Botanical Dimensions Projects

Under the guidance of ethnobotanist Kathleen Harrison since its founding in 1985, Botanical Dimensions has generated projects in Hawaii, Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, and California, working with indigenous people whenever possible, trying to preserve native plant species and the traditional knowledge of these places.

New Projects 


The Ethnobotanical Research Library 

In November 2015 Botanical Dimensions opened an ethnobotanical research library and administrative office in the charming village of Occidental, in the far west of Sonoma County, in Northern California.

Botanical Dimensions’ members can now use the library of 1000+ volumes that encompass a global ethnobotanical worldview. These include many titles on botany (plants), mycology (fungi), cultural anthropology (humans), plant uses, history, mythology, herbalism, ritual, shamanism, healing, psychedelics, and art. Please contact us for membership details and library hours.

Location Occidental Center for the Arts, 3830 Doris Murphy Court, Occidental, CA 95465


Reforestation in Hawaii 

Botanical Dimensions is developing a dedicated reforestation project on in the ethnobotanical forest garden on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Native Plants in Northern California

Botanical Dimensions has begun a native plants project in Northern California, linking environmental documentation to traditional plant uses of the region.

Ongoing projects

Amazonian Digital Herbarium Project

In 2010, BD initiated a significant and novel project with a dual purpose. We are assisting a herbarium in Iquitos, Peru, while also creating an information-packed, image-rich database of the useful food and medicine plants of the Upper Amazon region… read more

The Mazatec Project in Mexico

The Mazatec Project began in 1995. On semi-annual fieldwork to Northern Oaxaca and Southern Puebla, Mexico, Kathleen Harrison studies traditional and contemporary applications of plants and mushrooms that are used in Mazatec daily life, by midwives in birthing, for nutritional and symbolic food, in religious ritual as offerings and tools, and in the shamanic healing and prayer ceremonies led by curanderas and curanderos, or healers read more

The Ethnobotanical Forest-Garden

Botanical Dimensions owns and stewards 8 acres of land on the Big Island of Hawaii. At 2200’ elevation, the land was originally native upland forest. In 1979, a small house was built on the neighboring 5 acres, read more

The Ethnobotanical Image Archive

Since 1975, Kathleen Harrison has been formally studying plants and people, mostly native ones. In her travels over those years, she has taken thousands of 35mm slides of ethnobotanical subjects, read more

Past projects