Alphabetical index to column specifications
   Compleat Botanica    Using the software    Specimen    Columns   
 
 
   

 

The Compleat Botanica has 186 columns per specimen to hold the data that you're collecting.

These pages describe the basic usage guidelines for each column. Storage details, import/export notes, and a description of how to use each column in the publication templates are also given.

Alphabetical index to column specifications
   Acquisition date

The original date of acquisition.   ......................................

1
   Adverse factors view

This check mark is an indicator of whether or not any data has been entered in any Adverse factors view item.   ......................................

2
   Adverse qualities

An all purpose classifier to identify the undesirable qualities of this plant.   ......................................

3
   Annual cycle

Defines whether this is a deciduous or evergreen species.  This is only applicable to perennials.   ......................................

4
   Attracts butterflies

Checked if this plant is often visited by butterflies for its nectar or as a host plant.   ......................................

5
   Attracts hummingbirds

Checked if this plant has a rich supply of nectar available in red-colored, funnel-shaped flowers that are accessible by hummingbirds.   ......................................

6
   Autumn foliage

Checked if this is a deciduous tree or shrub with notably colorful leaves in the fall.   ......................................

7
   Bark color

For woody perennials, the colors of the bark.   ......................................

8
   Bark description

A free form description of the outer bark on this plant's woody structures.   ......................................

9
   Best uses

A classification of where this plant is often used in the landscape trade.   ......................................

10
   Biodiversity view

This check mark is an indicator of whether or not any data has been entered in any Biodiversity view item.   ......................................

11
   Biotic community

One or more of the plant communities defined by Brown, Reichenbacher, and Franson which indicates the species' range of natural occurrence in the environment.   ......................................

12
   Blooming period

The normal season for flowers to be in bloom.   ......................................

13
   Botanical name

This contains the full botanical name.  It is automatically generated from the genus, species, variety and cultivar items.   ......................................

14
   Climate view

This check mark is an indicator of whether or not any data has been entered in any Climate View item.   ......................................

15
   Cold frame

The period of time that young seedlings should be kept in a cold frame before setting out in the spring.   ......................................

16
   Collection date

The date the plant material was obtained from the field.   ......................................

17
   Collection location

A description of where the plant material was collected and enough information for others to reestablish the location at a later time.   ......................................

18
   Collection number

The serialized number for the named collector attached to this herbarium sheet.   ......................................

19
   Collector name

The name of the person who obtained the material in the field.   ......................................

20
   Colorful berries

Checked if this plant has ornamental berries in the autumn and winter.   ......................................

21
   Common names

The common names of a species are stored in the table of vernacular names.   ......................................

22
   Common pests

This is a list of fungi, insects and larger animals that commonly attack this plant.   ......................................

23
   Compost

Checked to indicate that the plant has died.   ......................................

24
   Contemporary uses

A list of how this plant is presently used in commercial enterprises. (Food, medicine and landscaping are not included in this list.)   ......................................

25
   Corolla form

The form of the flower's corolla.  Examples include: coroniform, cruciform, funnelform, papilionaceous, spurred, tubular, and others.   ......................................

26
   Crop spacing

The typical distance between adjacent plants for optimal use of space without sacrificing sunshine and water needs.   ......................................

27
   Culinary uses

A list of the usual ways in which this plant's foodstuff is prepared and stored.   ......................................

28
   Cultivar

The cultivar is a horticultural name that is appended to the botanical name and is used to identify a named hybrid.   ......................................

29
   Cultivation view

This check mark is an indicator of whether or not any data has been entered in any Cultivation view item.   ......................................

30
   Data source

The data source item is a reference to where the data for this plant was originally obtained.  When more than one source is referenced, the individual sources are separated by semicolons.   ......................................

31
   Deer resistant

Checked if this plant is not normally eaten by foraging deer.   ......................................

32
   Derivation

An indicator of how this new variety was created: chance seedling, sport, species selection, or hybrid.   ......................................

34
   Dermatologic poison

Checked if this plant can cause skin rashes or if it can trigger phototoxic hyperactivity.   ......................................

35
   Desirable qualities

A classifier to identify the plant's most desirable quality. The custom categories that you create for this item should reflect your personal/professional interest.   ......................................

36
   Disease resistant

Checked if this variety is typically free of the diseases that trouble similar members of the genus.   ......................................

37
   Distribution range

The places where this plant is commonly found in the wild today.   ......................................

38
   Dye color

The colors produced in the dyer's vat. When multiple colors are listed, they are made possible through the use of different plant parts or different mordants.   ......................................

39
   Dye parts

The parts of the plant traditionally used for fabric dyes.   ......................................

40
   Edible

Checked if this plant contains some edible parts.   ......................................

41
   Edible parts

A list of the parts of the plant used for food.   ......................................

42
   Edible parts description

The size, color and shape of the fruit or other edible portion of the plant.   ......................................

43
   Exotic status

An indicator used with regional flora to classify a plant as alien, exotic or invasive.   ......................................

44
   Family

The family name is the artificial grouping used by botanists to group plants with similar characteristics together.   ......................................

45
   Features view

This check mark is an indicator of whether or not any data has been entered in any Features view item.   ......................................

46
   Fertilizer

The best type of fertilizer to apply for higher yields.   ......................................

47
   FESA listing

Used for species that are included on the current listing based on the United States Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973.   ......................................

48
   Flavor / texture

The taste and feel of the fruit or other edible part.   ......................................

49
   Accent color

The notable secondary colors of the flowers.   ......................................

50
   Flower aestivation

The arrangement of the emerging flower parts within the unopened flower bud.   ......................................

51
   Flower description

A free form description of the plant's flowers. This description is used to supplement the flower and inflorescence details provided with the Flower View.   ......................................

52
   Flower habit

The way in which a flower holds itself up against gravity: erect, horizontal, nodding, or pendant.   ......................................

53
   Flower insertion

A description of how the flower is attached to the peduncle:  adnate, embracing, sheathing, sessile, and others.   ......................................

54
   Principal color

The most prominent colors typically seen in flowers of this species.   ......................................

55
   Flower sexuality

A description of the flower's perfection: dioecious, monoecious, polygamous, pistillate, staminate, etc.   ......................................

56
   Flower size

The length of an individual flower, not the inflorescence as a whole, across it's widest dimension.   ......................................

57
   Flower view

This check mark is an indicator of whether or not any data has been entered in any Flower view item.   ......................................

58
   Fragrance

A general description of the odors produced by the plant's flowers, leaves, roots and bark.   ......................................

59
   Fragrance category

A classification scheme for placing similar smelling plants into easily recognizable groups.   ......................................

60
   Fragrance intensity

The relative strength of this plant's smell.   ......................................

61
   Fragrance parts

A list of which plant parts are fragrant.   ......................................

62
   Frost tolerance

The relative tenderness or hardiness of a plant and its susceptibility to succumbing to frost.   ......................................

63
   Fruit description

A free form description of the plant's fruit bearing organism.  (For edible fruits and nuts, see the Nutrition View item "Edible Parts Description".)   ......................................

64
   Fruit type

The type of seed bearing organism, for example: acorn, berry, drupe, nut, pome, and more.   ......................................

65
   Garden location

Where is this specimen planted -- the name of the garden or the approximate location where it can be found.   ......................................

66
   Garden notes

A word processing-like note for highlighting the ornamental value of this plant, its climatic suitability, and some of its traditional uses.   ......................................

67
   Garden view

This check mark is an indicator of whether or not any data has been entered in any Garden View item.   ......................................

68
   Genus

The word genus is from the Greek meaning race or kind. It forms the root of the English word generic, thus it is the portion of the botanical name that is non-specific.   ......................................

69
   Geographic origin

The places where this plant is thought to have originated from. Through several millennia of mankind's efforts this record is fairly obscure.   ......................................

70
   Growth form

If this is a tree or shrub how does its visual form appear from a distance:  dense, compact, pyramidal, and so forth.   ......................................

71
   Growth habit

If this is a groundcover, vine or flower does it grow upright without support or does it tend to stay close to the ground: ascending, climbing, mound forming, spreading, and the like.   ......................................

72
   Harvest season

The usual time frame for expecting the harvest to be ready when the guidelines for "planting period" are followed.   ......................................

73
   Has medicinal uses

An all purpose item used to indicate that this plant has some traditional healing properties.   ......................................

74
   Hay fever pollen

A indicator of the relative quantity of pollen produced and carried on the wind.   ......................................

75
   Hay fever season

The typical time of year when this plant bears wind-borne pollen.   ......................................

76
   Heat requirement

The relative need for hot summer days in order to produce good-sized and flavorful produce.   ......................................

77
   Heat zones

The American Horticultural Society's heat zones in which this plant is known to survive.   ......................................

78
   Herbal medicine view

This check mark is an indicator of whether or not any data has been entered in any Herbal medicine view item.   ......................................

79
   Herbarium notes

A word processing-like note to document additional herbarium related information.  Also used to document general free form descriptive botanical information.   ......................................

80
   Herbarium view

This check mark is an indicator of whether or not any data has been entered in any Herbarium view item.   ......................................

81
   Horticulture notes

A word processing-like note that documents horticulture related information such as fertilization, propagation and origin.   ......................................

82
   Horticulture view

This check mark is an indicator of whether or not any data has been entered in any Horticulture view item.   ......................................

83
   Identification view

This check mark is an indicator of whether or not any data has been entered in any Identification View item.   ......................................

84
   Inflorescence arrangement

The arrangement of the individual flowers within the inflorescence.  Examples include: clustered, loose, radiant, rosaceous, spiral, and others.   ......................................

85
   Inflorescence form

The form of the inflorescence: capitate, cymose, spicate, or umbellate to name a few.   ......................................

86
   Inflorescence size

The width of an inflorescence when it is symmetrical, or the length of an inflorescence when it is elongated.   ......................................

87
   Inflorescence type

The inflorescence type: catkin, head, raceme, thyrse, or umbel for example.   ......................................

88
   Insect resistant

Checked if this variety is more notably insect resistant than its common form.   ......................................

89
   Internal poison

Checked if this plant can cause illness or death when ingested.   ......................................

90
   IUCN red list

Used for species that are included on the 1994 IUCN red list published by the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.   ......................................

91
   Leaf apex

The appearance of the leaf tip. Examples include: blunt, hooked, mucronate, or retuse.   ......................................

92
   Leaf arrangement

A description of how the leaflets are arranged in relationship to each other -- something like alternate, opposite, whorled, etc.   ......................................

93
   Leaf base

The appearance of the leaf base where it attaches to the petiole.  Possibilities might be attenuate, cordate, hastate, truncate, and more.   ......................................

94
   Leaf color

The color(s) of the leaves.   ......................................

95
   Leaf compound

This is the keyword simple for simple leaves.  For compound leaves this is variously one of the compound or pinnate choices.   ......................................

96
   Leaf description

A free form description of the plant's leaves. This description is used to supplement the leaf details provided with the Leaf View.   ......................................

97
   Leaf hair

A description of the downy, hairy, silky, spiny, velvety, or woolly covering on the leaves.   ......................................

98
   Leaf incision

For deeply cut leaves, this is a description of how the divisions appear -- something like lobed, palmate, split, and so forth.   ......................................

99
   Leaf length

For simple leaves, this is the typical length from base to tip. For compound leaves, this is the typical length of the full compound leaf.   ......................................

100
   Leaflet length

For compound leaves only.  This is the typical length of a single leaflet from base to tip.   ......................................

101
   Leaflet width

For compound leaves only.  This is the typical width of a single leaflet across its widest part.   ......................................

102
   Leaf margin

A description of the type of serration along the outer edges of the leaf.  Might be something like: curled, gnawed, crenated, sawed, toothed, etc.   ......................................

103
   Leaf polish

A description of the particulate covering on the leaves -- possibilities include: dewy, dusty, greasy, powdery, slimy, etc.   ......................................

104
   Leaf shape

The overall appearance of a leaf's shape -- possible values include: crescent-shaped, fiddle-shaped, halbert-shaped, heart-shaped, kidney-shaped, needle-shaped, sword-shaped, and many more.   ......................................

105
   Leaf texture

A description of the leaf's surface texture -- leathery, papery, spongy, waxy, etc.   ......................................

106
   Leaf variegation

The location and appearance of discolorations and other markings on the leaves: marbled, painted, spotted, striped, variegated, and so forth.   ......................................

107
   Leaf venation

A description of the pattern of veins within the leaf.  Examples include: divided, reticulated, pedate, peltate, ribbed, and more.   ......................................

108
   Leaf vernation

A description of how the young leaves are arranged before the bud opens.  Many possibilities such as convolute, contorted, rovolute, wrinkled, and more.   ......................................

109
   Leaf view

This check mark is an indicator of whether or not any data has been entered in any Leaf view item.   ......................................

110
   Leaf width

For simple leaves, this is the typical width across the widest portion of the leaf. For compound leaves, this is the typical width of the full compound leaf.   ......................................

111
   Legally restricted

Checked when the use or possession of this plant is subject to legal restrictions in one or more countries.   ......................................

112
   Life cycle

Describes in layman's terms how a plant progresses from germination to death, something like: annual, biennial or perennial.   ......................................

113
   Life cycle view

This check mark is an indicator of whether or not any data has been entered on any item in the Life cycle View.   ......................................

114
   Life form

This is usually "terrestrial" for most angiosperms and gymnosperms.  Use this item to classify plants as bryophyte (mosses, liverworts, hornworts), epiphyte (air plants), or aquatic (plants living in water).   ......................................

115
   Life span

The typical longevity of the plant.   ......................................

116
   Livestock poison

Checked if this plant should be kept out of pastures used by grazing farm animals.   ......................................

117
   Mechanical injury

Checked if this plant contains sharp points that easily puncture the skin.   ......................................

118
   Medicinal notes

A word processing-like note used to describe the beneficial uses of this plant.   ......................................

119
   Medicinal parts

The parts of the plant that are used when preparing infusions, tinctures, creams, herbal teas, and so forth.   ......................................

120
   Medicinal properties

This is a list of the ways in which this plant has been used to treat illness and to promote health.   ......................................

121
   Native status

An indicator used with regional flora to classify a plant as native, indigenous or endemic.   ......................................

122
   Naturalscape

Checked if this plant is found along roadsides, open fields and other non-cultivated areas and is not normally considered a "wildflower". This is a non-pejorative word for "a common weed".   ......................................

123
   Noxious weed

An indicator used by state agricultural agencies to identify the potential threat a non-native species poses to the local economy.   ......................................

124
   Number of leaflets

For compound leaves only.  This is the number of leaflets per leaf.  This value may be a simple number, like "5", or a range of values like "11-15".   ......................................

125
   Nursery

From which nursery (or friend/neighbor/relative) was this plant obtained.   ......................................

126
   Nutritional value

A list of the notable vitamins, minerals, trace elements and proteins found in this plant.   ......................................

127
   Nutrition view

This check mark is an indicator of whether or not any data has been entered in any Nutrition view item.   ......................................

128
   Other interest

An all-purpose classifier. Create your own categories to organize plants according to their special interest to you.   ......................................

129
   Other interest color

An all purpose classifier for colors. The semantics of this item are entirely up to you.   ......................................

130
   Other interest period

An all purpose seasonal item (or date range item). Use this item either independent of or in conjunction with the "Other interest" item.   ......................................

131
   Overall height

How tall is a typical specimen at maturity.   ......................................

132
   Overall spread

How wide is a typical specimen at maturity. This is often referred to by nursery labels as "planting distance" or "spacing".   ......................................

133
   pH

An indicator of a plant's suitability to acidic conditions.   ......................................

134
   Picture 1

The filename of the JPEG or GIF file containing a picture or sketch of the plant.   ......................................

135
   Picture 2

The filename of a secondary JPEG or GIF file containing an alternate picture or sketch of the plant.   ......................................

136
   Pistil

A free form description of the flower's pistil.   ......................................

137
   Plant community

One or more of the 29 plant communities defined by Munz, which indicates the native environment in which the species is naturally found growing.   ......................................

138
   Planting season

The best period of time for planting taking into consideration a plant's tenderness to frost and its need for sunlight.   ......................................

139
   Planting style

The usual way of arranging crops for easy planting, tending, and harvesting.   ......................................

140
   Poisonous indications

A description of the toxic elements found in the plant.   ......................................

141
   Poisonous parts

The parts of the plant that contain poisonous constituents.   ......................................

142
   Pollen parent

If this new variety is a hybrid, this identifies the male plant that supplied the pollen.   ......................................

143
   Pollination method

For fruits and nuts, an indicator of whether or not cross-pollination is required to set fruit.   ......................................

144
   Pregnancy alert

Checked when this plant has abortifacient properties or is otherwise potentially harmful to the developing fetus.   ......................................

145
   Price

The buying/selling price for this plant.   ......................................

146
   Price code

For commercial tradesmen, an indicator of this plant's sales price.   ......................................

147
   Professional advice only

Checked when this plant is considered dangerous enough that only qualified herbalists should consider using it.   ......................................

148
   Propagule

A list of the methods typically used to propagate this plant.   ......................................

149
   Protocol

A free form description of how the species selection was carried out, or how the hybridization was accomplished.   ......................................

150
   Quantity

Use this item to indicate how many plants of this species are in this collection.   ......................................

151
   Row spacing

For orchards and crops arranged in rows, the distance between adjacent rows for optimal yields.   ......................................

152
   Seed parent

If this new variety is a hybrid, this identifies the female plant that supplied the seed.   ......................................

153
   Sheet number

The unique identifier employed by an herbarium to reference this collection of dried and mounted plant material.   ......................................

154
   Size at acquisition

The original size of the plant when it was added to this collection.   ......................................

155
   Sketch view

This check mark is an indicator of whether or not any data has been entered in any Sketch view item.   ......................................

156
   Soil texture

The best type of soil for providing a support base and for retaining/releasing available water.   ......................................

157
   Special qualities view

This check mark is an indicator of whether or not any data has been entered in any Special qualities view item.   ......................................

158
   Species

The species is the portion of the botanical name used as an adjective to more specifically describe the genus.   ......................................

159
   Specimen number

The specimen number is a pseudo-unique identifier for the specimen record.   ......................................

160
   Stamens

A free form description of the flower's stamens.   ......................................

161
   Stature

In gardener's terms, what type of plant is this:  tree, shrub, vine, groundcover, flower, etc.   ......................................

162
   Suitable for gardens

This should be checked to indicate that the species has some ornamental garden value -- color, fragrance, flowers, form, etc.   ......................................

163
   Sunset zones

The Sunset Books' climate zones in which this plant does best.   ......................................

164
   Sunshine

Optimal lighting requirements to prevent scorching and to promote healthy growth.   ......................................

165
   Symbiosis

Other life forms (plants, insects, and more) that live in a symbiotic relationship with this species.   ......................................

166
   Tag needs printing

Checked when this specimen record is first created and unchecked after a specimen tag has been printed.   ......................................

167
   Tentative listing

Checked if the "FESA listing", "IUCN red list", or "Noxious weed" classification is tentative awaiting further documentary evidence.   ......................................

168
   Time to harvest

The number of days between planting and the first available harvest.   ......................................

169
   Tolerates drought

Checked when the plant can survive dry spells without damage.   ......................................

170
   Tolerates high humidity

Checked when the plant can survive prolonged summer periods of very high humidity.   ......................................

171
   Tolerates seaside conditions

Checked when the plant can live in the windy, salty, foggy conditions found along the coastal belts.   ......................................

172
   Toxicity precautions

A description of the possible toxic effect of the use of this plant.   ......................................

173
   Parts used

The parts of the plant which have been used in historical times or are still used in the present time.   ......................................

174
   Traditional uses

A list of how this plant has been used by indigenous people.  Uses such as food, medicine and fabric dyes are not included here.   ......................................

175
   Traditional uses view

This check mark is an indicator of whether or not any data has been entered in any Traditional uses view item.   ......................................

176
   Uncertain taxonomy

Automatically checked if the genus and species cannot be found in the taxonomic checklist.   ......................................

177
   Underground description

A free form description of the root structure and underground storage parts.   ......................................

178
   Underground type

The type of underground feeding and storage system for the plant.  Typical examples include: bulb, corm, rhizome, taproot and tuber.   ......................................

179
   USDA zones

The United States Department of Agriculture's hardiness zones in which this plant is known to thrive.   ......................................

180
   Variety

The variety is the portion of the botanical name used to identify members of the same species that are distinct enough to warrant their own name.   ......................................

181
   Water

Best moisture conditions for terrestrial plants.  A good indicator of a plant's tolerance to the extremes of drought and over saturation.   ......................................

182
   Wetland classification

A list of estuarine, lacustrine, marine, palustrine and riverine communities where this species is natively found.   ......................................

183
   Wetland indicator

The wetland indicator represents the estimated probability of a species occurring in wetlands versus non-wetlands in a region of study.   ......................................

184
   Wildflower

Checked if this plant is found along roadsides, open fields and other non-cultivated areas but has enough inherent beauty to be considered ornamental.   ......................................

185
   Wood description

A free form description of the plant's woody cellular portions including color, texture and relative strength.   ......................................

186

For an index to other topics see

   Specimen

 

Last reviewed March 25, 2004   

 

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