Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Francesco Franceschi Papers, 1904-1918
BANC MSS 70/11 c  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (139.24 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Biographical Sketch
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Francesco Franceschi Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1904-1918
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 70/11 c
    Creator: Franceschi, Francesco, 1843-
    Extent: Number of containers: 20 boxes Linear feet: 10
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: Correspondence, manuscripts of his writings, and lists of plants relating to his work in acclimatizing plants in Santa Barbara, and in maintaining a nursery of exotic plants. Some later correspondence for the Montarioso Nursery, Aug. 1913-1918, included.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Francesco Franceschi Papers, BANC MSS 70/11 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Biographical Sketch

    Born in Italy in 1843, Francesco Franceschi, a renowned botanist, obtained his doctorate from the University of Pisa in 1864. He began his work of plant acclimatization in Santa Barbara in 1893 when he established a nursery specializing in the growing and propagating of exotic plants. This work entailed a worldwide correspondence, an exchange of seeds and specimens, and a sharing of the results. At this time Dr. Franceschi compiled an inventory of foreign plants that had been introduced into the area, entitled Santa Barbara Exotic Flora. The nursery was beset by various difficulties. A fire in 1904 destroyed the propagating nursery and an unfortunate association with a landscape gardener, P. Riedel, led to a series of lawsuits, ending in dissolution of the partnership in 1909. Despite these setbacks, Dr. Franceschi managed to a large degree to popularize in California the cultivation of avocados, bamboo, figs, the large Japanese persimmons, palm trees, a ground cover named Lippia repens, some roses, cypress, asparagus and acacia.
    Soon after the settlement of the Riedel affair, the doctor, with the aid of his children, established the Montarioso Nursery -his daughter in charge of the commercial side of the enterprise, while he continued his scientific work.
    Dr. Franceschi left California in the summer of 1913 for a position in Tripoli offered by the Italian government, relating to plant cultivation and land development.

    Scope and Content

    The collection, transferred from the University of California Herbarium in July 1969, consists mainly of correspondence concerning the acquisition and exchange of plants and seeds and of reports on their growth in the Santa Barbara region. A group of letters from the Montarioso Nursery written after Franceschi's departure reveals that by 1916 the nursery had been largely abandoned in favor of landscape work, and they reflect the growth of the Montecito area. Also included are a few of Franceschi's writings (MS and printed), lists of plants introduced in the nursery, and plant and seed lists of the nursery.