Native Plant Tours

For those of you who want to learn more about the many uses of the native plants of our area, make arrangements to join us for a guided tour.  Tours are generally conducted from October through May.  Learn of one plant you can use to build a shelter, wash your clothes, and then make a little something to eat.  You can also learn how to rid yourself of Montezuma's revenge with another plant, and why you should never make a necklace with the seeds of another of our popular native plants.  Beginning in October of 2017, there are two ways to enjoy a tour at Rancho Lomitas, regularly scheduled tours or specially scheduled tours.  All tours last two hours.    


Beginning in October 2017, regularly scheduled tours take place every first and third Friday and Saturday of the month.  To attend a regularly scheduled tour, contact us to reserve your spot as there is a limit of 30 individuals per tour.  Guests must provide a contact name, phone number, and email if possible.  Reservations may be made as late as 5:00 p.m. the day prior to the tour.  Tours may cancel due to inclement weather as all tours take place outdoors.  We will use your contact information on your reservation to contact you regarding cancellations, so please check your voice mail and email prior to departing for the ranch.  The tours begin sharply at 10:00 a.m. and end at noon.  The gates to the ranch open at 9:30 a.m. and will be locked at 10:00 a.m. as latecomers will not be allowed to join the tour.  Refreshments will be served on the patio of the main house prior to the beginning of the tour.  Restrooms are available in a building near the main house.  The cost for adults is $15.00 per person and children pay half price.  The first eight tours and tentative topics for each are scheduled as follows:


  • Friday, October 6 - Landscaping to Attract Birds and Butterflies
  • Saturday, October 7 - Relationships (parasitic, symbiotic, competitive, prey, and others)
  • Friday, October 20 - Native Plants for Home Landscaping
  • Saturday, October 21 - Diversity (types of life forms and habitats)
  • Friday, November 3 - Bird Watching and Butterflying (observing and commenting on birds, butterflies and their behaviors)
  • Saturday, November 4 - Attack and Defense Mechanisms (speed, webs, poison, mimicry, and others)
  • Friday, November 17 - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (species that are beneficial or undesirable)
  • Saturday, November 18 - Life Cycles (the many and complex types)

       (Tour topics are subject to change.)


Tours can also be specially scheduled for a day convenient to your group.  Upon request, specially scheduled tours can focus on your particular interest whether it be medicinal plants, edible plants, fiber plants, birds, butterflies, or other interesting critters who reside here at the ranch.   Prices for specially scheduled tours vary with the size of the group:

  • 15 persons or more - $15.00 per person (children half price)
  • less than 15 - $225.00 per tour

Tours are generally limited to 30 people.  We can accommodate larger groups, but special arrangements must be made.    Special tours are available for school groups of at least 20 at $5.00 per student.  If it is a morning tour, have the children bring a sack lunch to enjoy on the patio.


Specially scheduled tours begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at noon unless other arrangements are made beforehand.  Gates open at 9:30 a.m.  Plan to arrive a few minutes early to enjoy refreshments on the patio.  If you join us on a weekend, you may get to sample a dish prepared with a native plant.



Rancho Lomitas Native Plant Nursery

           --- Where it's all about nature