How to Use the Encyclopedia

How to Use the Encyclopedia

The plant encyclopedia includes individual pages on the families and genera in the New York metropolitan region. It also includes three pages for each species. You can get to these pages via the table of contents, a hierarchical arrangement of the families and genera; through the index, an alphabetical listing of both scientific and common names; via the checklist; and via the keys.

Family Page

Each family page begins with a heading and a photo of one of the species in the family (you can click on the photo for a larger version of the image); the accepted family name; a common name for the family; the author of the page; who has reviewed the page; when the page was last modified; and links to other photos of species in the family. This is followed by a more detailed section with a key to the genera of the family (based as much as possible on vegetative characters); a listing of the genera in the family that occur in the New York metropolitan region; a list of references on the family; and a list of other links related to the family.

Genus Page

Each genus page includes a heading and a photo of one of the species in the genus (you can click on the photo for a larger version of the image); the accepted name for the genus; a common name for the genus; the author of the page; who has reviewed the page; when the page was last modified; and links to photos of other species in the genus. This is followed by a more detailed section with nomenclature; a key to the species in the genus; a list of the species in the genus that are found in the New York metropolitan region; a list of references to the genus; and a list of other links related to the genus.

Species Pages

The information on each species is separated into three pages: a heading page, a non-technical page and a technical page.

Species Heading Page

The heading page includes the accepted name for the species; a common name for the species; whether it is native or non-native in the New York metropolitan region; whether it is common or rare in all or part of the region; whether it is invasive or not; whether it is poisonous; the author of the page; who has reviewed the page; when the page was last modified; and links to other images of the species. This is followed by links to the non-technical and technical pages.

Species Non-Technical Page

The non-technical page includes information of a non-technical nature, such as a list of additional common names and their origins; how the species has been used for food, medicine or other purposes (see disclaimer); more information on poisonous properties of the plant (see disclaimer); stories about the plant that have been contributed by readers; possible student projects; and links to other sites with images or information about the species.

Species Technical Page

The technical page includes a detailed account of the nomenclature of the species; a lengthy description of the species; information on the plant's habitat(s) in the New York metropolitan region; its distribution, both range-wide and within the region; whether or not it is rare in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey; information about the species biology of the plant (for example, flowering phenology, pollination syndrome, fruiting phenology, dispersal syndrome and germination requirements); miscellaneous notes; and a list of references to the genus.

Nomenclature Section

All names which pertain the species are listed. An "*" before the name indicates that the author has seen the reference, an "¤" indicates that the author has not seen the reference. All the names in a single paragraph are believed to be based on the same type. We have tried to determine what the type is but generally do not name a lectotype or neotype.

Disclaimer: The information provided in these pages is for reference and historical use. We do not recommend nor do we condone the use of any of these species for food, medicinal or other purposes without first consulting a physician or other qualified person. If you believe you have been poisoned contact the Poison Control Office near you. Look for the number in the telephone book; it is usually listed in the front.

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