California Native Plant Society



In this issue: Speaker Series, Message From the President,
Cunningham Marsh, Calochortus tiburonensis
, and Volunteer Opportunities.
Botanizing Nevada and Placer Counties
Shane Hanofee - Botanist
Speaker Series, June 15, 2021 at 7:30pm via ZOOM
Throughout 2020, Shane had traveled far and wide in Nevada and Placer Counties, exploring just about every habitat and ecotype that exists in the notably unique section of the Sierras found in the two counties. Along the way, he documented his discoveries on iNaturalist and Calflora. Through his pictures, he will take us on a journey through the fascinating plant communities to be found there, from the valley floor to the east side of the Sierra. He’ll share tidbits of information and detail the assemblages of flora that make up each one, including notable finds of rare plants, native plants with anomalous coloration, and populations of plants never before documented in those counties.

Shane Hanofee
Shane Hanofee is a self-taught botanist who specializes in the flora of the northern and central Sierra Nevadas. He wears many hats for the Redbud Chapter including Vice President, web editor, and Chapter Council Delegate. In addition, he chairs or co-chairs many committees as well as running Redbud’s social media presence. He produced a series of virtual hikes for Redbud through the pandemic which can be found on the chapter YouTube channel. He works as a Botany Technician in Northern California and grows natives at his home nursery for the Redbud Fall Plant Sale. He lives in Grass Valley, CA with his wife Ashley and their dog, Camus and two cats, Kafka and Bertie.

Speaker Calendar 2021

September: Cynthia Powell, ED,, Entering Sonoma County Plants

October: Saxon Holt, Photographer, Naturehood Gardening

November: Lorenzo Washington, Mycorrhiza and Plant Communities


Follow this link to view past presentations on YouTube


Message from the Chapter President

Summer is here! In June the Milo Baker Speaker Series will feature Shane Hanofee showing beautiful photos and talking about Sierra plants.  This season is a great time to get out to our California mountainscapes to appreciate the higher elevation flowers.  In past years, our chapter has gone on trips to Mendocino National Forest, to the Eastern Sierra and to lakes near Lake Tahoe.  There are so many beautiful places to visit and explore as plants in our own county go into summer dormancy.

Our horticulture group has been hard at work.  After several masked sessions of weeding, tilling and mulching, plants have been installed at another garden on Elliott Avenue near the SRJC.  Our treasurer, Karen Thompson, and other volunteers are hand watering until the irrigation is set up in the fall. After a season or two, most of these plants won’t need additional water.  Out at the Laguna Foundation, the propagation group has been transplanting plant starts into gallon pots in preparation for the fall plant sale.  We are hopeful that it will be an in-person sale, where buyers can mingle and volunteers can help new native plant growers. Mark your calendars for this year’s sale date of October 9th, 2021.

 April Owens, Karen Thompson and Alina Neubel
  At SRJC April Owens, Karen Thompson and Alina Neubel (right to left)

In May the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors decided to postpone the proposed changes to the Cannabis Ordinance and to start preparations for a programmatic EIR.  This will take 1-2 years to complete.  Milo Baker commented out of concern that new widespread cannabis acreage could spring up in the undeveloped hills, as has happened with new vineyard acreage under a similar permitting process.  On the same day, the Board of Supervisors also began a long anticipated study of rules and ordinances that affect tree cutting and deforestation/conversion. This will be a long process but at least staff is forming stakeholder groups for input and will be planning public workshops.  Several of our Board members spoke up during this part of the meeting.  Thank you to all who helped out with these issues!

Wendy Smit,
Chapter President

Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve, Tiburon, Marin County

Home of the fabled Calochortus tiburonensis

(The plants mentioned below were observed around May 22, 2021)

Calochortus tiburonensis_KathiDowdakin
We'd never seen this wildly colored Calochortus in situ, so we thought we'd take a crack at finding it today. Online reports have been tracking its bloom, which had begun only a few days ago. With breezy, sunny and dry weather, I had no idea how long the flowers might last, so tally-ho!

The Phyllis Ellman Trail is apparently the place to find these beauties. The trail can be accessed from Paradise Drive, between Westward Drive and Upupanda Way, with roadside parking. I believe the trail follows a ravine uphill, maybe .5 miles. We instead approached the trail from Taylor Road, believing that we'd be following a traverse, with possibly flatter ground, along the Taylor and Ring Mountain Fire Roads. This was partially true, but there was still a fair amount of up & down on the fire roads. Oh well. The footing is quite decent, and the views of San Francisco to the south, and San Pablo Bay to the north are spectacular.

Calochortus tiburonensis 2 Kathi DowdakinCalochortus tiburonensis 3 Kathi Dowdakin

After passing Turtle Rock (or is it a frog?) and dropping downhill a bit to an odd triangular section,  you'll find a marker for the south end of Phyllis Ellman Trail. Follow the trail north, and within a short space, the surface rocks begin to dominate, and it is there that you will find the C. tiburonensis. The old trail is closed for restoration work, which was obviously less challenging than the newer trail,which leads you up-slope, into the rocks. It's much closer to lots of lilies, but also much harder on the knees and ankles. There are a few lilies to find that you don't have to scramble for, but be prepared for some rough trail. Overall, it's only about .1 miles of rocky footing, but Rob was glad to hear that we weren't going back the same way we'd come.
Triteleia laxa_KathiDowdakindelphinium_Kathi Dowdakin

Besides reveling in the discovery of the Tiburon mariposa lily today (I think we've looked for it in the wrong place and the wrong time on at least three other occasions in the past 25 years), there are a plethora of Triteleia laxa; banks of wind-whipped Madias; a yellow chick lupine; some tidy-tips; buckwheats in white and red; a deep purple Delphinium; yarrow; poppies; gumplant; soap plant; and a couple of white-flowering things I need to research. The grasses are thick and tossing a whole lot of pollen around. The buckeye trees are also in flower. A good day on the slopes of Marvy Marin. There are still a lot of lilies yet to open their buds, so you may have at least another week to catch this show. Have fun!

Kathi Dowdakin

Cunningham Marsh

Cunningham Marsh is a unique wonderland in Sonoma County. This wetland that historically supported a rich and distinctive wetland flora, including endangered plant species and many disjunct populations of plants typical of northern bog-like habitats. Home to one of two remaining populations of the Pitkin lily, Lilium pardalinum ssp pitkinense, a Federally listed endangered species first discovered by Milo Baker in 1949.

CNPS has been stewarding the site for many years, under the guidance of Jack and Betty Guggolz before the easement was established in 1998. After the easement was in place, volunteers continued under the guidance and expertise of Betty Young in maintaining all lily exclosures.

Pitkin Lily

Most work has been weeding and removing blackberry from the immediate vicinity of the lilies. Lily counts have increased 200% due to this work. In several of the areas where Himalayan blackberries were removed, the area was overtaken by purple velvet grass (Holcus lanatus), causing a thick mat of thatch which prevents emergence of any seedlings.

In partnership with the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation and a loyal crew of Milo Baker volunteers, we have mowed the upland annual grasses twice per year, blackberries have been removed around the exclosures protecting the lilies from predators. Exclosures have been added, and some were expanded and enhanced.  Seed was collected from appropriate local native species to create a hedgerow to filter nutrients coming into the site from the west where cows still graze and from landscape fertilizer from the homes on the east. Western azaleas and other wetland plants along with Pitkin lilies were added to the wetland.  Oaks were added to the upland dominated by annual grasses. Planting took place in 2008-2009. Currently, the hedgerows provide a transition from the wetland to the upper area dominated by non-native grasses.

In the last 2 years, a USFWS grant funded the Laguna Foundation in a concentrated effort to control the purple velvet grass and blackberry. The marsh has been transformed. Purple velvet grass has been removed within the exclosures and controlled in the surrounding areas to prevent re-infestation. Jan Lochner and her intrepid team of invasive removal volunteers have been cutting back blackberry, and removing purple velvet grass and other non-natives. 

Updated by Marcia Johnson and Betty Young (March 2021)


Learn more about Conservation!

Get Involved

Volunteer Opportunities

Sonoma County Living Learning Landscapes first Friday of the month at 10am meet 1808 Albany Drive Santa Rosa email or call April Owens 707.331.2070 
Bring: hand pruners if you have them and a mask of course.

Invasive Ice Plant Removal Wednesdays 9:30-11:30 at Doran Beach. Text Invasive Plant Chair Jan 707.569.4724 to find out where they are working let her know you are coming!

Volunteer Opportunities

We invite you to help us share the CNPS mission. We have many ways to get involved from helping in the nursery, on our preserves, with education and outreach and on our demonstration garden projects. Please contact Horticulture Chair April Owens, or Education and Outreach Chair, Virginia Hotz-Steenhoven, (707)528-6030 for more information

stump beach field trip
  Plant Walks/Field Trips

While our Plant Walks and Field Trips are on hold at this time, we hope to be back in the great outdoors in 2021. Sign up for Email Alerts for our Plant Walks and Field Trips.
Contact Ruthie Saia:

Right image: Stump Beach, July 2019, Courtesy of Ruthie Saia.
Middle image: Piles of ice plant at Doran Beach Park, Courtesy of Jan Lochner. Left image:Native plant garden
2021-2022 Milo Baker Board Members


 Wendy Smit   707-481-3765
 Past President:  Leia Giambastiani   707-322-6722
 Vice President:  Liz Parsons   707-833-2063
 Secretary:  Kerry Wininger  707-888-5616
 Treasurer:   Karen Thompson  415-786-6788
 Conservation Co-chair:  Sean McNeil  707-480-2965
 Conservation Co-chair:  Trish Tatarian 
 Director at Large:  Cody Ender
 Director at Large:  Michelle Halbur  707-477-1648 
 Director at Large:  Rosaleen Murphy  
 Director at Large:  Jim Piercy 707-539-3441
 Director at Large:  Erika Erzberger    
 Plant Walks:   Ruthie Saia  707-322-7462
 Horticulture Chair:  April Owens  707-331-2070
 Hospitality:  Karen Thompson  415-786-6788
 Hospitality:  Liz Parsons  707-833-2063
 Invasive Plant Chair:  Jan Lochner  707-569-4724
 Membership:  Susan Dean
 Newsletter Editor:  Caprice Disbrow
 Outreach Co-Chair:  Virginia Hotz-Steenhoven  707-528-6030
 Outreach Co-Chair:  Catherine Lipson
 Plant Sale:  Liz Parsons  707-833-2063
 Programs/Lectures:  Virginia Hotz-Steenhoven
 Interim Progams/Lectures  Leia Giambastiani  707-322-6422
 Nursery/Garden Tour  Betty Young  707-595-1463
 Publicity:   Judith Rousseau  707-326-6454 
 Social Media Chair:  Allison Titus  530-859-5055
 Sales Chair:  Judith Rousseau  707-326-6454
 Website Administrator:  Natasha Granoff
 SCCC Representative:   Wendy Krupnick  707-544-4582
 SRJC Representative  Lynnette Brown
 SSU Representative  OPEN    
 Vine Hill Preserve:  Sarah Gordon  707-833-1243
 Southridge Preserve:  Michelle Karle
 Rincon Ridge Park:  Michelle Karle
 Cunningham Marsh:  Marcia Johnson  707-829-3808



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