Database Version 03-01-16
1006 Species
7464 Photographs

The Wildflower web site now includes both the  Introduction  and the  Dichotomous Keys  from A Naturalist's Flora of the Santa Monica Mountains and Simi Hills, California (abbreviated on this site as ANF.) These additions mean that almost the entire content of ANF can now be found on this site. Some of this content has been provided by the authors in the PDF format. In order to be able to read them you will need to have the Adobe Reader plug-in installed for you browser. Most people will find that these PDFs open seamlessly within their browser, but if not, the Reader is a free download from the web site.

The "Floristic Region" covered in this project follows that defined by the digital Vegetation Map created by the Santa Monica Mountains NRA as part of the Park Service's Inventory and Monitoring program. This is slightly larger than that covered by ANF, and geographically includes the entire Santa Monica Mountains, extending from the Oxnard plane in the west to Griffith Park in the east, and the ocean in the south to much of the Simi Hills in the north.

We have now included the entire list of plants from ANF on this web site, even those for which we currently have no pictures. Most of these have not been photographed simply because we have not seen them yet, probably because a current location for them is not known. This will be indicated by a gray placeholder thumbnail with the words "Picture Not Available." If you encounter any of the plants in or near the Floristic Region we would be eager to know. Similarly, if you find something in range that we have not listed here we would like to hear about that as well. Our contact information is listed at the bottom of this page and we have generally also provided a link to it on any of the pages containing the placeholder thumbnail. Here is a link to the Special Query listing these empty records: Plants that we are still hunting for. It is possible that many of these have been extirpated since they were last seen but they are still candidates for future encounters.

Access to the plants on this web site is by way of three tables of names or through the search function available in the Flower Finder. The tables of names are sorted alphabetically by either Common Name (CN), Scientific Name (SN), or Family Name (FN). The links in these tables lead to a single page featuring details of the chosen plant. In most cases you can scroll down the detail page to see more pictures of the plant. At the top of these detail pages are a pair of links to the previous and next plant as sorted by families. These links emulate the turning of pages in a printed field guide. Plants are sorted by families in field guides since it puts plants that look alike next to each other.

Each web page featuring a plant includes the scientific name, the family name, and at least one common name. In addition, we provide the approximate location, habitat, and date that the plant was photographed. If more than one common name is given we will capitalize the one which we have cross-referenced to the scientific name. In almost all cases the main scientific name shown is from the second edition of  The Jepson Manual, TJM2. Below the main entry there may also be a name listed from the first edition, TJM1, and in some instances from the  Flora of North America, FNA, as well. In rare cases names may be included from other non-specified sources under the heading "Other scientific names." An asterisk (*) placed after a name denotes a non-native. The links to the Next Species and Previous Species at the top of each page are to the next or previous plant as ordered by scientific name sorted by families. In almost all cases you can scroll down to see more pictures of the plant.

The common names have been pulled from many different sources including printed materials, electronic databases, and common usage. There are about 3500 common names listed for the 1000 plant species included in the website. In no way should this listing be considered complete even within the locale of Southern California. The main disadvantage of including multiple common names for each plant is the much larger list of names to hunt through to locate a particular plant. To assist with that we have included an index at the top of the table and a number of internal page jump links throughout the table. Look for the jump arrows   <   and   >   to speed navigation within the table. Another assist is to include a small table of lowercase "second" letters after the main letter headings. You can click these to jump to the second letter of the names. An unavoidable disadvantage of including many common names is more cases where two or more different plants are referred to by the same name. These will appear as multiple outwardly identical entries in the list, but each link will have a different target plant. In cases where there is more than one common name for a plant we have capitalized the name we have chosen for the principal entry. Finally, the common name page has been segmented into eight smaller pages to improve its performance on small hand-held devices.

In the interest of saving space and minimizing confusion we have tried to eliminate spelling variations for the common names (for example, cobweb and cobwebby, or bind weed and bindweed and bind-weed). On the other hand we have deliberately included spelling variations if there are different common names that make use of a variable word. For example, Artemisia californica has common names "California sagebrush" and "coastal sage brush" listed for it hinting that different authorities treat the word(s) "sagebrush" differently. In a situation like this you might expect that both "California sage brush" and "coastal sagebrush" could be found as well. Some of the principal sources we have consulted for common names include Milt McAuley's Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains, The Jepson Manual, ANF, and the USDA. In many cases we have used McAuley's common name as the main entry since his excellent field guide is frequently used by local flower enthusiasts.

The thumbnail pages generated by the Search function of the Flower Finder are segmented into roughly 100 plants per page whenever the search returns a large number of plants (this is done to keep the performance of under-powered tablet devices like smart phones from bogging down or in some cases crashing.) Even with this segmentation it can take several minutes to download these big pages over a slow internet connection. Depending on the settings of your web browser, this can lead to a "time-out" situation where some pictures may fail to load. In that case you can try refreshing the page, or alternatively, right click a missing picture and choosing 'Show Picture.' The arrangement of the thumbnails is alphabetically by family and within families by scientific name. The Flower Finder requires JavaScript to operate. If it is disabled in your web browser nothing will happen when you click the "Submit Search" button (it is unlikely that this will be a problem since almost all modern web browsers have this enabled by default.)

When photographing small flowers the camera was usually positioned as close to the flower as possible, often resulting in a greatly enlarged view of the flower. For plants with clusters of flowers we usually tried to focus on a single flower while still retaining enough of the cluster to indicate that it exists.

All pictures containing a measurement grid employ a 1mm scale unless otherwise noted.


Anthony J. Valois

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