Holiday Native Plant Recipes

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Madrone berries are on display in late fall. Photo: David Magney

The holidays are here, and native plants are a great way to enjoy the season. The fall issue of the new CNPS magazine, Flora, features a collection of seasonal native plant recipes from Alicia Funk, founder of the Living Wild Project and co-author of Living Wild — Gardening, Cooking and Healing with Native Plants of California. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing a few of our favorites, so give them and try and let us know what you think!

This week, we’re starting with Alicia’s recipe for Madrone “Beyond Cranberry” Sauce. Late fall is a great time to collect madrone berries, but unless you are picking from a tree on your property, please see our notes below the recipe. (Want to grow a madrone tree for your garden? See its profile on Calscape.org to discover where it grows, get landscaping tips, and find out which native nurseries near you carry these beautiful trees.)

Madrone “Beyond Cranberry” Sauce

Collect berries in late fall.

YOU’LL NEED:

1 3⁄4 cup fresh madrone berries (stems removed)

1⁄4 cup fresh toyon berries (stems removed)

1 cup water

1⁄2 cup apple juice, plus 2 tablespoons, divided

1⁄2 cup honey

1 tablespoon arrowroot or organic cornstarch

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix berries, water, apple juice and honey in a pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir arrowroot or cornstarch into 2 tbsp apple juice.  Pour into berries and stir constantly while bringing 
to a boil. Remove from heat and add orange zest. Allow to cool before serving. Store in refrigerator for 
up to 2 weeks.

Variation: If toyon berries are plentiful, instead of madrone berries, simmer 1 cup dried toyon berries, 1 cup water, 1 cup apple juice and 1⁄2 cup honey, and then follow the same recipe.

Avoid problems with wild plant collection

CNPS generally advises against collecting wild native plants, since toxic species can be misidentified as edible plants and wild collection runs the risk of harming sensitive species and habitats. Growing your own native habitat is a great solution that gives you easy access to an abundance of useful plants.

Next week: Manzanita Hard Cider!

Wildflowers of the Trinity Alps

Wildflowers Galore! New guide to the Trinity Alps

Wildflowers of the Trinity Alps

Wildflowers of the Trinity Alps ISBN 978-1-941624-11-1

For the last 50 years, Ken DeCamp has been capturing images of wildflowers from around the world. But a personal passion for one California mountain range has captivated him more than any other. His father was a dam builder, working on projects all over the Pacific Northwest and eventually Pakistan and Australia. It was in the late 1950s when they moved to Lewiston, California to work on Trinity Dam. Being lifelong wilderness enthusiasts it was here his family fell in love with the Trinity Alps.

Ken has spent 60+ years exploring the Klamath Mountains but is particularly fond of the Trinity Alps and the Russian Wilderness where he developed a deep love for these wild places. In fact, he loved the area so much that he never left. He retired from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in 2007 after a 38 year career in Fire, Land Management Planning, and Public Affairs. He still lives in Shasta County.

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CNPS Holiday Gift Guide

What to give the plant lover in your life? We’re so glad you asked!

*A CNPS membership…Mt Lassen Chapter at Sutter Buttes - Woody Elliott

is one-size-fits-all, never goes out of style, and lasts all year long. When you give a gift of membership to CNPS, your recipient becomes a member of a wide network of nature and native plant enthusiasts – and best yet, you help contribute to the success of CNPS to protect and promote the native species and landscapes that help make California so special.

The recipient of your gift will receive the full suite of benefits available to all CNPS members, including subscriptions to Fremontia and Flora, discounts on workshops and plant sales, membership to their local CNPS chapter, and a letter that informs them of your generosity. Click here to give the gift of CNPS by December 14 to ensure delivery of your acknowledgement by December 23.

*A lush, photo-rich volume of California’s beautiful landscapes!

California’s Botanical Landscapes: A Pictorial View of the State’s Vegetation provides a vivid exploration of the Golden State’s Native Vegetation. It is a must-have book for anyone interested in the botanical diversity of California: botanists, ecologists, environmental scientists, natural historians, and plant lovers of all kinds. With over 600 inspiring photographs as well as in-depth, naturalist prose written for the public, the work explores California through 14 ecoregions with a look at the important plant communities found within each.

*For the proud gardener:

Let them tell everyone, “Native plants live here!” Encourage other gardeners to go native and inform them where they can find helpful information to do so! Available in both English and Spanish, and in two sizes (6.75″ x 9″ or 9”x 12”), this full-color aluminum sign can be posted on a wall or a post and is a must for any Californian native garden.

*For the botanical professional, academic, or student:

Register your favorite conservation professional or native plant nerd for the CNPS 2018 Conservation Conference, a pre-conference workshop, or field trip! The conference is Feb. 1-3 in Los Angeles, with the pre-conference workshops taking place Jan. 30-31. With over 20 technical conference sessions, 21 workshops in interests ranging from photography, gardening, legislation and GIS, quickly-filling field trips in the L.A. basin, and a lively banquet –plus art, music, auctions, student events, and contests– there is something offered for everyone, no matter what their botanical level or interest.

*For the adventurous cook or someone who wants to learn how to heal with California’s native plants…

Living Wild: Gardening, Cooking, and Healing with Native Plants of California, 2nd Edition by Alicia Funk & Karin Kaufman is an essential guide to the uses of over 100 native plant species. The expanded 2ND edition offers a deep awareness of the landscape with advice on cultivating, harvesting, and preparing wild food cuisine and herbal medicine recipes. We heard recently that the Madrone “Beyond Cranberry” Sauce recipe in particular was a big hit at holiday dinners, and we’re sure the Elderflower Champagne would help usher in anyone’s new year in style.

*For the budding botanist or nature lover:

The CNPS Nature Journaling Kit is perfect for children of all ages! Featuring a blank nature journal, recycled ruler, hand lens, and easy carry sling pack, and designed to be the perfect companion to the CNPS Children’s Curriculum, this gift can inspire children young and old to start observing and recording the world around them.

*Because you can never have too many hats:

The CNPS Logo Hat: look smart, and protect your face from the sun, all while representing the preeminent native plant conservation organization in California! Neutral khaki color with full colored embroidery and adjustable buckle closure.

 

Islands of the Californias

Fremontia V.45 N.3 •  November 2017

From the editor

Fremontia V45 N3 is printed in English and Spanish.

After a childhood enchanted with island literature, aptly including Island of the Blue Dolphins, it took nearly 20 years to find myself on a real island. While teaching for the Los Angeles County Outdoor Science School, I ventured to Santa Cruz Island in 1998 with ten other young, eager naturalists. Marooned for the weekend, we gained our first place-based experiences with island biogeography while hiking and kayaking.

On this adventure we witnessed island endemics including island scrub jay (Aphelocoma insularis) and island fox (Urocyon littoralis). Checking these and other species off our life lists, our appreciation for island time deepened over a sunset staring back at the mainland—our love for biogeography was burgeoning.

Around a campfire under the eucalyptus at Scorpion Canyon we pondered speciation events, biogeographic patterns, and the audacity of invasive species. Falling asleep that evening, I contemplated my study of Lord of the Flies in high school and further understood all the mainland offers an island.

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The CNPS North Coast Chapter Research Grant

The North Coast Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is offering a research grant (2 awards per year) of up to $1,000 for studies of local, native plants. The grant is available to undergraduate and graduate students at Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods. Its purpose is to encourage learning about native plants in Humboldt, Trinity, Siskiyou and Del Norte Counties and to support projects that will advance knowledge of them.

To apply for the grant submit the following by March 1, 2018 (two pages please):

  • Title of the project, applicant’s name, address, phone number, email address, and the date submitted.
  • Estimated time frame for project.
  • Description of the project: Outline the purposes, objectives, hypotheses where appropriate, and methods of data collection and analysis. Highlight aspects of the work that you believe are particularly important and creative. How will it advance our knowledge of our local native plants?
  • Description of the final product.
  • Budget: Summarize intended use of funds. Our grant does not approve the outright purchase of capital equipment or high-end items such as computers and software.
  • Academic status (school, graduate student, undergrad)
  • Letter of support from a sponsor, such as an academic supervisor, major professor, professional associate or colleague should accompany your application.
  • Your signature, as the person performing the project and the one responsible for dispersing the funds. All of the information related to your application may be submitted electronically.

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Northern California Botanist Certification Exam

Caulanthus californicus photographed by Greg Suba, CNPS Conservation Director

The first-ever Botanist Certification Exam at a Northern California venue is scheduled for October 30th, 2017, at the Blue Oak Ranch Reserve (BORR) near San Jose, CA. While CNPS has already put on two exams in Southern California, one in Ojai and one at the Cal State Fullerton Arboretum, an exam had yet to happen up north! We are very excited to hold the event at BORR, one of the UC Berkeley-managed lands in the wonderful UC Reserve system.

Amidst such treasured habitats as blue oak woodland, valley oak woodland, and native perennial grasslands, botanists from all over Northern California will come together to showcase their abilities during the certification exam. The test consists of written, keying, and sight identification portions in order to set a high standard of excellence in the profession. The Board of Certification, which is currently administering the certification, recommends that botanists have at least five years experience in the botanical consulting field, in the case of the Field Botanist certification level, and eight years of experience, in the case of the Consulting Botanist certification level, before considering taking the exam.

Wondering why the Botanist Certification is so important? Check out this wonderful article on the CNPS Blog.

If you are interested to register for the exam, please visit the Botanist Certification website or contact Catherine Curley, Assistant Botanist for the Rare Plant Program, at ccurley@cnps.org, with questions.

CNPS Garden Ambassadors

Are you passionate about California native gardening?  Ready to inspire others?  Become a CNPS Garden Ambassador!

CNPS Garden Ambassadors are a community of individuals who are willing to share their enthusiasm, experience, and knowledge to demonstrate the beauty and possibilities of California native plant gardens.  As an ambassador, you will help kick-start a movement in California native landscaping, and inspire others to “restore nature one garden at a time.”  You will make a difference in your community, and receive lots of ambassador rewards and recognition too!

There are many ambassador activities for you to choose from depending on your interests and experience.  Here are a few ways you can be involved:

  • Share photographs of your California native garden.
  • Host garden talks/visitor events in your garden.
  • Contribute to CNPS Garden Ambassador social media.
  • Participate in CNPS Garden Tours and events.
  • Volunteer at retail nurseries to educate customers about California native plants.
  • Teach workshops on California native gardening.

To acknowledge and honor all of your enthusiasm and dedication, here are a few fun rewards you will receive!

  • CNPS Membership Discount
  • Annual Nursery and CNPS Store Discount
  • CNPS Garden Ambassador of the Month recognition
  • Garden Ambassador Appreciation Events
  • Profile featured on the Garden Ambassador webpage
  • Free CNPS Natives Live Here sign
  • Brochure about your garden
  • Photography of your landscape
  • Garden Ambassador name tag, and more!

 

Apply for the Garden Ambassador program today!  Click here to complete the online questionnaire: http://bit.ly/2gQu4QY