The Flora was published
in a multi-volume series beginning in 1909 and continuing steadily through 1940. Work on the Flora slowed after
Jepson's death in 1946, with Volume 4 Part 2 by Lauramay T. Dempster, appearing in 1979 after a long hiatus. The Flora contains exceptionally detailed taxonomic treatments and original line drawings;
for many taxa in California, the Flora contains the most comprehensive description of morphological characteristics, habitats, and ecology available.
Unfortunately, this great work was never completed and is now out-of-print, although there are a limited number of full sets
still available through the Jepson Herbarium.
The mission of the Jepson Herbarium includes completing and updating A Flora of California.
Our ultimate goal is to have the entire, updated and complete Flora published in an electronic format wherein new information could be incorporated as it becomes available.
One of the first steps in the process is to transform the text of the original Flora into an electronic format that can be modified.
We have been in close collaboration with researchers at Xerox PARC and the
UC Berkeley Digital Library Project
to scan the pages of the Flora, create image files, and apply optical character recognition (OCR) software to ultimately produce an electronic version of the original.
The first stages of the project are complete; the entire Flora was scanned using a prototype of a book scanner developed at Xerox PARC specifically for use with archival books.