Central Coast Biologist, Professor Writes New Guidebook To California Plants

Apr 20, 2018

A Central Coast biology professor has written what could be the definitive book on California’s plants.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo biology professor Dr. Matt Ritter is the author of “California Plants: A Guide To Our Iconic Flora.” The new 300 plus page book even comes by a forward written by California Governor Jerry Brown.

Ritter says the book is designed to be a field guide, to help people identify, and learn more about the  flora they find around the state.

Ritter is also involved in research, including an interesting discovery about the unusual growth of some trees.  He says he and another researcher discovered that Cook Pine trees lean towards the equator.  Ritter says in California,  they lead towards the southwest, while on the other side of the world, in places like Australia, they lean north.  Ritter and a colleague from Australia have written some research papers about their discovery.

The Central Coast college professor, and author is also a referee of sorts on a registry of the state’s tallest trees.  He oversees the California version of the American Forest Big Tree Registry.

Ritter says he hopes his new book helps people get a bit more interested in plants, which will help turn them into mini-biologists who will be more inclined to step up to protect the,.

“California Plants: A Guide To Our Iconic Flora” went on sale in bookstores, and online April 20th.