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

Replacing Drought-Stricken Cedars
January 16, 2012 - Hello, I live in Williamson County on a couple acres. We have several dead cedars as a result of drought; we're reluctant to cut them down because many of them provide a friendly barrier between us...
view the full question and answer

Source for two violas for Houston
July 10, 2013 - I live in Houston, TX. Can you tell me where I can buy viola rotundifolia and viola cucullata? I understand these are round-leaved yellow violet and marsh blue violet respectively. I stumbled on these...
view the full question and answer

Source for photo of Helianthus nuttallii
January 10, 2006 - I need a photo of Helianthus nuttallii. Can you help me?
view the full question and answer

Restoring the woods in Central Austin.
May 08, 2012 - I live in Austin, south central between Red Bud trail close to the low water bridge and Bee Caves road. My question: I want to make the wooded sections of my yard attractive. They have filtered sun...
view the full question and answer

Gathering seeds of Indian Blanket from Duncanville TX
June 09, 2012 - We have a field full of Indian Blanket that are blooming now and would like to share some seeds with our friends! Where is the seed on them and I take it we wait till they are done blooming to get the...
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