About Flora Pittsburghensis
UPDATE: The site has switched to a new format that allows easier access to the picture files. See “Using these pictures” below.
The city of Pittsburgh and its surrounding suburbs are full of wild flowers, and somebody needs to take their pictures. The main purpose of this collection is simply to enjoy the beauty of the natural world.
Nevertheless, our enjoyment of the natural world is deeper the more we know about it, which is the reason for the commentary and the attempt at a correct botanical classification of each subject.
The entries are categorized by their families. When a plant is commonly found in more than one family in different classification schemes, or where there is more than one name for the same family, the plant is assigned to multiple categories. Thus, for example, snapdragons were formerly classified in the family Scrophulariaceae, but (with modern genetic study) have recently been moved to the family Plantaginaceae; they appear here under both families.
Quotations from Gray’s Manual are from the posthumous seventh edition (1908), heavily edited and updated by Benjamin Lincoln Robinson and Merritt Lyndon Fernald. Where Gray’s classification differs from that used by current botanists, the difference is noted.
Some plants that have recently been reclassified are so familiar under their old botanical names that they are listed here primarily under those older names, with the up-to-date name noted in the text. Asters are a good example, most of whose North American species have been removed to the genus Symphyotrichum. The reason for listing them under the old name is simply practical: a bit of traffic monitoring finds that many people search the Internet for Aster puniceus (for example) and find this site, but so far not a single visitor has been searching for Symphyotrichum puniceum.
Doubtless there are many errors here, including incorrect identifications. Corrections left as comments are welcomed with open arms and a grateful heart.
Using these pictures: This site is a public service, if it may be dignified with that title. The photographs are all taken by Mr. Christopher Bailey, who grants permission to reuse them (preferably with credit) on any noncommercial Web site. For print publication, most of these photographs are available as high-resolution files. Requests for permission to use the photographs in print, or for commercial purposes, may be made as comments, here or on the articles where the photographs appear.