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Fred M. Roberts Jr., Robert L. Allen, Wildflowers

Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains

Our very latest publication, Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains which includes Orange County, Santa Ana Mountains, Whittier-Puente-Chino Hills, Prado Basin, Temescal Valley, Elsinore Basin, Santa Rosa Plateau, San Mateo Canyon wilderness area, and San Onofre State Beach. This publication is a novice-friendly, technically accurate guide to wildflowers of cismontane southern California. Tailored to Orange Country and adjacent portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego Counties. it will prove a useful tool to identify and learn plant families, genera, and species in the Golden State.


2013, 7” x 10″, 512 pages, 2600+ photographs
ISBN: 9780984000715

Describes over 600 species with one or more photos of each. Arranged alphabetically by plant family, the plants are described, summarized, and illustrated to facilitate learning. Similar plant specifies are mentioned and their differences highlighted.
Includes section on geology, geography, flower parts, scientific names, plant communities, and places to go wildflower-watching, all accompanied by photographs and illustrations. Though technical terms are minimized, those used are presented in a glossary. Written, edited, and review by professional biologists and local experts.
In an approach unique among wildflower guides, living things that rely on specific plants are presented alongside those plants, such as monarch butterfly, golddenbush borer beetle, snowberry clearing moth, coastal California gnatcatcher, cactus wren, Anna’s hummingbird and phainopepla. Groups of associated species (“guilds”) discussed include milkweed, cactus, California sycamore, California buckwheat, California lilac, yucca, and cattail.

Each entry features:
•Common and scientific names.
•Description with diagnostic characteristics italicized.
•Flowering time, habitat, and local range.
•Known and suggested places to find the plant.
•Meaning of its scientific name and name of the person that named it.
•For many, similar species with which it may be confused.

From shoreline of Crystal Cove State Park; to the canyons, grasslands, and foothills of Caspers Wilderness Park; beckoning peaks of the Santa Ana Mountains; and the rolling hills and washes of Temescal Valley, this book will be your guide to the beautiful wildflowers you encounter.



This book is a treasure trove of information on a surprisingly varied range of subjects – part field guide, part encyclopedia, and part love letter to Mother Nature. A lifetime of fieldwork is condensed into a volume that is instantly an irreplaceable resource for biologists, conservationists, and naturalists in Orange County and beyond.
Bruce A. Aird, President, Sea and Sage Chapter, National Audubon Society.

This extraordinary book will captivate aspiring and professional botanists alike with its wealth of gorgeous informative images and compelling descriptions. Anyone interested in the flora of California in general will find much of value here, including aspects of natural history that are rarely if ever encountered in plant guides and that speak to the authors’ vast field experience and observational skills.
Bruce G. Baldwin, Professor of Integrative Biology and Curator of the Jepson Herbarium, University of California, Berkeley

This is the definitive Orange County flower guide we have all been waiting for! Not only have Allen and Roberts spent a lifetime studying the region’s botany but they have educated the public on the region’s natural resources. This book is the culmination of those efforts, and Orange County nature lovers are thrilled!
Max Borella, Executive Director, Laguna Canyon Foundation.

Experienced naturalists and native plant enthusiasts will find multiple reasons why they need to have this book. People new to wildflowers will find that its usefulness grows with their interests, offering the answers to their questions every step of the way. The authors are two of the region’s top field botanists/biologists.
Brad Jenkins, Past President, Orange County Chapter, California Native Plant Society

This remarkable publication represents a love of nature and a dedication to sharing it. The authors know Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains region, and they lovingly describe its special places, its plant life, and some of its wildlife.
David J. Keil, Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

This amazing new field guide is destined to become the new, lofty standard for regional history guides it covers plants of Southern California, in a detailed and interesting way that will appeal to both professionals and beginners. It will be a “must have” for anyone interested in natural history in California.
Jon P. Rebman, Curator of Botany, San Diego Natural History Museum.

Wow! This book is a gem! The photographs are among the best I’ve seen. The entries are taxonomically complete, with useful information on diagnostics features for field identification, habitat, range, economic uses, and sometimes even chemistry. This is a “must” field book for the professional and amateur botanists, naturalists, and plant hobbyist of Southern California.
Michael G. Simpson, Professor of Botany, San Diego State University.


8 reviews for Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains

Orange County Register – July 15, 2013

Roberts and, especially, Allen have been hunting Orange County wildflowers for 10years, collecting a vast array of stunning images for the county’s first comprehensive wildflower guide. The result: “Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains,” its 500 detail packed pages loaded with more than 2,000 photos of some 700 species, extensive scientific descriptions and anatomical graphics. The book includes a color-coded index that matches the colors of the flowers, to make the guide easier to use, and the descriptions include pollinators for many of the flowers – most of them insects, another passion of Allen’s. It’s the most thorough field guide treatment Orange County flowers, and flower enthusiasts, have ever received.
Orange County Register – July 15, 2013
OC Register Newspaper – Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains Review.pdf
OC Register Newspaper – Wildflowers Review_print version.pdf

Caspers Park Foundation - November 2013

Filled with thousands of photographs of local plants, insects, and birds, the book aims to inform and delight with tidbits about local flowering plants and associated critters.

Caspers Park Foundation – November 2013
Caspers Park Foundation Newslater.pdf

OC Weekly - November 24, 2013

And that is the wonderful experience of the natural history book by Roberts and Allen, which I recommend, as do the California Native Plant Society, Laguna Canyon Foundation and Sea & Sage Audubon, each of whose imprimatur is celebrated with their lovely logos on the title page. Each page and photograph demands that you post-it or dog-ear even as you follow your eye to another. Books as these are no doubt expensive to produce, so that those three organizations help make them happen by way of organizational sponsorship from people who care, and care to learn and preserve.

OC Weekly – November 24, 2013
OC Weekly Online Review – Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains.pdf


Book Blooms With Local Flora

The latest publication from Laguna Wilderness Press is “Wilderness of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains” by RobertL. Allen and Fred M. Roberts, Jr.

Laguna Beach Independent – October 25, 2013
Laguna Beach Independent – mentions Wildflowers book.pdf

Allan A. Schoenherr - Professor of Ecology, emeritus Fullerton College

As a special bonus, associated with certain plants, under the heading of “Guilds,” Allen and Roberts have included images of unique pollinators, and/or interesting insects. For example, in the section on the Milkweed Family (Apocinaceae) we can learn about milkweed bugs, aphids, wood-borer beetles, Dogbane Moths, and two kinds of milkweed butterflies, the Monarch and the Queen. In the Carrot Family (Apiaceae) there is a discussion of different kinds of Swallowtail Butterflies whose larvae feed on members within the family.

Allan A. Schoenherr – Professor of Ecology, emeritus Fullerton College

Allan Schoenherr Book Review for Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains.pdf

Andrew Tonkovich, Orange County Register Magazine

For the landscaping pro, wannabee scientist, backyard gardener, weekend hiker, mountain biker, amateur photographer, birder, or wildflower enthusiast, and every too-careless if enthusiastic admirer, there is a way to be like Bob. Or pretend to. With co-author, best friend and fellow scientist, photographer and illustrator, Fred M. Roberts Jr., Allen has written the ultimate go-to guide to wildflowers of our region.

Andrew Tonkovich, Orange County Register Magazine – January 2013

OC Register Magazine Review – Wildflower book.pdf

Jutta Burger, Fremontia - Journal of the California Native Plant Society, January 2014

Nearly ten years have passed since rumors of this ambitious project first surfaced, ad the end product will thrill readers. The authors are two childhood classmates from Orange County who evolved along parallel path as botanists and natural historians. Bob Allen, know o his followers as “Bug Bob,” is well known for his extensive local knowledge of plants and insects, as well as his entertaining public presentations and classes.

Jutta Burger, Fremontia – Journal of the California Native Plant Society, January 2014

Fremontia – Journal of the California Native Plant Society – Wildflower Book.pdf

Karin Klein, Orange Coast Magazine - 2014

Finally published last summer, the book sold half its modest first printing of 2,500 without an Amazon listing or any presence in major bookstores. Within a tiny Orange County subculture of rangers, naturalists, and avid hikers, the country’s first wildflower guide was greeted like an overdue first grandchild.

Karin Klein, Orange Coast Magazine – 2014

Orange Coast Magazine – Review of Wildflower book and authors.pdf

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