Web Applications for INVASIVE PLANTS  About Calflora
    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.
Updated October 4, 2014

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



Some weeds seem to be spreading faster than Google Maps updates its aerials.

-   Anononymous weed observer, 2014

Weed Manager
    Components of the Weed Manager system are now available. For the latest, see this document.
    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.

  • Go to the Plant Observation Entry application and press .

  • Choose a Project that has the Number of Plants field. If the value of Organization is Independent (the default), choose the Advanced Data Collection project.

  • On the map, move to the general area where you looked for the plant, and zoom in. Press Shape (left) and enter a polygon to describe the survey area.

    (If you have already drawn the polygon and saved it by name, choose it from the SAVED SHAPES drop down.)

  • Enter the name of the plant.

  • In the Number of Plants field, choose 0, indicating absence.

  • Save the record.


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

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

    (If you have already drawn the polygon and saved it by name, choose it from the SAVED SHAPES drop down.)

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

  • Save the record.

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

  • October, 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

Plant 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 © Mike Permutter
Crupina vulgaris, bearded creeper, near Annadel State Park (Santa Rosa) © Mike Permutter
Petasites fragrans, winter heliotrope, Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley © Mike Permutter
Plant Lists  

See also News, Applications and Technical Notes