North Coast Chapter - CNPS

Spring Wildflower Show

by Larry Levine

The Annual Spring Wildflower Show will be held at the Humboldt County Office of Education between Myrtle Ave. and West St. in Eureka on May 2-4, 1997.

Begun fourteen years ago by Doris Niles and the Nature Discovery Volunteers, and now in its third year of co-sponsorship with the Northcoast chapter of CNPS, our local wildflower show has acquired the reputation as one of the most diverse displays of its kind in the state. Last year examples of 347 species were on view, including 292 natives.

Special events will be offered daily. On Friday evening May 2, Jan Meninga and other local artists will again sponsor a workshop titled 'Drawing Things Botanical' which will be open to all, regardless of previous experience or artistic skill. (Pre-registration is required.)

At noon on Saturday May 3, Lyn Risling and Julian Lang will present a program titled Native Plants in Local Native Ceremonies” Through his long interest in maintaining and reviving the Karuk language, Julian Lang has become a storyteller, singer, ceremonial leader, and linguist, as well as an artist and writer. Lyn Risling is of Karuk, Yurok, and Hupa descent. She and Julian were recently involved in the restoration of the Karuk girl’s puberty ceremony. She is also an artist and a tribal singer. On Sunday May 4 at 1 pm, Darlene Whiting will present a lecture and demonstration about 'The Wild and the Edible'. Ms. Whiting’s broad knowledge of the utility of wild plants was developed over many years. She is deeply committed to stimulating the interest of children, and continues to maintain a heavy teaching schedule.

To supplement the indoor show, short field walks will be offered on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday May 3 at 3 pm, Tony LaBanca will offer a botanical tour of the Lanphere-Christenson Dunes. (Meet at the Pacific Union School parking lot, Janes Rd. at Upper Bay Rd., Arcata). On Sunday May 4 at 1 pm ChadRoberts will lead walkers through Sequoia Park in Eureka. (Meet at the duck pond.) Additional wildflower walks will be scheduled on the weekends following the show.

This year’s fair will also feature a native plant sale staffed by the plant sale committee, and will include poster displays on topics related to native plants. The show will be open to the general public from 1 to 6 pm on Friday, 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday, and 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday. Teachers are encouraged to bring their classes on Friday.

For more information, call the Wildflower Show coordinator Larry Levine (822-7190).

Wildflower aficionados will also want to visit the Willow Creek wildflower show at the historical museum on April 26 and 27, the weekend before our show. Come see what the Willow Creek experts will collect this year.


Staging a wildflower show requires dozens of volunteers. By the time you read this, many tasks will already have been parcelled-out to individuals or groups. However, we are making aspecial appeal for assistance with the following functions:

1. Collecting. This task requires an understanding of the issues involved, plus a basic knowledge of the flora. Collectors often spend 2-3 days in the field immediately prior to the show. Less prodigious commitments are also appreciated, particularly if you are aware of species in your area that are rarely represented at the show.

2. Identification. Do you know someone who can identify most common species by sight? We could enormously benefit from their skills, particularly during the Friday morning set-up period from 8 am to 1 pm. Good plant keyers are also needed. Bring your own Jepson, if you have one.

Want to help, but not necessarily in the above ways? Contact me and we’ll find an agreeable way to plug you in.

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California Native Plant Society - North Coast Chapter
P.O. Box 1067 Arcata, CA 95518-1067
Last updated March 30, 1997