Herbarium Database

Label Data
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Field Descriptions
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Database Field Descriptions:
Database ID
Each of our backend databases assigns a unique and persistent integer ID to each specimen record. A GUID (globally unique identifier) can be formed from this by combining it with the herbarium and collection acronyms (example: WTU-VP-12733).
Herbarium
Every herbarium is referred to by a unique acronym. Ours is WTU, which stands for Washington Territorial University. Our database also includes some specimens housed at NOCA (North Cascades National Park Herbarium) and MORA (Mount Rainier National Park Herbarium). For a complete listing of herbarium acronyms, see Index Herbariorum.
Collection
WTU's specimens are physically housed in separate collections according to taxonomic groups: Vascular Plants, Bryophytes, Algae, Lichens, and Fungi.
Dataset
Some specimens are grouped into "Datasets," representing such things as incorporated herbaria or major collecting projects.
Accession
Each of WTU's Vascular Plant specimens is assigned an accession number. Our other collections lack accession numbers (see Barcode instead). Ideally, each specimen would have a unique accession number, but this fails in practice. Some accession numbers include "JWT" after the number; these indicate specimens originating from the herbarium of J. William Thompson that were integrated into WTU's collections but not re-accessioned with WTU numbers. Accession numbers followed by an "A", "B", or other single letter represent sheets with multiple collections mounted on them, all using the same accession number.
Barcode
Our Bryophyte, Algae, Lichen, Fungi, and some Vascular Plant specimens are assigned pre-printed barcode stickers. These follow the format "WTU-C-######", where C represents a code for the collection (one of: V, B, A, L, F) and ###### represents a zero-padded, six-digit number.
Other Numbers
Specimens collected from North Cascades and Mount Rainier National Parks are assigned National Park Service accession and catalog numbers. These numbers are listed here.
Family
The scientific name of the family. Our database generally uses AGPIII and other current sources for vascular plant family names. However, our physical Vascular Plant collection is organized by the older Englerian sequence.
Accepted Name
For Vascular Plants, this gives the accepted name by which the specimen is currently known. The accepted name is derived by looking up the most recent annotation name in a synonymy table and finding its corresponding accepted name.
Annotation History
The sequence of annotations and scientific names given on the physical specimen is listed here, in order from the first to most recent. We treat the name on the original label as the first annotation.
Type Notes
If this is a type specimen, then information about its type status (holotype, isotype, etc.) and the name(s) for which it is a type is provided here.
Collector
The person who collected this specimen, as given on the label, and whose name is associated with the collection number on the label. If no collector name is given, we enter "unknown" into this field.
Collection #
A unique number assigned to the specimen by the collector. Different collectors use different numbering schemes; these may include the addition of prefixes (such as their initials or the year) or suffixes (such as an A or B). In the database, any prefixes and suffixes are included in the Collector's Number field exactly as they appear on the specimen label. When no collector number is given, we type "s.n." in this field.
Other Collectors
Other collectors that are listed on the label along with the primary collector, but whose collection number was not assigned to this specimen.
Date Collected
The date on which the specimen was collected, split up between day, month, and year in the database. Months are stored as nubmers (1-12) but displayed as three-letter abbreviations. Years are alway 4-digits long. Occasionally the label may give a range of dates. In such cases, the first date in the range is used as the collection date, and the entire collection date is entered into the Verbatim Date field as it appears on the label. If no date is given, then the date fields are left blank and a note is made in the Verbatim Date field.
Verbatim Date
The literal date string as displayed on the label; only used for dates that cannot be represented by a single day, month, and year.
Country
Name of the country from which the specimen was collected. Specimens from the United States of America are entered as "U.S.A."
State or Province
Name of the state or province from which the specimen was collected, if given on the label. U.S. states are spelled out in full.
County
Name of the county, municipality, borough, parish, or equivalent political unit from which the specimen was collected, if given on the label. The designation (such as "county") is not included in the field value.
Locality
A text description of the location where the specimen was collected, as given on the specimen label. May include national park, national forest, and other land use designations. Older collections often have short and imprecise locality data. Detailed locality data for rare species (threatened, endangered, sensitive, watch, ...) is included in our database but omitted from the search results.
Elevation
Elevations may be given either in feet or meters, and may include a minimum and maximum elevation, representing a range.
Coordinates
May include TRS/PLSS (township, range, section, quarter, etc.), latitude/longitude, and UTM. Coordinates for arare species are included in our database but omittedfrom the search results.
Site Description
This field includes all label information characterizing the site, such habitat, vegetation zone/association, substrate, slope, moisture, associated species, and so on - as the information appears on the specimen label.
Specimen Notes
Includes any characteristics pertaining to the plant specimen itself, such as flower color, fruit length, and plant height, along with information about the species, such as abundance and the precise location and micro-habitat where collected. Also includes any notes or text on the specimen that does not better fit into another field.
Phenology
Specifies the sexual maturity/condition of the specimen, such as flowering, fruiting, cone-bearing, spore-bearing, fertile, or sterile. Phenology is generally not given on the label; instead the person entering the record examines the specimen and selects the appropriate value.
Origin
Specifies whether the specimen is native or introduced to the state or country where it was collected. Origin data is rarely found on the specimen label; instead, it is entered during data entry either from a lookup table or from the date entry personnel's own knowledge. Origin data should be considered supplemental information, and should not be relied on as authoritative.
Cultivated
A Yes/No flag indicating if this is a cultivated specimen. Cultivated specimens generally do not represent valid distribution records and should be excluded from range maps or other geographic analyses.


Disclaimer:

WTU makes a reasonable effort to prevent and correct data entry errors; however, we cannot guarantee that our database is free from typos, misidentifications, or inaccurate label data. Please use the information at your own discretion. Error corrections and comments can be sent to Ben Legler or David Giblin.