“Calscape is really the first tool to make it easy for people to figure out what plants really belong where they live.”
Past News ReleasesRSS
Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) April 26, 2016
The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) and the Jepson Herbarium at UC Berkeley announced the launch of Calscape.org, a strategic partnership that aims to help homeowners in the Golden State replace their lawns and other water-thirsty plants with natives. The goal is to help Californians save water and help bring native plants back to the developed part of the state, along with the birds, butterflies, bees and other pollinators that depend on them.
In the past, growing California natives has often been difficult because there was no easy way to find out which native plants naturally belong in any specific area. This is particularly problematic in California because of the environmental diversity of the state. California natives will often die when they are planted in an area in which they did not evolve. Calscape addresses this problem by mapping the natural geographic ranges of all plants native to California. The maps are based on over 2 million GPS field observations from the Consortium of California Herbaria and detailed elevation profiles for every square mile in the state. Now for the first time, anyone can type in a California address, city or GPS location to see which plants are truly native to where they live.
Plant recommendations are ordered by landscaping popularity, and cross-referenced against Calscape’s database of nursery plant lists. In depth plant profiles include photos, plant descriptions, moisture, sun and soil requirements and landscaping tips to help people choose which plants they want and how to grow them.
“More and more Californians are ripping out their water-thirsty lawns, and want to be able to replace them with the much more drought tolerant plants that are native to that location”, said Dan Gluesenkamp, Executive Director of the California Native Plant Society. “Calscape is really the first tool to make it easy for people to figure out what plants really belong where they live.”
“We’re pleased to be working with the CNPS and Calscape to help facilitate nature restoration at the local level. Small changes have the potential to make a big impact on the landscape and can help combat the effects of global climate change and degradation of natural systems. Through this partnership, we have combined powerful sources of information to develop a user-friendly interface that will inspire more Californians to include native plants in their gardens and make it easy to choose and purchase native plants from local nurseries.” said Staci Markos, Assistant Director at Jepson Herbarium at UC Berkeley.
Why Plant Local Natives?
California is an extremely environmentally diverse state. Different California native plants evolved to grow in areas of the state with very different temperatures, rainfall levels, summer drought periods, air moisture levels and marine influences, among other factors. Because of this, it's always best to grow California native plants in the areas in which they evolved. They are easier to grow, healthier and require little or no artificial irrigation when they are planted in an area in which they naturally belong. California native plants that aren't really native to that location will often struggle or die no matter how much you water them.
Local native plants are the foundation for nature restoration. They attract birds, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, insects and other pollinators that evolved with those plants, and over time create a working natural ecosystem, without pesticides, and without artificial fertilizers. The bird life in particular in a true natural garden is often spectacular. With the right plants, it's not hard for homeowners to create small patches of nature throughout even the developed areas of the state.
About the California Native Plant Society:
The California Native Plant Society is a statewide organization that advances the understanding, appreciation and protection of California’s native plants and habitats through scientific activities, education, horticulture and conservation. CNPS has nearly 10,000 members in 35 chapters throughout California and Baja to promote its mission at the local level.
About the Jepson Herbarium at UC Berkeley:
The mission of the Jepson Herbarium is to understand and conserve the California flora thorough systematic, floristic and conservation biology studies while communicating knowledge of flora through publications and instructional programs. The herbarium maintains the Jepson eFlora, the floristic reference for the State of California. It offers educational opportunities for amateurs and professional botanists.