Wildflowers of Southern California: A photographic gallery
What's that plant? Glossary | Help

Chaparral - Help

To work the key, look first at the choices with the margin the farthest left. There may be two or more possible choices. After selecting a choice, look at the descriptions that are indented below the one selected. Continue in the same manner.

For example, in the key below for trees:

  • Leaves with prickly teeth on the margin
Coast live oak
  • Leaves with a lobed margin
  • Leaves deeply 5-lobed, grows along streams
Western sycamore
  • Leaves shallow lobed, grows in valleys
Valley oak
  • Leaves with tiny teeth or no teeth on the margin
  • Leaves paler on under surface
Red willow
  • Leaves green on both surfaces
  • Leaves with strong bay odor when crushed
California bay
  • Leaves without bay odor
California black walnut

You have three choices for the leaves. Suppose you have a tree whose leaves have a lobed margin. Then, you will select that choice and then decide whether the leaf is deeply lobed or shallowly lobed. If you can't decide or don't have enough information, merely click on the plant name and it will draw up the photo of the plant. If that is not your plant, click on the other plant names to see if they match your plant.

If, instead, you want to know the name of a shrub with pink flowers, click on Shrubs to get some selections for shrubs. Next click on the appropriate color...Pink. This will bring you to some selections for shrubs with pink flowers. If your plant has little spines or thorns on the stem, you will want to select the Plants prickly option. Next, select the Stems prickly option and click on California wild rose . A flower picture will be drawn up and you can see if this is your plant. If not, try some of the other options.

When you learn the name of a plant, you can go into the main website and see other photos of that plant. the easiest way is to use the search engine and put in the common name of the plant you desire to see. Otherwise, you can use the alphabetized index to common names. If you wish to see related species, put the scientific name for genus (first of two Latin names) into the search engine. For example, to see all the Mariposa lilies, put the genus name, Calochortus, into the search engine.

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