polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

Urban Plant Archive

by Peter Sigrist

As part of a class on woody plant identification, I've been working on an online archive of plants for use in urban settings. Although the current focus is on distinguishing features, the site is linked to a woody plants database with more information on the conditions these plants need to thrive. Most of the information is from Michael Dirr's comprehensive Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, and images are from the database.

The site I put together is still very new, with plenty of room for improvement. I used a simple Blogger platform, but for some reason the search engine isn't working. Any ideas on what might be going on there? I haven't had luck yet with Blogger help or forums. Also, as someone who's still new to the terminology used to describe plants, I completely understand the frustration one might feel in finding that simple leaf descriptions make almost no sense without looking up most words in the dictionary. I guess this works better for standardization within the field, but I'd prefer the site to be easily accessible to anyone who wants to find a good plant for their home or neighborhood. There are still tons of plants to add, as well as images for existing entries. Finally, the site needs a better name than ps4910.

The idea is to keep developing the information and images over time. I plan to add a comments section so anyone can share additional information, point out sections that need correction, and add new plants. I like to see people collaborating on these kinds of archives, providing useful resources for those who would like to add more healthy vegetation in their communities. If anyone knows of good ones, please share them.

Credits: Photos of Albizia julibrissin from the Woody Plants Database.