University of California Museum of Paleontology UCMP in the field See the world (and its fossils) with UCMP's field notes.
About UCMP People Blog Online Exhibits Public programs Education Collections Research
Collections : Paleobotany collection

Paleobotany collection: about our holdings

A leaf of Quercus orindensis
A leaf from the fossil oak Quercus orindensis, from the Miocene of Contra Costa County, CA.

The UCMP paleobotanical collection contains type specimens (ca. 12,000) and non-type specimens (ca. 350,000) of plants, algae, and fungi from localities worldwide. A searchable online catalog is available. Although the collections range in age from Precambrian to Recent, UCMP's strength lies in its unique collection of western North American Tertiary paleofloras. Our current knowledge of the history and development of the western North American flora over the last 50+ million years is based heavily on UCMP's collections. Moreover, the collections have played an integral role in understanding western North American paleogeography, and the past climatic changes that have shaped this region's modern biota. Many of our collections are not duplicated by holdings in other institutions and come from sites no longer accessible to collectors.

UCMP also houses the following reference and special collections:

  • Modern cleared leaf collection consisting of over 2000 prepared slides that include conifer and angiosperm taxa, and photograph reproduction of the USGS's cleared leaf collection, which is now housed at the National Museum of Natural History.
  • Modern pollen slide collection.
  • Collection of conifer cones and leaves representing the modern western North American flora.
  • An extensive in-house paleobotanical library comprised of books and reprints, many rare and now out of print.
  • Los Angeles County Museum paleobotanical collection.

For more information on these collections, contact the paleobotany collection manager.

Fossil leaf photo by Sarah Reiboldt © 2003 UCMP.