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Oakmead Herbarium Group

The history of the herbarium vascular plant collection, including its initial formation by Prof. John Thomas creating a lab collection from Dudley Herbarium sheets, is described by Jewett (2005) Documenting Plant Diversity: Jasper Ridge's Herbarium. For Stanford's rich botany heritage see Timby (1998) The Dudley Herbarium: its origin, fate, and legacy at Stanford. Herbarium staff and affiliates in 2017-18: Nona Chiariello, JRBP Chief Scientist; Carl Cheney, Toni Corelli (Emerita), Alice Cummings, Paul Heiple, Ann Lambrecht, Dawn Neisser, Vivian Neou, John Rawlings, Rebecca Reynolds, Diane Renshaw, Carol Zabel (Emerita). Herbarium website created and maintained by John Rawlings.

Toni Corelli, Botanist, Curator Emeritus of the Carl Sharsmith Herbarium

Toni Corelli retired in 2016 after 31 years as an active Jasper Ridge docent and plant specialist. During 21 of those years she served as associate curator of the Oakmead Herbarium and Collections. Toni curated the Herbarium with the late Ruth Porter, who organized the collection and later oversaw its move to the Leslie Shao-ming Sun Field Station. The initial collection of some 5,000 herbarium sheets and unmounted pressed plants has grown to 6,000+ specimens. Toni annotated most of these sheets.

In addition, with enthusiasm and dedication she did much more. She developed and maintained, with Ann Lambrecht, the Herbarium and plant databases, promoted our membership in the Consortium of California Herbaria, taught numerous classes for docent trainees, docents, and others in the Jasper Ridge community, and contributed with other Herbarium team members to numerous research projects. Although retired from her work at Jasper Ridge, Toni is still engaged with native plant activities in and around Half Moon Bay and the San Mateo Coast.



1982-2017 -- Rare and Endangered Plant Chairperson, California Native Plant Society Santa Clara Valley Chapter.  Located and documented rare and endangered plants and communities in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. Responded to county, state and federal agencies regarding environmental impacts to rare and endangered plants and plant communities. Responded to state and federal agencies regarding consideration for listing of rare and endangered plant species. Wrote petitions to California Department of Fish and Game for protection of rare and endangered plants with recommendations for management. She was the driving force organizing members to do rare plant surveys and petition for the rare plant listings for Edgewood Preserve. The listing of the Leptosiphon croceus on the San Mateo County coast in 2018 was also a major achievement. Toni was CNPS Santa Clara Valley Chapter Vice-President in 1983; and President, 1984-1985.

1989-2005 -- Consultant. California Coastal Conservancy; Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD); Nature Conservancy (TNC); Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST); San Francisco Watershed; Sempervirens Fund; State of California.  

1994-2015 -- Curator, Carl W. Sharsmith Herbarium, San Jose State University.

1999-2009 -- Continuing education instructor of ecology, natural history and botany classes at various colleges, universities and other groups, including Stanford University Continuing Studies and Friends of Edgewood Preserve.


  • Corelli, T., Chandik, Z. 1995.  The rare and endangered plants of San Mateo and Santa Clara County: with photographs and illustrations. Half Moon Bay, CA: Monocot Press.
  • Corelli, T. 2002.  Flowering plants of Edgewood Natural Preserve. Half Moon Bay, CA: Monocot Press.
  • Corelli, T. 2004.  Flowering plants of Edgewood Natural Preserve. 2nd ed. Half Moon Bay, CA: Monocot Press.
  • Corelli, T. 2005.  Illustrated Field Guide to the Woody Plants of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Half Moon Bay, CA: Monocot Press.
  • Corelli, T. 2005.  San Francisco Watershed Vascular Plant List. Half Moon Bay, CA: Monocot Press.
  • Boutell, A., Corelli, T., Frost, N. 2009.  Plants and Plant Communities of the San Mateo Coast. San Mateo Coast Natural History Association.
  • Corelli, T. 2010.  Trifoliums of San Mateo and Santa Clara County. Half Moon Bay, CA: Monocot Press.
  • Corelli, T. 2011.  Checklist of the Vascular Plants of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, California. Santa Clara Valley Chapter, CNPS.
  • Chiariello, N., Corelli, T. et al. 2016. Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve Stanford University Plant List. 4th ed.


In Memoriam

Sally Casey (1921-2019)

Sally reviewed and annotated the Poaceae sheets in the early 2000s. This project involved about 10% of all herbarium sheets. The 100+ grasses comprise about 12% of the Jasper Ridge flora. Sally was one of a kind -- active and sharp to the very end. She will be remembered as a botanist for her teaching skills and grass ID field trips, and also as a horticulturalist -- for her backyard nursery, where she patiently raised annuals and shooting stars to support CNPS, and for her skills in raising fruits and vegetables, a legacy from her youth on a farm in Illinois.  In 1972 she co-founded our CNPS chapter, along with several similarly inclined friends, and was our first Vice President. Later she held many positions in the chapter, including Field Trip chair and Gardening with Natives chair. Sally was named a CNPS Fellow in 1997, the highest honor bestowed on Society members. Sally had a Bachelor’s degree in music, but went on to receive a Master's degree in botany from San Jose State, and later taught there and at Mission and Foothill Colleges.  She was also a U.C. Cooperative Extension Master Gardener and active in the California Rare Fruit Growers and the Western Horticultural Society.

Ruth Porter (1934 – 2006)

Ruth's many contributions to Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve were made with a cheerfulness and efficiency that all who knew her will miss for a long time to come. A member of the 1976 docent class, she gained an extensive understanding of the preserve's natural history, with a particular focus on its flora. She became sought after as a teacher, committee member, and organizer. Perhaps most notably, she took on management of the several thousand plant specimens left to the preserve by Stanford professor John Thomas. With Toni Corelli, she shaped these into the Oakmead Herbarium and Collections in the Sun Field Station. Ruth was actively occupied with this work until the end of her life. She was dedicated, effective, and a wonderful friend. Read Eliza Jewett (2005) Documenting Plant Diversity: Jasper Ridge's Herbarium.