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Physical care of the collection and updating of identifications and taxonomy are perpetual tasks in the department. In order to improve access to the information our collection holds, we continue to work on getting it into computer-usable form. All San Diego County and Baja California specimens are completely databased while staff and volunteers continue to database the remainder of the collection. In order to provide mapping tools, specimens must have a latitude and longitude included in the data. All specimens that come in the door through the Plant Atlas project already have a locality description and latitude and longitude in the data. Many of the historic specimens only have a written locality description, and we are working hard to georeference historic specimens from San Diego County and Baja California. In order to increase the potential use of our collections, the SD Herbarium of the Botany Department is a participant in the Consortium of California Herbaria (CCH) and organizer/home of the Baja California Botanical Consortium (BCBC).

San Diego Plant Atlas

The Plant Atlas project began in 2003 and has increased our knowledge of the flora in San Diego area in ways never imagined. Not only have we added more than 70,000 specimens (and counting) to our collection, but we now have amazing resources available to the general public based on the data from those specimens. Learn more.


BajaFlora is a project of the museum's Botany Department, developed to consolidate the available floristic data on the plants of the Baja peninsula, Mexico. Numerous tools are available to the general public on this page including: historical maps, checklists of different regions of Baja California, and various photo collections. Learn more.

Checklist of Vascular Plants of San Diego

This is the fifth edition of the Checklist of the Vascular Plants of San Diego County (here referred to as simply the “Checklist”), which catalogs all native and naturalized vascular plants known to occur in San Diego County, California, U.S.A. (Note that "naturalized" refers to non-native plants that grow, persist, and reproduce in natural, non-cultivated habitats.) Learn more.


The algae collection at the SD Herbarium contains approximately 5000 specimens representing 1500-2000 species. The vast majority of the collection comes from 1880-1960. These early collections include a fair number of early specimens from Daniel Cleveland's collection, and there is even a species named after Cleveland (Ozophora clevelandii). Learn more.

What We’re Up To

Wildlife conservation work is often portrayed as scientists in tactical vests trekking into the wilderness in search of species to protect. Some conservation works that way, but many wildlife wins are borne from something much more ordinary: Biological consulting. Read more.

Join us on a recent expedition to the Sierra Juárez of Northern Baja California, where we searched for rare plants and found hope for the future.  Read more.

After poring over our botany collection, a visiting expert names several species new to science.   Read more.

We thought it was extinct, but one of the lost plants we were searching for in Baja California was rediscovered right in our own backyard.  Read more.

A new way to use collections? Using material from specimens within the Museum's botany collection, researchers may be on the path to a new treatment for Alzheimer's disease - and maybe more. Read more.