Plants & Vegetation Types

I find all aspects of the natural world fascinating and truly enjoy studying life in its abundant diversity.  However, I often feel that I am a botanist at heart.  Here you will find a list of articles pertaining to individual plant species, as well as a list of California's major plant communities or vegetation types (below). 

But since plants are the base of each of our diverse ecosystems (as well as all life on earth!), they turn up in nearly every subject I study!  For more about plants in all their intricate and wonderful diversity - as well as links to lots of wildflower articles - visit the California Ecosystems page.

Suggested Reading: Introduction to California Plant Life (Robert Ornduff, Phyllis M. Faber, Todd Keeler-Wolf)

Plant Profiles:

Apricot Globe Mallow

Beavertail Cactus

Blue Elderberry

California Barrel Cactus

California Wild Rose

Claret Cup Cactus

Coyote Brush

Datura (Jimsonweed)

European Beach Grass

Joshua Tree

Many-headed Barrel Cactus



Pacific Dogwood

Quaking Aspen

Snow Plant & Pinedrops (Monotropes)


California's Plant Communities (Vegetation Types):

Coastal Strand
Ecology and Restoration of California's Coastal Dune Habitat

Coastal Prairie
A Land That Time Forgot: San Bruno Mountain

Coastal Salt Marsh
The Importance of Pickleweed & The Plight of California's Coastal Salt Marsh
Elkhorn Slough: An Ecological Treasure in Central California

Northern Coastal Scrub
Coyote Brush of California's Coastal Scrub

Coastal Sage Scrub
New Plants to Love in California's Coastal Sage Scrub

Maritime Chaparral
The Elfin Forest: A Land of Mythical Woodland Beings? Maybe Not Quite...


Closed-Cone Pine Forest

North Coastal Forest

Coast Redwood Forest
Into the Redwoods: Hike the Fern Canyon, James Irvine and Prairie Creek Trails

Valley Grassland
When California Was Wild: A Glimpse into the Past at Carrizo Plain
Horned Larks and California's Vanishing Prairie
Wildflowers of Carrizo Plain

Riparian Woodland
Life Along A Valley River: The Tuolumne

Freshwater Marsh
Ode To The Wetland: More Than Just A Marsh
Wetland Wanderings: Exploring the Great Valley's Marshlands

Valley and Foothill Woodland

Montane Forest

Montane Chaparral

Subalpine Forest

Montane Meadow

Alpine Fell-field

Pinyon-Juniper Woodland

Sagebrush Scrub
Botanizing on the Modoc Plateau (Lava Beds NM)

Shadscale Scrub

Alkali Sink Scrub

Joshua Tree Woodland
Joshua Tree Woodlands: A Tale of Sloths, Moths and the Trees that Need Them

Creosote Bush Scrub
Colorado Desert: Flowering Trees & Shrubs

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