The Orange County Chapter of The California Native Plant Society provides speakers on the topic of native plants.

OCCNPS is a non-profit organization of volunteers devoted to the conservation of California’s native plants and their natural habitats, and to increasing the understanding, appreciation, and horticultural use of our native plants. Through our activities we fund native plant outreach efforts, research and educational grants, field studies, symposium, conservation efforts and other important work.

Our programs are best suited for groups with an interest in California native plants, local natural history, the outdoors and similar topics. Because our programs are presented by volunteers, availability varies. Please inquire with your program preference, but also include one or two alternatives where possible.

Our requested donation helps fund our outreach, conservation and education efforts and helps to offset the travel costs of our speaker’s.

For more information or to schedule a presentation please contact us.

Our current program offerings:


Early Detection Invasive Plant Training                                                                                              $300 - $500

3-4 Hours, OC CNPS Invasive Plant Committee

Orange County CNPS training for early detection of high priority non-native invasive plants.

  • Focused training for volunteers, land managers, stewardship groups, agency staff and others 
  • Extensive classroom instruction by CNPS experts, with optional Calflora training 
  • Detailed identification of Orange County’s highest priority invasive plant species. 

This training is ideal for land managers, stewardship groups, public agencies and wildlands support & volunteer organizations. More information is available here or send inquiries to .


Monarchs and Milkweeds: What Gardeners Need to Know                                                        Suggested donation - $100

60 Minutes, Ron Vanderhoff

Monarch butterflies are in peril; but gardeners can help. Western Monarch populations have declined 99% since the 1980’s. Ron will discuss the life history of these iconic butterflies and their current status in California and especially here in Orange County. He will unravel some of the causes of their decline and some of the controversy about their possible recovery. Ron will discuss the butterflies intimate relationship with milkweed, the results of recent Orange County monarch surveys, their endangered species status and how gardeners play an important role in their recovery.

Ron is the General Manager of Roger’s Gardens and the Chair of Plant Science at the CA Native Plant Society in Orange County. He is a horticulturist and native plant botanist with a long history of involvement in local natural history and conservation.

Creating Vera's Gardens: Healing an Abondoned Acreage                                                          Suggested donation - $100

30-60 Minutes, Elizabeth Wallace

Wallace tells the story of how she and a group of volunteers transformed a 12-acre Trabuco Canyon landscape from a weed-filled acreage to a healing California native plant garden sanctuary. Vera's Gardens is a five-home compound (operated by The Teen Project), where women who have been subject to human trafficking and homelessness can go to heal. Wallace serves on the board of the California Native Plant Society - Orange County Chapter, and helps local homeowner associations install California native plants for fire safety, beauty, and water savings. She blogs about nature @

Powerpoint/Keynote and Native Plant Handout

Rare Places - Rare Plants in Orange County                                                                                      Suggested donation - $100

30-60 Minutes, Ron Vanderhoff

This program will show some of the rare habitats in and around Orange County and the plants that occur there. We discuss local vernal pools, waterfalls, mima mounds, serpentine outcrops, rock cliffs, maritime chaparral, San Onofre breccia, mountain peaks and more and the rare plants that occur here, emphasizing the strong connection between habitat and plants. Ron has been hunting the normal and unusual plants of our region for decades and is certainly a native plant expert. He is an OC CNPS board member and active in Chapter Field Trips, Invasive Plants, Conservation and the Rare Plant Committee. He serves on several regional and state committees, is a contributor to The Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains and is Vice President of Roger’s Gardens in Newport Beach.


Emergent Invasive Plants in Orange County                                                                                      Suggested donation - $100

30-60 Minutes, Ron Vanderhoff

This important presentation briefly discusses the issue of invasive plants in Orange County and specifically the actions taken by OCCNPS. The program, which was presented at The California Invasive Plant Council's Annual Symposium, provides an overview of our chapter model of early detection and effective response to emergent invasive weeds. If desired, the individual plants currently determined as Emergent Invasives in Orange County can be profiled and discussed for the group, complete with photos and identification highlights. This program is especially useful for local land managers, naturalist groups, public agencies involved in resource management, volunteer and land steward organizations.

Powerpoint/Keynote and Plant Profile Handout

Color with Natives in the Off Season                                                                                                    Suggested donation - $100

45-60 Minutes, Ron Vanderhoff

This illustrated talk will discuss the occasional misconception that California Native plants may not be attractive in their “off” season. Flowers, foliage, fruit and many other aspects will be highlighted. A few of our native plant habitats will be explained, helping to understand the “cycle of bloom” from coast to foothills to mountains and even deserts.


Native Adventures                                                                                                                                         Suggested donation - $100

45-60 Minutes, Ron Vanderhoff

Ron Vanderhoff is a prolific native plant explorer. In this presentation he will profile a few of his more interesting and entertaining local botanical trips. From the Orange County coast to the highest peaks he will discuss a selection of our native plants and many of the adventures involved in attempting to locate or re-locate them.



The Other Side of the Garden Fence - Learning from Nature                                                       Suggested donation - $100

60 Minutes, Ron Vanderhoff

This program is about being a better gardener, by being a keen observer of how nature does it. If we just look carefully and pay attention, our wild areas will give us lessons about how we might approach our gardens. The fully illustrated program will show plant communities and habitats from throughout Orange County with expert discussion of such 'garden' topics as slope, aspect, water and its seasonality, exposure, soil texture, soil composition, nutrients, insect associations and much more. If your grout like nature and gardens, this is a good choice.


The Dudleya’s - Live-Forevers of Orange County                                                                              Suggested donation - $100

45-60 Minutes, Ron Vanderhoff

This illustrated talk will introduce the audience to one of our most interesting and loved group of local native plants – the Dudleya’s, or “Live-forevers”. All seven of our Orange County species will be discussed with beautiful photography from here in Orange County. Habitat preferences, conservation issues, general distribution and more will be provided.