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

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.

The Top 10 Specimens of the 2010s

Posted: December 26, 2019

In the spirit of the decade-spanning top ten lists that abound in our collective news feeds, we asked our curators to nominate two to three of the best specimens that were collected or discovered in the 2010s. We got 17 nominations, and musuem staff and volunteers voted to narrow the list down to “The Top 10 Specimens of the 2010s.” Read more.

One hundred years ago, scientists—both amateur and classically trained—found plants in the Baja California Peninsula that now seem to have disappeared. No one has seen them growing in the wild for decades—until now. Multiple recent expeditions have led to the rediscovery of some species. Where did they go and how did we find them? Read more.

Dr. Jon Rebman, Museum curator and the Mary & Dallas Clark Endowed Chair of Botany, spent 10 months in La Paz, Baja California Sur as part of a work assignment. While there, he increased binational collaboration with Mexican scientists and students, conducted extensive botanical research in the southern part of the Baja California peninsula, and wrote a new bilingual, plant field guide for the Cape region.  Read more.