Flora of North America presents for the first time, in one published reference source, information on the names, taxonomic relationships, continent-wide distributions, and morphological characteristics of all plants native and naturalized found in North America north of Mexico.


Arctic Lupine (Lupinus arcticus) in a meadow in Chugach State Park, Alaska. Credit: John J. Mosesso/
Arctic Lupine (Lupinus arcticus) in a meadow in Chugach State Park, Alaska. Credit: John J. Mosesso/


The Earth is host to more than 400,000 documented species of plant life. In turn, our planet depends upon these plants to nurture and sustain all living things. Plants play a critical role in the complex food web. Powered by light from the sun, carbon dioxide from the air, and nutrients from the soil, plants pass on this energy to the life forms that consume them. And for the human species, plants bring aesthetic pleasure, delighting the senses with their beauty and variety.

Botany is one of the oldest branches of biology. It is concerned with the scientific study of plants and other similar organisms. Within the discipline there are many areas of study including Paleobotany (the study of plant history through fossils), Physiology (the study of plant cells and tissues), Pteridology (the study of ferns), and Plant Pathology (the study of diseases in plants).


In June, Mary Barkworth sent a survey out to the 602 US herbaria listed in Index Herbariorum. In it she asked for current information on, among a few other things, the size of the collection and its progress in digitization.

The purpose of the survey is to find out how many active herbaria there are in the US, their size, and their progress in databasing and imaging their specimens. As of June 17, about 110 replies had been received.

Some of the contact information for these herbaria is old and some mailings have been returned as "address unknown" or "addressee no longer at XYZ". Dr. Barkworth and her assistant, Raquelle Sanchez, will be calling the non-responding institutions to determine whether the herbarium still exists and who the best contact person is. Some herbaria have been dispersed, closed, or become inactive. All the more reason for making those that are active freely available. Please contact Mary Barkworth at or 435-797-1584 during business hours if you would like to report for your herbarium.

New e-Journal of Pollination Ecology

There is a new journal on the web - the Journal of Pollination Ecology (JPE)!
It is an open access journal, with no costs for authors. The very first article of JPE by Nienhuis &
Stout "Effectiveness of native bumblebees as pollinators of the alien invasive plant Impatiens glandulifera (Balsaminaceae) in Ireland" and an inspiring "note from the editors" are online! Visit and click on "browse journal" in the top menu to have a look.

Botany Project Fact Sheet

NBII Botany Fact Sheet

The plant sciences have very broad overlap with other fields of biological study, many of which are also addressed by the NBII. NBII participation in, and contributions to botany-related activities, some examples of which are listed in this fact sheet, are coordinated through the NBII Botany Project and through other regional and thematic NBII nodes.

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