Adding subdivisions of California Floristic Provinces?

I know we are able to create our own areas, but I was wondering if the regions and sub-regions that the Jepson manual higher plants of California uses is already on the site but I’m not finding it? For example, if I want to limit my search results to CW (Central Western), or even SnFrB (San Francisco Bay Area), how do I? Using the county method is less than ideal because plants don’t follow political lines. If nobody is added these places I guess I could try to draw them using a computer with the tools provided. But if they exist already please let me know. Or if somebody can create them and have them match the Jepson manual map that would be great.


someone has to have a GIS shapefile of the jepson regions. It would be great to get those added. And are there floristic checklists based off of them? The counties get annoying when dealing with CA plants for this reason


I would imagine a request to the Jepson Herbarium folks might result in a shapefile being made available for the purpose. I have one from them, but only for personal use.

It should also be possible for them to generate checklists for each subdivision from their eFlora data, though that might be somewhat more involved. It would be based on Jepson Manual nomenclature, of course, so there would be some translation needed into iNat names where they differ.

Yes, each treatment has one or more floristic Province listed in the notes. This helps us narrow down species. For the Jepson manual, there is also a couple other Major Floristic Provinces besides California, which are Great Basin, and Desert Southwest, if I recall correctly. This is because all of political California is included in the manual.

it looks like they’ve pulled their files from all the open data repositories where they used to be available (, EPA, etc.). on their site, they say, “We now charge a service fee for the Geographical Subdivisions Map of California. All new flora additions, data maintenance, GIS services, and data queries of the Jepson eFlora Website are funded in a large part by donations and grants. This service fee is to help offset the rising costs of server maintenance, computer equipment, and staff. The rate for educational, academic, or non-profit organizations is $75 and the rate for commercial or for-profit companies is $150”. (see:

it might be possible transform one of the maps into a .kml, but i wonder if that would still be a copyright infringement if they are charging a fee?

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maybe there could be some more official crossover with iNat, or something, though that’s beyond us here.

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i found one in ArcGIS online: it’s hosted on UCANR. i’m not sure if it’ll allow me to pull out the polygons…

hmmm… i pulled out the CW region, but iNat says: “There were problems importing that place: Place geometry contains too many observations to import.”… let me try just the SF Bay Area…

hmmm… i added SnFrB, but it’s only pulling back 1 observation in Explore right now (see i think it sometimes takes a little bit of time for stuff to populate… so maybe later, it’ll look better.

I second @charlie, that it would be better to get this done through “official” channels.

Also, we should probably rename this thread "Adding subdivisions of California Floristic Provinces, to keep things clearer.

well, i’m not planning to add any more of these for now. but i will leave the SnFrB one out there just to see. it looks like it’s still adding observations (up to 58K now). so maybe it’s not a good idea to put things that will suck up that much processing power anyway.

it looks like EPA’s ecoregions at Level IV ( are more granular than even the Jepson subregions, though they might not match the Jepson manual exactly. Because the EPA L4 regions are smaller, putting a few of those out in iNat probably wouldn’t be bad if they would actually be useful to anyone.

I’d use the EPA regions in Vermont, if they were added.

i assume you mean the L4 regions? (it looks like most of VT is one L3 region except at the edges.)

@charlie – i didn’t get confirmation about L4 or L3, but there aren’t that many EPA ecoregions in VT. so i went ahead and created everything.

here’s what’s out there:

Note that 59a and 83b are the only L4 ecoregions in VT for their respective 59 and 83 L3 ecoregions. so i didn’t create 59 and 83. but i did create 58 as a L3 ecoregion, and that includes all the of its L4 components.

Hope that helps.

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wow those are more detailed than i remembered! Very neat

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