Botany Highlights

  • Projects

    Our researchers work in biodiversity hot spots.
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  • Expeditions

    Recent botanical expeditions around the globe.
    more >>

  • Staff

    Meet the staff in the Department of Botany!
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  • herbarium sheet


    Botany collections at the Academy.
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  • Resources

    Here are details about our resources in Botany
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  • History

    Learn more about the history of Botany at CAS
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Welcome to the Department of Botany.  Our researchers are working in biodiversity hot spots around the world to document the extraordinary variety of land plants, and the environments in which they grow.  We invite you to share in the excitement of our discoveries and to join us in a botanical exploration of our planet.

New updates at

Spring 2014!  Find us on Facebook!  Botany at the California Academy of Sciences!


Also this Spring, we are debuting the website of Peter Fritsch, Ph.D.  

To find out more about his research, projects, publications

and more please visit





We have recently added a new tab on our projects page to explain more about the Planetary Biodiversity Inventory of Miconieae (PBI) project. 


Please visit:



Also, please continue to visit our expedition page for updates on our botanical explorations to biodiverse regions around the world! 


Please visit:



How to Mount Plants at CAS

Botany Publications

The Botany Department of the California Academy of Sciences contains two herbaria, the herbarium of the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Dudley Herbarium of Stanford University (DS). These two herbaria function as a single unit although the Dudley Herbarium is still the legal property of Stanford University.


Please visit Scientific Publications to order:


Marin Flora

Flora of San Francisco
Flora of the San Bruno Mountains
Flora of the Santa Cruz Mountains
Flora of San Luis Obispo County
Flora of Monterey County
Flora of Kern County
Flora of Mendocino County
Flora of Lassen National Park
A Flora of Sonoma County
Arizona Flora
The Illustrated Flora of the Pacific States
A Flora of the Alaskan Arctic Slope
Flora of the Sonoran Desert
Flora of the Galapagos Islands
Flora of Los Angeles and Vicinity
Trees and Shrubs of Western Oregon
Flora of Baja California
Flora of Chiapas, Mexico

How to Search the Botany Collection

Please note: as of March 21, 2013 our database is currently undergoing maintenance.


Currently the Botany database contains records for about 140,000 of our specimens.  The following portions of our collection are included in the database: 1) our type collections; 2) all of our collections from Modoc County; 3) Dennis Breedlove's collections from Chiapas, Mexico; 4) records from Yunnan Province, China; 5) Ferns and gymnosperms fromt he Bay Area; 6) Packera (Asteraceae) records from California; 7) recent curator collections from Latin American, Madagascar, and Sabah.  We are currently adding; 8) California Cyperaceae; and 9) California Delphinium species.  In the near future we will be adding additional California records.


If you are searching for these records and are having trouble finding what you need, try limiting your search to as little information as possible (e.g., ONLY genus and species or only family).



Quick tips on how to search the collections database:

 1. Our collections database is not case sensitive

 2. Use either an "*" or "%" as a wilcard




  • I have a rare live plant? May I donate it to the Department of Botany?

    Live specimens may carry pests that would contaminate our collections.  We do not keep any live specimens in the department.   You may want to try contacting the Arboretum or the Conservatory of Flowers for a live plant donation.

    If you are interested in making a monetary donation to the Department of Botany, please contact CAS’s Development Office.  Their contact info is:  (415) 379-5405, or e-mail:

  • I would like to visit the Herbarium at California Academy of Sciences. Who should I contact?
  • I found a plant and would like to know what it is. Who should I contact?

    Please contact the Naturalist Center. If they are not able to identify the plant they will get in touch with a Botanist for you.  This is the quickest way to get a response to your question. 

  • I searched your database but didn’t find the type specimen I was looking for; can you suggest another database to search?
  • My garden won’t grow. What advice do you have for me?

    Please contact your local garden center.  A Botanist studies the science of Botany which records the structure of plants, the functions of their parts, the places they grow, their classification, and the terms used to describe them.  For more information on famous Botanists in history please read the "collectors" tab on the homepage.

Madagascar Biodiversity Center information

Find out more about CAS Botany activities in Madagascar.




natural history collection

The Importance of Natural History Collections


Front Cover Hearst Publication

CAS Special Publication: The Coral Triangle - The 2011 Hearst Philippine Biodiversity Expedition


The California Academy of Sciences is pleased to announce that 12 new members have joined the ranks of the Academy Fellows, a governing group of around 300 distinguished scientists who have made...

Today we are pleased to officially announce the launch of PLoS Hubs: Biodiversity, a new pilot Web site to connect the biodiversity community with...

Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences Volume 61, Nos. 7-18. 15 September 2010. Order Now.

Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences Volume 61, Nos. 1-6. 31 March 2010. Order Now.

Contact the Department

  • Botany Administrator
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • 55 Music Concourse Drive
  • San Francisco, CA 94118
  • 415-379-5361 (direct)