Horticulture Subject Guide - Library & Learning Resources - City College of San Francisco
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Finding Books

Reserve Books

Subject Headings

Reference Sources

Finding Articles

Web Resources

Local Resource

Evaluating Sources

Citing Sources

Additional Help


Horticulture Subject Guide

Subject guides are designed to help students begin the research process, find reputable sources, and save time.

Searching the Library Catalog for Books & Other Materials

To locate books and other materials in CCSF Libraries, select the Library Catalog from the Library's Homepage. You will notice many ways to search, such as Title, Author, Subject, Subject Keyword, etc.

Examples of Subject searches include: Flower arrangement, Gardening, Landscape design, Landscape gardening, Nurseries (horticulture), Ornamental horticulture and many more.

Reserve Materials

Reserve Materials include books, sample tests, class notes, and other items that instructors put at the library for class use. The check out time is shorter than regular circulating books.

To search for a book on reserve in the Library Catalog, select either Reserves by Course or Reserves by Instructor.

When you have located the materials, write down the Course Number and Title on the green “Reserve Materials Request Card” and present this, along with your CCSF Student ID, at the Circulation Desk.


Browsing the Library Collection

Materials in the Library are shelved by call number according to the Library of Congress classification system. Books are arranged on the shelves by subject. Relevant areas in the collection to find materials on psychology include:

Nurseries & nursery industry SB118
Horticulture, horticultural crops SB317.5-319.864
Flowers & flower culture, ornamental plants SB403-450.87
Gardens & gardening SB450.9-467.8
Landscape gardening, design, architecture SB469-476.4


Using Key Reference Sources

Reference books provide background information and overviews on a given topic. Some relevant reference books in horticulture include:

The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants by Bricknell, Christopher and Judith D. Zuk, editors-in-chief. New York : DK Pub., 1997.

Hortus Third: a Concise Dictionary of Plants Cultivated in the United States and Canada by Bailey, Liberty Hyde and Ethel Zoe Bailey; revised and expanded by the staff of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium. New York: Macmillan, 1976.
Note: Hortus Third has not been updated in many years, and plant names have changed over time. However, it is still heavily used by horticulturists and is still considered a standard reference work.
SB 45 .B22 1976 Rosenberg Reference

The Jepson Manual : Higher Plants of California by Hickman, James C., ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. QK 149 .J56 1993 Rosenberg Reference

Plants of the San Francisco Bay Region: Mendocino to Monterey by Beidleman, Linda H. and Eugene N. Kozloff. Berkeley: UC Press, 2003. PUT ON NEXT LINE: QK 149 .K72 2003 Rosenberg Reference

Sunset Western Garden Book by Brenzel, Kathleen Norris, ed., 7th ed. Menlo Park, Calif.: Sunset Pub. Corp., 2001.
SB 453.2.W4 S9 2001 Rosenberg Reference, Downtown Reference


Searching for Articles in Periodical Databases

Periodical databases group together journal, magazine, and newspaper articles by subject. They also usually provide abstracts (brief summaries) and the full text of the articles. Do you need help identifying the differences between scholarly journal v. popular magazine articles?

Note: Most periodical databases are part of the private, passworded Web, so you will need to have a current CCSF ID card with a barcode to access those that CCSF subscribes to. Use the barcode on your current CCSF Student ID.

Infotrac Web
Infotrac is a brand name for several databases with coverage from 1980 to the present. Most useful for horticultural topics are Expanded Academic ASAP, InfoTrac Onefile, and Science Resource Center. Searching on horticulture in the Subject Guide Search, then selecting Related Subjects, is a helpful way of seeing the variety of topics covered in these databases. General Business File ASAP and Business and Company ASAP have information on the horticultural industry. These databases let you limit your results to documents with full-text, peer-reviewed publications and documents with images. You can also limit by date, publication title and publication subject

Ethnic Newswatch

Comprised of newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press in America, this unique body of materials covers a wide range of current topics and countless other social, political and educational subjects. Horticulture topics in this database include: horticulture and its related topics, gardens and gardening, and more. More than 200 publications covering 1990 to the present are represented, and searchable in both English and Spanish.

CQ Researcher
CQ provides lengthy research reports written by the editorial staff of the Congressional Quarterly, Inc. Current and controversial topics related to horticulture, such as pesticide use, genetically-engineered crops, and biotech foods are covered in this database.


Web Resources

Below are some excellent web sites for horticulture. If you use a search engine, such as Google, remember to evaluate the quality of the results

American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta
This is the association for North American public gardens and their professional staff. Its mission is to serve and strengthen public gardens by supporting their work, value, and achievements in horticultural display, education, research, and plant conservation.

California Native Plant Society
The Society seeks to increase the understanding and appreciation of California's native plants and to conserve them and their natural habitats through education, science, advocacy, horticulture and land stewardship.

PLANTS Database
From the United States Department of Agriculture, this provides information about vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories.

Jobs in Horticulture
A national green industry jobs website for both job seekers and employers, with daily postings.

Horticultural Web
This is an industry-supported site for horticulture and floriculture products and services, with excellent links.

Las Pilitas Nursery

Las Pilitas is a nursery that grows many California native plants. This web site will inform, entertain, and educate you about aspects of native plants and native gardens that they've learned for the last 35 years.

Suncrest Nurseries plant list
A wholesale nursery with great cultural information for plants appropriate for the mild west coast.


Local Resource

The Helen Crocker Russell Library, San Francisco Botanical Garden Society
Established in 1972, this is northern California's largest horticultural library. The library houses approximately 27,000 volumes and 450 plant and garden periodicals. Collections cover all aspects of horticulture including gardening, garden design, botanical art, ethnobotany and pest management, with an emphasis on plants grown in Mediterranean and other mild temperate climates. It is a non-circulating library, open to the public daily. Their online catalog: http://asp.vtls.com/cgi-bin/sfbgs/chameleon/
Information is available at 415-661-1316 x303


Need More Assistance?

Librarians welcome your questions and can help you with your research. For additional help you may go to the Reference Desk at any of the 5 CCSF campus libraries or telephone:

  • Rosenberg Library: 415-452-5543
  • Alice Statler Library: 415-239-3460
  • John Adams Library: 415-561-1946
  • Southeast Campus Library: 415-550-4353
  • Downtown Campus library: 415-267-6513

Electronic Reference Service to CCSF students, faculty, staff and registered community users. Use this service when you are NOT in a CCSF library.

Library and Web Research Workshops
FIfty minute workshops are given throughout the semester on effective methods in searching for books, articles and information on the Internet.

Evaluating Web Documents/Pages
Here are some questions you can use to help you evaluate Web pages.

Purdue's Online Writing Lab
One of the most thorough and easy to navigate writing labs available!

A+ Research and Writing
Hosted by the Internet Public Library.

Writing Process @ CSU
Colorado State University developed these guides which "focus on a range of composing processes as well as issues related to the situations in which writers find themselves."


Send comments or suggestions to:

Janet Tom
Subject Selector
(415) 452-5576

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Last updated August 21, 2007