The herbarium in the Botany Department houses a research collection of 165,000 specimens of native and naturalized plants of the southwestern United States (especially southern California) and northwestern Mexico (especially Baja California). The collection consists primarily of vascular plants, with significant holdings of marine algae, mostly of the eastern North Pacific. There are about 400 type specimens. The type specimen database is searchable online.
The San Diego County Plant Atlas project, a cooperative multi-agency project, began in the summer of 2002. The department's Parabotany volunteers will do the fieldwork necessary for a complete survey of the plants of San Diego County. The Plant Atlas project will run for at least five years, and will provide a web-searchable database of plant distribution information from the earliest stages of data collection.
The curatorship of the botany department is endowed as the Mary and Dallas Clark Chair of Botany.
The collection is in the care of Jon P. Rebman, Ph.D., Curator, who is a specialist in the systematics of the Cactaceae (particularly the genus Cylindropuntia) and in the floristics of the peninsula of Baja California, Mexico and San Diego and Imperial counties.
Please contact the department before planning to use the collections. See our policies and protocols for additional information.
Selected San Diego Natural History Museum Publications
GOULD, Frank W. & Reid MORAN. 1981.
LEVIN, Geoffrey A. & Reid MORAN. 1989.
FELGER, Richard S., Peter L. Warren, Susan ANDERSON, & Gary P. NABHAN. 1992.
FELGER, Richard S. 1999.
If you want to learn more about the botany of our region, see Resources for a checklist of the Vascular Plants of San Diego County, the Cacti of San Diego County, books recommended by our staff, and other online resources and related organizations.