Plant Guide Introduction

Welcome to the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve Plant Guide. The Reserve is home to more than 400 species of plants in nine plant communities. Many rare and sensitive plants are rooted in this region. Continued protection is critical to ensure that future generations can enjoy this Reserve's incredible biodiversity. We hope this plant guide adds to your experience and deepens your understanding of the Reserve.

Much of the information in this guide is written for the untrained botanist – teachers, docents, students and casual visitors. However we hope the information will be of interest to the botanist as well. To this end, we have included links to more sophisticated botanical resources and information on recent taxonomic changes, as well as references for the information we give.

In addition to plant profiles prepared by the author, Conservancy docent Lea Corkidi developed profiles for common phacelia, Hooker's evening primrose, and our three species of sea lavender; board member Linda Jones provided much of the material for pride of Madeira and fennel. Wonderful photographs were contributed by Denise Stillinger, Barbara Wallach,  Mark Jenne, Doug Gibson, Al Butler, David Checkley, Janie DeCelles, Janine Free, Linda Jones, Tom Manders, Jayne Leslie, George Bredehoft; Kristin Markell, Paul Worthington, Joe DeWolf, Don Mullin, Chris Platt, Jo Quinn and Herb Knufken; credits for specific images are given on the photo pages.

There is the possibility (oh horrors!) of errors on this web site. These may range from misspellings and typos to malfunctioning links to factual errors and out-of-date information. Please contact us at the address below, with Plant Guide on the Subject line, so that we may make the appropriate corrections. Always, we welcome relevant information on any plant that helps establish its personality and its role in the world.

Thank you for visiting! We hope you learn..


Elizabeth Venrick and David Varner

evenrick [at] ucsd [dot] edu


Addendum (October, 2015)

David Varner and I began work on this Plant Guide for the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy in 2012. On Sept. 18, 2015, the Plant Guide published its 50th profile (dark-tip bird's beak) and David Varner brought champagne for a toast. Ten days later, the Conservancy said "farewell" to David as he and his wife Carla moved to Colorado. David was instrumental in the development and maturation of the Plant Guide. He provided technical and moral support at the beginning as we tried to navigate the incomprehensible links and formats that direct the WYSIWYG editor. Together we developed the framework for Plant Guide, one that we hope is of use equally to the scientist, the teacher and the beginner. David set high standards for the Plant Guide and I will try to uphold them. But it won't be as much fun.