While current COVID-19 stay-at-home orders encourage remaining at home as much as possible, several UC Press books allow you to explore California nature. Ranging from natural histories to plant guides, our titles encourage a better understanding of the local environment during socially distant outdoor activities.

A Natural History of California, Second Edition
by Allan A. Schoenherr

In this comprehensive and abundantly illustrated book, Allan A. Schoenherr describes the natural history of California—a state with a greater range of landforms, a greater variety of habitats, and more kinds of plants and animals than any area of equivalent size in all of North America. A Natural History of California focuses on each distinctive region, addressing its climate, rocks, soil, plants, and animals.

Introduction to California Plant Life
by Robert Ornduff, Phyllis M. Faber, and Todd Keeler Wolf

California’s unique plants range in size from the stately Coast Redwoods to the minute belly plants of the southern deserts and in age from the four-thousand year-old Bristlecone Pines to ephemeral annuals whose life span can be counted in weeks. This popular book is the only concise overview of the state’s remarkable flora, its plant communities, and the environmental factors that shape them.

Plants of the San Francisco Bay Region
Mendocino to Monterey

by Linda H. Beidleman and Eugene N. Kozloff

This is the definitive botanic guide to the wetlands, woodlands, coastlines, hills, and valleys of the beautiful and diverse San Francisco Bay Region. The extensively revised and redesigned third edition of Plants of the San Francisco Bay Region will continue to be the most comprehensive and authoritative identification guide to the region’s native and introduced plants.

The California Naturalist Handbook
by Greg de Nevers, Deborah Stanger Edelman, and Adina Merenlender

The California Naturalist Handbook provides a fun, science-based introduction to California’s natural history with an emphasis on observation, discovery, communication, stewardship and conservation. A hands-on guide to learning about the natural environment of California, this book covers subjects including California natural history and geology, native plants and animals, California’s freshwater resources and ecosystems, forest and rangeland resources, conservation biology, and the effects of global warming on California’s natural communities.

Edible and Useful Plants of California
by Charlotte Bringle Clarke

Both American Indians and the pioneers knew and used many different plant species-for food, fibers, medicine, tools, and other purposes. This unique book is a guide to identifying more than 220 such plant and also tells the reader how to prepare, cook, and otherwise use them. 

The California Quail
by A. Starker Leopold

This comprehensive report summarizes what is known about the history, biology, and management of the California Quail, and this book recounts the impact of settlement on quail, it describes the quail’s intriguing social life, covey relationships, nesting behavior, and habitat requirements.  Copiously illustrated with photographs and drawings, The California Quail will be of use to anyone who wishes to understand and foster the state bird.

Please consider supporting U.S. bookstores by purchasing online via Bookshop.org and Indiebound. Many, including Barnes & Noble, offer curbside pick-up as well.