North Coast CNPS

Marvelous Mycoheterotrophs:
The Beauty and Science of Floral-Fungal Freeloaders

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  October 13, 2021 Wednesday


  Online Event via Zoom



How to Attend this Webinar

To watch this presentation via Zoom, you must register in advance. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information on joining the program. You do not need a Zoom account to register for or attend this presentation.

Register here:


If you've ever been fascinated by a waxy, alien looking plant without green parts in the woods that doesn't even seem like it should be real, you may have been enchanted by a marvelous mycoheterotroph! Mycologist and teacher Leah Bendlin of Oregon Mycological Society will discuss the biology and associations of these strange-looking plants that depend upon fungi for survival, as well as some of the scientific discoveries that lead to the current understanding of how they function. She will also help you get to know and recognize some local species and learn how they might help in successful mushroom hunting!

Evening Programs are free, public presentations on the second Wednesday of each month, September through May. During covid restrictions and for non-local speakers programs will be held via Zoom, at 7:30 p.m. 

CNPS members may vote in our election of chapter officers using a Zoom poll during this evening's presentation.

Contact Us

Our Mailing Address

P.O. Box 1067, Arcata CA 95518

General Email

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Phone Numbers

You can find phone numbers for individual team members on the Team Members page. 

Our Nursery Location

5851 Myrtle Ave
Eureka, CA 95503

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Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering is a great way to learn about gardening and native plants, while getting some fresh air and gentle exercise. It's a wonderful opportunity to connect with other volunteers with similar interests as we work together to restore and protect our precious local ecosystems. Come join us, everyone is welcome - whether you come weekly or occasionally! Together we can make a difference. 

Nursery Committee

Nursery Aug2021

Join the fun while helping to spread critically important native plants by volunteering in our nursery. Nursery work involves all aspects of growing the plants that we offer at our plant sales as well as maintaining our demonstration garden/living seed bank.

No prior experience necessary. All skill levels welcome. Training and tools will be provided.

Ready to get involved? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. New volunteers are always welcome!


Join us every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday for a volunteer work party from 10a- 1p. We work rain or shine! 

What to Bring:

Wear comfortable clothes that you don't mind getting a little dirty. Bring a water bottle and sun protection. 


Our nursery is located at Freshwater Farms Reserve. 5851 Myrtle Ave, Eureka, CA

Covid Update (Aug 2021):

Our nursery is primarily outdoors and offers an abundance of fresh air and elbow room for volunteers to work in a covid-safe environment. Our nursery leaders are fully vaccinated. Let us know if you have any questions! Your safety and peace of mind are our priority.


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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

Nursery Volunteers Needed!

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Every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday 10a - 1p

Fall is a busy time at our volunteeer-run nursery as we prepare for the new growing season. We are seeking individuals to help with basic nursery work as well as other project-related tasks. This is also a great opportunity to advance your gardening skills and native plant know-how. See our Volunteers page for more details on how you can help.


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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