Research, Plant Names, Photos, Identification

Links to the resources we actually use when we’re getting information on plants… botanists do like to keep us all busy as they are in a continual process of updating current plant names!

Jepson Project – General
The online component of the Jepson Flora Project, provides users with a single interface from which they can find the most comprehensive, scientifically accurate sources of information on the California flora.

Jepson Online Interchange
The most up-to-date plant names, as they progress.

US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Plants Database
The PLANTS Database provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories.

CalPhotos – Plants
CalPhotos has been on the web since 1995 and was one of the first online image databases specializing in natural history subjects. The database currently contains 218,330 digital images of plants, animals, and other natural history subjects, along with descriptive information including scientific and common names, location and dates of photos, and other information provided by the person or organization that contributed the photos.

Cal Flora
Information on wild California plants for conservation, education, and appreciation

UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program
Solve your pest management problems with UC’s best information, personalize it with interactive tools, or find out about pest management research and extension projects.

Public Gardens Featuring Native Plants

Great places all over California to see native plants.  Includes botanic gardens and some other treats as well!

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG)
RSABG is the largest botanic garden dedicated exclusively to California’s native plants. Located in Claremont, CA

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
The Botanic Garden is an educational and scientific institution. We foster stewardship of the natural world through inspired learning, rigorous scholarship, and premier displays. Located in Santa Barbara, CA

Theodore Payne Foundation
Theodore Payne Foundation promotes the understanding and preservation of California native flora. Native plants sold here! Located in Sun Valley, CA.

Environmental Nature Center
California’s varied topography, climate and soils have given rise to a remarkable diversity of habitats, with a corresponding diversity of both plant and animal species. The ENC showcases representative plants from 15 of California’s plant communities, although it does not come close to representing all of California’s amazing biodiversity! Newport Beach, CA.

The Fullerton Arboretum
Provide our visitors the opportunity to gain knowledge and appreciation of the plant world through collections that preserve and promote stewardship of worldwide plant diversity and regional agricultural heritage. Serve faculty, students and the broader community through education and scholarly activities. Channel Island Garden, special feature. Located in Fullerton, CA.

Golden West College – California Native Garden
The place to be for a glimpse of a genuine California landscape. Intriguing plants, beautiful flowers, subtle fragrance, as well as butterflies and birds! On the campus of Golden West College, Huntington Beach, CA.

Shipley Nature Center
Shipley Nature Center is an 18-acre natural area located in Huntington Beach, California., the nature center is not only a sanctuary for the local wildlife, but it is also a haven for the residents and visitors of Orange County. Native plants sold here! Situated within Huntington Central Park, Huntington Beach, CA

El Dorado Nature Center
El Dorado Nature Center is dedicated to the enhancement of wildlife habitat and the human spirit. Through education, citizen involvement opportunities, habitat restoration, and leisure activities, the Center cultivates among all members of the community a sense of respect, understanding and stewardship for the natural world. Regular native plant sales! Located in Long Beach, CA.

Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Gardens
Restored native plant garden opened to the public in June 2009. This native garden stands out because with its coastal location and numerous mature trees which provide lots of shade. Features many shade loving native plants! Located in Long Beach, CA.

Biotrek – Rainbird Ethnobotonay Learning Center, Cal Poly Pomona – Aasuingna
There are over 200 different species of plants in Aasuíngna, from California and the surrounding regions. Almost all of these plants have been used by the Tongva and other indigenous people, and many are ecological dominants in their native range. Located on the Campus of California Polytechnic University – Pomona. Pomona, CA

Mother Nature’s Backyard
Mother Nature’s Backyard is a water-wise and life-friendly demonstration garden. Installed in spring, 2012, the garden is located within the Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve, between Normandie and Vermont Avenues, one block north of Artesia Blvd at 1200 West 170th Street, Gardena, CA. The garden looks like a local backyard with a shady back porch and attractive permeable walkways. The garden demonstrates many ways to make your home garden more water-wise and life-friendly including gutters and French Drain, a rain garden, gardening based on water-zones (hydrozones), a bubbler fountain and use of California native plants for clay soils. Talks and hands-on workshops presented each month; how-to brochures available at the garden. For hours, directions, water-wise tips and other information visit Mother Nature’s Backyard Blog at :

South Coast Botanic Garden
The South Coast Botanic Garden, “The Jewel of the Peninsula”, is located on the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula, located 10 miles south of the Los Angeles Airport in California.

Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden (MBBG)
MBBG is a non-profit, all vounteer-run organization dedicated to promoting earth-friendly gardening techniques, encouraging the use of California native and drought-tolerant plants, and conserving our natural resources. The Garden is an outdoor classroom, providing a place of learning and enjoyment for the community. Located in Manhattan Beach, CA.

Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation Native Plant Garden
Our native garden contains over 750 plants, comprising over 50 different species. There are eight different types of sage plants, five varieties of manzanita, four species of wild lilac, and a variety of buckwheat, coffeeberry, currants, honeysuckle and hummingbird fuschia plus many others! All of our native plants are drought tolerant and require very little water. Located in Carlsbad, CA.

Leaning Pine Arboretum
The Leaning Pine Arboretum’s mission is to promote and assist in education, research, and public understanding involving appropriate plants used in environmentally sound landscapes. Located on the campus of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA.

Tilden Park Botanic Garden
The Regional Parks Botanic Garden is a naturally beautiful and tranquil living museum of California native plants. Located within Tilden Park in the hills above Berkeley, CA.


Organizations we have worked with that have specific focus on promoting the education, use and preservation of native plants.

California Native Plant Society (CNPS)
The California Native Plant Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the understanding and appreciation of California’s native plants and how to conserve them and their natural habitats through education, science, advocacy, horticulture and land stewardship. Chapters exist all over California, join your local chapter today!

California Native Garden Foundation (CNGF)
…to demonstrate the beauty, garden worthiness and ecological appropriateness of California native gardens.

The California Society for Ecological Restoration. SERCAL is a non-profit membership based organization dedicated to the purpose of bringing about the recovery of damaged California ecosystems.

Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes
Promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities. Wild Ones is a not-for-profit environmental education and advocacy organization.

Back to Natives Restoration (BTN)
BTN is dedicated to the restoration and conservation of Orange County and California wildlands, through education and restoration programs featuring native plants as a centralizing theme.

Sea and Sage Audubon Society
An Orange County Chapter of the National Audubon Society. Sea & Sage Audubon is a Leader in creating an understanding of nature in Orange County through conservation, research and environmental education programs for children and adults. Check out their Native Plants Gardening workshops!

Inside the Outdoors
Inside the Outdoors is a unique and hands-on environmental education program administered by the Orange County Department of Education.

Children and Nature Network
The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) was created to encourage and support the people and organizations working worldwide to reconnect children with nature.

California Master Gardener Program (UCCE)
The University of California (UC) Master Gardener Program extends to the public UC research-based information about home horticulture and pest management. In exchange for the training and materials received from the University of California, master gardeners perform volunteer services in a myriad of venues. Master Gardeners are also available locally to answer horticultural questions — find your counties page and get in touch with them!

Water District Demonstration Gardens

Many Water Districts encourage reducing outdoor water use by building demonstration gardens that feature “water-wise” plants, or, “low-water” use plants.  These gardens often include some “native plant” areas, as well as featuring low-water use plants from all over the world.

The Water Conservation Garden
Promoting water conservation in the southern California landscape through excellent exhibits and programs that educate and inspire the public. Located in East San Diego County.

Long Beach Water Department
Beautiful Long Beach Landscapes have so much to offer: from saving water, to helping the environment in many different ways, to freeing up our time (reduced maintenance), and more!

Western Municipal Water District
Created out of concern for Southern California’s water future, Landscapes Southern California Style, a one-acre water conservation demonstration garden, was designed to encourage public acceptance, desire for, and use of water-efficient landscapes. Located in Riverside, CA

West Basin Water District
In this garden, several techniques and materials are demonstrated to show you how to conserve one of our most important natural resources, water. Located in El Segundo, CA.

Planning, Landscaping, Garden Blogs

Planning a native landscape?  Need help or inspiration?  There is information ALL OVER about gardening with native plants, check some of these out.
We are dedicated to the environmental and aesthetic improvement of our cultivated landscape. We influence change and sustainable decision-making by providing inspiration and information that showcases environmentally responsible choices. Our motto “Growing Sustainability” summarizes our commitment to actively promote landscape sustainability as well as organize our business to succeed at no expense of the environment’s health. Tree of Life Nursery has partnered with Landscape Resource and we have made our catalog plant information available in the Landscape Resource Plant Library!

Be Water Wise
Metropolitan Water District Website about reducing water in the outdoor landscape. Includes rebate information as well.

Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program – National Wildlife Foundation (NWF)
By providing food, water, cover and a place for wildlife to raise their young–and by incorporating sustainable gardening practices–you not only help wildlife, but you also qualify to become an official Certified Wildlife Habitat™.

The Dry Garden : Chance of Rain Blog
The garden writing of Emily Green featured in the Los Angeles Times “The Dry Garden” blog.

Wild Suburbia Blog
Barbara Eisenstein is a California native plant gardener and horticulturist. Until recently she ran the Native Plant Garden Hotline at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and is now an RSABG Research Associate.

California Native Plant Society Blog
California Native Plant Society is dedicated to the preservation of California native flora. This blog will be focused on landscaping, and the appreciation of native plants.

Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden Blog
The concept for the Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden is to demonstrate the use of plants suitable for our small gardens and yet able to live in equilibrium with our natural climate and soil type, thus requiring little additional irrigation and no fertilizer or pesticides. This is their blog!

Obsession with Butterflies Blog
The Obsession With Butterflies “OWB Flutter-Blog” was created as a means of spreading an awareness of butterflies and the need to preserve their natural habitat. By providing information on butterflies and butterfly gardening, we hope to interest and educate others about these enchanting creatures.

Native Again Landscape
If you know all about greening your house with solar energy, then why not go green with your landscape designs as well? Make your garden self-sustaining on the sun and natural rainfall while saving the earth’s ecology for future generations. Our goal is to help you design and build your very own sustainable landscape design

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