Floristic Studies

What is a Flora?

A floristic study documents all the plant species found within a specific geographical area. Some ambitious and large-scale floristic projects involve development of keys, detailed descriptions, and illustrations of the plants, while some may produce a simple list of species found in an area.  Examples of large scale floras include the Flora of North America, and the on-going effort to create a {{, Flora of Virginia}}.  The {{, Digital Atlas of Virginia Flora}} is an additional resource that provides a county by county distribution of all species found in Virginia.

WILLI Floristic Studies

WILLI holds voucher specimens from over 29 floras produced by students and faculty of the College of William and Mary. Each of these floras typically documents around 600 plant species, of which about 20 percent may be new records of occurrence for the county.  Examples of William & Mary floras include the Flora of the College Woods (Barans 1969) and the Vascular Flora of the Corrotoman River Watershed (Weldy 1995).  More recently, Chris Johnstone collected and identified specimens and wrote A Flora of Totuskey Creek, Richmond County, Virginia (2008).  The Totusky Creek is in the "Northern Neck" peninsula in the Virginia Coastal Plain Province between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers. In the summer of 2013, graduate student Caitlin Cyrus began work with Sarah Stefan (W&M '15) and Gus Tate (W&M '15) to document changes to flora in the College Woods that have occured since the floral surveys of Barans in 1969 and Crouch in 1990.

WILLI is also currently processing specimens for a floristic study of the Willcox Run watershed in Petersburg, Virginia with Donna M. E. Ware, WILLI's first Curator. This study was inspired by her work consulting for the book With Paintbrush & Shovel (Kober 2000), which described the watercolors based on plant collections from a WPA project in Lee Park in the 1930s. Dr. Ware's first collection from this study was placed in the Lee Park Herbarium, curated by the Petersburg Garden Club. WILLI will house duplicates from that collection. 

Barans, A. C. Phillips.  1969.  Vascular flora of the College Woods, the College of William and Mary, James City County, Virginia.  MA thesis.

Kober, N,  2000. With Paintbrush & Shovel: Preserving Virginia's WIldflowers / Watercolors by Bessie Niemeyer Marshall. University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA 

Weldy, Troy W.  1995.  The vascular flora of the Corrotoman River watershed, Lancaster County, Virginia.  MS thesis.