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Bristlecone Chapter of the California Native Plant Society

Spring Flower - Mojave Woodyaster

Mojave Woodyaster, Black Canyon,
Photo by Larry Blakely

The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is a state-wide 501(c)3 non-profit organization of lay persons and professionals who share an interest in California’s native plants. The Society, working through its local chapters, seeks to increase the understanding of California’s native flora and to preserve this rich resource for future generations. Membership is open to all.

The Bristlecone Chapter covers all of Mono and Inyo Counties and northeastern Kern County, an area that includes the east slope of the Sierra Nevada, the Northern Mojave Desert, the Inyo and White Mountains, and the Owens Valley. The southern end of the Bristlecone Chapter’s geographically large territory, in and around the Indian Wells Valley, has its own sub-chapter, Creosote Ring.


The May-June 2019 Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter is online - read online or download and print.

The deadline for submitting articles for the next issue is June 15th, 2019.

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Upcoming CNPS Events

Field Trips, Meetings, and other events of interest scheduled for the next month or so – for more events, including non-CNPS events which may be of interest to our members, see our Events Page.

June 8, Saturday, 9-11am: Gardening Inspiration Tour, Eastern Sierra Land Trust

Locals across the Eastern Sierra have been hard at work creating beautiful pollinator-friendly gardens filled with flourishing native plants. During our Garden Walk, you can see these lovely gardens in bloom, learn more about pollinator-friendly gardening, and come away with buckets of inspiration for your garden!

We will be meeting at the ESLT office at 9:00 a.m. to begin the walk.

Questions? Learn more and RSVP by contacting Marie at or at (760) 873-4554.

CNPS Event June 8, Saturday: Botany for Beginners, Mammoth/Long Valley, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip, led by Michèle Slaton

The general public, including adults and kids of all ages are welcome on this field trip to learn some basic skills to get you started in identifying plants. We will focus on learning common wildflowers, starting with common traits used to recognize plant families. You’ll learn how to identify plant parts and how to use a plant key.

Have you ever wished you knew the names of the native plants near your home or on your favorite outings? Do you ever wonder how to figure out a plant’s name? Now is your chance! We will explore places in bloom from Long Valley to Convict Creek and the Sherwins, and get to know the common plants in flower. Experienced botanists are welcome also to share their skills.

We will meet at 9am at the Green Church at the intersection of Hwy 395 and Benton Crossing Road, and carpool to the extent possible. Bring everything you need for a full day in the field. All instructional materials will be provided, but bring a hand lens or magnifying glass, and plant guide/key if you have one. Contact Michèle Slaton (760-920-8693 or with questions. An RSVP at least one week in advance is requested but not required.

CNPS Event June 15, Saturday: Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: Inyo Mountains Hike to Sidehill Spring. Leader: Jerry Zatorski.

This is an excursion as much as it is an exploration of the central Inyo Mountains. The hike starts at 7100' elevation and crosses the crest at 9514' with the spring at 9234' elevation on the eastward slope of the range. This hike will take us from Mojave flora to Great Basin flora in just a few miles. The ultimate goal will be Seep Hole Spring just on the eastern side of the crest with its breath taking views of Saline Valley and the desert beyond. The numerous shrub species and unusual combination of trees species on the crest will be just some of the highlights. If the botanical gods are good to us we may also find, Panamint Mariposa Lily, Calachortus panamintensis, Waxy Dogbane, Cycladenia humils, and some hard to fine Buckwheats, Eriogonum sp. This is a challenging 7 mile hike due to the 2 mile climb out of Mazourka Canyon that takes the most calories, but the rest is relatively gently sloping. Bring lunch, plenty of snacks and water, as this is dry hike, and a pack to carry it all. Dress for weather, hat, sunscreen, hiking boots appropriate clothing. We should be down by afternoon. We will meet at the Citrus Street Park on the south side of Independence at 7:00 AM to carpool, 4WD vehicles recommended. For more information contact Jerry Zatorski at

CNPS Event June 15: July-August Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter Deadline

Today is the deadline for submissions for the March-April Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter to our Newsletter Editor, Elaine Chow, at Contact Elaine with any questions.

CNPS Event June 22, Saturday, 9am: Upper Summers Meadow watershed exploration, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip, led by Ann Howald

Driving and hiking tour of this botanically little-known area south of Bridgeport. Previously grazed meadows, “enriched” montane sagebrush scrub, aspen groves, and possibly conifer forest if we get that far. Meet at the Bridgeport Humboldt-Toiyabe Ranger Station at 9 am. All day trip. Bring snacks, water, lunch, etc.

July 11-14, 2019: Sky Island Flora of the White Mountains, Jepson Herbarium Workshop, Jim Morefield and Dylan Neubauer White Mountain Research Center, Bishop and Crooked Creek. Workshop is full! Wait list only.

The White Mountains are located at the southwest corner of the Great Basin floristic region, and their geologic and habitat diversity, high relief (spanning 4,000-14,246 feet elevation), and proximity to the Sierra Nevada and Mojave Desert all contribute to an unusually rich and well-documented flora of over 1,100 taxa. They are also known for the oldest living trees, the highest point in Nevada, and the third highest peak in California. By mid-July, the subalpine and alpine floras are coming into their peak blooming periods.

Through driving tours (up to 50 miles each day) and easy to moderate hikes (up to 4 miles), participants will have the opportunity to explore the southern half of the White Mountains, observing and identifying diverse plants and learning to recognize various geologic and ecologic settings that influence species distributions and adaptations. Thursday morning, we will start from Bishop and stop at several points up the elevation gradient to our weekend base station at Crooked Creek (10,000 feet). Friday and Saturday will be spent visiting wetland and upland sites in various geologic settings at elevations up to 13,000 feet, depending on seasonal conditions. Sunday morning will include additional field time before our final lunch stop as we leave the mountains.

Accommodations: Shared dormitories with bathrooms.
Meals: Provided by field station.
Transportation: Vehicles must have good clearance and sturdy tires (including spare!). Carpooling possible. High clearance 4x4 with extra passenger space preferred.
Hiking: Easy to difficult: If we go up any steep and/or rocky hillsides, it will be very slowly while we look at plants, and the distances will be pretty short. Participants should use their discretion if they will be able to adjust quickly to hiking at elevations above 10,000 feet.
Start/End: Thursday morning - Sunday afternoon.
Course Fee: $550/$580.

Register for the wait list here.

CNPS Event August 24, 9-11am: the Bristlecone Chapter Annual Plant Sale at the White Mountain Research Center:

This is the largest native plant sale of the year, and yes, we can accept credit cards! Open to the public at 9am. Members can start at 8, and if even you become a member that morning, you can get in at 8am! A wonderful array of native plants is offered every year.  A variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees adapted to our area will be for sale. Here is a list of some of the plants that have been available for past plant sales. Proceeds from the annual native plant sales provide funding for our Mary DeDecker Botanical Grants. The grant program is a fitting way to remember Mary DeDecker’s many contributions to the people and plants of the Eastern Sierra.

CNPS Event August 15: September-October Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter Deadline

Today is the deadline for submissions for the March-April Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter to our Newsletter Editor, Elaine Chow, at Contact Elaine with any questions.

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For more events, including some from other organizations, see the Bristlecone Chapter Events Page

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Facebook Page

The Bristlecone Chapter now has a Facebook Page! If you are on Facebook, head on over and "like" us (or click "like" in the box at left) to get updates in your Facebook newsfeed. While you are there, post a message on our wall, share photos or links of interest, let us know what you think!

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