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
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
Arana Gulch Coastal Prairie
Baseline Assessment Study: Summer 2013
A baseline assessment of vegetation conditions at Arana Gulch is one of the requirements of the Coastal Development Permit issued to the City of Santa Cruz by the California Coastal Commission. Section 3.7 of the Arana Gulch Habitat Management Plan (HMP) (Stanton 2013) describes the same purpose and justification of this summer baseline assessment of the Santa Cruz tarplant (SCT)/Coastal Prairie Management Area presented here including the details of field sample design and data analysis. The purpose of the baseline assessment is to characterize existing vegetation and ground cover conditions in areas that will be grazed under guidance of the Grazing Program specified in the HMP. Important monitoring variables include plant cover, canopy height, species richness, and ground cover. These data will enable a quantitative evaluation of changes in vegetation condition over time in response to grazing and will help the Arana Gulch Adaptive Management Working Group (AMWG) assess progress in meeting the specific goals and objectives of the HMP.
Goal 1: Maintain a viable Santa Cruz tarplant (SCT) population at Arana Gulch.
Goal 2: Reintroduce grazing to restore a disturbance regime that maintains functioning coastal prairie.
Goal 3: Minimize the detrimental effects of high non-native plant cover and restore coastal prairie species diversity and habitat function.
Goal 4: Maintain a genetically and demographically viable soil seed bank in perpetuity.
Click for more information:
2013 Summer Baseline Assessment Report (pdf)
Baseline assessment transect photos (PowerPoint)
* New Second Edition Now Avaliable *
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
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.