What Grows Here? (WGH) can display a thorough plant list for a chosen area of the state
in several formats.
Select the area by moving and zooming the map, or draw a polygon,
or choose a polygon from a background layer, such as the
boundary of a State Park.
What Grows Here? Wizard
is available to help find a location by name in California.
Starting from the wizard, you will end up in the map application.
WGH provides some interesting ways to visualize plant data --
for instance, displaying the locations of several plants
on the map at the same time, assigning a different icon
to each plant. A set of plant - icon assignments is called a palette.
The various mapping applications can show a number
of background layers, or polygon sets.
Latest additions include
(all derived from data from the Prism Climate Group)
and various soil factors (eg. pH, Salinity)
from the NRCS SSURGO database.
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
when you edit the record in
Plant Observation Entry.
The entry applications include
the ability to add a line
or polygon to a record.
Use it to describe the spatial extent of an plant population,
or the area covered by a survey or checklist.
For example, Jerry Baker added this polygon
to describe the extent of a patch of
Astragalus Brauntonii, Baunton's milk vetch, in Los Angeles Co.
(This screen shot is from the Plant Distribution application. Note the blue
point showing through, which is a previous record of the same plant.)
The Great Places
places in California which are particularly good for viewing native plants.
The search page now shows the number of acres and the density
(native species per acre) for each place.
If you have already made a bunch of observations with photos
in a particular area, then that area would probably make
an excellent Great Place.
The places can include both wild locations and gardens where natives have been planted.
There are three component applications: a home/search page, a page about a particular place, and an editor for adding a new place page.
Use this application to search for native plants likely to grow well at
your chosen location. Click on the map to indicate the location, press SEARCH,
and the results will show commercially available native plants
appropriate to the elevation, climate and soil of the chosen site.
When you are seeing a good plant list, you can download it as a spreadsheet or email
it to yourself, and then forward it to native plant nurseries
to find out what they have in stock.
In version 0.72, the TOOLS menu includes a Download spreadsheet link.
Here is an example:
From the Taxon Report page for the plant, click on the link to go to the Location Suitability page.
Click on the map to indicate the location of your garden. Scan the third column, "LOCATION VALUES", to see if there are any pink warnings indicating location values outside of the tolerances of the plant.
If there are warnings, you may want to try a different plant.
If there are NO warnings, then this plant is compatible with the conditions at your location. As a further sanity check, press
SEARCH in the map area
to find out if this plant has been reported growing wild, close to your location. If it does grow close by, this is a good sign that it could do well in your yard.
(See also the
discussion on CNPLX.)
The Taxon Report page is now mobile friendly.
If you view it on a narrow width device such as a phone or tablet, it will adapt to
show the most important information in a single long column.
describing the Taxon Report page.
The map on the Taxon Report page indicates
plant presence by means of points and quads (instead
of by colored counties).
The map shows elevation in colors inspired by a
classic USGS map.
Mouse over the map to see county names, and
click on the map to see all records from that county
in Observation Hotline.
From the Taxon Report page, there are prominent links to
Plant Characteristics and Associations
including associated organisms and growth characteristics
(climate and soil)
PlantID.net is a new website which offers help in identifying
wild plants in Calfornia.
It has a really good search feature: from the top page, you can enter any of the following:
county plant type (eg. "shrub") flower shape flower color leaf shape
and the site will find the matching plants.
The site has lots of big photos, some of them annotated.
This site is the brainchild of Bruce Homer-Smith, and more useful features are coming.
For instance, here is an article on
The Calflora Taxon Report page also has a link to the PlantID.net
page for the same plant, for those plants now covered by PlantID.net.
The link is in the More Information section; for instance
This page shows the climate and soil tolerances
of a plant (the conditions under which the plant will grow).
link on this page to match plant tolerances
with the climate and soil factors of a particular location.
From the Taxon Report page for a particular plant,
link in the center.
The climate factor,
helps to distinguish very hot places from moderately hot places.
Also, the factor fomerly known as Warm Months has been
recalculated and re-named
Climate factors are mostly based on data from the
Prism Climate Group at Oregon State University.
Taken together, they describe the local climate of various locations in California.
By extension, the climate tolerances of a particular plant
can be inferred from values of the factors at locations
where the plant is known to grow.
The elevation values of all observation records
were updated, in meters, by referencing the point location against
a digital elevation model.
Also, whenever you edit an observation record
Plant Observation Entry, and change the
you can see the elevation of the new location immediately by pressing
The application will also update
the elevation value automatically when you save the record.
The elevation value comes from the Google Maps Elevation API.
Accurate elevation values can be important in predicting
where a plant will grow.
The elevation range of each plant was recently derived
by analyzing the elevation values of observations
of that plant. The elevation range in meters is reported on
You can be notified by email whenever new observation records show up in the database.
For instance, you might want to be alerted when any new observation
of a certain plant shows up in a certain area.
To set up an alert, first use
to search for the plants you are interested in, in the area you are
Then open TOOLS / SAVED SEARCHES, and save your search by name.
Then go to
My Calflora / Alerts. You will see the search you just saved in the
table of AVAILABLE SEARCHES. Click on that search, and choose whether
you want the alert every week or every month.
Here is an example of an alert, sent on September 1, 2016, for
Observations of Mimulus species with photos:
Here are 3 records that have been added or modified in the past month.
Mimulus guttatus, Yellow monkey flower
David popp, 2016-08-26 (modified on 2016-08-27)
Mimulus lewisii, Lewis' monkey flower
R. Adam Chasey, 2016-08-29
If you are a member of the group, you can use any one of these saved searches as
an email alert.
Comment on Observations
There is a
for observations. If you are registered
as a contributor, you can add a comment on any observation record.
Customize your Calflora Experience
My Calflora / Preferences,
you can specify your own center point for
observations. This becomes the starting point for various applications, including
Plant Observation Entry, My Observations, and Observation Hotline.
(If you haven't specified a center point, these applications start
If you belong to
you can specify a default group for all of your new observations.
It is also an option to ask for email notifications
when there is new activity in one of your groups,
or when there are new comments about your records.
Search for records of a particular plant, set
Output Format = KML
and press Download File
to view the results in Google Earth.
If there are any lines or polygons in the results,
you will be able to see them in Google Earth.