North America Program
Over a century ago, the Botanical Garden’s founding director Nathaniel Lord Britton established as a Garden priority the discovery and documentation of North America’s own plants and fungi. The Garden has never veered from that mission. Today the North America Program integrates and builds on a century of knowledge about the ecosystems, habitats, and species in our backyard.
Flora of the Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada
The Northeastern United States and adjacent Canada is a vast geographic area, including all or portions of 22 American states and five Canadian provinces. The Garden’s first Flora of this area, published in 1896, enabled anyone with a basic knowledge of botany to identify any plant encountered growing wild in this region. This goal continued with later volumes, which also incorporated ongoing discovery and understanding of the plants and fungi of this area. The 21st-century Flora currently underway will utilize and develop tools for the latest technologies, for example Internet publication and hand-held devices, which will enable users to take the electronic flora with them into the field. As it has for the last century, the modern Flora will be a primary reference for conservation of the area’s natural resources. This initiative is being led by Garden scientist Dr. Robert Naczi.
Sub-projects and Resources
- Revision of the Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada
- Revision of Collybia s.l. in the northeastern United States & adjacent Canada
- Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist’s Manual: Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada
- Natural History of The New York Botanical Garden
The Intermountain Flora covers some 267,000 square miles of dryland in the western United States, bounded by the Sierra Nevada to the west, the Rocky Mountains to the east, the moister country of the Pacific Northwest to the north, and the warmer dryland to the south. The Flora documents the plant diversity of this large area and is the leading reference for preservation of the region’s natural resources and wilderness areas. Seven volumes already completed represent decades of work under the leadership of Garden scientists Drs. Patricia and Noel Holmgren.
Bryophytes and Lichens of the United States
Bryophytes (mosses, liverworts, and hornworts) and lichens are small organisms that occupy common habitats such as banks, rock outcroppings, forest floors, and tree trunks. They often serve a primary role in soil formation through the accumulation of organic material. This primary role can prepare the habitat for secondary succession of herbs, trees, and shrubs. Many bryophytes and lichens are also useful as environmental indicators, being sensitive to changes in air quality and ambient temperature. Much work remains to discover, understand, and conserve bryophyte and lichen species throughout the United States. Bryophyte and lichen initiatives are being led by Garden scientist Dr. William Buck.
Sub-projects and Resources
- American Bryophyte Catalog
- Bryophytes and Lichens of Roger Perry Memorial Preserve, Dutchess County, New York
- Lichens of North America
- Lichens of the Ozark Ecoregion
- Lichens of the Southeastern Coastal Plain
Other North American Projects and Resources
- Catalog of Invasive Plant Species of the United States
- DNA Barcoding of the Trees of the United States
- Dominican Ethnomedicine and Culturally Effective Health Care in New York City
- Flora of Ice Pond Conservation Area, Putnam County, New York
- Flora of Richland County, Wisconsin
- Freshwater Algae of Yosemite National Park, CA
- Index to American Botanical Literature
- Systematics of Western Hemisphere Pitcher Plants (Sarraceniaceae)
- Torrey Botanical Society