The Indiana Plant Atlas (IPA) was initiated in 2014 and is currently managed by the Friesner Herbarium of Butler University. Initial funding was provided by Butler University’s Innovation Fund in 2012. The goal of the IPA is to compile and present data on county-level occurrence of Indiana’s spontaneous flora – plants that grow outside of cultivation. Our master list of what grows in Indiana is from Yatskievych, Dolan, Moore, King and Kartesz Indiana Vascular Plants Catalog (in prep.) Nomenclature in the IPA is based on the Catalog. For a plant to be included in the Catalog, its occurrence in Indiana must be documented by at least one herbarium specimen.
The last comprehensive treatment of Indiana’s vascular plants is Charles Deam’s 1940 Flora of Indiana. That work contains county distribution records. A lot has changed since then. Floras are dynamic. The IPA brings together historic and contemporary herbarium specimen records from various institutions, compiling disparate data into a new electronic resource so that people can access it and use it in new ways. The IPA will be routinely updated as new digital records become available and new botanical discoveries are found in the Hoosier State.
The IPA is initially being populated by ca. 45,000 Friesner Herbarium specimen records. We have commitments from The University of Notre Dame, V-plants – Vascular Plants of the Chicago Region, and The New York Botanical Garden’s holdings from the Wabash College and DePauw University to contribute their Indiana records to the IPA.
Plans are to expand the Indiana Plant Atlas to include records published in peer-reviewed journals.
Herbarium specimen records in the IPA carry more information than just plant names and counties in which they are found. They also include blooming times and habitats. Many specimens have been imaged. The IPA contains many photographs taken in Indiana of live plants in their natural habitats.
The Indiana Plant Atlas project is part of the University of South Florida family of Plantatlas.org sites which provided the web development for this site. All Indiana plant data is curated by the membership herbaria of the Indiana Herbarium Consortium.
We are very thankful for the funding and infrastructure provided by Butler University and further funding from The Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society and Indiana Academy of Science which made the Atlas possible.
Distribution information compiled from herbarium specimens and the nomenclature are entered into a Microsoft SQL Server database management system (PlantDB). Atlas web pages are generated directly from the PlantDB database using the ASP program language served from Microsoft's Internet Information Server. Maps are generated directly from PlantDB using ESRI MapObjects 2.0 technology residing on a Microsoft NT server. Because the Atlas web site is generated directly from PlantDB, all web pages and maps are as up to date as the information entered into the database. All data is maintained on servers at the University of South Florida. The PlantDB database management system was designed by Shawn Landry of the Florida Center for Community Design and Research (FCCDR) with the help of Jeb Holub (Axis Technologies, Inc.) and Bruce Hansen of Institute of Systematic Botany (ISB). All ASP programming was developed by Jeb Holub under the direction of the FCCDR and ISB. Web page graphic design was created by Kristin Parker (FCCDR) with assistance from Kevin Kerrigan. Questions regarding the technology behind the Alabama Plant Atlas can be directed to Shawn Landry at the Florida Center for Community Design and Research at the University of South Florida.