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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.

CNPS Event May 4, Saturday, 11am-2pm: GardenFest, Eastern Sierra Land Trust, 250 N. Fowler Street, Bishop

The annual GardenFest will be held at 250 N. Fowler St. in Bishop on Saturday, May 4, 11am - 2 pm. This free, family-friendly event celebrations spring with plants and delicious food for purchase, a free beer tasting, live music, children's games and much more.

GardenFest will also offer opportunities to learn about ESLT's Eastside Pollinator Garden Project, and how community members can transform their yards or garden into pollinator havens. This project helps keep the Eastern Sierra blooming by enticing native birds, bees, and butterflies to gardens throughout the Eastern Sierra.

For more information, please contact Marie Ring, ESLT's Education Coordinator and AmeriCorps Member, at or call (760) 873-4554.

CNPS Event May 10-13, Rare Plant Treasure Hunt, Conglomerate Mesa BioBlitz

Join CNPS, Friend of the Inyo, and Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden document the flora and fauna of Conglomerate Mesa in order to help conserve this amazing place. Meet us for camping and naturalizing in small groups May 11-12, or explore on your own Friday May 10th through Monday May 13th. We’ll search for rare plants, birds, reptiles, insects, and more and record our findings in iNaturalist. Habitats include stands of Joshua trees, pinyon-juniper, and desert hillsides.

Click here to RSVP and receive additional details.

CNPS Event May 15, Wednesday, 6pm: CNPS Bristlecone Chapter Board Meeting

Location: Eastern Sierra Land Trust, 250 N. Fowler, Bishop. All members are welcome.

CNPS Event May 22, Wednesday, 6pm Potluck, followed by desserts and a program at 7pm: Botanical Explorations of the Eastern Sierra (Local Botanical Research from DeDecker Grant Recipients), Bristlecone Chapter Program; Sophie Winitsky, Trevor Carter, and Isaac Marck, at the USFS/BLM Office Conference Room, Bishop

Three recipients of CNPS Bristlecone Chapter DeDecker Grants will present the findings of their botanical explorations and research of eastern California. Please join us for a potluck beginning at 6pm, and presentations at 7pm with desserts. Bring a dish to share if you can. The three DeDecker Grant Recipients who will present their work are Sophie Winitsky (Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden), a Flora of Adobe Valley, Mono County, Trevor Carter (University of NV, Reno), The changing needles of whitebark pine through decades of collections, and Isaac Marck (UC Berkeley), Systematics of rock daisies of Inyo County. Download flyer to share here.

CNPS Event May 24, Friday, 9am-1:30pm: Lower Rock Creek, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip; Led by Ann Howald

Meet at 9 am at the Lower Rock Creek trailhead in Paradise (at the hairpin turn) next to the old Paradise Resort on Old Sherwin Grade Rd. This is about a mile north of the Inyo-Mono Co line. Carpooling to the trailhead appreciated since parking is limited. On this easy walk up the canyon we will see some interesting shrubs at or near the northern limit of their Eastern Sierra range - desert olive (Forestiera pubescens) and California coffeeberry (Frangula californica ssp. cuspidata); a variety of Mojavean wildflowers, including the only Mono County location for desert thistle (Cirsium neomexicanum); one of the largest Eastern Sierra stands of Ponderosa pine south of Lake Tahoe; and an assortment of riparian shrubs and wildflowers, including Kelley’s lily (Lilium kelleyanum) and stream orchid (Epipactis gigantea). Bring water and lunch to enjoy on the trail. We should be back to the cars by 1:30 pm or so. For more information, contact Ann: or 707-721-6120.

CNPS Event May 25, Saturday, 8am: Northern Owens Valley Springtime Botany, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip; Leader: Jerry Zatorski

This will be an exploration of some wildflower areas between Bishop and Laws. The diversity of habitats from alkali meadows to ancient upland sand dunes to White Mountain alluvial fans will not leave us short on places to explore for springtime blooms. The upland areas have numerous annuals and drought hardy desert shrubs. The meadows down in the river floodplain have an assortment of perennial forbs and grasses. The actual route will depend on where the blooms are happening and will be mostly accessible by roads and some short overland hiking. Expect up to about 5 miles of hiking at a botanist pace which should take us most of a day (6-8 hrs). Participants should bring lunch, snacks, fluids and a pack to carry personal items. Dress for the weather conditions, hat, sunscreen, hiking shoes, appropriate clothes. Bring field guides, hand lens, binoculars, topo maps, and a willingness to hike and explore. We will meet at 8:00 AM at the corner of US 6 and Silver Canyon Rd, just east of Laws. There is an Owens Valley Master Species List available for download on the Bristlecone Chapter web site at, which works well as a paper list or on a small tablet. For more information contact Jerry at

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: 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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