Anacapa Island

With an area of 1 square mile, Anacapa Island is the smallest of the Northern Channel Islands and is also one of the smallest islands in the entire chain.  It consists of three separate islets (West, Middle, and East Anacapa), which are situated 13 miles off the Ventura coastline.  Anacapa Island is part of VenturaCounty.  Santa Cruz Island, Anacapa’s closest island neighbor, is located 5 miles to the west.

The flora of Anacapa Island includes about 190 native taxa and 75 non-native taxa.  The natural distribution of at least 22 of the island’s native taxa is restricted to two or more of the CaliforniaIslands; 2 plant taxa have been found only on Anacapa Island.

The two plant taxa which have been found only on Anacapa Island are:

  • Malacothrix foliosa subsp. crispifolia (Wavy-leaved island chicory)
  • Malacothrix junakii (Junak’s island chicory)


image of Island barberry, Berberis pinnata ssp. insularis, photo by Dieter WilkenAt least one insular endemic is now presumed to be extinct on the island:

Berberis pinnata subsp. insularis (island barberry)-previously known from Santa Rosa (last seen there in 1930) and West Anacapa (last seen there in the 1980s).  This taxon is now known only from a few small colonies on the west end of Santa Cruz Island.