About WNPS
Contact WNPS
Online Store
Visit our Blog

Invasive Species
Plant Lists

Local Chapters
Plant Sales

Photo Gallery

Starflower Resources
Education Resources
Native Plants

WNPS Stewards


Revision of Hitchcock & Cronquist Flora of the PNW



A note from Dick Olmstead, Professor and Herbarium Curator,

University of Washington

Friends and Colleagues,


As many of you know, Hitchcock and Cronquist's "Flora of the Pacific Northwest" has been the authoritative guide to the region's flora since its publication in 1973. Generations of students, academic researchers, and field botanists have relied on this work to support their diverse botanical interests. However, the systematics, nomenclature, and distribution of our region's flora has changed over the course of 40 years due to ongoing research, access to more information, extensive fieldwork, and the introduction of many new species.


It is within this context that I am pleased to announce that the University of Washington Herbarium (WTU) at the Burke Museum is officially embarking on an update to the one-volume "Flora of the Pacific Northwest" (FPNW). Only about 50% of the first edition of the FPNW is consistent with contemporary taxonomy and nomenclature; the revised FPNW will need substantial name changes, new species added to keys, recognition of additional families, new illustrations, and updated distribution information.


For the past year we have been laying the foundation for this project through the development of workflows for revising treatments, working with the UW Press to resolve copyright issues relating to FPNW, rewriting the treatments for several families, and creating a project Web site. This work has been supported through generous initial donations of $40,000 provided by Jim Duemmel, Don Knoke, Carol Nygren, Peg Pearson, and an anonymous donor.


Collections Manager David Giblin and Informatics Specialist Ben Legler are leading the project, and we will be drawing upon the expertise of our colleagues throughout the region for input and guidance. As we move from planning to production, the first order of business is to raise funds to support Ben Legler, so that he can devote at least 50% of his time to this project. Ben has been supported primarily by NSF grants during the digitization efforts at WTU; we look forward to his continued involvement with the FPNW project. We hope to achieve this through a combination of external sources (e.g., foundation grants) and donor support. Tentatively we have a goal of Fall 2016 for delivering the final draft of the flora to the publisher so that it would be available for spring 2017.


To learn more about our efforts, please visit the project Web site:


Feel free to contact either David Giblin (dgiblin@uw.edu) or me with questions.




Dick Olmstead


Updated: March 5, 2015
Copyright 2000-2018 Washington Native Plant Society. All rights reserved.

Home | Sign in