CNPS SCV Blazing Star Logo
California Native Plant Society

Santa Clara Valley Chapter

Wildflower Ambassadors

Seed Packet Information: Hills of California

Hills of California

We hope you enjoy your seeds from the CNPS SCV Wildflower Ambassadors program. This plant mix is designed to provide flowers over a period of three months in the spring and early summer in a sunny area. 

Planting Instructions

Fall through winter is the ideal time to start growing California native wildflowers as these have adapted to capitalize on the fall and winter rains (October-February is best) and bloom in spring. They may be planted through April, but after that it is best to wait until at least September to plant them as they do not do well when planted in late spring or summer.

Checkerspot Butterfly by Vivian NeouChoose A Site & Prepare Your Soil

  1. Choose a spacious site in full sun.
  2. Prepare your soil (or several very large pots), by removing all existing growth and debris. If your soil is clay, break it up with some compost or cactus soil (sold at nurseries).
  3. Water thoroughly to help seeds settle into the soil. Continue to water a few times a week, unless it rains, so they don’t dry out after germinating. Seeds should sprout in one to three weeks. 
  4. After you plant your seeds, let the area ‘go natural’ by leaving the leaf litter on the ground. While many butterflies go into chrysalis on stems or other hard surfaces like branches, many others go into chrysalis in the debris. If you rake or blow it, you could accidentally kill or throw them away.

Avoid using pesticides anywhere in your garden, it will kill the beneficial insects such as bees, butterflies, moths, and ladybugs that you are trying to attract. Try to ignore bugs, as they are part of the ecosystem (for instance, hummingbirds eat aphids). If you hose the plant or try to remove pests you may dislodge butterfly or ladybug eggs or kill tiny caterpillars.  Avoid using herbicides as they also poison the ecosystem you are trying to nurture.

Plants In The Hills Of California Mix

  • Farewell to Spring, Clarkia amoena (hosts White Lined Sphinx Moth, Clark’s Day Sphinx Moth)   
  • Mountain Garland, Clarkia unguiculata (hosts White Lined Sphinx Moth, Clark’s Day Sphinx Moth)
  • Chinese Houses, Collinsia heterophylla (hosts Variable Checkerspot)
  • California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica (useful to pollinators, hosts Acmon Blue, Dotted Blue, Mormon Metalmark, etc.)
  • Globe Gilia, Gilia capitata (host to Fairy Longhorn Moth)
  • Goldfields, Lasthenia glabrata (hosts Small Heliothodes Moth)
  • Tidy Tips, Layia platyglossa (hosts Small Heliothodes Moth)
  • Blue Flax, Linum lewisii (hosts Variegated Fritillary)
  • Miniature Lupine, Lupinus bicolor (hosts Painted Lady, Acmon Blue, Gray Hairstreak)
  • Sky Lupine, Lupinus nanus (hosts Orange Sulphur, Painted Lady, Acmon Blue, Gray Hairstreak)
  • Arroyo Lupine, Lupinus succulentus (hosts West Coast Lady, Painted Lady, Acmon Blue, Gray Hairstreak)
  • Five Spot, Nemophila maculate (hosts Funereal Duskywing)
  • Baby Blue-Eyes, Nemophila menziesii (hosts Owlet Moth)
  • Lacy Phacelia, Phacelia tanacetifolila – (hosts Bilobed Looper Moth, beloved by bees)

The list of moths and butterflies hosted by these plants is just a sample, these plants are a host to many more - a comprehensive list of butterflies each plant hosts, and details about the plants and butterflies, can be found at Calscape.org

*”Host” = key food source for the caterpillars of these particular butterflies, that co-evolved to specialize over thousands of years. Butterflies die out without these plants.

Seed Packet Information: California Shady Wildflower Mix

California Shady Wildflower Mix

We hope you enjoy your seeds from the CNPS SCV Wildflower Ambassadors program. This plant mix is designed to provide flowers over a period of three months in the spring and early summer in a shady area. 

Planting Instructions

Fall through winter is the ideal time to start growing California native wildflowers as these have adapted to capitalize on the fall and winter rains (October-February is best) and bloom in spring. They may be planted through April, but after that it is best to wait until at least September to plant them as they do not do well when planted in late spring or summer.

Checkerspot Butterfly by Vivian NeouChoose A Site & Prepare Your Soil

  1. Choose a spacious site in full sun.
  2. Prepare your soil (or several very large pots), by removing all existing growth and debris. If your soil is clay, break it up with some compost or cactus soil (sold at nurseries).
  3. Water thoroughly to help seeds settle into the soil. Continue to water a few times a week, unless it rains, so they don’t dry out after germinating. Seeds should sprout in one to three weeks. 
  4. After you plant your seeds, let the area ‘go natural’ by leaving the leaf litter on the ground. While many butterflies go into chrysalis on stems or other hard surfaces like branches, many others go into chrysalis in the debris. If you rake or blow it, you could accidentally kill or throw them away.

Avoid using pesticides anywhere in your garden, it will kill the beneficial insects such as bees, butterflies, moths, and ladybugs that you are trying to attract. Try to ignore bugs, as they are part of the ecosystem (for instance, hummingbirds eat aphids). If you hose the plant or try to remove pests you may dislodge butterfly or ladybug eggs or kill tiny caterpillars.  Avoid using herbicides as they also poison the ecosystem you are trying to nurture.

Plants In The California Shady Wildflower Mix

Sphinx-moth-crop-2-small.jpg

  • Mountain Garland, Clarkia unguiculata (hosts Clark's Day Sphinx Moth)
  • Chinese Houses, Collinsia heterophylla (hosts Variable Checkerspot)
  • Baby Blue-Eyes, Nemophila menziesii (hosts Owlet Moth)
  • Five Spot, Nemophila maculate (hosts Alfalfa Looper Moth)
  • Farewell to Spring, Clarkia amoena (hosts White Lined Sphinx Moth)
  • Punchbowl Godetia, Clarkia bottae (hosts Mariposa Forester)
  • Bird’s Eye Gilia, Gilia tricolor (hosts Spotted Sun Straw Moth)
  • Grand Linanthus, Linanthus grandifloras (hosts Buckwheat Borer Moth)

The list of moths and butterflies hosted by these plants is just a sample, these plants are a host to many more - a comprehensive list of butterflies each plant hosts, and details about the plants and butterflies, can be found at Calscape.org

*”Host” = key food source for the caterpillars of these particular butterflies, that co-evolved to specialize over thousands of years. Butterflies die out without these plants.

Seed Packet Information: California Pollinator Seed Mix

California Pollinator Seed Mix

We hope you enjoy your seeds from the CNPS SCV Wildflower Ambassadors program. This plant mix provides a variety of sun loving California native annuals and perennials that sustain pollinators over a long season.. 

Planting Instructions

Fall through winter is the ideal time to start growing California native wildflowers as these have adapted to capitalize on the fall and winter rains (October-February is best) and bloom in spring. They may be planted through April, but after that it is best to wait until at least September to plant them as they do not do well when planted in late spring or summer.

Checkerspot Butterfly by Vivian NeouChoose A Site & Prepare Your Soil

  1. Choose a spacious site in full sun.
  2. Prepare your soil (or several very large pots), by removing all existing growth and debris. If your soil is clay, break it up with some compost or cactus soil (sold at nurseries).
  3. Water thoroughly to help seeds settle into the soil. Continue to water a few times a week, unless it rains, so they don’t dry out after germinating. Seeds should sprout in one to three weeks. 
  4. After you plant your seeds, let the area ‘go natural’ by leaving the leaf litter on the ground. While many butterflies go into chrysalis on stems or other hard surfaces like branches, many others go into chrysalis in the debris. If you rake or blow it, you could accidentally kill or throw them away.

Avoid using pesticides anywhere in your garden, it will kill the beneficial insects such as bees, butterflies, moths, and ladybugs that you are trying to attract. Try to ignore bugs, as they are part of the ecosystem (for instance, hummingbirds eat aphids). If you hose the plant or try to remove pests you may dislodge butterfly or ladybug eggs or kill tiny caterpillars.  Avoid using herbicides as they also poison the ecosystem you are trying to nurture.

Plants In The California Pollinator Seed Mix

  • Yarrow, Achillea millefolium (hosts Northern Scurfy Quaker, Olive Arches, Yarrow Plume Moth, Smeathmann's Aethes Moth)
  • Mountain Garland, Clarkia unguiculata (hosts Clark's Day Sphinx Moth)
  • Fort Miller Clarkia, Clarkia williamsonii (hosts Clark's Day Sphinx Moth, White-lined Sphinx, Pacific Green Sphinx Moth, Mariposa Forester)
  • California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica (useful to pollinators, hosts Acmon Blue, Dotted Blue, Mormon Metalmark, etc.)Lupinus micrantha densiflorus himes crop small
    Central Valley Gumplant, Grindelia camporum (hosts Orange Tortrix Moth, Cremastobombycia grindeliella)
  • Dense-flowered Lupine, Lupinus microcarpus var. densiflorus (hosts Painted Lady, Acmon Blue, Boisduval's Blue, Silvery BLue, Orange Sulphur)
  • Rock Phacelia, Phacelia californica (hosts Oidaematophorus phaceliae, Clepsis fucana, Bilobed Looper Moth, Orange Tortrix Moth)
  • Great Valley Phacelia, Phacelia ciliata (hosts Bilobed Looper Moth, Orange Tortrix Moth, Geranium Plumed Moth)
  • Bolander's Phacelia, Phacelia bolanderi (hosts Bilobed Looper Moth, Orange Tortrix Moth, Geranium Plumed Moth)
  • Serpentine Sunflower, Helianthus bolanderi (hosts Painted Lady, Milbert's Tortoiseshell, California Patch)

The list of moths and butterflies hosted by these plants is just a sample, these plants are a host to many more - a comprehensive list of butterflies each plant hosts, and details about the plants and butterflies, can be found at Calscape.org

*”Host” = key food source for the caterpillars of these particular butterflies, that co-evolved to specialize over thousands of years. Butterflies die out without these plants.

CNPS SCV Wildflower Ambassadors

IMG 2893 jennifer wfaCNPS SCV Wildflower Ambassadors (WFA) hand out free native seeds and information at events and library talks, join and assist with tours of local native gardens, enjoy seed packing parties together, pitch in at pollinator gardens and restoration projects and promote native gardening on social media. Above all, they have a good time while inspiring people to start their own native gardens and create habitat for our native bees, butterflies, birds and more. 

The program is lead by Jennifer Dirking, the founder and inspiration for the Bring Back Bay Area Bees and Butterflies (BBBABB) group on Nextdoor. In the BBBABB Nextdoor group, members share ideas and upcoming events, invite friends to join, and post pictures of their gardens and of wildflowers they saw on hikes.

For more information and questions email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Want to sign up? Join the group: https://cnps-scv-groups.groups.io/g/WFA.

DSC09000 variable bluedicksSeed and Garden Information

Did you receive a free wildflower seed packet from us? Go here for more information about the seeds you received.

Learn more about habitat gardens and native plants on this webpage. 

Wildflower Seed Planting

Grow Wildflowers - Grow Butterflies!

Acmon Blue ButterflyCNPS Santa Clara Valley Chapter is promoting biodiversiity by giving free wildflower seeds to new native plant gardeners in our chapter area (Santa Clara and San Mateo counties) to re-energize the ecosystem in their home gardens. Together, we can bring back butterflies, bees, and birds. Find us at events to receive free seeds.

poppies & goldfieldsEach seed packet you receive from us contains California native wildflowers in rich hues of gold, orange, pink, purple and blue that, depending on their mix, will cover an 80-130 square foot area if scattered thinly and allowed space to grow to their natural dimensions.  The flowers will bloom in succession from early spring through late summer. You can disperse these seeds in an area planted with native grasses for a meadow effect. 

Scattering a packet of native wildflower seeds is a joyful way to restore lost essential habitat while enhancing your gardening experience. We hope you revel in the beauty of the flowers, colorful caterpillars, variety of pollinators, baby birds, and the dance of life in your garden. We offer several varieties of seed packets containing mixes from Larner Seeds:

Click on the links above for detailed planting instructions and descriptions of the seed mixes. For more information, check out the instructions at the Larner Seeds website.

clarkias-crop2-small.jpgThe beauty, color, and scent of flowers fill us with joy. Yet, very importantly, to the bees, butterflies and birds, flowers are an essential source of nourishment for their survival. The plants and flowers provide pollen for bees, nectar for butterflies and moths, and essential food for their young, the caterpillars. Butterflies drink nectar from many different types of flowers, but lay their eggs on just one or two types of host plants that will feed their offspring. The Variable Checkerspot, Silvery Blue, and other butterflies and moths rely on plants in these seed mixes as a caterpillar food source. The caterpillars, in turn, are essential for the survival of our local birds, since 96% of the birds that visit your yard depend on caterpillars to feed their young. Read New York Times Best Seller Nature’s Best Hope by Doug Tallamy or tune into the video. Spread the word to your friends and neighbors. Some neighborhoods are creating “butterfly corridors” with patches of wildflowers and native plants in each of their gardens. Enjoy! 

Your Wildflower Ambassadors at CNPS, Santa Clara Valley Chapter 

Contact us with questions at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Resources for Gardeners

The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is a science-based organization founded in 1965 with a mission to conserve California native plants and their natural habitats, and increase understanding, appreciation, and horticultural use of native plants. The Santa Clara Valley chapter covers Santa Clara County and southern San Mateo County. Check out the great resources on our website and the numerous talks on native plant gardening and native plant science on our YouTube channel. We also have chapter fieldtrips, online plant sales, and other exciting events like our annual Growing Natives Garden tour. The CNPS state website also has excellent resources and information to get you started with native plant science or gardening. 

Tortoiseshell crop. smallWant to find more California Native plants specific to your area, and the butterflies that use them as host plants? Then check out the wonderful CNPS Calscape website, which includes descriptions and planting information about every California native plant and links to native plant nurseries all over the state. For a user guide to using this amazing resource, watch this talk.

Discover flora and fauna in your region and across the globe, and even post your own observations on the iNaturalist app.

Seek answers to questions:

Why should we grow native plants to save birds and butterflies?  Listen to Susan Karasoff here

How can you restore nature in your garden? Dennis Mudd shares his insights

Where can you find more information about pollinator plants? Juanita Salisbury is an expert who talks about this. 

When should you plant, water, prune, or leave things alone? Helen Popper shares a month-by-month guide for California gardeners.

What planting methods and soil will ensure success? Haven Kiers from UC Davis shares some research. 

Looking for more native seeds? Check out the great selection at Larner's SeedsVarious mixes are also available from Pacific Coast Seeds. Also, Botanical Interests sells “California Color” and “Narrow Leaf Milkweed”.

Need Plants? Find nurseries and plant sales using our list.poppy w bee crop small

Seeking a few more butterfly resources? The Xerces Society is a great resource as well as the Bay Area Wildlife resource website. 

Looking for a list of great books for gardening with native plants and ifor wildlife? Go to our resource page for books.

Need help getting started with a native plant garden? Tips are available in this video

Want to see most of California’s native habitats in one location? Check out the Regional Botanic Garden in Tilden Park. 
Here is a list of public gardens with native plants.

Field Trip! Chapter field trips are listed here or on our Meetup page.

Contact us with questions at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  YouTube icon Facebook icon Instagram icon Meetup icon Twitter icon

Upcoming Events

Sun Jun 23 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Bird and Plant ID Walk at Lake Cunningham Park (San Jose)
Tue Jun 25 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
Native Plant ID
Fri Jun 28 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Friday Edgewood Restoration
Fri Jun 28 @ 7:00PM - 08:50PM
Photography Group - Photo Sharing Meeting
Sat Jun 29 @ 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Lake Cunningham Native Garden
Sat Jun 29 @ 9:00AM - 11:00AM
Community Work Day at the Native Plant Garden in Kirk Park
Fri Jul 05 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Friday Edgewood Restoration
Sat Jul 06 @ 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Lake Cunningham Native Garden
Sat Jul 06 @ 9:00AM - 11:00AM
Community Work Day at the Native Plant Garden in Kirk Park
Tue Jul 09 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Conservation Committee