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Plants : A Research Guide   Tags: botanical gardens, conservation, plants, san diego zoo, sdzg  

Recommended books, videos, journals, and websites for plant and plant conservation information.
Last Updated: Apr 11, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

General Information Print Page

Plants : A Research Guide

Baja Garden, San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Baja Garden, San Diego Zoo Safari Park. ©San Diego Zoo Global. All rights reserved.

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What can I find in this guide? Recommended print and online sources for information about botanical organizations, general plant information, horticulture, and plant conservation. It includes special sections on plants of California and the Southwest, and poisonous and medicinal plants.

Disclaimer: This site is maintained by the SDZG Library for the use of San Diego Zoo Global staff and volunteers. Although we make every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the resources and links may become outdated. If you have suggestions for updates or additional resources, we welcome your feedback.


Featured Books

Cover Art
The Quiet Extinction : Stories of North America's Rare and Threatened Plants - Kara Rogers
Call Number: QK86 .N66 R64 2015 MAIN
ISBN: 9780816531066
Publication Date: 2015
The Quiet Extinction explores the reasons why many of our native plants are disappearing. Curious minds will find a desperate struggle for existence waged by these plants and discover the great environmental impacts that could come if the struggle continues. Kara Rogers relates the stories of some of North America's most inspiring rare and threatened plants. Accompanied by illustrations created by the author and packed with absorbing detail, The Quiet Extinction offers a compelling and refreshing perspective of rare and threatened plants and their relationship with the land and its people.

Cover Art
The Jepson Manual - Higher Plants of California - James C. Hickman (Editor)
Call Number: QK149 .J56 1993 MAIN
ISBN: 0520082559
Publication Date: 1993
With contributions from two hundred botanists across North America, this is the most comprehensive resource and identification guide to nearly eight thousand varieties of native and naturalized California plants. The means to identify plants (using key traits and illustrations) is accompanied by special information such as horticultural requirements, endangerment, toxicity, weed status, and notes on the management of sensitive species.

Cover Art
Terrestrial Vegetation of California - Todd Keeler-Wolf (Editor); Allan A. Schoenherr; Michael Barbour
Call Number: QK149 .T44 2007
ISBN: 9780520249554
Publication Date: 2007
Integrating decades of research, leading community ecologists and field botanists describe and classify California's vegetation types, identify environmental factors that determine the distribution of vegetation types, analyze the role of disturbance regimes in vegetation dynamics, chronicle change due to human activities, identify conservation issues, describe restoration strategies, and prioritize directions for new research.

Cover Art
The New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques - American Horticultural Society
Call Number: QK80 .A45 2009 MAIN
ISBN: 9781845334840
Publication Date: 2009
A definitive guide to explaining all the essential techniques you are ever likely to need. All techniques are shown clearly and simply, with step-by-step instructions for planning, pruning, propagating, feeding and watering. Covers all plants, including trees, flowers, shrubs, climbers, lawns, vegetables, fruit and herbs.


Below is a sampling of relevant journals. For a full list, search the SDZG Library Journals A-Z. Please note: this service is for SDZG staff and volunteers; staff working offsite may contact the library for access.

  • American Journal of Botany
  • International Journal of Plant Sciences
  • Plant, Cell and Environment
  • Plant Ecology
  • Plant Journal
  • Systematic Botany


  • Index to American Botanical Literature
    Index to literature on systematics, floristics, morphology & ecology of American plants and fungi; also economic botany & general botany. From the New York Botanical Garden.
  • Kew Data and Resources
    Kew database & resource portal: collections, data, plants, seeds, fungi, species profiles. From Kew Royal Botanic Gardens.
  • PlantSearch
    Global database of living plant, seed, and tissue collections in botanic gardens and similar organizations. From Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI).
  • Treesearch
    Portal to US Forest Service research publications (full text access).

Websites : General Plant Information

Websites : Plant Taxonomy

  • Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (APWeb) -- Website dedicated to research on Angiosperm (flowering plants) phylogeny and taxonomy. Maintained by Peter F. Stevens of Missouri Botanical Gardens.
  • The Cycad Pages -- Botanical database developed from World List of Cycads, which includes a page for every known cycad. Maintained by Ken Hill at Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.
  • eFloras -- Taxonomic listing of flora from China, North America, Ecuadorian Andes, and Pakistan. Maintained by Missouri Botanical Gardens.
  • Euphorbiaceae of Malaysia -- Taxonomic resource on Euphorbiaceae (Spurge family) of Malaysia. Maintained by National Herbarium Nederland.
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System -- Authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.
  • International Plant Names Index -- Database of names of seed plants, ferns, and lycophytes. Collaboration between Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Harvard University Herbaria, and the Australian National Herbarium.
  • Plant Common Names -- List of plants by common name. Hosted by
  • Plant Names -- Learn about plant names from the National Agricultural Library.
  • Taxonomic Names Resolution Service -- Free utility for correcting and standardizing plant names.
  • TROPICOS -- Nomenclatural, bibliographic, and specimen data accumulated in the Missouri Botanical Garden's electronic databases over the last 25 years. Contains over 1.2 million scientific names and 3.9 million specimen records.
  • Vascular Plants -- Systematic index of non-flowering and flowering plant families with annotated photos. Maintained by the University of Hawaii Botany Department.

    Websites : Plants by Taxonomic Group


          Carnivorous Plants


    • About Eucalypts -- Excerpts from Euclid : Eucalypts of Southern Australia, 2nd editions.
    • Eucalypt Plant Guides -- Information on the eucalypts (Eucalyptus, Corymbia andAngophora) from the Australian Native Plant Society.
    • Introduction to Eucalypts -- General overview of eucalpyts from the Australian Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research.


          Palms & Cycads

    Websites : Plants by Geographic Location





    • Australian Flora -- Taxonomic and biological online resources. From the Australian Biological Resources Study. Includes searchable online database.
    • Australian Native Plants Society -- Website of society formerly known as ASGAP, geared towards people interested in cultivation, propagation, and conservation of Australian flora.


    • Neotropikey -- Interactive key and information resources for flowering plants of the Neotropics. From the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens.

      Fact Sheets



      • Bamboo Photos -- User-added photos from
      • Botanical Images Database -- Directory listing worldwide plant image resources.
      • CalPhotos - Plants -- A database with over 167,000 photos of plants, mostly from California. Developed by UC Berkeley Digital Library Project.
      • Global Plants (JSTOR) - A plant type specimens database, with community-contributed collections from more than 300 herbaria from around the world.
      • North American Plant Photos -- Plant photos from the Weed Science Society of America.
      • Palm Trees -- List of palm tree species with photos. From
      • Plants in Bloom at the San Diego Zoo -- List of plants that bloom at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park at various times of the year, with links to photos.
      • San Diego County Plants -- Plants listed taxonomically. Created by Michael G. Simpson, SDSU.
      • Smithsonian Plant Image Collection -- Database containing over 31,000 plant and plant habitat images. Maintained by the Smithsonian Department of Botany.
      • USDA Plants Image Gallery -- Collection largely consisting of photos and line drawings of U.S. plants.
      • Weed Photo Gallery -- Photos of weed plants. From University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management program.



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