RESOURCES: Botanical Bounty

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Science  18 Aug 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5789, pp. 895
DOI: 10.1126/science.313.5789.895a

Botanists, ecologists, students, and even gardeners will find a bumper crop of information at PLANTS. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's online encyclopedia profiles some 43,000 species and varieties of native and introduced plants, emphasizing their role in soil conservation. Entries feature images and taxonomic information, and some include an exhaustive list of the plant's characteristics, from maximum height to flowering time to soil pH preference. Range maps usually break down distribution to the county level. Separate sections let you quickly find noxious invaders, endangered species, and wetland residents. The gallery is an eyeful, displaying more than 30,000 photos and drawings of species such as the wild sweet William (Phlox maculata), a native of the eastern and Midwestern states.

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