Calflora Logo About Calflora
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 2. a nonprofit organization responsible for providing this service. Calflora is run by the team described below. Information in Calflora comes from many sources: the Consortium of California Herbaria, iNaturalist, public agencies, non-profits, scientists, private donors, and you! (A list of all data sources is available here.)

Find Out About a Plant
You can enter the common or scientific name of a plant to find out about it. Or, 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 Observation Search. 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 California plants.

The Calflora Team

Cynthia Powell is 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 coordinates all of Calflora’s programs, research, outreach, and advocacy, as well as fundraising and management.
John Malpas lives in Sebastopol with his family. Formerly at AT&T Bell Labs and Nomura Securities, he has two decades of experience wrangling applications in many software technologies, the favorite being Java. In his spare time he is a native plant gardener.
Michelle Tollett is a Senior Biologist/Ecologist, ISA Certified Arborist, and Environmental Educator, and is Calflora’s 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.
Darrell Anderson is developing 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.
Ed Dorrington is developing the 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 designing and building complex systems.
Pete Frye leads the Weed Manager training program for Calflora. As a Resource Specialist with Marin County Parks, Pete was involved in the design of Weed Manager from the early days. He has a background in database design, decades of experience in habitat restoration, and spent years managing large vegetation datasets with a team using Calflora tools.
Foresta Sieck-Hill is a bookkeeper for various non-profits and worker-owned cooperatives across the state and country. She has been working on Calflora’s books since 2015. In her spare time, she likes to bicycle tour and swim in the SF Bay.
Katherine Kunz has worked as Calflora’s fundraising program consultant since 2017. She has two decades of experience in higher education and non-profit fundraising. She holds a PhD from the University of Basel, Switzerland, and a professional coaching certificate from Leadership that Works.

The Calflora Board

Cynthia Powell.

John C. Game, D. Phil., Research Associate, University of California Herbarium at Berkeley; Research Associate and Fellow, National Tropical Botanical Garden, Kauai.

Bob Marsh Director of Inveneo: Inveneo delivers the tools of technology to those who need it most in the developing world.

John Malpas.

Ron Vanderhoff, CNPS Orange Co. Plant Science, affiliations with Cal-IPC, UC Irvine Herbarium. Focus on plant status and distribution, invasive plant EDRR, rare plant conservation.

Jutta C. Burger, Ph.D., Science Program Director, California Invasive Plant Council.

Julie Kierstead, M.S., retired Shasta-Trinity NF botanist, CNPS certified consulting botanist, affiliations with UCJEPS and California Academy of Sciences; focus on rare plants of NW California, and documenting the flora of the Klamath Ranges.

We ask you to Register
No one is required pay for access to the data on Calflora. But we do ask you to register -- it helps us measure use and to improve your experience of Calflora. It also 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, start a group 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 based on the number of users. Please contact Calflora to learn more.

Thank you for Supporting Calflora
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 to the plant species table that have recently been recognized 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 Observation Search.
  • 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 the product of the vigilance of many engaged users.

    Volunteer Opportunities
    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 on Calflora.

    • 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?


    Calflora,   What Grows Here?,   Observation Search,   Weed Manager,   Calflora Observer,   and Observer Pro are trademarks of The Calflora Database.

    Civil Rights

    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.