CNPS Happenings July 2020

By Carol Ralphs

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Evening programs are not scheduled for June-August.  View recent programs archived under the Education tab on our website.  For amazing photos of caterpillars and motivation about the importance of planting native plants see lectures by Douglas Tallamy at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wzcz8dWyBc&t=20s and the first hour of https://youtu.be/oiAnuJ0KPds?t=419 . Or read his new book, Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard.                 

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Field Trips at this moment (June 8) are not permitted.  As soon as they are, we will schedule some!  Stay in touch!  Go on your own field trips.  See the Places to See Plants page under the Activities tab of the website.  Don’t miss the Columbia Lilies along Highway 101 in Del Norte Redwoods State Park.  Share your photos on www.facebook.com/groups/NorthCoastCNPS/.  

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Need Plants?  

A constantly changing selection of our volunteer-run nursery plants is available every day, 12 noon-6 p.m., at the Kneeland Glen Farm Stand at Freshwater Farms Reserve, 5851 Myrtle Ave.(near Three Corners Market).  If you don’t see what you want there, you can ask if we have it by contacting us at northcoastcnps@gmail.com.

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Lewisia, a Star in the Wild and the Garden

Lewisia cotyledon by Ann Wallace

Lewisia, by which we usually mean Lewisia cotyledon, is a truly breath-taking native plant, charged with color, perched in wild, rocky sites.  It has also proven adaptable and hardy in gardens, where hundreds of forms have been selected and developed.  It illustrates two threats to wild plants that develop with native plant cultivation. One is that no matter how easily the species propagates in gardens, it will be poached from the wild.  For this reason you will not find Lewisia growing near roads. Some poachers are scoundrels collecting plants to sell; some are ignorant passers-by hoping to add a free, pretty plant to their gardens.  For this reason I will not announce here where the accompanying photo was taken.  A second threat is that pollinators, those popular, six-legged creatures we all want in our gardens, can carry pollen from our gardens into wild populations, creating “genetic pollution.”  This could happen if your garden is near a wild population of Lewisia, and you planted one of the many horticultural selections of the species. Gardeners can avoid creating this threat by being aware of wild native plants near their gardens, especially rare species, and not choosing plants that could hybridize with them.  This is a complex but real problem, with many unknowns.