He’s on a mission to capture photos of every indigenous plant in Los Angeles County.

Upon initial view, Matt Smith may not appear to be a traditional knight with his relaxed attitude. Rather than traditional armor, he prefers a backpack, a floppy bush hat, and a pair of skate shoes. However, upon conversing with him, one will quickly notice the passionate determination in his eyes and his unwavering commitment to a noble mission. Smith’s goal is to document every single plant, approximately 2,590, that grows natively in Los Angeles County. Despite the lack of recognition or financial compensation for his work, Smith is motivated by a deeply personal mission that has helped him cope with the loss of his wife in 2020. Active on Instagram, where he shares his photos and emphasizes the importance of native plants to the local ecosystem, Smith is dedicated to raising awareness about the beauty and diversity of the county’s natural flora. His newfound passion for photographing native plants was sparked by personal experiences and influences from his late wife, Alison, and his aunt, Pat Flanagan, who instilled in him an appreciation for biology and the natural world from an early age. Ultimately, Smith’s mission highlights the significance of local biodiversity and serves as a therapeutic outlet following a period of hardship in his life.

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