California Native Plant Society

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California Native Plant Society (CNPS)
CNPS logo
Founded 1965
Type Non-profit Organization
Focus Preservation and education
Area served
Mission To conserve California native plants and their natural habitats, and increase understanding, appreciation, and horticultural use of native plants

The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is a California not-for-profit organization (501(c)) that seeks to increase understanding of California's native flora and to preserve that flora. Its "paramount purpose is to preserve wild plants".[1]


The founding of the California Native Plant Society in 1965 was an "important step" in the protection of California's "magnificent native flora".[1] The organization was founded by "some professional botanists and many enthusiastic amateurs".[2]


There are currently 34 chapters and several sub chapters covering the entire state. The organization works largely through the various chapters, although there is a state board. Chapters select particular agendas for their area based on the interests and expertise of members. Chapters conduct regular field trips and are involved in advocacy and conservation of sensitive areas and rare plants in their regions. Members range from amateur plant enthusiasts and gardeners to professional botanists and horticulturists, alongside naturalists, hikers, and nature photographers.

CNPS developed the Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants of California with the guidance of botanist and evolutionary biologist G. Ledyard Stebbins. The publication, which depends on volunteer contributions, is supported by the UCR Herbarium. The Inventory is published every three to five years and is used by the State and Federal government for conservation planning.[3]


Chapters of CNPS organize many events of local significance. In keeping with the public outreach and education mission of the society, these events are often free and open to the public.

  • Wildflower show in spring
  • Native garden tours in spring
  • Native plant sales in spring and/or fall
  • General meetings with monthly or bimonthly frequency
  • Lectures, talks, and workshops
  • Field trips

In 2010, the California Native Plant Society was successful in having the state legislature designate the third week in April each year as "California Native Plant Week".[4] The legislature recognized that "California native plants, being perfectly suited to California's climate and soil, require far fewer fertilizers, soil amendments, or pesticides, and use 60 to 90 percent less water than conventional landscapes".[5]

Some chapters maintain public gardens exhibiting California native plants, especially those of interest to gardeners. The California Native Plant Society also organizes thematic conferences from time to time.


Besides books, bulletins, and posters, the society publishes the journal Fremontia, devoted to botany, horticulture, vegetation in land management, CNPS projects, and related native plant topics.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Schmidt, Marjorie G. (1980). Growing California native plants. Volume 45 of California natural history guides. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. pp. 1–8. ISBN 978-0-520-03762-5. 
  2. ^ Beidleman, Linda H.; Kozloff, Eugene N. (2003). Plants of the San Francisco Bay region: Mendocino to Monterey. BFI Modern Classics. University of California Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-520-23173-3. 
  3. ^ Holt, Judy (Winter 2001). "UC Riverside: Botanical and Related Pest Management Programs" (PDF). Noxious Times (California Interagency Noxious Weed Coordinating Committee) 3 (3). Retrieved 2007-11-07 
  4. ^ Bolton, Joan S. (April 26, 2011). "Spring is a great time to grow native plants". Santa Ynez Valley News (Solvang, California). Retrieved May 1, 2011. 
  5. ^ Evans, Noreen; Adams, Ammiano, Arambula, Bass, Beall, Bill Berryhill, Tom Berryhill, Blakeslee, Blumenfield, Bradford, Brownley, Buchanan, Charles Calderon, Carter, Coto, DeLa Torre, De Leon, Eng, Feuer, Fong, Fuentes, Furutani, Hall, Hayashi, Hill, Huffman, Jones, Lieu, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma, Mendoza, Monning, Nava, John A. Perez, V. Manuel Perez, Ruskin, Salas, Saldana, Skinner, Solorio, Audra Strickland, Swanson, Torlakson, Torres, Torrico, Tran, Villines, and Yamada (August 27, 2010). "California Native Plant Week: Complete text of Assembly Concurrent Resolution 173". California Native Plant Society. Retrieved May 1, 2011. 
  6. ^ CNPS Publications

External links[edit]