Inventory of the California Native Plant Society Collection

Finding aid created by Manuscript Archivist Elizabeth Phillips.
Department of Special Collections
General Library
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA 95616-5292
Phone: (530) 752-1621
Fax: Fax: (530) 754-5758
© 2009
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Creator: California Native Plant Society
Title: California Native Plant Society Collection
Date (inclusive): 1936-2009
Date (bulk): (bulk 1963-1982)
Extent: 2.4 linear feet
Abstract: Organizational records related to the foundation of the California Native Plant Society. Includes photocopies of correspondence, membership records, newsletters, notes, news clippings, publications, and photographs. Also includes a small amount of material related to the Native Plant Society of New Mexico.
Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.
Repository: University of California, Davis. General Library. Dept. of Special Collections.
Davis, California 95616-5292
Collection number: D-376
Language of Material: Collection materials in English


The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) was founded in California's East Bay region in 1965. It was the first organization in the United States dedicated to the study and appreciation of native plants, and its work inspired the formation of many native plant societies across the country and around the world.
The CNPS is a statewide non-profit organization with thirty-two local chapters. The members are both amateurs and professionals, all of whom share an interest in California's native plants. The aim of the CNPS is to foster "the understanding and appreciation of California's native plants and how to conserve them and their natural habitats through education, science, advocacy, horticulture, and land stewardship."
California Native Plant Society website:
Accessed 1/14/09

Scope and Content

The California Native Plant Society Archives spans the years 1936-2009, with the bulk of the material falling between 1963 and 1982. The collection contains material related to the foundation and activities of the California Native Plant Society, including correspondence, membership records, newsletters, notes, news clippings, publications, and a small set of photographs. The collection also includes a small amount of material related to the Native Plant Society of New Mexico.
Most of the materials in this collection are photocopies; the originals were donated to New Mexico State University Special Collections.

Arrangement of the Collection

The Collection is arranged into five series: 1. Correspondence and Notes; 2. Minutes; 3. Publications; 4. Ephemera; 5. Photographs.

Related Collections

The following collections at Special Collections may also be of interest:
D-451, Saratoga Horticultural Research Foundation Collection, 1938-2008: This collection contains the records of the Saratoga Horticultural Research Foundation as well as plant propagation and description records, nursery records, plant photographs and slides, and plan evaluations. The Foundation was instrumental in introducing new species of shade and ornamental trees and promoting the use of native western shrubs.
D-086, Harry M. Butterfield Papers, 1860-1970: This collection contains manuscripts, research material, and photographs related to the history of ornamental plants in California.
O-009, Nursery and Seed Catalog Collection, 1856-: This collection contains catalogs of trees, fruits, vegetables, grains, flowers, and gardening equipment introduced to the public from 1856 to the present.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
California Native Plant Society--Archives.
Native plant gardening--California.
Native plant gardening--New Mexico.


Collection is open for research.

Processing Information

Elizabeth Phillips, Manuscript Archivist, processed the collection and created the finding aid.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mary Ann Montague, 2002 and 2004.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], California Native Plant Society Collection, D-376, Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis.

Publication Rights

Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17, of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections, University of California, Library, Davis 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 researcher.

Collection Contents


Series 1 Correspondence and Notes 1961-2009

Physical Description: 0.9 linear feet

Scope and Content Note

Includes extensive correspondence between Mary Wohlers, a founding member of the California Native Plant Society, and other members as well as related correspondence with her family and friends. Also includes Wohlers' notes. Arranged chronologically.
Box/Folder 1:1

History of California Native Plant Society 2009

Box/Folder 1:2-3:4

Correspondence and Notes 1961-1966


Series 2 Minutes 1962-1968

Physical Description: 5 folders

Scope and Content Note

Includes minutes of the Friends of the Tilden Park Botanic Garden, the East Bay Regional Park District, the California Horticultural Society, the California Native Plant Society, and the Native Plant Society of New Mexico. Arranged chronologically.
Box/Folder 3:5

Friends of the Tilden Park Botanical Garden 1962-1964

Box/Folder 5:1

East Bay Regional Park District 1965

Box/Folder 3:6

California Horticultural Society 1964-1965

Box/Folder 3:7-3:8

California Native Plant Society 1965-1967

Box/Folder 3:9

California Native Plant Society: Chapter Affairs 1967

Box/Folder 3:10

California Native Plant Society: Membership List 1968

Box/Folder 3:11

Native Plant Society of New Mexico 1976-1983


Series 3 Publications 1959-1990

Physical Description: 0.5 linear feet

Scope and Content Note

Arranged in two subseries: California Native Plant Society; and General Publications.

Series 3.1 California Native Plant Society 1965-1990

Physical Description: 6 folders

Scope and Content Note

Includes newsletters, fliers, The Four Seasons, and one issue of the Society's journal. Arranged alphabetically.
Box/Folder 3:12-3:13

California Native Plant Society Newsletter 1965-1968 1982

Box/Folder 3:14

California Native Plant Society Newsletter: Local Chapters 1966

Box/Folder 3:15

Fliers undated

Box/Folder 4:1

The Four Seasons 1965 November

Box/Folder 4:2

Fremontia, vol.18:no.4 1990 October


Series 3.2 General Publications 1959-1970

Physical Description: 0.4 linear feet

Scope and Content Note

Includes articles and selections from books published by entities other than the California Native Plant Society. Arranged alphabetically.
Box/Folder 4:3

Brown, Edmund. "How to Put the States Back in Business." Harper's 1964 September

Box/Folder 4:4

California Agriculture, vol.28:no.1 1974 January

Box/Folder 4:5

California Journal of Horticulture, vol.31:no.3 1970 July

Box/Folder 4:6

Crosby, Donald. Writings on Chemical Ecology 1969-1981

Box/Folder 4:7

Edgewood Botanic Garden. "Guide List of Plants." 1965

Box/Folder 4:8

Hansen, C.J. and H.T. Hartmann. Propagation of Temperate-Zone Fruit Plants. 1966

Scope and Content Note

California Agricultural Experiment Station, Circular 471 Revised.
Box/Folder 4:9

Herbert, Van. "Some Psychological Aspects of Driving Through Sacramento." undated

Box/Folder 4:10

IMPACT. Albequerque Journal Magazine, vol.5:no.33 1982

Box/Folder 4:11

Kohl Jr., Henry. "Research Needs for the Use of Environmental Plants." 1973

Box/Folder 4:12

National Audobon Society. "Southwest Report." 1982

Box/Folder 4:13

Native Plant Society of New Mexico Newsletter 1982

Box/Folder 4:14

Saratoga Horticultural Research Foundation. News and Notes 1976

Box/Folder 4:15

Smith, Arthur. "To Keep This Forest Primeval." Pacific Discovery, vol.13:no.2 1960 March-April

Box/Folder 4:16

Smoker, Sam. "Preliminary Heather Pond and Nature Area Master Plan" undated

Box/Folder 4:17

Walker, Mary M. "Botanical Clubs and Native Plant Societies of the United States" 1990

Box/Folder 4:18

Wyman, Donald. The Arboretums and Botanical Gardens of North America. Cambridge: Harvard University, 1959. 1959


Series 4 Ephemera 1936-1992

Physical Description: 0.2 linear feet

Scope and Content Note

Includes news clippings, membership records, letterhead, a plant price list, and a volume authored by Agnes Morely Cleaveland. Arranged alphabetically.
Box/Folder 5:2

Cleaveland, Agnes Morely. American Primer. Berkeley: Lederer, Street, and Zeus. 1936

Scope and Content Note

Wife of Newton Cleaveland, Yuba Mining and Manufacturing, and mother of Mary Wohlers. Two copies.
Box/Folder 5:3

Letterhead undated

Box/Folder 5:4

The Montclarion, vol.19:no.21 1963 February 20

Box 6

Membership Records undated

Scope and Content Note

Card file of charter members and original sponsors.
Box/Folder 5:5

News Clippings 1960-1993

Box/Folder 5:6

Oakland Tribune:California - The Sunday Tribune Home Magazine 1966 April 24

Box/Folder 5:7

Plant Price List undated

Box/Folder 5:8

Sacramento Bee: California Life 1976 December 4

Box/Folder 5:9

Scrapbook 1963-1992

Scope and Content Note

News clippings
Box/Folder 5:10

Sign undated

Scope and Content Note

Photocopy of fundraising sign

Series 5 Photographs 1963-1982

Physical Description: 5 folders

Scope and Content Note

Includes images of members of the California Native Plant Society, flood damage, and New Mexico. Images are mainly photocopies of prints. Arranged alphabetically.
Box/Folder 5:11

Botanic Garden (unidentified) undated

Scope and Content Note

Box/Folder 5:12

Members of California Native Plant Society at Meeting 1967

Scope and Content Note

Two digital prints on paper of Mary Wohlers, G. Ledyard Stebbins, Susan Frugé, and Leonora Stromaier.
Box/Folder 5:13

New Mexico? 1982

Scope and Content Note

8 photocopies
Box/Folder 5:14

Roof, Jim 1967

Scope and Content Note

1 photographic print
Box/Folder 5:15

Jim Roof Inspecting Flood Damage 1963

Scope and Content Note

19 photocopies