a service of   The Calflora Database
The NRCS eVegGuide (electronic Vegetative Guide) is a tool for finding plant alternatives based on specific NRCS land conservation practices for a particular MLRA (Major Land Resource Area). It provides lists of recommended plants, as well as seed and planting recommendations.

The eVegGuide is a sub-section of the California eFOTG (electronic Field Office Technical Guide). It contains the most recent information available from the Lockeford Plant Materials Center and the USDA Plants database. Further information and documentation is available for download from the eFOTG web page.

Quick Links:

If you have other questions about the eVegGuide please contact:

Version 2.33 November, 2015

    New Climate Factors
    Accumulated Temperature and Growing Season are now included as an additional climate factors in location suitability testing. (Accumulated Temperature helps to distinguish very hot places from moderately hot places; read more about it here.)

    Both of these factors are available as map background layers.

Version 2.32 October, 2015

    Location Suitability
    There is a column in the plant report called Suitability. Choose a point on the map, choose a practice, and press . The Suitability column will indicate which of those plants in the results are not suitable for the location because of climate factors, soil factors, or elevation. For native plants, this column will add a warning if the plant has not been reported growing wild near the location (within ~ 10 miles).

    Plants in the list will be ordered by the number of suitability warnings, with plants that have no warnings at the top of the list, plants that have one warning in the middle, and plants that have more than one warning at the bottom of the list (on a pink background).

    New Cover Crop Purposes
    Practice 340, Cover Crop, has the following new subpractices (AKA purposes):

    • Erosion reduction
    • Increase organic matter
    • Capture, recycle, and redistribute nutrients
    • Nitrogen fixation
    • Weed suppression
    • Soil-borne pest suppression
    • Supplemental grazing
    • Reduce soil compaction
    • Attract beneficial insects

    Most of the plants recommended for these purposes are non-natives, but some natives are included in Nitrogen fixation and Attract beneficial insects. Some plants are useful for more than one purpose. You can see all purposes for which a plant is recommended in the plant detail panel (click on the scientific name of the plant).

    Also, data for the Cover Crop practice is not specific to an MLRA. The same plants appear in the results no matter which MLRA is chosen. Especially for the natives, pay attention to the Suitability column to see what plants are appropriate at your chosen location.

Version 2.30 May, 2015

    In the Report tab, you can choose ANY as the value for MLRA. This has the following effect: Instead of looking for plants in a specific MLRA, the software will include plants from any MLRA in the results. Following this approach, be sure to select a location on the map, and then pay attention to the Suitability column to see what plants are appropriate at the chosen location.

    Invasive Plant Footnote
    The text of footnote 122 has been changed to
       Cal-IPC listed invasive plant with moderate or limited impact
    The eVegGuide does not contain any Cal-IPC listed invasive plants with high impact.

Version 2.29 April, 2015

    In the Report tab, when you get to the final report step, there is a new button (next to the button). The generated CSV document will open in Excel if you have it on your computer.

    The name of practice 512 has been changed from Pasture and Hay Planting to Forage and Biomass Planting.

Version 2.28 February, 2015

Version 2.25 July, 2014

    Many new plants have been added to a number of practices, including Dorado Bladderpod (Peritoma arborea) for hedgerows and field borders.

    The following practices have been removed:

      Channel Vegetation - 322
      Animal trails & walkways - 568
      Stream Habitat Improvement & Management - 395
      Shallow Water Development and Management - 646
      Early Successional Habitat Development & Management - 647
      Recreational Area Improvement - 562

    The following practices have been added:

      Windbreak/Shelterbelt Renovation - 650
      Tree/Shrub Establishment - 612

    There have also been several changes to the Plant Type classification. All plants that were classified Crop are now classified Cereal Grain. All plants in the family Fabaceae are now classified Legume.

Version 2.23 April, 2014

    4ETa Zone
    On the Report page, from version 2.0 on, the MLRA and the 4ETa Zone was filled in automatically when you clicked on the map. In this version, the 4ETa Zone is no longer filled in automatically. This change is to accomodate new plants which have no known range of 4ETa Zone values. (If a 4ETa Zone is specified in the search, the search will not find any plants which do not have 4ETa Zone values.)

    4ETa Zone can still be selected manually. To find the 4ETa zone of a particular location, open the map and click on it to indicate the location. Then choose 4ETa Zones from the BACKGROUND drop down. The map will show 4ETa zones, and the 4ETa zone of the chosen location will be indicated at the top left of the map.

Version 2.18 December, 2013

    Location Suitability
    There is now a column in the plant report called Suitability. Choose a point on the map, choose a practice, and press . The Suitability column will indicate which of those plants in the results are not suitable for the location because of climate factors, soil factors, elevation, or because the plant has not been reported growing wild near the location (within ~ 10 miles).

    To see details about the suitability of a plant to the chosen location, click on the plant name to open the plant detail panel, and press the Location Suitability link. This goes to a Plant / Location Suitability page, which shows how various characteristics of the location mesh with tolerances of the plant. (For instance, here is the Plant / Location Suitability page for purple needle grass at a location that is too dry.)

Version 2.12 October, 2013

    Map Background Layers
    There are new background layers available on the map. Press the Report tab, then press . When the map opens up, choose a BACKGROUND layer from the drop down. New climate layers (from PRISM data) are available, including annual precipitation, wet season, and temperature range. New soil layers (from SSURGO data) are available, including depth, pH, and salinity.

    When a background layer is showing, click on the map to see the value of the layer at that location. For instance, if the Annual Precipitation layer is showing, and you click on the town of Davis, you should see

      19 inches.
    Climate & Soil Profile
    While the map is open, check CLIMATE & SOIL PROFILE. A yellow panel opens to the left of the map which shows all climate and soil factors for the chosen location . Click on the name of factor for an explanation. (For instance, salinity as reported here comes from electrical conductivity in the SSURGO data.)

    There is also a link to the California Soil Resource Lab (SoilWeb) page which offers a full explanation of the chosen SSURGO map unit and all of its components.

    At the bottom of the panel there is a link Plants that grow under these conditions, which goes to Calflora's Advanced Search for Plants page, and searches for plants which meet the climate and soil conditions of the location. (Note that this is an experimental feature which is still being tuned and refined.)

Version 2.0 September, 2011

    Press in the upper right to login before using the eVegGuide. If this is your first time using it, press to set up a free Calflora account. This version of the eVegGuide is available to anyone with a Calflora account.

    The eVegGuide uses the same login system as Calflora. Once you have logged into the eVegGuide, you can use Calflora, and vice-versa.

    Choose Location on a Map
    Press the Report tab to run a plant or seed mix report. On this page, you can choose MLRA and 4ETa Zone directly, or press . When the map appears, click on your location -- the MLRA and 4ETa Zone will be inferred from the place you clicked.

    Plant Detail
    Choose a practice and subpractice, and press . To see information about a particular plant, click on the Scientific Name, and a plant detail panel opens up. From this panel you can

    • click through to a Calflora Taxon Report or a USDA PLANTS Profile
    • click through to CNPLX to see if this plant is available at any nearby nurseries
    • click nearby locations to see if Calflora has any observations of the plant growing in the wild near your current location

    Final Report
    To select a plant for the final report, click on the  0 %   in the left hand column, type in a percent, and press . When you have selected several plants, and the total percent adds up to 100%, press . At this point, only the selected plants appear.

    For a Microsoft Word version of the final report, press .

    Searching for Treatments, Plants, and Mixes
    Press the Data tab to search various components of the eVegGuide database, including treatments, plants, and seed mixes.

Please contact us if you need immediate help using the eVegGuide.
NRCS California eVegGuide Help Resources
Plant Web Links
The following applications are available for viewing and editing the eVegGuide data: