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This online catalog is a listing of every living plant for which collections records are kept, approximately 41,000 plants representing about 3,300 taxa. It represents an accumulation of plant information dating back to the founding of the Arboretum in 1922.

Listings for a number of herbaceous plants that are cultivated at the Arboretum have been included to better serve the staff and public who use our collections. Areas with large numbers of herbaceous plantings include the Visitor Center, Fragrance Garden, Ground Cover Garden, and the Thornhill Education Center. Herbaceous plantings are accessioned as being from a variety of commercial sources. The accession year reflects the date that the first planting was made at that site. Herbaceous plants from wild collected sources of value to the Arboretum are listed with the same detailed information that is listed for our woody plants.

Information contained in this online catalog is loaded monthly from our central plant database. Because plants are continually being added and removed from collections, any catalog quickly becomes out-of-date. Please contact the plant records office for current plant information. Also, our staff is actively updating and correcting scientific names.

Explanation of Catalog Listing

Plants are listed alphabetically by scientific name. An explanation of a catalog entry is given in detail below.

Syringa pekinensis Rupr. OLEACEAE - OLIVE FAMILY
  Trade Names: PEKING LILAC
  Range: Northern China
  USDA Hardiness Zone: 5

  172-26  Seed from Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, Jamaica Plain,
          Massachusetts wild collected by Joseph F. Rock (No. 13506) near 
          Lienhoa Shan, Kansu Province, China.
       4  in China, central section: BB-67/44-42,54-55,63-39; CC-67/84-69
       7  along Joy Path: II-26/area  	

  497-38  Grafts (6) from L. Spaeth, Berlin-Baumschulenweg, Federal 
          Republic of Germany.
       2 in Godshalk Meadow, north side: O-35/40-10, 45-10

  480-86  Seed from Morton Arboretum, [No. 172-26] in China Collection 
          at CC-67/84-69 (T).  Original source was Arnold Arboretum, wild 
          seed collected by Joseph F. Rock (No. 13506) near Lienhoa Shan,
          Kansu Province, China.
       1  in Fragrance Garden, crescent bed: KK-25/area

   161-U  Unknown from Unknown source.  
       1 in Godshalk Meadow, north side: P-34/55-45
Scientific Name

Scientific name entries list the genus, species, variety, forma, and cultivar names (printed in boldface type), followed by the Author name/s, Family Name, and Family Common Name. Native range information, Common or Trade Names, and USDA Hardiness Zone information follow the botanical name.

Accession Entry

Accession entries follow the scientific name and include the accession number, type and number of propagules received, source of the accession, and collection site information for plants of wild origin.

Plants are assigned a two-part accession number when initially received into the collections. The first part cited is the accession sequence number. The second part is the last two digits of the year the plant was received. With rare exceptions, the age of a plant may be ascertained from these last two digits. For example, the first accession listed above was the 172nd group of plants received in the year 1926. The letter "U" in place of the last two digits indicates plants that are "unaccessioned". Their source and acquisition information cannot be determined with accuracy, but the Arboretum wishes to maintain information about them in the records system.

Source information follows the accession number: how the plant was received (seed, graft, plant, etc.), the number received enclosed in parentheses, the name and address of the source, and any additional source information that pertains to the accession. A number enclosed in brackets e.g. [No. 172-26], is the source accession number from which the new accession was propagated, and may include the collection and grid location of the parent accession. The symbol (T) indicates that the parent of the accession was determined to be true-to-name by a taxonomist. The statement, "Original source was", gives the very first source from which the parent material was obtained.

Wild collected information, if available, follows the source information. It may include the name of the collector, the number assigned by the collector to the material in parentheses, e.g. (No. 13506); and site information.

Plant Location Entry

Plant location entries list the number of plants in a collection, the name of the collection and collection subarea(s), and the location(s) at which plants are growing. Specific plant locations consist of two parts: (1) the grid square and (2) the coordinates of the plant within the grid square. The Arboretum grounds are divided into 100 x 100 foot grid squares, which are used as one would use a grid on a standard highway map to locate a city or town.

Letters indicate grid lines from south to north, while numbers indicate grid lines from west to east. A grid square takes its name from the grid lines that intersect at its southwest corner. Coordinates are two numbers that designate the number of feet north and east of the southwest corner of a grid square.

The "BB-67" portion of the location entry mentioned above refers to the point formed by the intersection of the lines designated "BB" and "67", and also applies to the 100 x 100 foot grid square which lies north and east of that intersection. The "44-42" portion of the entry are the actual coordinates of the plant within the "BB-67" grid square: 44 feet north and 42 feet east of the "BB-67" point. Thus, BB-67/44-42 refers to a plant growing 44 feet north and 42 feet east of the intersection of the lines designated "BB" and "67".

Many plants in the Arboretum collections have had their grid coordinates determined, and their catalog entries are similar to the above example. Those plants whose grid coordinates have not yet been determined have catalog entries that list only the 100 x 100 foot area within which the plant may be found, e.g. BB-67/area.

Taxonomic Authentication

When a plant location is underlined, the specimen has been authenticated as true-to-name by one of our taxonomists. Authenticated plants either have the symbol "S" punched on the collections label or have the letter "T" printed between the accession number and the grid location. Collection labels may be found on the south side of the plant.

Nursery Source Listing

For assistance in locating nursery sources for plants listed in this catalog, please contact the Morton Arboretum Library. The library maintains an extensive file of retail and wholesale nursery catalogs.

Technical Information

The Online Collections Catalog is supported by the following products:

- Hardware: Sun Enterprise 450 (2 x UltraSparc 233Mhz Processors, 256MB Memory)
- Web Server:
Apache (w/ mod_perl)
- Database Server: Oracle 8
- Programming Language: Perl

Powered by Apache

The relational database layout is available here, in PDF format.

For more technical details, contact

Release Notes

R1.0 - Nov. 11, 1999
- Initial release.

R1.1 - Apr. 10, 2000
- Expanded Wild Collected Search to include Habitat and Site Keyword Searches.
- Added a Plant Counter to the Summary View to go along with the Name and Accession Counters.
- Corrected display of scientific name with hybrid information.
- Modified scientific name sort algorithm.