The RM database data entry page is built for detailed searches but most users will search by Scientific Name (Genus, Species, possibly ssp. or var.) to find specimen records. The record(s) appear on right. Records appear alphabetically in sets of 100. Most specimens also appear on the map. Use the cursor to center map, and click on the map several times to enlarge it (or use+/-) to resolve squares (collection sites). Click on a square and one to many collections (scientific names) appear, each with the collection date; click on one and the full record appears on right, possibly with image.
The polygon function selects all specimen records from the area circumscribed. Select a search area on map, click [Create Polygon], click curser on each corner to define area, complete the perimeter, then click [Stop Editing]. The Species List function will provide a downloadable alphabetized list by family of all species found within the polygon. The Specimen Search function will provide all records of species in the area.
The database search is unable to provide results for searches with more than 10,000 matches. When that happens, restrict your search by entering more detailed information, or reduce the size of your polygon. Searches can be restricted to imaged specimens by clicking the appropriate box.
The database cannot be searched by common name. To find the scientific name if a plant, go to Browse, (top left corner of screen), and click on Scientific Names. A list of families appears, click on a family, a list of species appears. Click on Common Names and a list of common names of each species appears sorted by genus. Common names follow Plants Database (USDA Plants).
The Rocky Mountain Herbarium Database (www.rmh.uwyo.edu) is an online tool that can be used to locate plant species in Wyoming and beyond. It is also useful for compiling species lists for specific areas, defined by a location or a polygon.
Try these exercises:
1. Our state tree is Plains Cottonwood, Populus deltoides subspecies occidentalis. Use the RM database to find out where in the state it grows. Has it ever been collected in Laramie? If so, when?
2. Our state flower is Wyoming Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja linariifolia. Is this the only paintbrush species found in our state? Generate a list of all the Castillejas in WY. How many are there?
3. Return to the search page to search for C. linariifolia, and restrict results to specimens with images. Click on a “pretty” specimen. Zoom in on the specimen. Are the stems pubescent (hairy) or glabrous (smooth)?
4. Zoom in on the search map and use the polygon tool to define an area of interest to you. Generate a list of all of the plant species that have been collected within that area. How long is your list? Which plant family is most diverse