California's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the east; and from the redwood–Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. The Central Valley, a major agricultural area, dominates the state's center. Though California is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north, to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains.
The state takes its name from the Ohio River. The name originated from the Iroquois language word ohi-yo, meaning "great river" or "large creek". Partitioned from the Northwest Territory, the state was admitted to the Union as the 17th state (and the first under the Northwest Ordinance) on March 1, 1803. Ohio is historically known as the "Buckeye State" after its Ohio buckeye trees, and Ohioans are also known as "Buckeyes".