En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Sunday - February 21, 2010

From: Ramona , CA
Region: California
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Plant identification sources for Southern California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I hike the trails here in Ramona a lot. I want to be able to identify the wildflowers as they bloom. They are beginning to bloom and I am afraid another year will come and go and I won't know the names of the "purple plumplets" or "yellow blommula's" (my own names) again this year. Where do I find out the names of our local flowers?

ANSWER:

First, here is a collection of online sources to help you identify Southern California wildflowers:

California Wildflowers, a database searchable by flower color, common or scientific name or family name is available from the California Academy of Sciences.

From California Lutheran University you will find Wildflowers of Southern California.

Wildflowers and Other Plants of Southern California online and also has applications for interactive guide application for iPhones and iPods.

You can register for free as a personal user to access the Calflora website about California plants.

CalPhotos from University of California-Berkeley has a large collection (>130,000) of photos of plants searchable by common or scientific names. 

Photographs of mostly native Southern California Wildflowers by Guy Bruyea.

Next, here are some titles for books that you can carry with you on your hikes.  The California Native Plant Society lists the following:

Flowering Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains by Nancy Dale

Introduction to California Desert Wildflowers by Philip Munz and others

Introduction to California Spring Wildflowers of the Foothills, Valleys and Coast by Philip Munz and others

Introduction to Shore Wildflowers of California, Oregon, and Washington by Philip Munz

Finally, you can find a list of publications for identifying California plants by choosing 'Plant Identification' from Select by subject and 'California' by Select by region in our Bibliography.

 

More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

History of plant Poliomintha longiflora
October 01, 2008 - My question is about the known history of a plant Poliomintha longiflora. In the 1930's (according to my grandmother) in any Mexican market in Texas you could buy this dried plant then known as Wild ...
view the full question and answer

Source of wildflower seeds indigenous to Dallas area
February 21, 2003 - Where can I get wild flower seed indigenous to the N. Texas (Dallas) area?
view the full question and answer

Need a source of mature horsetail plants in Memphis, TN.
May 06, 2012 - Where can I find mature horsetail plants in Memphis,Tn.? Need enough to fill a 6 foot long by one foot wide planter Need for it to look like it's been there forever.
view the full question and answer

Native plant nursery
July 07, 2005 - I want to grow wildflower starts for tough-to-grow plants for retail and commercial sale. And I prefer organic, but, jeez, one step at a time. Any guidance on the ins and outs of this business? D...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Tamarisk
July 31, 2005 - Where can I buy Tamarisk, and will it survive in Massachusetts? I've seen it in Provincetown, on Cape Cod.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center