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Old 13-09-2003, 06:03 PM
P van Rijckevorsel
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Default ### Mini FAQ for # 003 ###

The "Frequently Asked Questions" for

This is an unmonitored ("feral") NG that is irregular in all other respects
as well, foremost in the frequency of postings. The topic is botany, in all
its aspects, but excluding topics covered in other newsgroups, such as
gardening, cooking with plants, education about plants, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions include:
Can someone ID this flower?
Can someone ID this fruit?
Can someone ID this leaf?

But questions are posed in a very wide range of topics ("Is there such a
thing as a walking palm?", "I am stuck in my lab procedure for a ADP-Glucose
Pyrophosphorylase Assay, please help!", "What is the Classic Greek word for
birch?", etc). Some people think this NG knows everything there is to know
about plants! For an in-depth impression see the archives at
Many questions of a general nature can be answered by consulting the
archives or just a search engine (a frequent question is "I have this school
project. Can someone write my paper for me?" with the standard response:
"try Google").

Since this is a slow NG (in numbers of postings per week) great tolerance is
observed when dealing with some fringe figures, who post anonimously. Their
tag will become apparent quickly to even the most casual of observers.
Responding to them is done at one's own risk. Logic does not help.


Plantfinder at
This is a directory of names of plants offered for sale in the UK. Standards
are pretty high, both as concerns correct spelling and currency of names.

A lively-looking site with a database of cultivated plants is at:
This also offers pictures. How are standards?

Well kept database of economically important plants.

This is a list of current names maintained at the Missouri Botanical
Gardens. It is to be kept in mind that this is a work in progress, with
quality and coverage varying, being especially good in areas where the
Missouri Botanical Gardens is active.

IPNI at, or
Basically this is a list of all scientific names of vascular plants ever
published, in the form they were published. It is not complete and the names
listed are not necessarily spelled correctly by today's standards.

A checklist for US plants:

It is in the nature of things that Systems of Taxonomic
Classification change whenever new techniques of research become available,
yielding new information. The APG-system (based on three genes) stepped
forward first in 1993 (in modest form) and was published in full glory in
1998, with APG II being published in 2003. It made a big impression quickly.
APG is an abbreviation (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group), indicating the group of
scientists collaborating in this venture.
A brief overview of the APG system can be found at
The APG itself has an extensive website at:
There also is a system book, "Plant Systematics, a phylogenetic
approach", now in its second edition (2002).
The previous well-accepted system, now starting to be displaced by
APG but still going strong in many places, is that by Arthur Cronquist
(1919-1992). A popular system book based on the Cronquist System is
"Flowering Plants of the World" by Heywood (latest news is that Heywood is
rewriting to conform to APG).

ICBN, the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature at
is the Code regulating scientific plant names

Pictures of California wildflowers at

Pictures of plants, by a botanist based on Hawaii

Pictures of trees (Northeast of US)

Pictures of trees (Southeast of US)

Pictures of trees (Southwest of US)

More trees:

A simple key for trees is at:

Some popular tropical trees:

Brazilian trees:

giving a great deal of detail


Canadian alien invaders

A field trip in West Texas:


Plant blindness:

Tree ID:

Fossil Algae:

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