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Flora of North America

Articles: Flora of North America

How many botanists does it take to write a flora?

Fredrick Pursh’s Flora Americae Septentrionalis (1814) was the first flora of continental scope. Resident botanists wrote treatises on North American plants in the early 1800s, and John Torrey and Asa Gray undertook the first attempt at production of a comprehensive flora of the continent in the 1830s. Subsequently, botanists focused on producing regional floras until 1905 when N. L. Britton began publishing the monographic series North American Flora at the New York Botanical Garden.

Today, publication of the Flora of North America is an ongoing and vital process coordinated by the Flora of North America Association (FNAA). The organization is working with more than 900 botanists to provide authoritative information on the names, characteristics, and geographical and ecological distributions of 20,000 species of plants native or naturalized in North America north of Mexico. Professional botanical artists are working closely with authors and editors to assure that the accompanying illustrations reflect the authors’ concepts and complement technical descriptions.

FNAA Vice President for Business and Development, Dr. Nanc...

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