Finding fresh flora

  • Subalpine species of Lomatium (Umbelliferae)

    Charlotte Hannan drawing
  A month ago, Scott Sundberg added another plant to his growing list of Oregon flora - kudzu, an exotic vine usually found in the South. With this discovery, the Oregon Flora Project tallies 4,430 species, subspecies and varieties of plants identified in the state. The project was started by Sundberg, a professor at Oregon State University, in 1994 to create a comprehensive list of Oregon plants. The most recent manual, from 1961, covers only part of Oregon, which boasts the fourth-largest number of plants in the nation. Sundberg and his cadre of volunteers expect to complete the Oregon Flora Project in several years, when it will be available on-line and in print, with an atlas and manual that includes hundreds of illustrations of all flora in the state.

"This is a basic reference," Sundberg says. "It's important to people interested in biology and plant diversity, just as a dictionary is to a writer." To volunteer for the project or for more information, e-mail [email protected] or write to Sundberg at Oregon State University, 2082 Cordley Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331.

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