Native Flowers & Plants in San Diego County

This is a “best of” gallery with the goal of having just one photo of every native plant I could find and photograph in San Diego County. I also have an archive for San Diego Native Plant Portraits with individual galleries, and a full archive of wildflower photos with search. I also have a small gallery of common invasive plants in San Diego County to help with the identification of those.

San Diego County is a biodiversity hot-spot — it is in fact the most bio-diverse county in the United States, with 26 different vegetation zones, from coastal marshes to the desert. More native plants grow here than in the entire state of Alaska (which is roughly 145 times larger in land than San Diego County), Hawaii, or both of the Dakotas. The excellent CalFlora database returns over 1800 records, when queried for native herbs (flowers) alone, in San Diego County… so this gallery will quite likely never be complete!

I did my best to properly identify the plants, but I’m not a botanist. If you notice that any of the names (common and/or scientific) are wrong or imprecise, please let me know so that I can correct the mistake. You can either contact me, or leave a comment, below. Thanks.

A selection of these photos is readily available as prints in my print-on-demand store. If you’re looking for a photo you see here but can’t find it in the store, please contact me and I’ll add it!

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Please use the filter bar above the photos, to limit by color and/or type (I follow CalFlora’s classification into herbs and shrubs; wildflowers are herbs, bushes etc. are shrubs). Tap on a thumbnail to open the image larger (especially on small-screen devices). Photos are sorted newest to oldest. More photos will load as you scroll down.

9 thoughts on “Native Flowers & Plants in San Diego County”

  1. When I lived in SD I rode horses in Penasquitos Canyon and environs with my dear friend Julie Parks. She identified all or at least most of the plants and flowers for me, along with facts about Native American uses of them. I do miss her.

  2. Alex, these flowers are very beautiful and you are an exceptional photographer of them. I recognize many, but didn’t know how many I’ve seen over the years in our beautiful county.

  3. A superb gallery with one gorgeous image after another, I couldn’t stop until I got to the end. And I can’t remember my favorites because there were so many. The overall softness is what stays with me, and the grace. :-)

  4. just happened to stumble upon your website – your photos left me with a smile on my face. thank you for showcasing some of San Diego’s stunning natural beauty :)


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