Califlora: A Literary Field Guide

A lively collection of botanical poem and prose

California plants range from microscopic mosses to giant sequoias, from desert cacti to rain forest ferns, from humble native grasses to flamboyant cultivated blossoms. With over six thousand species of astonishing variety, what grist for the literary mill! Novelists, poets, farmers, naturalists, foragers, botanists, and mythmakers have long exulted in the Golden State’s variety and abundance, creating a body of vibrant and surprising literature.

Califlora is a playful literary exploration of the relationship between plant and human, drawing from our best writers and thinkers. Some of the pieces expand like landscape paintings best viewed from a distance, while others shine like exquisite miniatures, curious and laid with sensuous detail. Mary Austin’s “Sagebrush Country” smells like desert rain, Ina Coolbrith’s “Copa De Oro” blooms on a sunny hillside, and T. C. Boyle’s “Budding Prospects” crack an echo through the meadow with a gunshot blast.

Califlora encourages us to open the door, unzip the tent, and see what’s out there, book in hand or not. How better to breathe in California’s elemental richness and unmatched abundance?


"The collection excels in giving the reader in-depth information about the plant life of California...Califlora will give one a deeper appreciation of the California neighbors we share the state with."—San Francisco Book Review

About the Editor

Terry BeersTerry Beers teaches writing and literature at Santa Clara University, where he is a professor in the English department and director of the California Legacy Project. He also serves as the general editor of the California Legacy series of books, co-published by Santa Clara University and Heyday, and he is the host of the "Your California Legacy" radio anthology on KAZU public radio. He lives in northern Monterey County, where he trains sled dogs.