California Native Plant Society - Orange County

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California Native Plant Society - Orange County

Chapter Meeting: November 2014

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What can the Flora of Tejon Ranch tell us about the flora of California?

Speakers: Nick Jensen

Date: Thursday, November 20, 2014 (doors open 6:45 pm, Speaker at 7:30 pm)

Location: Fullerton Arboretum,1900 Associated Road, Fullerton

Directions: From the Orange Freeway (57) exit east on Yorba Linda Blvd. Turn left on Associated Road, then left into the Arboretum parking lot. The meeting will take place in the Visitor Center/Education building.

At approximately 270,000 acres Tejon Ranch is California’s largest contiguous piece of private land. Located primarily in the Tehachapi Mountains of Kern County, Tejon Ranch occupies on of the most interesting and complex areas of ecological convergence in the state: the junction of the San Joaquin Valley, Sierra Nevada, Western Transverse Ranges, and Mojave Desert. Prior to 2008, when 90 percent of the ranch was placed under conservation agreements, Tejon Ranch was closed to scientific research. Recent botanical collecting and herbarium based research associated with progress toward a flora of Tejon Ranch has identified many range extensions, and the possible discovery of numerous species new to science. We present current findings from this research and an analysis of the flora of Tejon Ranch in relation to adjacent ecological regions. Preliminary results using geospatial analysis indicate that the flora of the Tehachapi Mountains is more closely related to the Western Transverse Ranges and Mojave Desert than other adjacent regions. This analysis provides a framework for understanding the evolution of the flora of the Tehachapi Mountains and adjacent regions.

Nick Jensen is currently a graduate student at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden/Claremont Graduate University. His research interests include biogeography, rare plants, and biodiversity. His primary research project is the flora of Tejon Ranch, which is centered in the Tehachapi Mountains. Nick is also interested in gaining a greater understanding of the threats to California’s plants, and relationships among southern California Streptanthus (jewelflowers). Prior to his graduate career, Nick served as the Rare Plant Program Director for CNPS and has worked as a botanist for the US Forest Service, Chicago Botanic Garden, and the private consulting industry. Note: Nick received our Chapter’s 2013/14 Charlie O’Neill Grant to support this work involving the flora in and around Tejon Ranch.

Conservation Report: November/December 2014

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A colony of Stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens) has recently been discovered in Arroyo Trabuco at the edge of Ladera Ranch. Stinkwort is one of California's most serious invasive plant threats, especially in the Bay Area and northern Central Valley. This was the first time it had been discovered in OC. It was found by OC wildflower expert Bob Allen. The population covers about 1.7 acres along a narrow gravel roadway and adjacent footpath in an area just north of the Crown Valley Parkway bridge over Trabuco Creek.

Bob immediately reported the infestation to OCCNPS and within a few days chapter members had mapped the infestation and begun steps to insure its immediate removal. 

OCCNPS’ Invasive Plant Subcommittee, led by Dr. Jutta Burger, Ron Vanderhoff and Celia Kutcher, with Bob’s assistance, communicated the significance and urgency of the infestation to Jennifer Naegele, Chief Restoration Ecologist at OC Parks. Because the plants were already dispersing seed, if OC Parks was unable to act swiftly, our chapter offered to mobilize its own volunteers. With our urging, Jennifer and OC Parks have organized resources to remove this year's infestation. Ongoing removal efforts, combined with several years of monitoring will be needed to ensure complete eradication. OCCNPS will continue to monitor the area. (Many thanks to Ron Vanderhoff for the information in this article.)


Native Gardener's Corner: September/October 2014

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Native Gardener’s Corner - Member’s Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

This column is a regular newsletter feature offering chapter members and local experts a chance to briefly share information on many things related to gardening with natives.

Our question for this newsletter is “With fall here, what changes are you planning for your native garden this coming year?”

Answers listed in order received.

Brad Jenkins - “After years as a native plant test area, the whole yard is getting a structured redo. My plant desires and a landscape architect’s design are creating a garden to benefit nature, have low water use, AND be aesthetically pleasing to the neighborhood association. There will be a narrow strip of entry turf for my wife, some edibles for me, a little patio for entertaining, low garden walls for organization, and lots of Southern California natives atvarying heights with flowers during every season.”

Ron Vanderhoff - “I already have a few Manzanita’s in my garden and of course I love them. However, I have a rare African bicolored version Coral Tree (Erythrina coralloides ‘Bicolor’) as well, and as much as I enjoy the odd twocolored flowers, it has to go. Fortunately, I’ve reserved a large Manzanita ‘Dr. Hurd’ from a grower up in Central California and it will be my next addition. Been looking for one for a couple of years can’t wait.”

Celia Kutcher - “I will be replacing a couple of my coastal sage scrub species that have died of old age, and IF there's reasonable rain I’ll sow annual wildflowers for spring color.”


2014 Field Trips

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Almost all field trips are free and open to all, but read the trip outlines to be sure they fit your needs and physical abilities. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, appropriate trail shoes, a camera, a notepad and lots of enthusiasm. A copy of the recently published Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mts. by Robert Allen and Fred Roberts is also very helpful. If you have other field trip suggestions or would like to lead or assist with a field trip, we would love to hear from you. Please email

Important – always check this website for current trip information.

Rain cancels – check this website after 7 pm the evening before the trip for final weather and trip updates.

   Upcoming trips (click on a trip to expand entry and see details):


Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains

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Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains
Robert L. Allen and Fred M. Roberts, Jr

Paperback, 500 pages

Laguna Wilderness Press, July 2013

Free shipping!

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

Books will be shipped promptly.




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Our newsletter is published six times a year and is the best source of information about current activities. The newsletter also contains useful and fun articles.


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