Art &



Base Camp

California Plant Communities

Plants are Thought to be Alive

Plants are thought to be alive, their
Juice is their blood, and they grow.
The same is true of trees. All things
Die, therefore all things have life.
Because all things have life, gifts
Have to be given to all things.

William Ralganal Benson

Pomo Chief, Clear Lake, 1926

Camp Internet will be presenting you with some fascinating learning explorations of the plant world. From Native American thought and practices, to the scientific classifications for native and non-native plants, to the visions of famous California writers and painters, you have an opportunity to explore many insights into the world of plants.

The Five California Zones

California is a landscape of land and sea that has five main geographic zones. With-in these geographic zones are plant and animal communities that have adapted to the climate and geography of their region.

Big Sur

The five main zones are :

  • Mountain
  • Desert
  • Valley
  • Coastal
  • Ocean

Inside each of these main zones are other smaller divisions created by watersheds, tides, elevation, rain, snow, and other factors. And inside these zones also live the plant and animal communities we will be studying for the remainder of the school year.

To get to know the California plant communities, letís start with an overview.


For more in-depth California Backcountry botany studies, we can examine four specific plant communities:

In the Mountain group, we will study the Sierras and Cascades.

In the Desert Group, we will study the Mohave.

In the Coastal group, we will study both the Channel Islands, the mainland coastal ranges and their chaparral and oak woodlands, with a section on the temperate rainforests of the northern coastal ranges.

The Camp also has an Oceans section for your use.

  • Ocean projects


Additional Resources