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UW Botanists update critical resource on Pacific Northwest plants

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 12:30

Botanists at the University of Washington’s Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture have created a much-needed second edition of the “Flora of the Pacific Northwest.” Published by the UW Press, the new edition took five years to complete and is the first update on Pacific Northwest vascular plant diversity and distributions since the book was first published in 1973. In the past 45 years, much has changed: The second edition documents the doubling of nonnative species in the Pacific Northwest, the addition of 1,000 taxa — including species, subspecies and varieties — to the region’s flora, and the reclassification or renaming of 40 percent of the taxa in the first edition.

The original “Flora of the Pacific Northwest” became an instant classic for its innovative style providing species descriptions in the identification keys and for its comprehensive illustrations of nearly all treated taxa. Students rely on it as an essential primer, while veteran botanists and natural resource managers use it as the definitive reference for the region’s flora.

“With the recent revision of ‘The Jepson Manual of California Plants,’ and the soon-to-be-completed ‘Flora of Oregon,’ up to date floristic treatments are now available for the entire West Coast of the U.S.,” said Richard Olmstead, UW biology professor and curator of the UW Herbarium at the Burke Museum.

Read the original and full article on UW News.

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