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Abstract Detail

Systematics/Phytogeography / Taxonomie/ Section

Whittemore, Alan [1].

Flora of the Cultivated Plants of North America.

Tens of thousands of species in several thousand genera are cultivated in North America. Our cultivated flora is very poorly known from a scientific standpoint. At the moment, it is not possible to obtain well-documented lists of species that are commercially available in the American nursery trade, or to assert positively that a species is not currently being sold here. Our standard taxonomic manuals for cultivated plants, written by Bailey and Rehder, have not been updated since the 1940s. As a result, many plants are being distributed under incorrect names and associated with incorrect scientific and horticultural information, and emerging invasive species, or plants with invasive potential, are not being correctly identified in a timely manner. Representatives of 16 institutions met last fall to organize a collaborative project to produce an up-to-date, taxonomically rigorous assessment of the cultivated flora. No traditional hardcopy manual is proposed at this time. Instead, a database of plant names (including both verified, vouchered names and names used in the trade), linked with correct nomenclatural information, literature references, voucher specimen data, scientific and horticultural information, and vouchered images. Names in current use in the nursery trade will be documented by mining horticultural literature (including the large collections of nursery catalogues held by USDA and Cornell University, and online catalogues). Collection, exchange, and databasing of herbarium specimens will be coordinated among the collaborating herbaria, emphasizing herbarium documentation of large botanical gardens and wholesale nurseries. Documenting plant material in the trade and building herbarium resources will provide a sound foundation for further work on our cultivated flora.

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1 - U. S. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC, 20002, USA

Cultivated plants
North America.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 61
Location: 177/Law
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
Time: 1:30 PM
Number: 61003
Abstract ID:234

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