The Metro-Denver Chapter welcomes everyone, members and non-members, to attend its free programs and field trips.  


We welcome everyone, from professional botanists and horticulturists to amateurs. If you're new to Colorado or just learning about our wonderful flora, don't be intimidated by sometimes complex terminology. CoNPS offers opportunities to learn about botany and plant identification. Our goal is to appeal to everyone through various learning opportunities at meetings as well as through classroom workshops and seasonal field trips geared to various levels of expertise.

Although Colorado has approximately 3000 different species of native and alien plants belonging to over 150 families - before you start feeling overwhelmed, concentrate on learning the major families since 75% of taxa (plant species) fall into major families. Everyone knows the sunflower family (Asteraceae) for instance, so build on what you know and HAVE FUN!                               


CoNPS a site for info on native plants, including native gardens as well as CoNPS activities

 USDA Plants Database  (you can enter a plant name, either Scientific or Common Name into Google search and this generally takes you to USDA Database and shows plant photo and distribution info)

SEINet - Regional Networks of North American Herbaria Symbiota  (
The SEINet North American plant network was the first Symbiota-based project to be configured as a fully integrated portal network. SEINet currently features 10 regional North American portals, each represents a unique perspective of research community.

In case you haven't heard of the Western Aspen Alliance, this is a great organization that does research on Aspen ecology.  Aspens are a foundation species and harbor some of the greatest biodiversity of western forested ecosystems.  The "Pando" super-organism in Utah is considered to be the largest living organism on earth currently, it is essentially one gigantic clone, same plant and same exact genetics.  Although many aspen are suffering from Sudden Aspen Decline (SAD) and it is suspected to be a combination of biotic and abiotic stressors, including warming climate conditions. Check it out!

Summer Storm, Pawnee National Grasslands, Weld County


PLANT ID APP FOR SMART PHONE, TABLET & COMPUTER: High Country Apps (Colorado Wildflowers) searchable and free updates includes 600 species, no grasses  approx $10.

BOOKS (these and many more available through CoNPS website bookstore)

Rocky Mtn Flower Finder  & Alpine Flower Finder by J Wingate & L Yeatts (pocket size; illustrated)
Flora of Colorado by Jennifer Ackerfield   complete keys for advanced amateurs & pros
Botany in a Day by Thomas Elpel (patterns of plant families - illustrated - excellent introduction

The High Line Canal is an important natural area the runs right through the center of Denver, with a trail that is 73 miles long, running from Chatfield Reservoir to Aurora.  Recently, the Denver Botanical Gardens did an inventory of the native and exotic plants along the canal and identified 452 species.  They have created this wonderful report called "Common Plants of the High Line Canal near Eisenhowr Park, Some Ecology and Ethnobotany" which is a fun read.

SEINET is a terrific website which documents  all of the species collected by herbaria in the western states. There are lots of interesting things that you can do on Seinet, but two of the most useful are the ability to create species lists of plants in any location of your choice, and also to create a dynamic key (sometimes called an interactive key) of the plants in  a specific location.  We have created a 7 minute video tutorial, How To Create Species Lists and Dynamic Keys on SEINET to teach you how to use this useful tool.

The Southern Rocky Mountain Seed Network is a developing collaborative between multiple agencies and stakeholders to help collect, produce, distribute and utilize locally appropriate native seed for disaster, rehabilitation and restoration sites across the front range. This is a very important project that is still in its early stages and is looking for professionals, partners and funders to help achieve these goals.

The Forest and Rangeland Stewardship department of Warner CNR at CSU is offering a spring webinar series for 2021.  To attend, sign up for the webinar email list and press submit. It will take you to a “page not found” error, but it will be submitted!
From the website: “ this series focuses on historically underrepresented communities who have always protected, defended and cared for our lands. A variety of scholars, professionals and leaders will share long-held generational knowledge and harmony with land stewardship. These webinars intend to sell new seeds of thought and understanding into our collective consciousness. Embracing all natural resource perspectives and practices will lead our disciplines forward into a more just, equitable and inclusive present and future.“

Snow Willow (Salix nivalis)
Grand Junction Milkvetch
(Astragalus linifolius) (G3S3)

Tall Bishop's Cap
(Mitella stauropetala)
(Ericameria nauseosa)