Santa Barbara Island

With an area of 1 square mile, Santa Barbara Island is the smallest of the Southern Channel Islands and is also one of the smallest islands in the entire chain. It is situated 38 miles from the California mainland. Santa Catalina, Santa Barbara’s closest island neighbor, is located 24 miles to the east. Santa Barbara Island is part of Santa Barbara County.

The flora of Santa Barbara Island includes about 90 native taxa and 45 non-native taxa. The natural distribution of at least 13 of the island’s native taxa are restricted to two or more of the California Islands; three plant taxa have been found only on Santa Rosa Island.


image of Dudleya traskiae at SBBG

Erigonum giganteum var. compactum on Porter Trail

The three plant taxa which have been found only on Santa Barbara Island are:

    • Dudleya traskiae (Santa Barbara Island live-forever)
    • Eriogonum giganteum var. compactum (Santa Barbara Island buckwheat)
    • Malacothrix foliosa subsp. philbrickii (Santa Barbara Island malacothrix)

One additional plant species (Platystemon californicus var. ciliatus) may also be endemic to Santa Barbara Island, but its relationships to the widespread creamcups on the mainland and on other islands need further study.