Web Applications for INVASIVE PLANTS  About Calflora
Updated December 19, 2013

Calflora is working with
•  the Bay Area Early Detection Network (BAEDN) and
•  the California Invasive Plant Council
to help collect and map weed data across California. These organizations are embarked on an ambitious program of weed data gathering -- follow the links above for more information.


It is possible to record the absence of a plant by indicating the name of the plant, the area where you looked for it, and the date when you looked for it. Here is how:

  • Go to the Checklist Entry application and press . Enter the date.

  • Press SHAPE (top) and enter a polygon to describe the survey area.

  • Press PLANT LIST, and add the names of the plants you are looking for. Initially, set the COUNT value of each plant to ? (unknown).

  • When you find a plant on the list in the area, set the COUNT to a number (17) or a range (51 - 100) to indicate its relative abundance in the area.

  • If you look for a plant on the list and do not find it, set COUNT to 0, indicating absence.

  • Save the record.

What to do if you find an early detection target weed:

  • December 18, 2013: Calflora has contributed county level records of non-native plants to EddMAPS.

  • October 2, 2012: Calflora has contributed 230K non-native plant observations to the Calfornia Department of Fish and Game BIOS Viewer (metadata). The data that appears on BIOS is the result of a long conversation with the folks at BIOS about exactly what fields etc. they wanted to be included. Interestingly, lines and polygons are not included. Each record has a field indicating location quality (relative to the whole dataset) and a field indicating overall record quality (relative to the whole dataset).

  • UC Integrated Pest Management (UC Davis) has excellent coverage of agricultural weeds at the Weed Gallery. There are now links to the UC-IPM weed detail pages from each relevant Calflora Taxon Report page -- for instance, Abutilon theophrasti (the link is in Other Sources, bottom right). All weeds covered by UC-IPM are also available as a plant list (or an Illustrated Plant List).

  • Cynthia Powell at Cal-IPC uploaded 137,481 observation records during a six month period ending October 12, 2011. First, a number of partner organizations contributed their data using the Metadata Catalog application. Then Cynthia used the Observation Upload application on the contributed data, and when necessary, contacted data contributors to resolve ambiguous taxa or other details. The records are mostly of weeds, but include some native plants and a great deal of shape data -- a huge effort with a huge benefit.

  • At the October, 2011 Cal-IPC Symposium at Tahoe City, Cal-IPC demonstrated the beta version of CalWeedMapper (calweedmapper.calflora.org). CalWeedMapper is a quad-level online atlas of wildland weed distribution based on data from various sources including local expert knowledge. Calflora has been working closely with Cal-IPC since 2010 to collect weed observation data for CalWeedMapper.

    If you are working on weeds for a county or weed management area, CalWeedMapper will suggest which weeds are the important targets in your area, and produce documentation that can help secure funding for surveillance, eradication and containment efforts.

Methods of Collecting and Assimilating Weed Data

Weed Observation Entry
to enter observations one at a time.

Observer Smart Phone Application
to make onsite observations with your phone, Android or iPhone.

Photo Upload
to transform photos of plants into observation reports. If a photo is geotagged, the software will pick up the location; otherwise, you can set the location on a map.

My Observations
to review, edit and publish your observations.

Metadata Catalog / GIS Data Upload
to upload GIS datasets (shapefiles, geodatabases, spreadsheets etc.) for assimilation into the database. (Note: this is the simplest way to share your data!)

Observation Upload
to upload an entire dataset directly into the database by copying and pasting, for instance, from a spreadsheet. During the upload process, you assign fields in the dataset being uploaded to fields in the Calflora database. For line and polygon shapefiles, the geometries are stored on the server and associated with your uploaded records.

Recent BAEDN activities (click on the photos for details):
Limonium ramosissimum ssp. provinciale, Algerian sea lavender, Cordonices creek in Albany © 2011 Mike Permutter
Crupina vulgaris, bearded creeper, near Annadel State Park (Santa Rosa) © 2011 Mike Permutter
Petasites fragrans, winter heliotrope, Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley © 2011 Mike Permutter

See also News, Applications and Technical Notes

Methods of Searching for Weed Records and
Analyzing Weed Distribution

Plant Distribution Grid
shows the statewide distribution of a plant as a variable cell size grid, or as points. From the Taxon Report page for a particular plant, press the Distribution Grid link.

The cells are colored to make a heat map, indicating where a particular plant has been observed the most. For instance: Dittrichia graveolens in the Bay Area.

This application can show shape data (lines and polygons) when available. (See this plant list to see which plants have shape data. See also the Help Page for Plant Distribution) The grid is an interesting way to bring point data and shape data together on the same map, at whatever scale. Another example:

What Grows Here?
- move to an area of interest and zoom in
- open PLANT FILTER, and select Status = non-native
- press SEARCH

Search for Plant Occurrence Records
to search for records of a particular plant.

Weed Observation Download
to download records in a variety of formats.

Set Output Format = CSV-Excel to pull the results directly into Excel.

Set Output Format = KML to see the results in Google Earth, including lines and polygons.

2012 July 14:
Set Output Format = JSON to download records as JSON including lines and polygons as GeoJSON.

Please doctor, I've got to ask this. It sounds like, well, just as though you're describing some form of super carrot.
The Thng from Another World (1951)