For histories of works on California flora and vegetation classification see the History of the Statewide Floras of California (Sathrum) and the History of Vegetation Classification in California (Sawyer and Keeler-Wolf)
California Invasive Plant Inventory (California Invasive Plant Council) 2006, with 2007 update. Summarizes the impacts, potential for spread, and distribution of more than 200 non-native plants that invade wildlands in California. Categorization is based on an assessment of the ecological impacts of each plant and represents the best available knowledge of invasive plant experts in the state. The associated California Invasive Plant Inventory Database allows one to search by region.
California Plant Community Information System (NatureBase) 1997 ( Ref QK 149 C37 1997) CD-ROM database that includes descriptions of 200 plant communities (43 Munz & Keck communities and nearly 150 series from A Manual of California Vegetation). Includes cross-references from Holland's 1986 California terrestrial natural communities and Munz & Keck communities to series from A Manual of California Vegetation. Features brief descriptions of over 1,000 trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals that can be accessed by plant community and name.
California Vegetation (Holland & Keil) 1995 (QK 149 H64 1995) Textbook that provides a general introduction to the environmental influences on and the history of California vegetation followed by short descriptions of California's major plant communities. Intermediate in scope between Ornduff'sIntroduction to California Plant Life and Barbour's Terrestrial Vegetation of California.
California Wildflowers (California Academy of Sciences) Contains descriptions and photos of 125 common California wildflowers. Search by scientific name, common name, family or color.
California's Changing Landscapes: Diversity and Conservation of California Vegetation(Barbour) 1993 (QK 86 U6 C34 1993) Popularly written work that discusses individual California plant communities in relationship to how they have changed over time due to humans impacts beginning with Native Americans, what has replaced them, and what the future holds for them.
Centres of Plant Diversity: Americas: California Floristic Province, Klamath-Siskiyou Region, North American Serpentine Flora and Vernal Pools (Smithsonian Institution and IUCN) Of 250 sites worldwide California contains four sites that have been identified as a center of plant diversity in need of conservation. Each sites contains information on its geography; vegetation types; flora (endemism, floristic affinities, number of rare and endangered species, specific areas of high diversity and endemism); useful plants; social, economic and environmental values; threats, and conservation efforts and needs.
Common Riparian Plants of California: a Field Guide for the Layman (Farber and Holland) 1992. (QK 149 F269) The definitive wetland field guide to California's riparian plants.
I. A specimen-based catalogue of mosses (Norris and Shevock) Madroño 51: 1-131, 2004. Lists 596 mosses documented for the state of California. Each species entry contains the following attributes: 1) literature references for that species in California, 2) citation(s) for illustrations, 3) statewide distribution based on physiographic provinces, and 4) citation of representative specimens.
II. A key to the mosses (Norris and Shevock) Madroño 51:132-269, 2004. Includes keys for 731 mosses known to occur in the Pacific States of Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and California. In addition these keys also include mosses recorded from Baja California, Norte, Mexico.
III. Keys and Annotated Species Catalogue for Liverworts and Hornworts (Doyle and Stotler) Madroño 53(2):89-198, 2006. Provides keys and identification narratives for the 150 liverworts and hornworts documented for California. It is similar to the catalogue and key to the mosses, with the added feature of diagnostic narratives to separate species beyond the use of the keys.
Ferns and Fern Allies of California (Grillos) 1966 (QK 525 G73) (California Natural History Guides # 16) Includes keys and descriptions of 87 species in California.
Flora of the Marshes of California (Mason) 1957 (QK 938 M3 M3) Standard taxonomic work on the plants of the salt, alkaline, and freshwater marshes of California
Fungi of California (Wood and Stevens) Includes descriptions and photographs for over 400 California fungi. Browse by species or genus or use a simple key.
Grasses in California (Crampton) 1974 (QK 495 G74 C7) (California Natural History Guides # 33) Includes sections on distribution of California grasses, key to grass genera, and descriptions of 162 species.
Guide to Plant Communities of California (Las Pilitas Nursery) Descriptions of California plant communities as adapted from Munz's California Flora. Search by zip code or city.
Illustrated Flora of the Pacific States, Washington, Oregon, and California (Abrams and Ferris) 1923-1960 (QK 143 A3) This four volume work features line drawings for every species that illustrates their diagnostic features, especially seed, fruit and flower characters. These illustrations are very helpful to lay readers and beginning botanists. The work is noted for its references to synonomy and original publications. Keys, which cover such a broad geographic range, can be overly inclusive for utility at the extremes of their range and taxonomy and nomenclature are outdated. For further information see History of the Statewide Floras of California.
Illustrated Manual of California Shrubs (McMinn) 1964 (QK 484 C2 M24) Systematic and descriptive account of the shrubs of California that lists about 800 species and 200 varieties of native shrubs.
Introduction to California Plant Life (Ornduff, Faber and Keeler-Wolf) 2003 (QK 149 O73 2003) Popularly written overview of California's flora, plant communities, and the environmental factors and human impacts that determine their pattern of distribution.
Introduction to California Soils and Plants: Serpentine, Vernal Pools, and Other Geological Wonders (Kruckeberg) 2006 (QK 86 U6 K78 2006) (California Natural History Guides # 86) Introduction to basic principles of plant geography and plant endemism with specific examples from California. The book shows how California geology has created unusual soils and land forms--serpentines, carbonate rocks, salt marshes, salt flats, and vernal pools--which in turn has resulted in a great biodiversity in plant life. Includes a directory of sites to visit that show how landforms and soils influence plant life.
Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands (Bossard, Randall and Hoshovsky) 2000 (print copy available in SB 612 C2 I58 2000) Contains information on the history of invasive plants in California, their managment and species accounts for 78 nonnative plant species that are listed by the California Exotic Pest Plant Council as being of greatest ecological concern in California.
Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California (Hickman) 1993 (Ref QK 149 J56 1993 and general bookstacks) This field guide is the most comprehensive identification guide to native and naturalized vascular plants of California. It describes the features, habitats, and ranges of 5862 native and 1023 naturalized species found in California. 4000 plants are illustrated in more than 200 b/w plates. Plant group treatments vary in quality depending on the author. Each taxa includes key traits and may include information on horticultural requirements, endangered status, toxicity, weed status, and sensitive species management. Identification keys are designed for ease of use. For further information see History of the Statewide Floras of California.
Lichens of California (Hale and Cole) 1988 (QK 587.5 C2 H35 1988) (California Natural History Guide # 54) Contains keys, species accounts, and range maps for 325 of the 1000 lichen species found in California. Also includes general comments on the structure, chemistry, and ecology of lichens.
Manual of California Vegetation (Sawyer and Keeler-Wolf) 1995 (print copy available in ref QK 149 S28 1995) The standard guide to California plant communities that contains keys and descriptions of 275 California vegetation series, each of which is characterized by a dominant species. Each series description includes information on species composition and structural features; habitat-associated factors; geographic range and elevation; relationship to other classification systems; status; literature references; unique comments about the series; associations included in the series; and a color image of the series. The print edition includes 40 pages of literature references not included in the online edition. Published by the California Native Plant Society this classification has been widely adopted by federal, state, and non-governmental organizations in the state.
Serpentine Geoecology of Western North America: Geology, Soils, and Vegetation (Alexander) 2007 (Digital book available to HSU users only) Introductory chapters cover the geology, hydrology, soils and plant life on ultramafic rocks and serpentine soils. The longest part of the work contains descriptions of 112 serpentine sites arranged into 10 domains. California domains include the Sierra Motherlode, Southern California Coast Ranges, Northern California Coast Ranges and Klamath Mountains. Each domain includes information on the geology, soils and vegetation of that domain with more specific descriptions for each site in the domain. Appendix G includes a list of “California Plant Taxa Endemic to Serpentine”.
Terrestrial Vegetation of California (Barbour, Keeler-Wolf and Schoenherr) 2007 (ref QK 149 T44 2007) The standard scholarly treatise on the major vegetation types of California that covers their physiognomy, species composition, geographic distribution, and relationships with the environment and with humans. Correlates with the 55 vegetation type delineated by Kuchler on the Natural Vegetation of California map.
Trees and Shrubs of California (Stuart and Sawyer) 2001 (ref QK 149 S73 2001) (California Natural History Guides # 62) Scholarly field guide to the woody plants of California's wildlands. Intended for both amateurs and professionals. Includes 200 line drawings, 300 range maps, 40 color plates and easy-to-use plant keys.
Weeds of California (Robbins, Bellue and Ball) 1951 (Cal Doc A 500 W44 1951) Includes taxonomic keys and descriptions for approximately 700 introduced and natural weeds in California. Stock-poisoning plants are included, but are treated in less detail than the strictly weedy species of cultivated areas. Includes color and B/W illustrations.
Weeds of California and Other Western States (DiTomaso and Healy) 2007 (ref SB 612 C2 D58 2007) Includes species accounts for 677 non-native weeds and approximately 140 native weedy species. Most accounts are illustrated with at least one color photo. Also includes an accompanying cd with the same color digital photos. Species accounts include taxonomic descriptions at various life stages, habitat, distribution, propagation and management. First major work on weeds of California since Robbin’s 1951 work Weeds of California. Complement to Aquatic and Wetland Weeds of the West written by the same authors in 2003.
Wild Flowers of the United States (Rickett) 1966-1975 (Ref QK 115 R5) (6 vols. in 14 parts) Vol. 4. The Southwestern States in three parts and Vol. 5. The Northwestern States in two parts cover California. Designed for the amateur botanist this multi-volume work attempts to include all wildflowers of the United States. Non-technical keys get users to the generic level where there are desciptions and color plates of each species.
For background information see "History of Vegetation Classification and Mapping in California" (Keeler-Wolf) IN Terrestrial Vegetation of California (Barbour, Keeler-Wolf and Schoenherr) 2007, pp. 1 - 42 ( print copy available in Ref QK 149 T44 2007)
Guides and Indexes
Maps and Atlases
Fremontia (California Native Plant Society) Quarterly magazine that features articles covering botany, horticulture, vegetation in land management, CNPS projects, and related native plant topics. Many issues are thematic.
Status of Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Animals and Plants in California (California Department of Fish and Game) Periodic (Cal Doc F650 T52) Starting in 1972, after passage of the California Endangered Species Act of 1970, these periodic reports describe the current status of state listed plant and animal species and recovery efforts being made to ensure their enhancement and survival. Earlier reports are found under alternative names --At the Crossroads: A Report on the Status of California's Endangered and Rare Fish and Wildlife (Cal Doc F650 A8) and Annual Report on the Status of California's Threatened and Endangered Plants and Animals (Cal Doc F650 T52).