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Southeastern Field Botany and Mycology Resources

The Virtual Flora to the Mosses of North Carolina has species checklists and keys for the over 400 species of moss found in the state, and 86 species are illustrated.

Alan Weakley’s Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States is the resource for the vascular plant flora of the southeast. All 1000-odd pages of this behemoth-in-progress are available for free download as a searchable pdf.

The NCU Southeast Flora Atlas provides county-by-county maps, community associations, nomenclatural history, and full specimen data (from collections at NCU) for the vascular plants of the southeast.

There is also a Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora, which tends to have more photos than its broader southeast counterpart.

The Carolina Vegetation Survey organizes The Pulse, a series of focused botanical inventories of ecological rich areas across both states. It's bootcamp for botanists, and an excellent way to learn the plants and community ecology of NC.

Will Cook's site has excellent photos spanning North Carolinian natural history, with particularly thorough coverage of the woody plants. Other groups are more lightly represented (perhaps even including a fern or two...). Jeff Pippen, similarly, has a rich collection of southeastern plant photos, as well as some of lichens, mosses, and unlichenized fungi.

The Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage offers an extraordinary opportunity to appreciate the botanical diversity of the southern Appalachians of NC and Tennessee, at the hands of experienced guides.

The Duke Natural History Society is an informal group dedicated to the exploration of North Carolina's natural history.

The Fungi of North Carolina features photos of a wide variety of NC fungi, and links to other mycological resources.

The Mycology Collections Data Portal (MyCoPortal) is a suite of user-friendly, web-based data access technologies to aid taxonomists, field biologists, ecologists, educators, and citizen scientists in the study of fungal diversity. 

The Association of Southeastern Biologists has a strong involvement in promoting and developing field botany and mycology in the southeast.

North American Botany Resources

The Flora of North America has freely available online treatments for approximately 140 families of vascular plants, and 33 families of mosses; these treatments include keys, descriptions, range maps, and often line drawings.

Other useful North American resources include the American Fern Society, the American Society of Plant Taxonomists (not to be confused with the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians), the Botanical Society of America, the Consortium of NA Lichen Herbaria, and the US National Park Service (see here for research and collecting permits for US National parks).

Southeastern Herbaria

SERNEC (Southeast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections) provides links to member institutions throughout the southeast, as well as a wide variety of other useful information.

Major southeastern herbaria with useful information available on the web include: NCU (the herbarium of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill—this site hosts the Southeast Flora Atlas and links to Weakley’s flora, among other things); NCSC (NC State University, Raleigh); CLEMS (Clemson); A.C. Moore Herbarium (University of SC, Columbia); TENN (University of Tennessee, Knoxville); and Massey Herbarium (Virginia Tech, Blacksburg).

Other Useful Resources

Both Tropicos and the International Plant Names Index provide invaluable nomenclatural details on plant names; Index Fungorum has a similar function for fungi (including lichens). Tropicos also provides an online search of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s herbarium holdings, and many other goodies.

The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) and the Tree of Life Web (TOL) aim to provide a webpage for every species on Earth, including, of course, all the plants. In general, EOL is more focused on species, and TOL on more inclusive taxa (genera, families, other clades). Currently, TOL is much more detailed where it has coverage (might we humbly suggest perusing the leptosporangiate ferns, or the cheilanthoids or the Ruelliaea), but that coverage is spotty.

Plantsystematics.org is a rich site, especially for photographs (it also hosts a useful georeferencing tool).

The angiosperm phylogeny website is a massive compendium of information on the world’s flowering plants and their evolutionary relationships to each other. Frequently updated, it is one on of the few places where one can hope to find a synthesis of the most recent data.

Natureserve Explorer is a very useful resource for information on distribution, ecology, and rarity for North American plants (and animals, too, for that matter). Among its most useful features is a list of the global (G), national (N), and state/provincial/territorial (S) rarity ranks for all recognized taxa, from both Canada and the USA.

The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) provides access to over 200 million biodiversity records, most of them georeferenced. Their exporting and mapping tools make this site invaluable for those looking at broad scale ecological and diversity patterns.

Index Herbariorum provides contact information and collection summaries for the world’s herbaria.

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