Fall Plant Sale

Our fall plant sale inventory is sold out! Thank you to every one who made a purchase. For those who made a purchase, plants will be avilable for pickup on Saturday, November 14th from 10am to 2pm at the UCSC arboretum

Check back for updates on our next sale. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.

Field Trip Events

Events Canceled due to COVID-19 Concerns

Habitat Restoration Events

Email or call Linda for meet up location 831.462.4041,

Events Canceled due io COVID-19 Concerns

Habitat Restoration Team

We are a volunteer group working to restore native habitat in the parks and protected lands in Santa Cruz County. Our program provides an opportunity for people to learn about the natural systems that surround them while helping to restore special and wild places.
No prior work experience is necessary, just show up at the park. We welcome individual volunteers from 8 to 80 years, as well as special group projects. Wear comfortable layered clothing, bring something to drink, and lots of enthusiasm! We work rain or shine, but if things get particularly unpleasant, we call it a day. Tools provided; bring gloves.

Contact: Program Leader, Linda Brodman 831.462.4041,

Stop the Alien Invasion
Volunteers Work to Remove Harmful, Non-native Plants

It was 10 a.m. and spitting rain when the volunteers emerged from the warmth of their cars at Wilder Ranch State Park on a cool Saturday in November. They had a job to do: tear out fistfuls of the fleshy, blade-shaped ice plant.

Native Plant Propagation Group

Our chapter has an active plant propagation group that meets monthly. We grow plants for the twice-yearly plant sales.
For more details, go to our Horticulture page.

Arana Gulch Habitat Management Plan
City of Santa Cruz
Year 5 (2018) Annual Report (Final)

Habitat Management continues at Arana Gulch by the City of Santa Cruz with the assistance of the Adaptive Management Working Group of which CNPS is a member.

In 2018 267 Santa Cruz Tarplants were found, an increase from 0 plants in 2017 and 35 plants in 2016. Sufficient numbers of tarplants were recorded to enable seed collection. Seeds were delivered to the UCSC Greenhouse which is growing the plants. Other actions for 2018 were removal of invasive, non-native weeds such as Himalaya blackberry and cotoneaster. Grazing and mowing continue at Arana Gulch to reduce canopy height.

Click here to review the Arana Gulch HMP Year 5 2018 Annual Report

Click here to review the Arana Gulch HMP Year 4 2017 Annual Report
Here is a link to the 2017 Report Appendices

Welcome to Santa Cruz County CNPS

The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is a statewide non-profit organization of amateurs and professionals with a common interest in California's native plants. CNPS seek to increase understanding and appreciation of California's native plants and to preserve them in their natural habitat through scientific activities, education, and conservation.

The chapter meets every other month on the second Monday of the month at the University of California Santa Cruz Arboretum Horticulture Building, located at 1156 High Street. Directions can be found here.

The chapter welcomes all-from the botanists and defenders of the environment to the casual nature lover. Contact any Board Member to find out about the organization. Attend a meeting-you will learn something new!

California Native Plant Society - Santa Cruz County Chapter
P. O. Box 1622
Santa Cruz, CA 95061

Click Here to Join
the California Native Plant Society

Statewide CNPS Chapter Newsletters

At the link below you will find a clickable chapter map which lets you access the latest newsletter from each CNPS chapter.
Check it out: Chapter Map

In Memoriam: Fred McPherson
Environmental Educator Hopelessly in Love with Nature

Fred McPherson

It is with deep sadness that we report the death of Fred McPherson founding member of our chapter, past president, and CNPS Fellow.

Literally and figuratively, Fred McPherson was a force of, and for, nature in the San Lorenzo Valley as well as the Santa Cruz Mountains bioregion. He was a friend, teacher, advisor, and mentor to so many people of all ages. Fred was at home in a high school or college classroom, boardroom, on the radio or in a video, behind a camera, and most of all outside. He recorded his observations in an extensive collection of natural history journals and passed that skill on to anyone who asked. His early passion for learning turned into a passion to educate others and to advocate for the conservation of our natural areas. Willingness to share his knowledge and experience, while enthusiastically listening to people of all ages and backgrounds was one of his most endearing qualities.

Click on these additional resources to find out more about Fred McPherson's life and work.

Fred and Roberta McPherson's Youtube video channel.

BeProvided Conservation Radio - Marcia Sivek's and Grey Hayes' interview of Fred, September 2017

Levity Zone - Bruce Damer's interview of Fred, July 2018

Santa Cruz Mountains Bioregional Council

UC Santa Cruz Society for Conservation Biology: Santa Cruz Chapter

Press Banner

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is home to Fred's natural history accounts of plants, and animals, Natural History of the Santa Cruz Mountains Reader, and Photographs of HCRSP, especially Poison Oak

Fred contributed chapters for the first and third editions of the Hip Santa Cruz book series, edited by Ralph Abraham. All three books are listed below.

Hip Santa Cruz: First-Person Accounts of the Hip Culture of Santa Cruz, California in the 1960s. 2016. Ralph H. Abraham Editor. ISBN 9781944037383. First person accounts from the pioneers of the Hip Culture of Santa Cruz in the 1960s, including: Pat Bisconti, Rick Gladstone, Max Hartstein, Peter Demma, Bob Hall, Fred McPherson, Paul Lee, Judy Hill, Leon Tabory, Joe Lysowski, Ralph Abraham, and Rivkah Barmore. Click to see book launch celebration video

Hip Santa Cruz 2: More First-Person Accounts of the Hip Culture of Santa Cruz, California. 2017. Ralph H. Abraham Editor. ISBN 9781944037871. First person accounts from pioneers of the Hip Culture of Santa Cruz in the 1960s and 1970s, including: Doug Hansen, Pat Miller, Lee Quarnstrom, Lex van Zyl, Stanley D. Stephens, Raven Lang, Jodi Frediani, Rosalie Allen Taylor, Estelle Fein, Gerd Stern, Fritjof Capra, T. Mike Walker, Ralph H. Abraham, Glenn Allen Howard, John Livingston, Ray Gwyn, and Kate Bowland.

Hip Santa Cruz 3: First-Person Accounts of the Hip Culture of Santa Cruz in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. 2018. Ralph H. Abraham Editor. ISBN 1948796503. First-person accounts from pioneers of the Hip Culture of Santa Cruz in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, including: Rick Gladstone, Kate Bowland, Paul Lee, Fred McPherson, Don Monkerud, Ed Penniman, and T. Mike Walker.

Randall Morgan
November 7, 1947 – June 6, 2017

Randall Morgan

It is with deep sadness that we report the death of Randy Morgan, founding member of our chapter, past president, and CNPS Fellow.

Many people have fond memories of Randy, and we are sharing some of them here. Also, see our July August 2017 Newsletter for more information.

The Randall Morgan Collections and Santa Cruz Natural History Initiative was developed in consultation with Morgan himself in spring 2017. The Initiative aims to honor, preserve, and build upon the legacy of Morgan's own projects and collections.

Randy requested that those who wanted to honor his memory do so in the form of a donation to this initiative. Our chapter board voted to donate $1,000. We encourage CNPS members to donate, and match our contribution.

To contribute online go to the Norris Center web site, find the "Support the Randall Morgan Collections" paragraph and click the "Make a donation online" link. This will take you to online donation form, prefilled with the designation "Morgan Insect Collection."

To contribute by check: Make your check out to UCSC Foundation and in the memo section add Randall Morgan Initiative.

Send your check to:
Ken Norris Center for Natural History
UCSC ENVS 1156 High St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

A Sprinkling of Randy Morgan's Major Achievements
(in his own words)

Randall Morgan

Fellow of the California Native Plant Society; founding member and past president of Santa Cruz County chapter.

Research associate, Santa Cruz City Museum of Natural History (SCCMNH) (and employed as taxidermist for SCCMNH ca. 1962-1970).

Publication of An Annotated Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Santa Cruz County (2005).

Discovered many previously unknown or unrecognized plant and insect species, nearly all in California (e.g. Ohlone tiger beetle, Sandhills robberfly, Lockheed manzanita, Scotts Valley polygonum, several rein-orchids, and many clover species). Also re-discovered several species thought to be extinct (Antioch flowerwasp, glabrous popcorn-flower, Scotts Valley spineflower).

Documented the native flora of Santa Cruz County with a collection of 5,000-plus herbarium voucher specimens, along with plant lists for several hundred local sites.

Specialist in Trifolium (clover) systematics. Principal world authority on the subject essentially by default.

Documented the insect fauna of Santa Cruz County with a systematic collection of about 80,000 specimens, 1989-1999 (currently housed at UCSC Museum of Natural History Collections).

Active in conservation efforts since at least 1980, including advocacy for local endangered species and ecosystems. Worked for public and scientific recognition for a number of important and highly threatened local centers of endemism (i.e. biological "hotspots") which had been all but unknown at the time, in particular the Zayante sandhills, Scotts Valley grasslands, and Soda Lake. Instrumental in public acquisition of several parks and preserves including South Ridge, Quail Hollow Park, Westside Greenbelt, Glenwood Grasslands, etc. Education regarding invasive species. Advocacy for observation-based rather than dogma-based ecological practices.


The Santa Cruz County Chapter of the California Native Plant Society is proud to announce the publication of the Annotated Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Santa Cruz County, California, by Dylan Neubauer.

Dylan is a botanist who lives in Santa Cruz County.

Presented in an easy-to-use format, this comprehensive update of the 2005 edition summarizes the latest information on the 1594 vascular plant taxa currently known to occur in Santa Cruz County.

The 166-page, spiral-bound, 5.5 x 8 in. book includes:

  • Botanical artwork by Tim Hyland
  • Maps by Ben Pease-including a new color map of the County showing public lands & Sandhills
  • Detailed instructions on how to use the Checklist
  • An expanded introduction discussing the County's botanical history as well as its botanical "hotspots" and special areas
  • A list of all local taxa arranged alphabetically by family using the latest nomenclature from The Jepson Manual, 2nd Edition & the Jepson eFlora.
  • Locality information for listed & "locally rare" taxa
  • Appendices treating legal rarity status, endemics, extirpated taxa, undescribed taxa, the most invasive non-natives, and more
  • An expanded, 64-page "Notes" section, including tips for identifying difficult taxa, taxonomic issues, habitat information for rare taxa, and more
  • An Index to local plant families & genera with new names cross-referenced to superseded names from the first edition of The Jepson Manual

Click here for Santa Cruz County Checklist errata.

Price: $15.00 + tax/copy. The book is available at Book Shop Santa Cruz, Norrie's gift shop at the UCSC Arboretum, Santa Cruz City Museum of Natural History and Native Revival Nursery in Aptos. Also, you can purchase copies from Cindy Hudson, email Cindy at cndy_hudson@yahoo.com.