Theodore Payne Foundation

By Nancy Sanchez -Environmental Anthropologist

On October 21st Climate Action Santa Monica’s Climate Jobs Corps (CJC) members went on a tour of the Theodore Payne Foundation to learn more about the native plants of California. During this tour Diego Blanco introduced the CJC to the ecological benefits of the California native plants in their native plant nursery and demonstration gardens. The CJCs observed the Foundation’s seed collection and storage facility, where seeds harvested from the wild are used to propagate native plants.  This is known as their seed regeneration program used to offer unique native species for sale and  also protect and restore wild plant populations (Seed & Bulb Program | Theodore Payne Foundation). 

One of the native plants that grabbed the attention of CJC member Isis Haynes was the Dudleya edulis, commonly known as the Fingertips or Ladyfingers. Dudleya edulis are cactus/succulent plants flowering between the months of May to July having natural habitats on soil, rocky slopes, and ledges that are below 4,300 feet. CJC members were also encouraged to engage with the plants by scratching and sniffing those that were fragrant, like sages..

After the tour CJC member Jasmine Contreras had this to say, “Theodore Payne Foundation is a lovely escape from the city. Truly a hidden gem. Staff is also super knowledgeable and were happy to answer all my questions.” 

With this experience CASM and its CJC members are glad to gain more exposure to native plants in their backyards. 


Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers & Native Plants is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the understanding, preservation, and use of California native wildflowers and plants. 

To learn more about the Theodore Payne Foundation visit their website at:

Theodore Payne Foundation 

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