Noel H. Holmgren

Defining species morphologically, ecologically, and geologically, studying them in the field, speculating on their evolutionary relationships, checking for correct nomenclatural usage, scheming out identification keys, and writing up accounts of all these findings are the kinds of things I do in my research. My investigations are directed in two principal arenas, floristic and revisionary studies.

For the past 27 years my primary research interest has been Intermountain Flora. I have been providing major parts of each volume of the Flora since the writing began in 1969. I am now working on the final volume of the six-volume series and expect to complete it within the next five years. Intermountain Flora research has so far enabled me to gain knowledge in depth of such diverse families as Apocynaceae, Asclepiadaceae, Bignoniaceae, Brassicaceae, Buddlejaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Convolvulaceae, Crassulaceae, Crossosomataceae, Cupressaceae, Ephedraceae, Gentianaceae, Geraniaceae, Lentibulariaceae, Oleaceae, Orobanchaceae, Pinaceae, Poaceae. Primulaceae, Rosaceae, Saxifragaceae, Scrophulariaceae, and Violaceae.

A close second to my floristic interest has been my systematic studies in the American representatives of the family Scrophulariaceae, an interest that began 32 years ago. My work on the family was initiated with research on the genus Castilleja, first concentrating on a natural group centering in western United States for my Ph.D. dissertation study. I have expanded my scope since then to include all or parts of the family in floristic accounts of Texas (Castilleja), Pacific Northwest (Castilleja), Great Plains (all of Scrophulariaceae except Penstemon), Intermountain region (all species), California (Penstemon, Keckiella, and Nothochelone), Ecuador (all except Calceolaria), Venezuela (all species), and the Guianas (all species).

An exciting project with which I am presently involved is the preparation of an illustrated companion volume to the Gleason and Cronquist Manual of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. I am working with two artists in rearranging the illustrations from Gleason's Britton and Brown Illustrated Flora into Cronquist's sequence. We are adding the new taxa now recognized from the region and many diagnostic details lacking in the original illustrations. The work will contain only labeled illustrations and page references to the corresponding descriptions in the G&C Manual. We intend it to be used with the Manual to assist in identification and understanding of the species.

I am presently enjoying a rejuvenation in these activities, having laid down my red pencil after 15 years of editorial service in the production of our scientific journal Brittonia. Fourteen of those years were spent as Editor-in-Chief.

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Selected Publications