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.
Madagascar Biodiversity Center information
How to Mount Plants at CAS
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:
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
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 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.
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:
Contact the Department
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