Native plant identification key for the
Palos Verdes Peninsula, California


Plants with fleshy, often liquid-saturated leaves and/or stems. These features can be found in a variety of life forms, including annual herbaceous plants, vines, shrubs, and trees, as well as cacti.

Herbaceous plants (non-woody, though there may be a woody caudex or basal stem and root -- annual growth dies back each year, resprouting in perennial or biennial plants, or the plant dies and is replaced by a new generation each year in the case of annual plants)

Shrubs (woody plants with multiple stems branching out from the base or near it, rarely taller than ~6 m)

Cacti (distinctive succulents, which photosynthesize through their water-swollen stems and have leaves reduced to spines)

First placed on web: 07/29/11
Last revised: 07/30/11
Christine M. Rodrigue, Ph.D., Department of Geography, California State University, Long Beach, CA 90840-1101

The development of this key was partially funded through the Geoscience Diversity Enhancement Program (Award #0703798) and through a course of re-assigned time provided by the CSULB Scholarly and Creative Activities Committee. Thanks also to the students in sections of biogeography, introductory physical geography, GDEP, and LSAMP for "test-driving" various editions of this key.