"The beautiful stirs passion and urgency in us and calls us forth from aloneness into warmth and wonder of an eternal embrace. It unites us again with the neglected and forgotten grandeur of life." John O'Donohue, 2003
On this page is a collection of my photos of California native plants. The plant images are listed in alphabetical order - by scientific name. I do however include the common name in the photo captions. All are growing under cultivated conditions and therefore suitable for urban garden use. Most are from the collections at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. Native plants will vary considerably as to their suitability and ease of adapting to cultivation in an urban garden. See RSABG California Classics Guide for a most helpful list of the native plants most easily adapted to garden settings and visit the Useful Links here for additional resources on gardening with native plants. The image above in the header is of Madia elegans subsp. elegans also known as common madia.
My photography style is biased toward capturing a plant's beauty and thus many of the photos are close ups and/or taken from an artistic rather than an informational perspective. There are many books and references which document a plant's height, width, texture, form, and structure and thus I generally have not sought to replicate these types of images in my collection. Feel free to check out the Useful Links for websites and publication references where you can find an incredible diversity of helpful and inspiring information on our wonderful native plants. This a very small sampling of the many plants available for use in the garden and my apologies if what you may be looking for is not represented in this collection.
I also apologize that there is not a search box for this page but I am using the free Weebly version and to be able to add a search box I would have to upgrade to a paid site. Given this is not a commercial revenue generating site I can not afford this expense and need to stay free for the time being. Possibly Weebly will allow this feature in the free version one day, at least for for non-commercial sites. With the current advances in evolutionary and systematic botany some (probably many) of the scientific names on these files will be obsolete. Should you want to verify whether the existing name on the image is correct the current accepted scientific names for California plants can be verified here: Jepson Interchange or here ITIS.
Feel free to use any of the photos for non-commercial purposes. I would however request that photo credit be given and please let me know when and how you are using the photo. This kindness on your part validates my efforts here. Unless a different photographer is specified on the image caption photo credit should be listed as "photo by Michael Wall". I can supply larger size image files on request. Please contact me for commercial use of any photos on this site. Also if you have questions on any particular species feel free to contact me. See Contact above and send me a message.
I am starting this photo collection with what I am calling the Garden View Gallery. Nothing stimulates enthusiasm and ideas or sells someone on native plants better than a photo of a successful attractive garden. Happily in addition to native plant gardening books there are more and more photos available online. I felt it might be useful if I did the searching, selecting those which I thought were especially worthwhile, and posted them here in a collection. If you wish to have me post photos of your garden please contact me. I have to add however that the most appropriate place to get inspired about native plants is at a local botanic garden, at nursery demonstration gardens, and on home garden tours. One can not really understand plants until you can walk among them.