PlantCollections is an electronic database which will combine and store documented records of the diverse living plant collections of 16 botanical gardens and arboreta in the United States.

The project plans to significantly promote the sharing of information resources. Audiences served will include curatorial, taxonomic, conservation, weed science, ecology, horticulture, education and visitors.

Participating institutions

Sixteen botanic gardens have agreed to participate in two phases to develop, test and implement the project. The institutions are:
* Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
* Chicago Botanic Garden
* Ganna Walska Lotusland, Santa Barbara, CA
* Highstead Arboretum
* Huntington Library Museum and Botanical Gardens
* George Landis Arboretum
* Missouri Botanical Garden
* Morton Arboretum
* Mt. Cuba Center
* Norfolk Botanical Garden
* North Carolina Arboretum
* San Francisco Botanical Garden and Strybing Arboretum
* Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
* Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College
* United States National Arboretum
* [ University of Washington Botanic Gardens] , Seattle, Washington

The project is funded by a National Leadership grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) The collaboration is led by the Chicago Botanic Garden, the University of Kansas Biodiversity Research Center and Natural History Museum and the North American Plant Collections Consortium of the American Public Gardens Association (APGA) [] .

BG-Base, a manufacturer of proprietary software applications for the botanic garden community, has created an export module for participants utilizing their software applications. []

The software applications to be utilized include Web Applications for the Semantic Architecture of Biodiversity Information (WASABI) - an advanced generation [ Distributed Generic Information Retrieval (DiGIR)] - for the data provider and portal, Google Maps for maps and [ MorphBank] for images.

The intended data users were surveyed, and feedback from the eight audiences comprising curators, taxonomists, educators, horticulturists, ecologists, weed scientists, conservation scientists and gardeners defined the 161 fields found in the federated schema.

Deliverables of the project include a federated schema, improved website for the APGA, development of software applications, servers for each institution and training of staff at each institution.

Planned benefits

* collaborative research - making available an information network of 47,100 plant taxa
* plant collections management and conservation - identifying existing living plant collections and determining critical gaps
* education of the next generation of plant, conservation and biodiversity scientists
* advanced technology – creating an organized system for integrating and retrieving plant biodiversity and genetic data

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  • Chicago Botanic Garden — Located at 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, Illinois, USA, the Chicago Botanic Garden is a 385 acre (156 ha) living plant museum situated on nine islands featuring 24 display gardens and surrounded by four natural habitats: McDonald Woods,… …   Wikipedia

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