Carnivorous pitcher plants, pygmy conifers, and the Tiburon jewel flower, restricted to a small patch of serpentine soil on Tiburon Peninsula in Marin County, are just a few of California's many amazing endemic plants—species that are unique to particular locales. California boasts an abundance of endemic plants precisely because it also boasts the richest geologic diversity of any place in North America, perhaps in the world. In lively prose, Arthur Kruckeberg gives a geologic travelogue of California's unusual soils and land forms and their associated plants—including serpentines, carbonate rocks, salt marshes, salt flats, and vernal pools—demonstrating along the way how geology shapes plant life. Adding a fascinating chapter to the story of California's remarkable biodiversity, this accessible book also draws our attention to the pressing need for conservation of the state's many rare and fascinating plants and habitats.
*148 outstanding, accurate photographs, more than 100 incolor, illustrate California's diverse flora
*Covers a wide range of locations including the Channel Islands, the Central Valley, wetlands, bristlecone pine forests, and bogs and fens
*Provides selected trip itineraries for viewing the state's geobotanical wonders
*Includes information on human influences on the California landscape from the early Spanish explores through the gold rush and to the present