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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Herbarium-Based Investigation of Ornamental Plants of the Pacific Northwest

Location: Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit

2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Investigate the taxonomy and characteristics of plant species grown as ornamentals in the Pacific Northwest, and provide herbarium resources for the National Arboretum, the University of Washington, and cooperating institutions to support and enhance future scientific study of the cultivated ornamental plants of this area.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
A collector or collectors employed by the University of Washington will prepare herbarium specimens from as many species as possible that are grown as ornamental plants in the region around Seattle and (if deemed desirable) elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest. For each species encountered in appropriate condition for herbarium collecting, one herbarium specimen will be collected for the National Arboretum herbarium, one specimen for the University of Washington Horticulture herbarium, and (when possible) up to four additional specimens to be used for exchange with the herbaria of other cooperating institutions.

Data collected will include the location of the plant, the provenance of the germplasm (when known), significant characters that may not be permanently preserved with the specimen (such as growth form, odor, color of flowers and fruit). Brief notes may also be made of any evidence noted of spontaneous reproduction in the vicinity of the planting, of heavy damage that might be caused by disease, insects, or abiotic factors, and any other available data that may provide insight into the biology or ornamental value of the plants in the site.

The University of Washington PI will identify an appropriate collector or collectors to carry out the collecting. The collector(s) will be trained in techniques for collecting herbarium specimens and supervised by the University of Washington PI. Unmounted herbarium specimens with the data recorded on appropriate, archival-quality labels will be supplied to the herbaria: one complete set to the University of Washington Herbarium, and one complete set plus exchange sets to the herbaium of the U.S. National Arbortum.


3.Progress Report

Herbarium specimens of cultivated plants have been collected from both public and private gardens that have been selected to reflect maximum diversity of ornamental plants cultivated in the Pacific Northwest. Woody plant specimens have been collected at the Washington Park Arboretum (a public garden displaying taxa found in the Pacific Northwest and from many other temperate regions of the world). Herbaceous plant specimens have come from the University of Washington, Hill-Crest Residence (home of the University of Washington President in residence), and the Union Bay Gardens at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Additional collecting locations have been identified, and arrangements are being made to collect at these sites, including Windcliff, residence of an internationally known horticulturalist who has introduced numerous new species and varieties from many parts of the world to the American nursery trade.

Once labeling and processing of the specimens has been completed, all material due to the National Arboretum from this SCA will be forwarded to the National Arboretum. One specimen of each species will be deposited in the herbarium of the National Arboretum, where it will be used for research on cultivated plants grown in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. An additional set of specimens is being deposited in the Otis Douglas Hyde Horticultural Herbarium at the University of Washington Botanic Gardens Center for Urban Horticulture, where it will support research on ornamental plants of the Pacific Northwest. Duplicates will be exchanged with other collaborating institutions, strengthening National Arboretum collaborations with other institutions and bringing in herbarium material of additional species via the exchange.

Research activities conducted under this agreement were monitored by regular email communication and by submission of reports by the cooperator.


Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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