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Winter 2006 Newsletter
Vol 15, No. 1. Jan. 2006

Upcoming Chapter Meeting

The CNPS Vegetative Program
By Josie Crawford, Training Coordinator
Sunday, February 19, 2006, 7:30 PM
Nevada County Library Community Room.

   Redbud Chapter member, Josie Crawford, will show slides at our February meeting and give us an overview of the CNPS Vegetative Program. In early March she will be starting her second field season of sampling and classifying vegetation in the northern Sierra Nevada foothills. Josie wants us to know about the foothill project, what has been accomplished to date, and how chapter members can contribute. Chapters can use the results of the field surveys to define and defend unique or rare vegetative types. Jose earned an MS from Humboldt State University and works with Todd Keeler-Wolf and Julie Evans on the vegetation program. Please note time change from our usual Wednesday to Sunday evening.

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 miles, turn right at the Nevada County Government Center and follow the signs to the library.

Introduction to Plant Identification
By Roger McGehee,
Redbud Chapter President
Wednesday, March 22, 2006, 7:30 PM
Nevada County Library Community Room

   Curious about the plant name changes from the 1993 edition of the Jepson Manual to the upcoming edition? Want to learn to key-out plants? Then come to this program for an explanation of botanical name changes and a “hands-on “ experience in using a key to identify plants. Biologist, Roger McGehee, and several other botanists will lead the session. If possible, bring a book with plant keys, such as the Jepson Manual, A Sierra Nevada Flora, the Sierra Flower Finder, or Pacific States Wildflowers. For directions, see February meeting description above.

   We’re planning a follow-up field trip on March 25 to apply our knowledge. See below: Field Trips.

Spring Plant Sale and Wildflower Show
Saturday, April 29, 2006
9:30 AM to 1:30 PM
Sierra College, Rocklin

Volunteer to help! Contact Frances Jorgensen, Plant Sale Coordinator, at Save the date!

Chapter Field Trips:

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. All trips meet at the Rood Center at 8:30AM unless otherwise noted. For more information, call Frances Jorgensen, Field Trip Chair. Her email is fjorgen @

Sunday, Feb 26:
Ferns, Mosses, and Liverworts
with Roger McGehee and Karen Callahan

Some flowers are just starting to bloom, but the Ferns, Mosses, and Liverworts have been “blooming” since the beginning of the rainy season. Learn about the sex lives of these interesting life forms while keying them out. If possible, bring along “Pacific Coast Fern Finder” by Keator and Atkinson. Meet at the Rood Center at 1PM for directions to the Independence Trail located about 5.5 miles north of Nevada City on Hwy 49. Parking at the trailhead is limited. Independence Trail is mostly level with easy walking for about 2 miles round trip to the waterfalls of Rush Creek. We plan to return to the Rood Center by 4PM. Heavy rain will cancel.

Saturday, March 25:
Plant Keying Field Trip
at Limestone Quarry Trail

Apply what you have learned about identifying plants in a beautiful natural area located just a few minutes from Auburn. If possible, bring a book with keys, such as the Jepson Manual, A Sierra Nevada Flora, Sierra Flower Finder, or Pacific States Wildflower. The  Limestone Quarry trail at 750 ft. elevation is a wide and mostly level trail overlooking the North Fork of the American River with a great variety of shrubs and wildflowers. Coming from the Auburn area, take Hwy 49 from Auburn south toward Cool for about 3.5 miles. Shortly after Hwy 49 crosses the American River there is a left turn (careful!) to the parking lot for the trailhead. Meet at the parking lot at 9:15 AM.

Tuesday, March 28:
Buttermilk Bend Trail
with Bobbi Wilkes

  With spectacular views of the South Yuba River and a profusion of wild flowers and butterflies, hiking the Buttermilk Bend Trail is one of the highlights of springtime in the foothills. The bright orange Tufted Poppies light up the oak-covered hillsides with Lupines, Larkspur, Blue Dicks, Birds Eye Gilia, and many more treasures along the trail. This easy trail is about 2 miles round trip and is located at Bridgeport, South Yuba River State Park, about 8 miles east of Penn Valley and Hwy 20.

Thursday, April 6:
Codfish Falls Trail
with Julie Carville

This trail follows the scenic North Fork of the American River, then turns to follow Codfish Creek upstream to a cascade of shady cool waterfalls. Along the path Tufted Poppies bloom with Cream Cups, Kellogg’s Monkeyflowers, Fairy Lanterns, Yellow Pincushion Flowers and Evening Snow. Trail is about 1.5 miles, rocky and narrow in places, but generally level. Our pace will be leisurely as we identify plants and talk about their uses by Native Americans. Bring a hand lens if you have one, if not, Julie will have them for sale.

   Directions: Meet at the Rood Center in Nevada City at 8:30 AM, we’ll leave PROMPTLY at 8:45 AM. We’ll be back to our cars by 3 PM at the latest. Or meet us at the Park & Ride lot around 9:15 AM, where Canyon Way becomes Ponderosa Way on the south side of I-80, which can be reached by taking the Weimar Cross Road exit (#131) off I-80. Email Julie at if you have questions about the hike.

Death Valley, 2006:

The Sacramento Valley Chapter of CNPS is planning a trip to Death Valley in the next month or two and members of the Redbud Chapter are invited along. Details are pending. For more information, call Virginia Moran at 530-272-7132.

Save these dates for upcoming field trips!

Check our next newsletter or our web pages for updates at

Saturday, May 6: Bear Valley in Colusa County, Chet Blackburn, leader.

Saturday, June 10: Tour of the Cottonwood Burn area, Sierra County.

Saturday, June 17: Sugar Pine Point Natural Research Area, Russell Towle, leader.

Saturday, June 24:Grasses of Bear Valley, Nevada County, Virginia Moran, leader.

Saturday, July 8:Donner Summit Trail, Julie Carville, leader.

Saturday, July 29:Squaw Peak and GraniteChief, Sue Graf and Bobbi Wilkes, leaders.

Activities sponsored by other groups:

Joe Medeiros, botanist and CNPS member, will be teaching an interdisciplinary course entitled “The Sierra Nevada” at Sierra College this spring, 2006. The course’s inauguration was last spring and it was a great success. He’ll be teaching with a serious, scholastic, and conscientious focus on the sustainability and long-lived future of our home, the Sierra Nevada.

    Botanist and CNPS member, Karen Wiese, will be co-guiding a trip to Zermatt, Switzerland, July 1 - 8, 2006 with Going Places! a women’s hiking and travel company. The wildflowers will be at peakbloom! Karensays “Please feel free to contact me for more details”. Her phone is 530-346-7131 and her email address is

Nevada County Fire Plan
Tuesday, January 31, 2006, 7 to 8:30 PM
Nevada County Library, Nevada City

Come learn about the impacts to your property and neighborhood from the proposed Fire Plan. This moderated panel discussion is sponsored by the Greater Champion Neighborhood Association and Redbud Chapter. Panel members will be Kathleen Edwards, California Dept of Forestry, Mark Chainey, Biological Consultant, and Bill Aufiero, North San Juan Fire Dept.

Table Mountain Field Trip, Saturday April 1, 2006, with CNPS members Sue Graf and Karen Callahan. This trip to the spectacular wildflower fields on North Table Mountain near Oroville is sponsored by the Nevada County Land Trust. Please contact NCLT at 530-272-5994 for details.

Name That Wildflower!
An Introductory Workshop on Sierra Nevada Foothill Wildflowers
By Linnea Hanson
Botanist, Plumas National Forest
Saturday, April 8 & Sunday, April 9
, 2006.

  Come join Linnea Hanson in the woods and meadows of Sierra Friends Center for a weekend and learn a simple and systematic way to identify wildflowers. Each participant will receive a copy of the book, Peterson’s Field Guide to the Pacific StatesWildflowers. This workshop is co-sponsored by Friends of the Herbarium at Chico State University and Sierra Friends Center. Workshop fee of $110.00 for the weekend includes the workshop, book, meals, and accommodations. For more information, contact Lisa at 530-273-3183 X 11 or send email to

   The beautiful 230-acre campus of the Sierra Friends Center is located near Newtown Road in Nevada County. Redbuds, if you would like to help with the workshop, contact Karen Callahan at 530-272-5532.

Meet the Board, Part Two

A few months ago, we asked our board members to introduce themselves to our membership. These are a few more of the biographical sketches that we’ve received from our volunteers.

Joan Jernagan, Membership.

   I’m an attorney for the Sacramento Superior Court. I learned to appreciate California’s native plants in 1972, when my parents retired to Carmel Valley and landscaped their property with California natives.  My mother is a long time active member of CNPS in Monterey County.  Her enthusiasm and knowledge have been quite contagious.

   My participation in the Redbud chapter, prior to volunteering to co-chair the membership committee with Marvina Lapianka, has been limited to membership in the Redbud chapter and going to plant sales to purchase native plants for my garden.

   I take great pleasure from the beauty and complexity of the natural environment.  I would like to learn more about growing and protecting native plants and would like to share my enthusiasm for
natives with others. I live in north Auburn, and am also a life member of the Sierra Club and maintain a trail of western bluebird boxes.

Julie Carville, Publications Chair.

   I am a writer, photographer and naturalist who has led botany and ethnobotany field classes for over 25 years for various colleges, institutions and states agencies, including the California State Parks’  “Women in the Outdoors” program and the State Park’s Whitewater Division for wildflower and interpretive training classes for river guides and educators.    I also teach through my own Mountain Gypsy Wildflower seminars. I have traveled throughout Northern California as a professional lecturer and presenter of slide shows on California’s native plants for public institutions and private groups, have taught wildflower photography classes and have been a free-lance writer for various newspapers and magazines, including Sierra Heritage Magazine.

    I am the co-author of several books and the author of Hiking Tahoe’s Wildflower Trails. I was a founder and past President of the Tahoe Chapter of the California Native Plant Society.

Cindy Rubin, Newsletter Production

   I’ve lived most of my life in the Santa Clara Valley and I moved to Grass Valley full-time in 2002.I have a BS degree in Design from UC Davis (clothing and textiles) and a never-quite-completed Certificate of Proficiency in Desktop Publishing from Foothill Community College. Attended University of Washington prior to transfer to UC Davis. Have been earning my living as a page compositor and typographer since 1987 and been self-employed (mostly) since 1992. (A couple more clients would be a good thing.) No children (by choice); never married (not so much by choice).

  Joined CNPS and the Redbud Chapter in 2003 looking for creek restoration information. (I have about 30’ of Peabody Creek in my back yard, where I am working towards replacing the Himalayan blackberries with native vegetation.) In addition to nature and being outside and “making pages,” I also enjoy organic gardening, photography, astrology, quilting, and some cooking.

Cyndi Brinkhurst, Hospitality.

   I have a BS in Biology and I moved with my husband to the Bay Area in 1995 from Saskatchewan. Being a non-native of California provided the interest to learn about all the non-indigenous animals and plants. I became a member of the Santa Clara Valley Chapter.  I also belong to the Audubon Society and volunteer with Friends of Deer Creek, Sierra Nevada Deep Ecology Institute, Animal Save and the Animal Spay & Neuter Clinic.

   My interests are in nature and I found the native plant sales an invaluable way to learn about California’s native plants and the benefits they provide. I’ve become involved with organizing the plant sales because it’s the best way to meet the locals (plants and people) and to keep Redbud Chapter and our plant sales alive.

Marie Bain, Chapter Council Delegate.

   My earliest memories are with my grandma collecting seeds from her garden and the San Bernardino mountains. My mother was an avid gardener also-I must have their genes!

   Gardening has been part of my life as far back as I can remember. When it came time to decide what I wanted to do in life I decided I wanted to design gardens. I studied botany at Cal Poly and UC Riverside. After college and working in a lab, I missed the outdoor work. I worked in nurseries and then started my own design business. I did this for 15 years, loving it. I felt like people were paying me really good money to go play in their yards!!

   Next took me to northeast Mendocino County where my husband and I bought 227 acres of beautiful land. We spent ten years building a house and gardens-with natives, of course. I also started a backyard nursery and sold at the local farmers market.

   A year ago I moved to this area. It took awhile to connect with the local CNPS chapter and at my first meeting, before I knew it, I had volunteered for 3 positions on the board (I am down to 2). My interest in California natives has been a long-running adventure. Most of my knowledge is self-taught. My other interest is in art. I create plant and insect illustrations in watercolors. I have found it to be a perfect marriage of my interests. I have also started up my native plant nursery again on a small scale.

     My vision for the Redbud chapter is to have a dynamic group of people interested in the native plant world and to bring in people we can share our love and knowledge of this diverse and wonderful world with. As we are all new on the board it will be exciting and sometimes challenging trying to find our places. I feel excited and encouraged already!

Frances Jorgensen, Plant Sale Organizer and Field Trip Chair:

    I am a native plant enthusiast and have been a member of CNPS for many years. I always loved the plant sales and would attend just to see the plants even when I did not have a yard to plant them in. As I walk along the trails at this time of year, my eyes are cast downward in search of even the smallest, shyest flower.  Some people refer to this as spring fever, but in the last few years it has become clear to me that my affliction is clearly focused on the rich colors of the lupine, brodiaea, iris, and others that paint the hillsides near my home in Nevada City.  With very little help from me, the CNPS has played a huge role in expanding awareness and appreciation of these priceless jewels that add so much to the beauty of our world not to mention the role they play in the environment.

   I am very pleased that I have reached a place in my life where I have time to devote to this organization.  While I am enjoying getting to know other plant enthusiasts in my community, my focus is on the plant sales and field trips.  I see these two activities as ways that our chapter can reach out to the greater community to educate and inform the public about the value of the native flora.  If you have any amount of time or energy to devote to these projects and would like to help with field trips and plant sales, please let me know.  Even the smallest amount of time is helpful and greatly appreciated.

Rare Plant News
By Karen Callahan

New Rare Plant for Sierra County.

   Tahoe  National Forest botanist, Kathy Van Zuuk, reports that a sizable population of the rare Tauschia howellii was found in 2004 in Sierra County. And, in 2005, even more plants were discovered. This remarkable discovery by Steve Edwards of East Bay Parks extends the known range of Tauschia howellii into the Sierra Nevada. This is a species previously known only from a few locations in Siskiyou County, CA, and southern Oregon. The Sierra County plants were found on private land and TNF is working on protecting their habitat in the Middle Yuba River watershed. Redbud Chapter has written a letter to support the preservation of this rare Tauschia’s habitat.

   Howell’s Umbrellawort or Howell’s Tauschia are common names for Tauschia howellii, a CNPS List 1B species in the Carrot Family (Umbelliferaceae). This plant typically grows on steep northwest scree slopes above 5,500 feet. Umbrellawort has small leathery leaves and small white-to-yellow flowers are found below the leaves.  [All you plant photographers out there—can you feel the rocks in your knees as you try to photograph this one on a steep windy slope?] 

The Search for Stink Bells

    Fritillaria agrestis has appeared on the Redbud Chapter list of rare plants and its common name, Stink Bells, has always intrigued me. I asked Brad Carter, Redbud member and Fritillaria expert, about this plant. Brad has photographed  F. agrestis in several locations throughout its range in the lower foothills surrounding the Central Valley.

    Last March, Brad and I visited locations from Natural Diversity Data Base records for northern Sacramento County and Placer County. The first part of our search took us to a gated preserve next to the Thunder Valley Casino, near Lincoln, Placer County. The ancient vernal pool habitat was beautiful—a gently rolling open terrain covered with native plants. In startling contrast with the vernal pools was the massive casino blasting music into its endless parking lots. We learned from the preserve’s manager that the once-seasonal Orchard Creek in the preserve now flows all summer. Run-off from the Twelve Bridges development and other changes bring increased water through the creek.

   After several hours of searching we finally found a colony of Stink Bells in bloom near Dry Creek on the Sacramento-Placer County line.

Here is Brad Carter’s description of Fritillaria agrestis:

“One smell of Stink Bells in flower and you may well know how it got its common name; the flowers of most populations have an obnoxious odor unequaled by any other Fritillaria in California.   It is also a plant of wide-open spaces; its Latin name, agrestis, means "of fields or cultivated land" and, indeed, it is usually found growing in flat, open grasslands.”

“The 8-24 inch (20-60 cm) tall stem and all other vegetative parts of this plant may be glaucus and gray-green in color or smooth, shiny and medium-green.   The 5-12 leaves, which are relatively wide and have an undulating edge, are clustered at the base of the stem and then become reduced, as they ascend it no more than halfway.   At the top of the stem, 1-8 green-yellow, bowl-shaped flowers are held on recurved pedicels, giving them a nodding appearance.   Inside the flower, the tepals have a central, linear, brown-colored nectary gland.  It runs along the bottom 2/3 of the tepal midvein and continues toward the tip as a brown-colored, linear streak.   The inside surface of the tepals is marked with varying degrees of brown striation, which can show through to the outside of the tepals as brown spots and blotches.  The ends of the tepals are usually slightly recurved and the tips have a small beak covered with a tuft of short hairs.   The style is deeply divided.”

Brad continues with a description of Stink Bells’ habitat and distribution:

  “ F. agrestis grows in heavy clay soils, sometimes on serpentine substrate.  It grows out in the open, among grasses, fully exposed to the sun, which bakes its clay soil brick-hard during the summer months.   It is endemic to California, where it is found in 15 different counties, mostly in the Great Valley and its surrounding foothills, at elevations as high as 2800 feet (850 m), but usually lower than 1600 feet (490 m).   While its range is relatively broad for a wild lily, its populations are infrequent and never very large.  F. agrestis is a List 4 plant in the California Native Plant Society's Inventory of Rare and Endangered Vascular Plants of California, the main threats to it being grazing and development.   It blooms in March and April.”

Volunteer Opportunities

Looking forward to spring!

Share your enjoyment of our native plants and beautiful places with other people and volunteer to lead a field trip or to help with a field trip. Call Frances Jorgensen!

Program Coordinator Needed!

We STILL need a chairperson for Redbud’s educational Chapter meetings. This is an essential position because our evening programs depend on having someone line up speakers or activities for the entire membership and the public. Please contact Roger McGehee 264-4173 if you are interested in helping with our fall 2006 programs.

Upcoming Chapter Meetings

Weds. April 19, will be the next Board Meeting. All members are index. Contact Roger for details.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006: Nevada County Fire Plan. A panel of naturalists will discuss ways of reducing fire hazard on your property.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006:The Alpine Zone of the Sierra Nevada. Roger McGehee presents a slide show on the high country of Yosemite National Park.

Redbud Chapter has a new mailing address:

P. O. Box 818, Cedar Ridge, CA 95924-0818.

 Denney Nolet, Horticulture Co-Chair, is caring for our Chapter’s plants that were not sold at the 2005 Fall Plant Sale. Contact Denney at 916-362-3111 for an availability list and to make an appointment with him. We still have Deer Grass, California Bay, Narrowleaf Milkweed, Virgin’s Bower, Button Willow and several other beautiful species suitable for early spring planting.

Support for Restoration Projects
By Frances Jorgensen

   Restoration may be a misnomer.  Can we really restore our land to its original condition?  Perhaps, “naturalize” is a better description for what various groups around Placer and Nevada counties are trying to accomplish in their effort to be good stewards of our land. 

   Pioneer Park’s naturalization project by Friends of Deer Creek is a good example. Native perennials and grasses were planted along the steep slopes of Deer Creek to replace blackberries. The plants grew well there, including the weeds. The native plant garden at Bridgeport is also doing well and requires some attention each year. And the upcoming Wolf Creek trail project in Grass Valley will involve native plants in the naturalization of the creek environment.

   I’m sure that we have all supported these projects in different ways since this is the very essence of CNPS –the preservation of our native flora. 

   A group of Redbud members would like to find ways to support these projects in a more organized way.  After all, this chapter has resources that could greatly enhance these projects and ensure their success. Why not be involved in these projects at the very beginning?  We know about rare and endangered plants, plant communities, resources for obtaining native plants, and don’t forget our hands-on type members who just love digging in the dirt.

   If you would like to be involved with this new outreach project, let us know.  If you know of groups that are planning similar naturalization projects, let us know.  Contact Frances Jorgensen at or 265-4838.

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Last updated
January 30, 2006