The University of Washington Herbarium at the Burke Museum is producing a Second Edition of the Flora of the Pacific Northwest, based on the original manual published in 1973 by C. Leo Hitchcock and Arthur Cronquist.
The original, 730-page, single volume book was designed by the authors to be a portable plant identification manual for professional and amateur botanists. Even today it remains a singular piece of scholarship and a model for how to produce a flora. The Second Edition has been fully updated to include all native and naturalized taxa presently known from the region, with up-to-date nomenclature and classifications, while maintaining the original's familiar layout, styles, and use of illustrated keys.
Work on the Second Edition of the Flora began in 2013. All treatments and illustrations were completed in October, 2017 and are now undergoing final layout and editing in preparation for printing. We estimate the Second Edition will be available for purchase in mid 2018.
Total project costs are projected to be $500,000 for content production (revising treatments and keys, acquisition of new illustrations), editing, layout and printing. As a subset of this total, we are currently rasing the $27,500 to cover printing costs. Publishing and printing costs are shared with the University of Washington Press. Additional funds will be sought to pursue future work on the Flora, including subsequent revisions and complimentary online resources.
All treatments and illustrations were completed in October, 2017. These treatments cover 159 families, 1,141 genera and 5,335 terminal taxa, representing about 827 pages of content. New illustrations have been completed for 1,379 taxa.
Initial layout work, including text flow and image placement has been completed. The Press used this as the basis for producing the print-ready proofs. We are now verifying the proofs, making final corrections, and preparing the index.
Neither a region’s flora nor the science of vascular plant taxonomy is static in their nature. In the 40 years since publication of Flora of the Pacific Northwest significant changes have occurred to the region’s flora (discovery of new species, arrival of additional non-native species) and to the classification and naming of the taxa covered in that volume. We estimate:
- 25% net increase in the number of species and infraspecies;
- 40% of species and infraspecies names will require nomenclatural changes;
- 42% or more of the generic keys must be substantially modified.
The Flora of the Pacific Northwest remains a vital resource for academic researchers, federal and state agency botanists, land managers, undergraduate and graduate students, and amateur botany enthusiasts. At the time of publication, users of the Flora could arrive at a currently accepted name for nearly all taxa within the region when using the keys provided. Today those same keys would achieve a similar result for only 41% of the region's taxa. Users must increasingly consult other state/province and continental-scale floras. Developing models predicting distribution changes in response to climate change, determining the correct identification of a rare species in a national park, exploring possible topics for taxonomic research, describing new species, or learning about the wildflowers where one recreates or lives all require a contemporary and comprehensive flora. The needs for a new flora are numerous.