 11 9:00 AM The American River Confluence Festival
Sponsored by Protect American River Canyons . . . . . . . . .
June 17 10:00 AM Field Trip-Sugar Pine Point Research Natural Area . . . . . . . . . . Rood Center lot
June 24 10:30 AM Field Trip-An Afternoon With Leaves of Grass in the Bear Valley, Nevada County
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . Rood Center parking lot
July 15 8:30 AM Field
Trip-Donner Peak Wildflower Hike . . . . . . ,. . . . . Rood Center
July 27 7:30 PM Redbud Chapter Meeting:
The Alpine Region of the Sierra Nevada . . . . . .Nevada Co. Library
July 29 7:45 AM Field Trip-Squaw Peak and Shirley Canyon . . . . . . . . . Rood Center parking lot
Sept. 27 7:30 PM Redbud Chapter Meeting:
Landscaping with California Native Plants . . . .Nevada Co. Library
Oct. 25 7:30 PM Redbud
Chapter Meeting: Introducing the Wildflower Book . . . . . . . .
Nov. 16 7:30 PM Redbud Chapter Meeting: Members’ Night . . .Nevada Co. Library Comm. Rm