California Native Plant Society

Evening Programs

Madia, a native seed producer. Photo by Brian Dykstra.

“Hope for a Bee, a Forest, and a People Lies in Native Plants.”  Botanist, native bee expert, native plant farmer, and ethnobotanist Brian Dykstra spent last summer looking for an endangered bumble bee in the Trinity Alps, rare plants in the footprint of the August Fire, and access for native peoples to their traditional plants. He will share his journeys and the hopeful trend he found in all three. Register for this Zoom presentation on our website, and see if in-person is an option.  

Field Trips

 March  27, Sunday.  South Fork Trail Day Hike.  Indian Warrior, fawn lilies, hounds-tongue, larkspur, baby blue eyes, etc. should be blooming along this well known trail and the road to it in Six Rivers National Forest east of Willow Creek. We will probably walk 4-5 miles out and back. Bring lunch and water for a long day; dress for the weather. Contact Carol for details: 707-822-2015,

A Carnivorous Discovery

by Carol Ralph

Tiny red specks on the false asphodel stem are sticky. Photo by Dana York

When I encounter in a mountain wet ditch or meadow a compact cluster of flat leaves fanned at the bottom iris-fashion, I feel the tall, straight stem of the flower head, even if it is old.  If the stem is sticky, I know this is Western False Asphodel (Triantha occidentalis).  An observant grad student working on genetic data of plants noticed a suspicious similarity between false asphodel and carnivorous plants.  Noting that false asphodel grows in wet places with known carnivorous plants and that small insects stick on these sticky stems, researchers stuck nitrogen-isotope-labeled fruit flies onto false asphodel and found that within 2 weeks that nitrogen was in the stems, leaves, and fruits of the plant.  Calculations suggested that 64% of the nitrogen in the leaves came from insects captured the previous year on the flower stem.  False asphodel is truly carnivorous, presenting a new version of the sticky trap, and representing a new lineage of carnivory in the plant world.  

Native Plants for the Garden

While the farm stand at Freshwater Farms is closed, our native plants can be bought during our volunteer work hours at the nursery (5851 Myrtle Ave., Eureka) Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  Cash or check only. See website.