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General Workshop and Registration Information

The Colorado Native Plant Society workshops are exceptional learning experiences for professional and amateur botanists alike. If you enjoy identifying Colorado's flora and learning about its varied ecosystems, please join us! All workshops include a lecture and hands-on interaction with plant material. Some workshops also include a short field trip. Our presenters are industry professionals who have direct knowledge of their subjects and a desire to share it with others.

Workshops usually begin at 9 a.m. and end between 2 and 3 p.m. and are held in various locations, usually along the Front Range. We suggest participants bring a lunch and any other materials, as noted below, for each workshop.

In addition, individual chapters offer workshops and field trips. See the Chapter web pages for information.

Workshop Registration

The registration fee for all workshops is $25 per session for members, payable at the time of registration. You can directly register for each CoNPS Workshop online using your PayPal account or any major credit card. If you would prefer to pay with a personal check made payable to “CoNPS”, please download the Workshop Registration Form, fill it out and mail it, along with your check, to CoNPS, c/o Linda Smith, 4057 Cottonwood Drive, Loveland CO 80538. Non-members must join CoNPS to register for a workshop. We hope you will join us and enjoy these workshops with us. Click for membership details.

Each workshop has a limited number of seats —usually between 12 and 20, depending on location. Registrations are processed in the order received. If a workshop is already full, you will be notified, your check will not be deposited, and you will be added to the Wait List if that is what you desire. If a workshop is already listed as "Full," please contact Linda Smith at and ask to be put on the Wait List. We often have cancellations and you will be called in the order you were placed on the list.

If you choose to mail in your registration form, please contact Linda Smith to make sure there is room available. If you choose to register online, you don't need to do so.
For any questions regarding registration, please contact Linda Smith at

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel one week before the workshop or earlier, we will refund your money or you can choose to apply that money to another CoNPS workshop. If you cancel less than a week before the workshop, no refund is guaranteed. If we have a Wait List and someone else can attend, your money will be refunded or you can apply the money toward another workshop. If we cannot fill your spot, your money will not be refunded. If a workshop is cancelled for any reason, we will reschedule the workshop or mail you a refund. Refunds will be made via check and mailed the week following the workshop.

CoNPS Workshop Committee

Workshops are organized by CoNPS Workshop Coordinator Linda Hellow with input from Workshop Committee Members: Steve Olson of Pueblo West; and Denise Wilson of Golden. If you have suggestions for future workshops, or if you would like to join the committee, please contact Linda Hellow at

Please check the website periodically for updates and additional workshops.

2013-2014 CoNPS Workshop Schedule

Introduction to Asteraceae Identification
PLEASE NOTE THE DATE CHANGE: Saturday, February 8 (Full), or Sunday, February 9, 2014, 9am to 3pm
Location: Regis University, Biology Lab, Denver
Presenter: Lindsey Brandt

One of the largest of plant families, the Asteraceae can be confusing to the beginning botanist due to family-specific terminology (what is a pappus, anyway?) and the presence of compound flower heads. This workshop will help to familiarize participants with the terms frequently found in aster keys and provide some hands-on samples for examination. While many species are easily recognizable as members of the Aster family, we will also review some species that might not, at first look, seem like they belong to the Asteraceae.

Lindsey Brandt is an environmental consultant who specializes in vegetation. She has been practicing her botany skills in Colorado for over 10 years. If she ever forms a band, she would like to call it “Grasses and Asters.”

Register for the Sunday, February 9 - Intro. to Asteraceae ID Workshop

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The Wonderful World of Cyperaceae
Saturday, February 22 (Full) or Sunday, February 23, 2014 (Full) 9am to 3pm
Location: Colorado Natural Heritage Program Office, CSU, Ft Collins
Presenters: Denise Culver and Pam Smith

Does the word perigynia scare you? What is a stylopodium? If these and other terms make you want to run, we promise this workshop will give you what you need to navigate the Cyperaceae key with confidence. We'll enter into the amazing world of sedges, spikerushes, cottongrasses, and bulrushes. Bring your Colorado Flora, Field Guide to Colorado’s Wetland Plants, hand lens and be ready to have fun and laugh with our “achene” sense of humor. (Both books will be available for sale at the workshop.)

Denise Culver has been a botanist/ecologist for more than 20 years and is an ecologist for the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. She has recently published the Field Guide to Colorado’s Wetland Plants: Identification, Ecology and Conservation. Pam Smith is a botanist for the Colorado Natural Heritage Program where she monitors over 500 globally and/or state imperiled plants and studies biodiversity.


How to Collect Native Plants
Saturday, March 1, 2014; 9am to 3pm
USDA Forest Service Office, Ft Collins
Saturday, March 8, 2014; 9am to 3pm
Jefferson County Extension Office, Golden
Presenters: Steve Popovich, Melissa Islam and Pam Regensberg

Collecting our native flora is necessary for scientific study. But how can it be done without harming our sometimes fragile populations? When and where is it legal to collect? This workshop will cover how to acquire the proper permits, determine land ownership and how to avoid collecting sensitive species. We'll also walk you through the process of collecting scientific specimens, including how to take field notes. This workshop is perfect for those conducting workshops, field trips or field studies.

Steve Popovich is the Acting Regional Botanist for the Rocky Mountain Region, and Forest Botanist/Rare Plant & Invasive Species Program Manager for Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland. He has 25 years in natural resource management of public lands, primarily focusing on the conservation and management of rare plants and plant communities in the West. Melissa Islam, PhD, is the Associate Director of Research & Head Curator at the Kathryn Kalmbach Herbarium at Denver Botanic Gardens. Her research explores questions about the diversity and ancestry of plants in the Southern Rocky Mountain region and similar regions around the world. Pam Regensberg, MS, is the Curatorial Assistant at the Kathryn Kalmbach Herbarium at Denver Botanic Gardens. Her research focuses on understanding and conserving biodiversity.

Register for Saturday, March 1 - How to Collect Native Plants Workshop

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Register for Saturday, March 8 - How to Collect Native Plants Workshop - (or you can pay at the door for this particular workshop - please email to receive details.)

Any notes for the organizer?
Contact Phone Number


Beardtongues of Colorado: A Primer on Penstemon
Saturday, April 12 (Full) and Sunday, April 13 9am to 3pm (Full)
High Plains Environmental Center, 1854 Piney River Drive, Loveland
Presenter: Craig Freeman

Penstemon (Plantaginaceae) is the third largest genus of flowering plants in North America north of Mexico; only Carex and Astragalus contain more species. Admired for their showy flowers and often dazzling displays, many species are distinguished by subtle characters that challenge even veteran botanists. Colorado boasts nearly one-quarter of the 238 North American species. Following an introduction to the morphology and taxonomy of the genus, we will explore the major sections and many of the species represented in Colorado. Samples of many species will be available for close examination by hand lens and dissecting scope. A basic knowledge of plant morphology and descriptive terminology is essential.

Craig Freeman is Curator in the R.L. McGregor Herbarium and Senior Scientist in the Kansas Biological Survey, both at the University of Kansas. He is the author of the treatment for Penstemon, which will be published in Volume 17 of the Flora of North America.

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