RSABG Home | Seed Home
Seed Program History
Seed Program Purpose
Seed Program Process
Seed Program Collections (Prov)
Seed Program Collections (Type)

Seed Program Collections (Provenance)

In nature, the distribution of plants rarely coincides with pplitical boundaries, but rather is determined by the interaction of climate, geology, and geography. A regional association of plants that share these growing conditions is called a FLORISTIC PROVINCE.
In North America, there are thirteen floristic provinces. Four occur in California: Californian, Vancouverian, Sonoran, and Great Basin.
CALIFORNIAN is defined by its Mediterranean climate. It is the smallest floristic province in North America, but has the greatest diversity of plants north of Mexico. It includes such characteristic vegatation as chaparral, coastal sage scrub, oak woodland and grassland. These plants exhibit classic adaptations to California's hot dry summers and cool wet winters.

The Seed Bank


Rancho Santa Ana

Botanic Garden

1500 North College Avenue Claremont, CA 91711-3157

(909) 626-8767

Seed Program open to the public by appointment only

VANCOUVERIAN encompasses the state's major forests and includes the mixed evergreen and coniferous forests of pines, madrones, and coast and sierran redwoods. In California, this province is transitional between Mediterranean-climate vegetation and the temperate coniferous rainforests of the Pacific Northwest.

SONORAN is characterized by the giant cacti and desert scrub of the American Southwest and Mexico. At the edge of this province, California's desert vegetation is defined by joshua tree woodland, fan palm oasis and creosote bush scrub.

GREAT BASIN is dominated by the vastness of sagebrush scrub vegetation - the "sagebrush ocean." The majority of this high-elevation semi-desert lies to the east of California in the rain shadow of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges.

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden's living collection and seed collection is gathered from the entire Californian Floristic Province and the California portions of Vancouverian, Sonora, and Great Basin provinces.