ActKey (new datasets available)

Anthony Brach brach at OEB.HARVARD.EDU
Wed Feb 11 07:40:10 CST 2004

A number of web-based interactive identification keys are available for the
floras of China, North America, Madagascar, Borneo, and the world, in a
program called 'ActKey' at the Harvard University Herbaria:

Examples include "cross-family keys" to
Families of Angiosperms: Punched Cards by Hansen & Rahn (also in Chinese
and Spanish),
Punch Card Key to the Families of Dicotyledons of the Western Hemisphere
South of the United States By Donald R. Simpson and David Janos,
Generic Tree Flora of Madagascar by George E. Schatz,
Trees and Shrubs of Borneo by James K. Jarvie & Ermayanti (also in
Genera of Brassicaceae of the world by Ihsan Al-Shehbaz (also in Chinese),

and "inner-family keys" to
Salix (Salicaceae) of North America by George W. Argus (also in Chinese),
Trilliaceae (Trillium and Paris) of the world by Susan B. Farmer, with
thanks to all for sharing their datasets,
and the large genera (> 50 spp.) of China including Pedicularis, Primula,
Salix, Gentiana, Saxifraga, Aconitum, Rubus, Delphinium, Clematis,
Elatostema, Lysimachia, Allium, Lithocarpus, Sedum, Polygonum, Silene,
Acer, Arenaria, Ficus, and more.

Clicking on a character in the left frame opens a new window with a list of
character states followed by the number of taxa having that particular
state, character statistics (min., max.) for counts and measurements, and
character notes. After entering one or more state(s) for any character(s)
in the left frame, clicking on resultant taxon names in the right frame
opens a new window with descriptions and links for dynamic lookups to
images and related data. Various character list displays (language
displays, best character sort) are further options.

Hong Song of the Missouri Botanical Garden, developed this Java-based
program using MySQL as the database server. Collaborators interested in
sharing their data sets (e.g., DELTA, MS Excel, MS Access, Lucid formats)
via this Web-based system, or interested in translating any of the
character sets into another language may contact Hong Song, song at,
or Anthony R. Brach, brach at

Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D. / brach at
Flora of China /
Missouri Botanical Garden / Harvard University Herbaria
22 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138-2094 USA

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