July 17, 2005


This site originated in 1999 as a way to put all the photos and information I was gathering into one place for my own personal reference and understanding. Hypertext is magical because you can go off in any direction you want, which is sort of how my research projects tend to go, so it seemed like the perfect medium. It lived just on my computer for some time before it occurred to me that it would be really simple to put it on the internet.

And then it languished, because I thought I should only put 'finished' pages up for y'all, so then I had two versions of the site: the 'finished' site, and the increasingly large 'unfinished' site. The whole thing fairly rapidly became an organizational nightmare, and I just didn't want to deal with updating it.

Time passed... and then I remembered that I didn't build this site for you. It is now all together again (after a month or two of re-organization and re-re-organization).

Welcome to my favorite research project. Some pages may just have photos, some may have terrible old photos, some may have sketchy notes, and some may have full articles. It's a work in progress like most of my projects, but I'm happy to share it with you and I hope you enjoy it.

The site lives in its own domain now, and is mostly database-driven. The taxonomy tree has been redone and for the most part now follows the intersection of the USDA's PLANTS database and the Integrated Taxonomic Information System. I think I've worked all the bugs out, but if you run into any that I missed, please let me know.

As for the information on this site, I've tried hard to be thorough and accurate, and I think that as internet information sources go, this is a good one. But everything that's ever been done could be done better, and mistakes do sometimes happen.

The text on these pages represents what I've learned about these plants through print mediums, web research, and personal experience. It is continually subject to revision as I pick up new bits of information, and as my understanding of the subject improves. The photos were all taken by me, and while I realize that many of the old film ones are pretty terrible, they are rapidly being replaced and augmented by pretty new digital ones. If you'd like to reproduce anything on this site, I'm generally okay with that for non-profit use as long as credit is properly given, but I do also ask that you send me a copy of whatever you're making. E-mail me for more info.

On the subject of medicinal plants, I'm supposed to say that I don't recommend self-diagnoses or self-treatment, and that the information I've given is for informational purposes only, but I also believe that medicine can be accessible to people, that the thing you need for medicine is often nearby if you just know what to look for, and that the line between food and medicine is mostly an artificial construct. It is up to you to use caution and common sense, to inform yourself as fully as possible, and above all, to pay attention.

Thanks for visiting & come back soon to see further developments... I may even change the plant of the month one of these days.


the shed I was supposed to be building instead of this.

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