Photo Credit: Mitchell Coleman

Information for Contributors

Photo by Mitchell Coleman
Photo by Mitchell Coleman

General Information

Updated August 2023

Madroño is a peer-reviewed journal focused on the ecology, systematics, floristics, restoration, and conservation biology of Western American flora, including those of Mexico, Central and South America. Works published in Madroño include (but are not limited to) Research Articles (aka Contents), New Species Descriptions, Taxonomic Revisions, Floristic Works, Regional Checklists, Noteworthy Collections, Notes, and Book Reviews.

Submit manuscripts to Madroño via the PeerTrack website ( Contributors submitting a manuscript for the first time must first register online with PeerTrack by following the instructions on the Peer Track website. It is preferred that all authors be members of the California Botanical Society (CBS). Information about the benefits of CBS membership and information on how to join can be found at the CBS website (

Manuscripts may be submitted in English or Spanish. English-language manuscripts dealing with taxa or topics of Latin America and Spanish-language manuscripts must have a Spanish RESUMEN and an English ABSTRACT. Manuscripts by authors having outstanding page charges will not be sent for review.

Submitted manuscripts should be accompanied by a cover letter that describes the work, confirms that the submitted manuscript represents the original work of the authors, and describes the extent to which data in the manuscript have been used in other papers that are published, in press, submitted, or soon to be submitted elsewhere. Authors are encouraged to include the names, addresses, and e-mail addresses of two to four potential reviewers with their submitted manuscript. The cover letter must also indicate whether any illustrations, figures, maps, photographs and other complex matter are to be published in color or in black and white. Color images can be published online only or both online and in print. Color figures (including illustrations, charts, maps, photographs) will be charged at the rate of $75 for all figures if online only, and at cost per figure for print and online (~$350/color figure).

All California Botanical Society members current in the volume year that their contributions are published are allowed five free pages per volume year. Additional pages will be charged at the rate of $40 per page. Joint authors may apply all or a portion of their respective five-page allotments to a jointly-published article. Consent from co-authors is needed before additional page credits are issued. Partial pages will be charged as full. Author’s changes to text and figures after typesetting will be charged to authors at $4.50 per line of text and at cost per figure. The purpose of these fees is not to pay directly for the costs of publishing any particular paper, but rather to allow the Society to continue publishing Madroño on a reasonable schedule, with equity among all members for access to its pages.

Articles can be made “Open Access” for an additional $250 for members and $500 for non-members for Noteworthy Collections and Notes, and for $500 for members and $1000 for non-members for all other articles, provided that all authors must be CalBotSoc members to receive the discounted Open Access rate (or at least three authors if there are more than three authors on the contribution).

Photo by Dean Kelch
Photo by Dean Kelch
Photo by Dean Kelch

Author Instructions

Updated April 2024

Authors are encouraged to follow the format used in recent issues for the type of item submitted (e.g., Research Articles, Noteworthy Collections, etc.). General templates are provided for Research Articles (Contents), Noteworthy Collections, New Species Descriptions, and Book Reviews.

Manuscripts should be submitted as an MS Word file format. Manuscripts must be double spaced throughout, written in 12-point Times New Roman format, and have 1-inch margins. Line numbers are not required; the Peer Track submission system automatically inserts line numbers to facilitate review comments. The order of sections for a Research Article is: Title Page, Abstract (on a its own page), Main text, Acknowledgments, Literature Cited, Tables, Appendices, and Figure Legends (figures are separate image files such as JPG, TIFF, PDF, etc.).

Manuscript Content

  1. Title Page.    On title page, provide:
  • The full title (all caps, centered)
  • Authors’ names, affiliations, and mailing addresses. Include the email address for the corresponding author only
  • Short title to use as a running header— no more than 65 characters (including spaces). This should include author’s last names and an abbreviated title (e.g., Eckert and Sawyer: Foxtail pine importance and conifer diversity).


  1. Abstract and Key Words Page
  • On a separate page, provide a one paragraph abstract and up to eight key words or phrases (in alphabetical order). Words from the title may be included in the key words. Each key word should be useful as a term for a literature search.
  1. Main Text – Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion
  • No heading is needed for the “Introduction”, but this should start on a new page, following the abstract and key words.
  • Major headings should be centered. This includes Methods (or Materials and Methods), Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments (if included), and Literature Cited. Results and Discussion sections may be combined if desired.


3.1. Methods and Results Sections

  • Second-level headings should be centered and in upper and lower case. Example:

Pollination Studies

  • Third-level headings should start the paragraph and be italicized, ending with a period. Example:

            Reproductive isolation. An additional criterion for establishing the taxonomic rank of sympatric taxa …

  • Products used should be cited in parentheses with manufacturer name, city, and state. Examples:

“We used a Li-6800 Portable Photosynthesis System (LiCor Biosciences, Lincoln, NE) to measure…”

“All statistical analyses were conducted in R (R Core Team, R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria).”


3.2. Presenting the results of statistical analyses

Provide test statistics (e.g., t, F-ratio, etc.), degrees of freedom (if applicable), and P-values for statistical tests [e.g., (P = 0.003) or (P < 0.001)]. If P value is less than 0.0001, just indicate this—it is not necessary to provide all significant figures.


3.3. Other Details

  • Abbreviate figures (Fig. and Figs.) in text and figure captions.
  • Use Table in main text and captions.
  • Spell out numbers less than 10 (e.g., one, two, three … nine), unless reporting a measurement, range, or aspect of study design (e.g., 7 mm, 2-3 seeds per fruit, Day 5).
  • To use abbreviations, write out the full name at the first instance in follow it with the abbreviation in parentheses. Example: California Native Plant Society (CNPS).
  • Herbarium codes (e.g., JEPS, DAV) may be used without writing out first. See the Index Herbariorum 8th ed. (Regnum Veg. Vol. 120. 1990) for designations of herbarium codes.
  • The following abbreviations may be used without writing out when first introduced: h, min, s, yr, mo, wk, cm, mm, DNA, cpDNA, RNA, dNTP.
  • All measurements and elevations should be in metric units, except specimen citations, which may include English or metric measurements.
  • Designate temperature in degrees Celsius, as in 25°C (use the degree sign, not zero or the letter o).
  • Include a space between all mathematical operators (e.g., +, =)


  1. Literature Cited
  • Before submitting the manuscript, check each citation in the text against the Literature Cited to see that they match exactly. Delete references that are not cited in the article.
  • All citations must be generally available for access. Unpublished reports or data sets are unacceptable unless they are available as an on-line source. In these instances, the website where the report is available must be included in the reference. Any unpublished information provided to the authors can be cited in the text as a personal communication or observation. In these references: include the source’s affiliation (e.g., L. Smith, Univ. of New Mexico, personal communication). Personal communications are cited in the main text, but not included in the Literature Cited.
  • Check format and capitalization of references before submitting your manuscript. See below for examples.


4.1. In-Text References

Different citations are separated by a semicolon (;) and placed in chronological order. See examples of in-text citations below:

(Johnson 2002; Franklin 2003; Jones 2003)

(Smith 1990; Franklin and Johnson 1995; Jones et al. 2000, 2001)

(Smith in press)

(Jones 1996a, b, c, 1997)

Smith (1990) found that …


4.2. References in the Literature Cited

  • Citations should be in order alphabetically by first author, then grouped by number of authors (1, 2, 3 or more), then alphabetically within each group.
  • For references with many authors, list the first seven authors and then “et al.” If there are eight authors, then list all eight.
  • Type author names in upper and lower case (not all caps). Use formatting examples below.


4.2.a Samples for citation format:

Journal articles:

Critchfield, W. B. 1977. Hybridization of foxtail and bristlecone pines. Madroño 24:193–211.

Rajakaruna, N. and B. A. Bohm. 1999. The edaphic factor and patterns of variation in Lasthenia californica (Asteraceae). American Journal of Botany 86:1576–1596.

Hrusa, F., B. Ertter, A. Sanders, G. Leppig, and E. Dean. 2002. Catalogue of non-native vascular plants occurring spontaneously in California beyond those addressed in The Jepson Manual part I. Madroño 49:61–98.

Journal articles in press:

Jones, R. M. In Press. Studies in the botany of California and parts adjacent. Madroño.


Wickens, G. E. 2001. Economic botany: principles and practices. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

Zar, J. H. 1999. Biostatistical analysis. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Edited Books:

Baker, H. G. and G. L. Stebbins (eds.). 1965. The genetics of colonizing species. Academic Press, New York, NY.

Hickman, J. C. (ed.). 1993. The Jepson manual: higher plants of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

Book Sections:

Barrett, S. C. H. 2000. Microevolutionary influences of global changes on plant invasions. Pp. 115–140 in H. A. Mooney and R. J. Hobbs (eds.), Invasive species in a changing world. Island Press, Washington, DC.

Sawyer, J. O. and D. Thornburgh. 1988. Montane and subalpine vegetation of the Klamath Mountains. Pp. 699–732 in M. G. Barbour and J. Major (eds.), Terrestrial vegetation of California. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, CA.

Theses and Dissertations:

Hohn, J. E. 1975. Biosystematic studies of the genus Lewisia, section Cotyledon (Portulacaceae). Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Mastrogiuseppe, R. J. 1972. Geographic variation in foxtail pine, Pinus balfouriana Grev. & Balf. Unpublished M.S. thesis. Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA.

Electronic Literature and Databases:

Johnson, D. R. 1993. Soil survey of Jackson County area, Oregon. United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. Website [accessed 15 May 2023].

USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA. Website [accessed 04 July 2023].

Knapp, S. 2011. Rarity, species richness, and the threat of extinction – are plants the same as animals? PLoS Biology 9: e1001067.


  1. Tables
  • Tables should be included in manuscript file and place immediately after Literature Cited.
  • Authors must use the MS Word’s table function. Do not use tab and/or hard returns to construct a table. Each table entry should be in its own table cell. Do not use extra returns in table cells. Tables not following these general guidelines will be returned to authors.
  • Tables submitted in other formats will be converted to MS Word.
  • The table legend should be placed immediately above each table. Footnotes are discouraged. Information should be included in the table legend.
  • The first sentence of the table legend should be short and descriptive of the whole table. Additional and/or detailed information follows in subsequent sentences.

Example: Table 1. Short Descriptive Title…


  1. Figures and Figure Legends
  • Scales should be included in figures, as should explanation of symbols, including graph coordinates. Maps must include a scale and latitude and longitude or UTM references.
  • Include figure legends in manuscript file and place immediately after the Appendices (or after the tables if there are no appendices)
  • Each figure legend must be complete and informative so that reference to the text is not necessary to understand the content of the figure.
  • The first sentence of the figure legend should be short and descriptive of the whole figure or illustration. Additional and/or detailed information follows in subsequent sentences.

Example: Fig. 1. Short Descriptive Title…

  • For figures with multiple lettered panels, a general title for the figure should be followed by a description of each panel (e.g., “Fig. 5. Fruit structure… A. All fruits. B. Fruits < 0.5 mm.”).


  1. Figure and Illustration Files
  • Submit figures and illustrations as separate image files.
  • Acceptable common image formats are GIF, JPEG, TIFF, and PDF. Please check with the editors for other formats.
  • Halftone and color images should be prepared at a minimum of 300 pixels per inch (ppi). Line art illustrations should be prepared at 1200 ppi.
  • Figures should be prepared close to the expected final size in the journal. Maximum page size is 6 inches wide and 8 inches tall. If you are considering a figure that takes the entire length of the page, remember to leave room for a figure caption to fit below all figures.


  1. Electronic Supplemental Appendices and Archived Data

Authors have the opportunity to publish online appendices with papers through BioOne. References to supplemental data sets archived elsewhere are designated with an “S” (e.g., Appendix S1). Print appendices may also be published directly in the printed (and PDF) form of the journal. References to printed appendices are simply numbered (e.g., Appendix 1).

If the authors are archiving their data in an online repository, such as Dryad, a “Data Accessibility” statement should be inserted after the Acknowledgments and before the Literature Cited. The statement should provide the name of the database, digital object identifiers, and stable URLs.


  1. Use of Common and Taxonomic Names
  • Common names are written out with the first letter capitalized, including words that are not proper nouns. Examples: Coast Redwood, Monterey Pine.
  • Identify organisms by full botanical name at first use (including the taxonomic authority and family name) in the text and in the abstract. This may be followed by common name in parentheses, if desired. Authorities for botanical names are not required for the title. The Latin name of the taxon is italicized. Taxonomic authorities must be confirmed in the Jepson eFlora or
  • Genus names are spelled out the first time they are used and should be abbreviated thereafter (unless starting a sentence or where abbreviations may be confusing). If an article contains multiple botanical names, spell out the genus name the first time it appears in each major section.
  • Avoid or minimize using the name of a new taxon until after it appears at the beginning of the formal description. It is especially important to avoid using the names of new taxa in the title and short title of the manuscript.
Photo by Dean Kelch
Photo by Dean Kelch
Photo by Dean Kelch
Photo by Dean Kelch
Photo by Dean Kelch
Photo by Dean Kelch
Photo by Dean Kelch
Photo by Mitchell Coleman
Photo by Mitchell Coleman
Photo by Mitchell Coleman
Photo by Mitchell Coleman
Photo by Mitchell Coleman
Photo by Mitchell Coleman
Photo by Mitchell Coleman
Photo by Mitchell Coleman
Photo by Mitchell Coleman
Photo by Mitchell Coleman
Photo by Mitchell Coleman
Photo by Mitchell Coleman

 ©2024 California Botanical Society

c/o Jepson Herbarium 1001 Valley Life Sciences Building Berkeley, California 94720-2465



Send us an email and we'll get back to you.


Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account