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?