CNPS Publishes First Comprehensive Flora of the Southern Sierra Nevada

Contact: Liv O’Keeffe
916-447-2677, ext. 202


July 18, 2018, Sacramento – The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is pleased to announce its latest publication: An Illustrated Flora of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks by Dana York. This latest book from CNPS Press is the first comprehensive guidebook of the Southern Sierra Nevada and is available now at

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are located approximately 84 miles southeast of Fresno, Calif., and feature a range of diverse flora, from the legendary giant sequoias to pygmy alpinegolds that grow on desert-like ridgetops. Capturing this biodiversity, York’s books covers 1,809 species, subspecies, and varieties of plants with more than 1,500 illustrations and species descriptions.

“Dana’s book is an important contribution to our understanding of this beautiful region,” said CNPS Executive Director Dan Gluesenkamp. “It’s a must-have for students, scientists, or anyone with an interest in these stunning parks.”

Based in Humboldt County, York began working on the book in 1995 as part of his master’s thesis. During that time, York created a database of nearly 10,000 collection records, including 2,000 records of his own developed during more than 150 trips in the southern Sierra Nevada.

“All those years of data collection made this book possible,” York said. “It’s a thrill to see this book come to fruition and be able to share this information with the public.”

York’s work in the region also led to the discovery of three new taxa: Monarch goldenaster (Heterotheca monarchensis), Monarch buckwheat (Eriogonum ovalifolium var. monarchense), and Monarch or York’s gilia (Gilia yorkii). He first encountered the unusual buckwheat and goldenaster just outside of Kings Canyon National Park and later returned with fellow botanist Jim Shevock to discover a third undescribed plant (Gilia yorkii) above the Kings River.

Stanford University Press first published the guidebook’s illustrations in Illustrated Flora of the Pacific States by I. Abrams. Contributing artists to this work include Alice B. Addicott, William S. Atkinson, Helen E. Bacon, Lawrence Beane, Doris H. Blake, Mary E. Eaton, Rose E. Gamble, Mary W. Gill, Jeanne R. Janish, Louise Nash, and Norma Pfeiffer.



  1. People like Dana York are the unsung heroes of our civilization. Personally I don’t care about sports stars or movie stars, I love the plant geeks who save the beauty of our Planet.

  2. Congratulations and Appreciations to Dana York, the contributing artists, and Stanford Press on this very welcome new flora from this very spectacular region of our state. I foresee it being on many a birthday or Christmas gift list as it is already on mine. Should I not have been deemed good enough this December I will just go out and purchase it myself, most likely during a visit to one of these two of our nations most treasured National Parks’s.

    “There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot…. Like the wind and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild, and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television, and the chance to see a pasque flower is a right as inalienable as free speech.”
    Aldo Leopold 1886 – 1948

    Thank you CNPS as well for protecting the rights of all native plants and all the many associated species which depend on them.

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