North Coast CNPS


May 12, Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.  - via Zoom 
Serpentine Ecology: Wacky soils build glorious places  

In the Klamath-Siskiyous, we have significant “wacky soils”, serpentine/ultramafic soils that derive from mantle rocks and often support rare plants. Serpentine ecology describes the interaction between these soils and plants and animals. Kristi Mergenthaler is a botanist, the stewardship director of Southern Oregon Land Conservancy, and a long-term volunteer with the Siskiyou Chapter Native Plant Society of Oregon. She will highlight some of the special places and plants in Oregon’s portion of the Klamath-Siskiyous and lead a broad discussion.

To register, CLICK HERE - We'll send you a confirmation email with instructions.

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serpentine plant graphics by Gary Bloomfield

April 24 - May 2 - Wildflower Show 2021 - theme: "Serpentine Habitat"

ABOUT SERPENTINE HABITAT:  The nutrient-unbalanced and sometimes toxic soils harbor unique vegetation and special flowers.  Though relatively safe from the conventional economic pressures of logging, farming, and development, they sometimes attract businesses that focus on mining heavy metals.  Find out more about these areas by visiting this US Forest Service serpentine website.
  • Spring Plant Walks in Northern California - Virtual plant walks that show the plants blooming right now, hosted by iNaturalist.  So many species in places you can easily visit! 

  • 2021 Wildflower Collection  (This link opens an OBSERVATION page.) Currently being assembled, debuts Friday April 30. Again, because of the pandemic, our collectors are bringing back photos instead of our traditional live three-dimensional specimens.  And this time we are hosting the photos on iNaturalist - which presents both opportunities (geo-location of specimens), and challenges (the web interface will be unfamiliar to many visitors).    

    • 5 WAYS TO VIEW THE COLLECTION: Using the above link, we start you out with
      • Map view because it lets you see the locations and the photos at the same time. (Note the several map controls.) But on that same page you can also view the collection as
      • Grid view or
      • List view.
      • View Selected Families - view the show according to the type of plant (The dunes and invasive plants groups will appear soon.)
      • our official iNat project page with statistics (but for many visitors, this page may feel like a detour) 

    • WFS HOME PAGE: What you are reading now is the home page for the entire show (including the iNaturalist part).  It will remain open for reference in your browser. (No need to use the "back" arrow.)
  • Wildflower "Bio-Blitz" - These public activities are an iNaturalist favorite. Can the public find more kinds of native wildflowers the official show collectors? 
Zoom presentations start at 7:00 p.m. with 10-15 minutes of "Wildflower Fun"-- talk about flowers in the show and answering wildflower questions--followed by the speaker.  Register
  • April 24, Saturday, "A Story of Rock in Green and Orange" with geologist and educator Mark Bailey, who tells what are "serpentine soils" and where do we find them?
  • April 25, Sunday. "Serpentine Plant-Soil Relations: A World View" with Nishanta Rajakaruna, botanist of inhospitable soils at the Geoecology Lab at California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo), giving an overview of what we know about serpentine plants from here and away.
  • April 26, Monday. Wildflower Fun
  • April 27, Tuesday. "Serpentine Botanical Wonders" with energetic field botanist and author Dana York
  • April 28, Wednesday. "Our Amazingly Diverse Heath Family (Ericaceae)" with HSU Herbarium Collections Manager Robin Bencie
  • April 29, Thursday. "The HSU Herbarium and You: Using the Database and Getting Involved" with HSU Herbarium Collections Manager Robin Bencie.  See a 3 min. slideshow at
  • April 30, Friday. Wildflower Fun
  • May 1, "Serpentine Treasure in Six Rivers National Forest" with U. S. Forest Service Botanist John McRae 
  • May 2, Sunday. Wildflower Fun and show wrap-up
Post-show Presentation (Find this link separately on the chapter website):
May 12, Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. Zoom evening program. "Serpentine Ecology: Wacky soils build glorious places" with botanist Kristi Mergenthaler


iNaturalist for Beginners

New to iNaturalist? It's free, and accessible on your smartphone of computer. Plants and animals from around the world are featured, so even if you don't want to post a photo yet, you'll enjoy seeing what the world has to offer!IMG 5257 cropclean350w

To get started with a smartphone:

  • Download the free iNaturalist app for iOS or Android
  • Create a free account using the app on your phone.

If you prefer working from your computer, then start by creating an iNaturalist account here.

Start exploring! Under the “Explore” tab you can search for specific plants, animals, or places. As of this morning, there were 158,741 observations recorded in Humboldt County, including 5,935 species!


From a smartphone:

  • Create an observation. Learn how by watching this video or following these instructions

From your computer:

Locations: If you take photos with a smartphone that has location enabled, the photo location will be included inyour observations automatically.

Showing your best photo: When you have uploaded several photos of one plant, choose the photo you want people to see first, thenslide all the others into it.

Lots of FAQ's are answered on this page:

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