June 16, 2023

Penstemon secundiflorus, sidebells penstemon, Curt Nimz, SE Chapter Chair, curt_nimz, iNaturalist

Update from the Executive Director

Many thanks to all the volunteers who made this year’s plant sale possible! This is possible thanks to our partner, Harlequin’s Gardens. Our plant sale was a great success this year and this partnership gives us the opportunity to continue a fruitful

relationship that serves our mission and our members in many new ways. Two hundred customers bought 1,800 plants. Volunteers devoted a total of 164 hours to plant the seeds, pot the plants, prepare the orders, and host the pick-up sites. It was a remarkable effort. Thanks to all who were involved.

Garden tours: This year were are excited to host tours in nearly every chapter. We are working to finalize dates in each chapter. Our garden tours this year will highlight native gardens certified by the Colorado Native Plant Society. Due to overwhelming requests, we will also sell plants at one site per chapter garden tour. This is possible thanks to our partner, Harlequin’s Gardens.  This year’s plant sale was a great success. Why not continue this fruitful relationship to serve our mission and our members in as many ways as possible? If native plant gardening is your cup of tea, please join us for the Garden Tours. Also consider joining the Horticulture Committee meetings. We have a meeting coming up this Monday, June 19th at noon.

Committee meetings: Please join us to learn what we are doing to support native plant Horticulture, Education, Field Studies, Communication, Restoration, and our Scholarships and Grants.

The real gold in the Colorado Native Plant Society are botany hikes led by our chapters all over the state. If you want to learn about Colorado native plants, there is no better way than by spending time together enjoying plants along the trail.   Whether you are planning a trip or staying home this summer, you will find botany hikes to enjoy wherever you are.

All chapter events are free and open to the public.

Keep reading to learn about our 2023 Annual Conference at Adams State University in the San Luis Valley, September 22-24. I hope to see you there!

Much appreciation,

Maggie Gaddis
Executive Director
Colorado Native Plant Society


Herbarium, Barbara M. Thiers, Ph.D.

June 16, 5:00 – 6:00 pm POTLUCK; 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Speaker

Attend remotely or in person

Please join us! Author Barbara Thiers will present narratives from her new book, Herbarium: The Quest to Preserve and Classify the World’s Plants.

Since the 1500s, scientists have documented the plants and fungi that grew around them, organizing the specimens into collections. Known as herbaria, these archives helped give rise to botany as its own scientific endeavor.

Herbarium is a fascinating inquiry into this unique field of plant biology, exploring how herbaria emerged and have changed over time, who promoted and contributed to them, and why they remain such an important source of data for their new role: understanding how the world’s flora is changing.

Register here

2023 CoNPS Garden Tours

Measuring up! Cleome serrulata, Rocky mountain bee plant, towering over Maggie Gaddis, CoNPS Executive Director (5’4”) in Judith Rice-Jones’ garden, SE Chapter.

Our garden tours are a great time to socialize and get inspired! See native plants in action in many residential settings all over the state. You know what they say about native plants- the first year they sleep, the second year they creep, the third year they leap! See all the stages of native gardening in your neighbors’ gardens.

This year we will also be selling native plants at one garden per chapter. If you missed our plant sale, here’s your chance to get a few more plants for this year’s garden.

Find a Garden Tour Near You

2023 CoNPS Annual Conference


Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP)
Rare Plant Symposium

Flora of the San Luis Valley:

History, Culture, and Science

September 22-24, 2023
Adams State University, San Luis Valley

Friday – CNHP Rare Plant Symposium, McDaniels Hall
Saturday – CoNPS Conference, Richardson Hall
Sunday – Field trips around the San Luis Valley

CoNPS Conference Draft Agenda

Flora of the San Luis Valley: History, Culture, and Science

9:00am, opening remarks: Dr. Maggie Gaddis, Executive Director of CoNPS
9:10am Carol English, M.S. and Dr. Matt Sharples, Flora of the San Luis Valley
9:40am Dr. Kristy Duran, Ethnobotany in the San Luis Valley
10:10am Alex Crochet, The taste of change: How chokecherry jelly sculpted my horticultural mindset
10:40am break
10:55am Peter Innis, PhD candidate, Possible new species of sunflower in Sand Dunes National Park
11:25am Dr. Kate Schoenecker, Plant responses to herbivory by elk and bison
11:55am Dr. Maggie Gaddis, USFS seed collection & other news from CoNPS
12:25pm lunch
1:30pm keynote, Arnold Clifford: Plants and plant use of the Navajo nation
2:30pm Silent auction results, Photo contest results, find your field trip group for Sunday carpooling
3:00pm Committee meetings
4:00pm Chapter meetings
4:45pm Closing remarks

Look for the Summer Issue of Aquilegia to learn more about our speakers and field trips.


Register for the conference here

Native Plant Swaps

NOCO Xeriscape Party and Native Plant Swap
June 17, 2023, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
City Hall Parking Lot, 300 LaPorte Ave., Fort Collins, CO 80521
Collaborating organizations – People and Pollinators Network, League of Women Voters Habitat Pollinator Group, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, Front Range WildOnes, City of Fort Collins and your Colorado Native Plant Society are hosting the second annual Northern Colorado Native Plant Swap and Giveaway.
Volunteers needed! Register here to volunteer.

Third Annual Denver Pollinator/Native Plant Swap & Giveaway

June 24, 2023  10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Earthlinks – 2746 West 13th Avenue, Denver

Donate regionally native plants – Now in our third year, we hope prior swap recipients are inspired to help in this movement by completing the cycle by bringing some of your divided or seeded plants to share. This is a wonderful opportunity to “share it forward” and expand the plant supply for new native plant gardeners! Check the calendar for more details.

Volunteers needed! Register here to volunteer.


Download Low-Water Native Plant Guides

on our Website!

Guides for your region of the state:
Front Range & Foothills
Mountains, 7,500′ and above
Prairie and Plains
Southeastern Colorado
Western Slope below 7,000’


Featured Sponsor:

Harlequin’s Gardens

A family nursery and garden center in Boulder, Colorado dedicated to natural and sustainable gardening for our region.

We are more than just a garden center; we grow many of the plants we sell, and use potting mixes we formulate ourselves to produce the strongest, not the biggest, plants. In this way we can offer both unusual and hard-to-find varieties that are grown tough so they will succeed in your garden.

We operate our nursery organically, so once the plants arrive, they are neither sprayed with toxic pesticides nor fertilized with chemical fertilizers. This is possible by choosing well-adapted plants and by keeping their vitality strong with proper management. We offer completely organic vegetable starts and many organic herbs. We are also very resource-conscious, relying largely on solar energy, intermediate technology, using recycled materials, shopping locally, and believing that small and personal is beautiful.


Volunteer to Help Move Plants for Xeriscape Garden Party
June 16, 9:00 am – noon, event
Wildlands Restoration Volunteers Office, Fort Collins

CoNPS Speaker Series – Barbara Thiers – Herbarium: The Quest to Preserve and Classify the World’s Plants
Presented by Barbara Thiers
June 16, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, speaker
online and at the Alliance Center, 1536 Wynkoop St. Denver, CO 80202

NOCO Xeriscape Party and Native Plant Swap
Hosted by People and Pollinators Network, League of Women Voters Habitat Pollinator Group, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, Front Range WildOnes, City of Fort Collins and your Colorado Native Plant Society
June 17, 2023, 9:00am – 12:00pm, event|
City Hall Parking Lot, 300 LaPorte Ave., Fort Collins, CO 80521

Art of Food – A Garden Party
Hosted by Slow Food Denver and Access Gallery
June 17, 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm, event

Northern Chapter: Bobcat Ridge NA
Led by Rob Pickett
June 17, 8:00 – noon, botany hike

Northern Chapter: Shoshone Trail
Ramsey-Shockey Open Space
June 18, 2023, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm, botany hike

Meeting of the CoNPS Horticulture Committee
June 19, noon – 1:00 pm, virtual meeting

Meeting of the CoNPS Media Committee
June 20, 8:00 am – 9:00 am, virtual meeting

Restoration Committee Meeting
June 21, noon – 1:00 pm, virtual meeting

Education Outreach Committee Meeting
June 21, 6:00 pm – 8:15 pm, virtual meeting

Northern Chapter: Carter Lake Sundance Trail
June 23, 9:30 am – noon, botany hike

Third Annual Denver Pollinator/Native Plant Swap & Giveaway
June 24, 2023  10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Earthlinks – 2746 West 13th Ave., Denver

SE Chapter: Exploring wildflowers, shrubs, and trees on the Colorado Trail,
Saturday, June 24, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, botany hike

CoNPS Board Meeting
June 25 4:00 – 5:00 PM, virtual meeting

Field Studies Committee Meeting
June 28, noon – 1:00 pm

Denver chapter: Reynolds Park
June 29, 8:00 am – ??, botany hike

Boulder chapter: Boulder County “Cheatgrass” control, weed control observation, Led by Joe Swanson
Jun 29 2023, 8:45 am – 1:00 pm, botany hike

SE Chapter: Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument – Twin Rocks Trail,
Saturday, July 1, 2023, 9am – 2pm, botany hike

Everyone is invited, regardless of chapter affiliation.

How to Register for Events

Go to the conps website, www.conps.org or click on the link below. Click on “Events” and then the “Events Calendar” link and you will see the various state events and chapter field trips. Click on a trip you’re interested in and you will see a description of it and the button to “Register Now.’ Then you can enter your contact information and indicate you want one “member ticket.’ (There is no charge for field trips so this is just the way that registration is created.)  After registering for a trip, you will receive an acknowledgement email with more information; usually trip leaders will send out more detailed instructions about meeting location, time and other logistics a few days before the field trip. You will be asked to contact us if you need to cancel in case there is a waitlist.

Full CoNPS Calendar