Carl Purdy collection

Finding aid created by California Botanic Garden staff using RecordEXPRESS
California Botanic Garden
1500 N College Avenue
Claremont, California 91711
(909) 625-8767

Descriptive Summary

Title: Carl Purdy collection
Dates: 1900-1950
Collection Number: MS.3
Creator/Collector: Purdy, Carl
Extent: 1.0 linear foot (2 boxes)
Repository: California Botanic Garden
Claremont, California 91711
Abstract: The collection consists of about ninety sales catalogs for Carl Purdy’s nursery in Ukiah, California, which specialized in the cultivation of native California plants and bulbs. The collection also includes a small amount of correspondence between Purdy and his customers, catalogs from other nurseries, and other materials about Purdy and his nursery.
Language of Material: English


The collection is open to research. Contact the repository for access.

Publication Rights

Copyright of some materials in this collection are held by the creator and some are in public domain. Consult the Librarian for details.

Preferred Citation

Carl Purdy collection. California Botanic Garden

Biography/Administrative History

Carl Purdy was born in Michigan in 1861. In 1870, his family moved to El Robles, California and purchased a ranch, where Purdy began collecting and selling native plants and bulbs to nurseries and herbaria on the east coast and abroad while studying to be a teacher. He began his own business in the 1880s in Ukiah, where he specialized in the sale of native California bulbs and plants, with a particular interest in lilies. He issued his first catalog in 1896. Purdy was also involved in landscaping work and gardening expositions, and published widely in horticultural journals. Purdy died in 1945. His nursery business was continued by his children.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists of about ninety sales catalogs for native California bulbs and plants from Carl Purdy’s nursery in Ukiah from 1900 to 1950. The collection also includes a small amount of Purdy’s business correspondence with Susanna Bixby Bryant (founder of California Botanic Garden [Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden]) and the owners of other nurseries, catalogs from other nurseries, announcements to customers from Purdy’s son Elmer, a partial manuscript about Purdy, and a photograph of Purdy.

Indexing Terms

Bulb industry--California
Native plant industry--California
Nurseries (Horticulture)--California
Sales catalogs

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