Scott's Botanical Links

Leigh's Links -- March 1998

Past Links:

March 31, 1998 - Köhler's Medizinal Pflanzen
Described as botanically one of  "the finest and most useful series of illustrations of medicinal plants," Köhler's Medizinal Pflanzen, published in the late 19th century is noted for its finely detailed drawings by L. Müeller and C.F. Schmidt which were reproduced by K. Gunther as chromolithographs. Many of these are now exhibited by the Mobot Server with stunning clarity. Slides of the prints taken by Dr. James Zarucch from a rare copy of  Medizinal-Pflanzen were then digitized for the net by Fiona Purvis and Leslie Miller. For the Botanical-Print-of-the-Day, don't miss this site at the Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri. (****) -LF
March 30, 1998 - The Old Farmer's Almanac
The Farmer's Almanac online site is truly delightful both to look at and to read, and most everyone will want to have this bookmark handy for practical reference. With wit and wisdom and 80% accurate weather forecasts, the daily Advisor is an important link to the good old fashioned wholesome ideas of our forefathers, which within North America's oldest continuously published periodical have made it all the way from 1792 to the internet. Cooking, gardening, forums, puzzles, contests, and features from various Almanac journals and publications bring this long cherished little magazine to life at this site by The Almanac, Dublin, New Hampshire. (****) LF
March 27, 1998 - Bio-Power
Energy from biomass is What's Hot at this site of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network (EREN), which describes the state of progress and technology in utilizing plant feedstocks for generating electricity or heat. The USDA/DOE cooperation to advance the cause of sustainable energy production for "no net contribution to global warming" works in the interest of   biomass power plants which at present use agricultural and wood-products industries leftovers to supply 7000 MW  feed electricity into the nation's power lines. Another 650 enterprises nationwide are producing part of their own electricity with biomass fired cogenerators. An all-inclusive U.S. map shows the location of the American bio-power plants ( not to be confused with botanical "plants" here)  and featured are two such plant plants (fortunately usually referred to as Gasification Facilities)   in Hawai`i (sugar cane) and Vermont (woody and grassy materials ) whose focus is improving conversion of "lignocellulosics" to ethanol. Find the Fact Sheets, Virtual Tours, and how to become an industrial partner at this site by the United States Department of Energy, Washington, DC.(****) -LF
March 26, 1998 - Planet Ag
Part of Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford's cool website,  Planet Ag is dedicated to youthful exploration of the world of agricultural science. The student and teacher resource for science and engineering projects helps to pose questions with which to form a hypothesis while slide shows and displays of past Florida State Science Fair winners provide examples of student presentations that excel. Botanists will be surprised to learn how many jobs there are for botanists in the Careers in Agriculture Section, and just about everyone will want to look around and see what else is Fresh from Florida at this site by the  Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Tallahassee, Florida. (****) -LF
March 25, 1998 - The International Bulb Society
Established in 1933 and enjoying a highly distinguished list of members throughout its history, The International Bulb Society has a mission to serve " all interest and knowledge levels from novices to professional growers and scientists" in the concerns of  both species and hybrid bulbs "of all climates and habitat types." As the spring bulb time of year is upon us, at least in the U.S., a  trip through the Gallery of the World's Bulbs will help to expand most anyone's bulb palette with its diverse exhibit of floral closeups. Various articles (including a short piece on botanical pronunciation and the -ii) explore the aspects of bulbs, and the site elsewise provides all the trimmings of bulbdom for those in pursuit. Timely though not too formal articles are encouraged and to date there have been many interesting contributions at this site by The International Bulb Society, Pasadena, California.(****) -LF
March 24, 1998 - Atlas de Anatomia Vegetal
Still in the Portuguese version only, a translation of the Atlas of Plant Anatomy is forthcoming, though the language of botany is nonetheless discernible in the unique presentation of this resource. The monocot section is complete (with dicots to be coming along in May), featuring slides of plant tissues of roots, stems, and leaves. Point to a group of cells and they become highlighted and labeled. Pop-up cells make a mental impression that facilitates learning, and this is a very creative use of Java for teaching micro-botany! Site by Dra Jane Elizabeth Kraus & Juliana Pisaneschi, Departamento de Botânica, Instituto de Biociências Universidade de São Paulo, Brasil.(****) -LF
March 23, 1998 - Everything You Wanted to Know About the Rooting of Plant Cuttings
Why not try a few rooting experiments this year with a free sample of Rhizopon and an Introduction to Plant Propagation provided by this company site for its rooting hormone?  Types of cuttings, how to take cuttings, use of hormones, and care of cuttings are an excellent launchpad for spring rooting trials, and help is available in the Discussion Forum.   Articles  for the Technical Page are welcomed on horticulture, agriculture, plant growing, plant propagation, and growing techniques, and almost contrariwise to so much plant growth stimuli, at the end of all readers may journey through the Bonsai Web Ring owned by Hortus USA Corp, New York, New York. (****) -LF
March 20, 1998 - Electronic Conference on Research and Biodiversity
All are invited to subscribe to this conference, an offshoot of the European Working Group on Research and Biodiversity (EWGRB) established in 1996. The Conference will run from 20 April to 31 May, 1998, with a "goal to identify the main needs and priorities in the field of Biodiversity Research, in order to provide the knowledge and the main tools to achieve an effective protection and management of Biodiversity in a European context." The services provided to subscribers (no charge) are Mail List, Forum, and Chat, and signing on to the Mail List allows participation by expression of comments, suggestions, opinions, concerns or other about Research and Biodiversity. Don't delay plugging into this significant internet event at this site by the Secretariat, c/o Ministry of Environment,  Autonomous Government of Catalonia,   Barcelona, Spain.(****) -LF
March 19, 1998 - Worthington Biochemical Search Engine
Worthington's is a search engine to know about, scoring practically perfect on a quick trial of phytochemicals and returning high quality results. Less than a year old, the form is part of the company's website which strives to provide information useful to its clients. Along with an Enzyme Manual giving descriptions and lengthy references is The Worthington Tissue Dissociation Guide for cell biologists, and an all new Beginning Biochemistry section designed for high school biology students and educators that features "An Introduction to Enzymes." The service "Ask a Biochemist" offers advice and ideas for getting started on biochem projects and insists no question is too small! Don't delay bookmarking this site by Lisa Worthington, Worthington Biochemical Corporation, Lakewood, New Jersey. (****) -LF
March 18, 1998 - A Sweetpotato Sampler
This is a website "all about 'yams,' 'sweet potato,' and Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lamarck" by one who has "encountered and worked with sweetpotatoes during ...elementary school days, college research, early professional life, and graduate school; has eaten sweetpotatoes - raw, boiled, baked, and fried... sprouted, planted, harvested,and bred sweetpotatoes; crawled under, over and all over sweetpotatoes; measured leaves, vines, roots; extracted DNA and mashed, macerated, and freeze-dried sweetpotatoes; met sweetpotato farmers, big and small.." In the Age of the Internet  the plant of his obsession enjoys the trappings of a thorough production with everything from an annals of sweetpotato research to interactive games of genetic selection and grant application (see "Publish or Perish- the Game").  Ethnobotanists will not want to miss the forum of participants sharing their encounters with sweetpotatoes, their names and uses the world over at this site by Arthur Q. Villordon. (****) -LF
March 17, 1998 - University of Georgia Greenhouse Tour
The Botany Department at University of Georgia maintains its plant collection in six greenhouses utlilizing over 22,000 square feet of floor space. It is an outstanding representation of the plant kingdom and the internet presentation gives a Greenhouse Tour through its Ferns and Fern Allies, Cycads, Unique Gymnosperms (meaning Gnetum, Ephedra, and Welwitschia), Arid Plants, Tropical Plants, and Carnivorous Plants. Take the Tour by text links to the collection main areas, or use the hyperlinked phylogenetic tree for an evolutionary perspective. Plant descriptions were written by greenhouse staff Andy Tull and Mark Zimmerman for this site by the Department of Botany, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. (****) -LF [original URL:]
March 16, 1998 - PLB 105: Developmental Plant Anatomy
Along with the lab manual for Developmental Plant Anatomy featured at this website is an undergraduate student project "Virtual Crops- An Anatomy Atlas" which each year adds to its content detailed anatomical information for a major crop plant. To date the Anatomy of Tomato and Rice are complete- and the goldmine of information on these pages could be used to launch any number of reports or class studies with an important and well-known plant. From trichome types to recipes, cross-sectional slides, drawings, color illlustrations and text provide "good information on the anatomy of plants... that is written for the general public." Site by Tom Rost, University of California, Davis, California.(****) -LF
March 13, 1998 - Water- USEPA State Fact Sheets
As living cells are made up of so much water, it is always useful to be a click away from knowing the quality of water in the state in which one lives. EPA's State Fact Sheets (at least for 48 of the states ) give at-a-glance assessments of the status of groundwater and water bodies within a particular state, and statements concerning the primary sources of pollution and what measures are being taken to restore and protect water quality. Documents are also available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. Citizens of Alaska and Hawaii will want to send E-mail at this site by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., U.S.A. (****) -LF
March 12, 1998 - The Left-Handed DNA Hall of Fame
Here's a really neat way to get interested in and think about the concept of the double-stranded, right-handed, alpha-helix- a Hall of Fame for pictorial bloopers throughout scientific publishing and in educational materials which clearly illustrate an erroneous molecule of Left-Handed DNA. Students in biochem can delight in the fact that the front and back cover of The Double Helix by James D. Watson features a "lefty," while those with natural curiosity will be on their way to looking for this amusing mistake everywhere. Onward and upward in the site, the Schneider Lab pages are a superb presentation of molecular biology with plenty to interest a younger crowd. "A Brief Introduction to the use of information theory in molecular biology" describes experiments done with high school students which led to publication of results in scientific journals. Don't miss this site by Thomas D. Schneider,  Laboratory of Experimental and Computational Biology , (formerly the Laboratory of Mathematical Biology) National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, on the campus of the Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center, Frederick, Maryland.(****) -LF
March 11, 1998 - Photoregulated Plant Development
While of a more advanced nature, the Liscum Lab Main Page presents some experimental work with phototropism in Arabidopsis on the molecular and genetic level, making this an appealing link for plant biology, biochem or genetics courses. The Lab seeks to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms regulating phototropism. A working model is proposed for "Phototropic Signaling via NPH Proteins" based on work isolating proteins in various Arabidopsis mutants which exhibit altered phototropic responses. Amidst the abundance of Arabidopsis sites on the internet Photoregulated Plant Development is an excellent online example of how the plant is actually used in experimental botany. Site by Mannie Liscum, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri. (****) -LF
March 10, 1998 - CS ChemFinder
A must bookmark for students, teachers, and workers everywhere, for a chemical entered in a simple search, ChemFinder provides synonyms (and finds by synonyms) molecular structure (viewable also in 3-D with downloads), varying amounts of information on physical properties, and links to more information. After several tries ChemFinder requests users complete the free registration for continued service. Plant chemicals are well represented- likely the pharmaceutical-use products are all there, but information was as well returned for "chlorophyll, thymol, latex, turpentine, indigo and abscisic acid." Botanists will enjoy stumping the search engine with words like "cacao, phytochrome, anthocyanin, belladonna, and chicle" at this site by Cambridge Soft Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts. (****) -LF
March 9, 1998 - The Science Teachers Lounge
The Science Teachers Lounge has been recognized as an excellent resource for secondary science instructors, with a full complement of classroom helpers- teacher tools and software, classroom demonstrations, lessons, labs, internet utilities, and a message board. A new annotated Links notebook listing sites "of exceptional quality " in areas of General Science, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences and Astronomy, Earth Science, Mathematics, Teaching and Education is open for site submission, and this looks like a promising area to be listed for exposing an educational website to other educators. Site by (****) > -LF
March 6, 1998 - The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County 
The Botany section of the Museum has two illustrated features reporting on non-indigenous species occurrences on islands. Alien Ferns in Hawai'i by Kenneth A. Wilson discusses some 30 species of ferns which have become naturalized in the flora, some outcompeting or creating hybrids with the natives.   Off the coast of Chile on an isolated archipelago the unique Flora of the Robinson Crusoe Islands as described by Dr. Tod Stuessy, is undergoing  some displacement by Rubus ulmifolius, Aristotelia chilensis, and Ugni molinae, introductions from the continent which have no natural predators on the islands. Discussions in both articles describe the origin and nature of the disturbances, giving rise to the thought- provoking question- is what man does natural? Site by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, California.(****) -LF
March 5, 1998 - Jointed Goatgrass: A Threat to U.S. Wheat Production
Weeds are called many unflattering things these days- pests, aliens, invaders, noxious infestations, plants from hell, ecological and economic threats. Jointed Goatgrass (Aegilops cylindrica), a genetically- related wheat impostor costing U.S. agriculture as much as $145,000,000 annually, is now spreading in the western states at the rate of 50,000 acres per year.   The war on JGG promises wheat consumers an upcoming Battle of Wills as wheat producers are asked to undertake strategies of control and eradication. Keep up with the latest developments as well as the biology and physiology of JGG at this comprehensive site by Drew J. Lyon, University of Nebraska Panhandle Research and Extension Center, Scottsbluff, Nebraska.(****) -LF
March 4, 1998 - Our Cecropia Moths (Hyalophora cecropia)
There is nothing like the  hands-on knowledge of metamorphosis and survival which is achieved by the cultivation of larvae, where Nature decides if an entire generation will be wiped out on Day 4 or make it through the perils of the cocoon to winged glory. Experiences with caterpillars are well-documented for this family project which has generated enthusiasm  amongst neighbors and friends who join in by scouting for eggs and pupae. Ample photography of life cycle stages with descriptions make this is a neat link for Invert Zoo or Entomology, and anyone interested in raising butterflies or in the food plants of caterpillars will surely want to visit this site by Scott R. Henninger, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska. (****) -LF
March 3, 1998 - Hortus Botanicus Catinensis
Founded in 1858, The Botanical Garden at the University of Catania survives the ages by continually redefining its role and significance in contemporary culture as the needs of society dictate. From the early days of pharmacy through the fashions and fads of plant collecting, the Garden is presently an important facility to study and protect rare and endangered species of Sicily. The internet presentation of the Garden is book-quality, with a gallery of 868 of the finest photographic images seen anywhere on the web, of interesting plants cultivated in the garden, and additional images of the important collections of Trees, Succulents, Palms, and Sicilian flora. The site provides opportunity to see many species at their morphological best, and is highly desirable for any collection of botanical images bookmarks! Project Director: Prof. Francesco Furnari; Realization by Pietro Pavone; Texts by Anna Guglielmo, Pietro Pavone, Cristina Salmeri e Pietro Minissale;  Photos: Pietro Pavone; Computer html programming: Filippo Micale, University of Catania, Sicily.(****) -LF
March 2, 1998 - The Crypts Pages
Dedicated to the cultivation and taxonomy of plants of the genus Cryptocoryne, The Crypts Pages Picture Gallery introduces some of these showy and unusual "amphibious" aroids which generally  grow in flowing water. This is a good resource for discussions on floral morphology, providing a diagram of the flower to relate to the interesting images of various species, or for ecology and biodiversity, with a paper by Niels Jacobsen, Department of Botany, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Copenhagen titled "Deterioration of the Habitats of the Cryptocoryne Species." Instructions for acquiring and growing plants and an outstanding collection of links to the world of Cryptocoryne complete this site by Jan D. Bastmeijer, The Netherlands. (****) -LF

Florida Plants Online