The Rare Plant Image Collection (Rare PIC) contains approximately 2700 images of over 640 taxa of rare California plants. These images enable the Rare Plant Program to “illustrate” the value of protecting California’s rare plants by showing the wide array of unique and beautiful plant species. Most of these images originally came from slides that were graciously donated over the years by professional and amateur photographers and botanists. The Rare Plant Program gratefully accepts images from slides as well as digital photos.

The majority of the CNPS Rare PIC photos are accessible on CalPhotosTo search Rare PIC, scroll to “Collection” on the CalPhotos home screen and then select “CNPS” in the drop-down menu prior to running your search.

Terms of Use

All of CNPS’ photos and slides are available in JPEG format, and are available free if used to support non-profit rare plant conservation and education. The thumbnail photos (128×192 pixels) on CalPhotos may be freely used for personal or academic purposes without prior permission under the Fair Use provisions of US copyright law as long as the photos are clearly credited with the citation given (e.g., “© [Photographer’s Name] and CNPS”). For other uses, or if you would like a high-resolution version of images, contact the Rare Plant Program at (916) 447-2677,


If you have high-quality digital photos or slides of rare plants, please consider donating them to Rare PIC. We are currently accepting donations in the form of uploads to CalPhotos, followed by high-resolution versions sent to the Rare Plant Program. Only images that are confidently identified to rare species, subspecies, or varieties are accepted, and scientific and common names must follow those found in the CNPS Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants ( Images donated to Rare PIC are to be submitted in the following manner:

1. Images must be uploaded to CalPhotos prior to submission to CNPS Rare PIC. If not already a contributor, follow instructions at Contributing Photos to CalPhotos. Follow these instructions when submitting your images to CalPhotos as a donation to Rare PIC:

    • After choosing and uploading the photo, at the top of the page under the “collection” drop down, change “Private” to “CNPS”.
    • Write down or copy the 16 digit Photo ID number (e.g., Photo ID: 0000 0000 0611 0374) located under the thumbnail image (you will need this number in step 2b).
    • Next to “taxon” and “common name” enter the plants scientific and common name as seen in the CNPS Inventory.
    • Under “license” at the bottom of the page, ensure that “CalPhotos” is selected.
    • Under “copyright” enter your full name followed by “and CNPS”.
    • Under “contact” enter “California Native Plant Society: rareplants[AT]”.
    • Enter additional information about the image and select “Submit”.

2. Once your image has been successfully uploaded to CalPhotos, submit a high-resolution version of the image to CNPS as follows:

    • If in a different format, convert the high-resolution image to JPEG.
    • Name the image using the full scientific name with no spaces and genus, species, and subspecies/variety capitalized, followed by an underscore and the last 8-digits of the photo ID (e.g., “CastillejaDensifloraObispoensis_08101965”).
    • Email your high-resolution image along with a link to its entry on CalPhotos to with “Rare PIC donation” in the subject line.

Practical time considerations prohibit individual notification to the photographer when the slides or photos are used. Whenever your slide or photo is used, CNPS will make every effort to require users to give photographic credits as follows: “[your name] and CNPS”.

CNPS Rare PIC Contact

CNPS Rare Plant Program, Attn: Rare PIC
2707 K Street, Suite 1,
Sacramento, CA 95816

Phone: (916) 447-2677