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Point Reyes National Seashore Plants

Point Reyes National Seashore is a jewel in the California Floristic Province;one of 25 regions of the world where biological diversity is most concentrated and the threat of loss most severe. Unique geology, soils, and climate conditions make for a highly variable landscape within a relatively small land base. The Seashore encompasses over 70,000 acres of dunes, sandy and rocky beaches, coastal grasslands, Douglas-fir and Bishop pine forests, wetlands, chaparral and wilderness lakes. This broad range of habitat types supports over 900 species of vascular plants;pretty amazing!

The Point Reyes peninsula is geologically distinct from adjacent areas of Marin County since it is a part of the Pacific Plate which is moving north along the San Andreas Fault. The flora of Point Reyes reflects the geological and climatic uniqueness of the area and the resulting habitat diversity.

There are 112 families of plants and 900 species on the Point Reyes vascular plant list, including 100 subspecies and 109 varieties. This number represents about 15% of the California flora. Sixty-one species found in Marin County are known only from Point Reyes.

Unfortunately, 292 of the plants within the park are not native. These include a wide variety of grasses in the pastoral zone, South African capeweed, scotch broom, pampas grass, and trees such as eucalyptus, cypress, and Monterey pine.

Over 50 plants at Point Reyes are currently listed by the Federal government, State government, or the California Native Plant Society as being rare, threatened, or endangered. Six species are believed to no longer occur at Point Reyes.

Note: Links in this "Plants" category such as lichens, marine plants, and algae are placed here for convenience, but they are not truly plants. Real plants include multi-cellular organisms that produce food through photosynthesis. The plant kingdom includes vascular plants (seedless and seed plants) and the bryophtes (liverworts, hornworts, and mosses).

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