What is Calflora?
Calflora is 1.
a website you can use to learn about
plants that grow wild in California (both native plants and weeds); and
a nonprofit organization responsible for providing this service.
Calflora is run by
Information in Calflora comes from many sources: public agencies, non-profits, scientists, private donors, and you!
Find Out About a Plant
You can enter the common or scientific name of a plant to find out about it.
use the name wizard
to just enter part of a name and have the wizard make suggestions. The result is an illustrated table of plants that match the name you entered. Click one of the plants in the table to learn the details about that plant — in particular, where it’s been observed in California.
Try it out!
Find Out What Plant Observations Have Been Made...
by a certain person, of a certain plant, in a certain area, or during
a certain time period.
The application that does this is called
The observations that match your criteria
are displayed as colored icons on a Google Map.
Click on an observation to see photos and other details.
Try it out!
Find Out What Plants Grow in a Place
You can also choose a place and get an illustrated list of
the plants that grow there.
The application that does this is called
What Grows Here?
You define "here" by picking a place on the map, or by choosing park boundary,
place name, etc. Refine "here" by zooming in and out of the map,
or drawing a polygon.
Then click SEARCH
to get an illustrated list of plants known to grow "here."
Try it out!
There’s a lot more to Calflora than these basic tools --
you can learn about Calflora’s more advanced features
at the top of this page,
where you will find links to many web applications concerning
Special Purpose Applications for Contributors
The Calflora Team, 2018
Roy West has volunteered as a director of Calflora for over ten years, handling bookkeeping, grant-writing, and other administrative tasks. Previously he served for 6 years as co-director of the East Bay CNPS chapter’s plant sale, and after that as a director and then administrative VP of state CNPS. Roy lives in Berkeley with his family and is particularly fond of native shrubs, orchids, and lilies.
lives in Sebastopol with his family and 11 chickens, one chicken for each year he’s been at Calflora. Formerly at AT&T Bell Labs and Nomura Securities, he has two decades of experience wrangling web sites
in many software technologies, the favorite being Java.
In spare time he is a native plant gardener.
After 3 years as Calflora’s GIS Project Manager, Cynthia is now Calflora’s Executive Director. She graduated with her MS in GIS in 2010 forecasting Mokelumne River water supply based on MODIS remote sensing snow pack images. She’s been examining what was under that snow — plants — ever since. She now coordinates all Calflora programs, research, outreach, and advocacy, as well as fundraising and management.
Michelle Tollett is a Senior Biologist/Ecologist, ISA Certified Arborist,
and Environmental Educator, and is Calflora’s new SoCal Communications and
Outreach Director. In this role she educates non-profits, consulting firms, academics,
and the general public, in the many ways to use Calflora’s plant data. She is also
a volunteer Naturalist for Newport Bay Conservancy and Tejon Ranch Conservancy educating
students and the general public about conserving local natural resources.
the Calflora Observer Pro Android phone application for collecting plant observations
in the field. His latest personal project is an Android word game experimenting with creating a multi-player experience from a single-player game.
is developing the new Calflora iOS app for
collecting plant observations in the field.
He is also helping to maintain and expand Calflora’s core technologies.
Ed has over 30 years of experience leading, designing, and building complex systems.
We ask you to Register
No one is required pay for access to the data on Calflora.
But we do ask you to
It helps us measure use,
improve your experience of Calflora, and it helps us when we ask foundations for support. Registering is free.
To register, click on LOGIN - REGISTER in the upper right corner of the home page,
and fill out the short form. It takes a minute.
As a contributor, you can take part in
another level of Calflora, which includes contributing observations,
commenting on other’s observations, participating in groups,
getting help with plant identification, etc.
Links to applications specifically for contributors
are typically shown in violet:
Plant Observation Entry.
Once you register,
please don’t let anyone else use your account.
(When more than one person uses the same account to contribute
observations, quality control becomes difficult for everyone involved.)
If you need to work closely with other contributors,
and invite the others to join it.
Compliance Documents and Other Professional Use of Calflora
Those who use Calflora for their work
(to follow CEQA or NEPA guidelines, or other professional work)
pay an annual service fee.
to learn more.
Any financial contribution you make to Calflora is used for these purposes:
To maintain Calflora’s data infrastructure. This includes keeping up with plant name changes, and adding new plants that have recently appeared in California.
To maintain the various web applications. We are engaged in a constant process of finding and fixing bugs, and adding new features to applications such as
To support users who have particular questions about how to use the search applications, or how to contribute data.
To maintain the iPhone and Android phone applications and supporting infrastructure.
These phone apps are used by contributors to add observations to the database.
Contact us for Support
An important part of the service that Calflora provides is support
We’re eager to answer any questions you have about any part of Calflora.
Write to us
and you’ll typically get a response in a few hours.
We’d also love to hear your ideas for making Calflora more useful to you.
Participate in the Calflora Community
We (the Calflora team
) rely on
a community of interested and engaged users.
If you are interested in wild plants in California,
you are cordially invited to join this community.
For instance, if you are aware of a plant growing wild
in some park or other location where it is not yet
shown on Calflora, we urge you to register as a contributor and
to add an observation of that plant where you know it grows.
Equally important: if you notice information on Calflora
that seems wrong or incomplete, please
let us know.
If it is an observation record that does not look right
and you are a contributor, you can write a comment on the record.
We do pay attention to comments and answer emails.
In this sense, what you see on Calflora is in part the product of
the vigilance of many engaged users.
Volunteers are an important part of
the ongoing quality assurance process. If you have the inclination
and a little bit of time, we would love to have your help.
Here are some particular volunteer jobs:
- Add new Great Places.
This job entails finding botanical hotspots that already have
many photo observations of native plants
(or that should have!). Then, visiting the place, finding out
who manages it, and finally entering that information into a Great Place record
- Choose plant photos for the Taxon Report pages.
For some people, this job is the ultimate kind of fun,
because you get to look at lots of plant photos on Calflora and CalPhotos,
and answer these questions:
Are the available photos of a plant accurately identified?
Do the available photos of a plant show identification characteristics?
Which are the best photos of close-up characteristics (flowers, leaves, etc.)?
Which are the best photos showing the whole plant?
What Grows Here?,
and Observer Pro are trademarks of The Calflora Database.
In accordance with Federal law and US Department of Agriculture policy, Calflora is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9419 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.