Northern Ontario Plant Database
Welcome to the Northern Ontario Plant Database Website!
The Northern Ontario Plant Database (NOPD) is a website that provides free public access to records of herbarium specimens housed in northern Ontario educational and government institutions. An herbarium (pl.: herbaria) is an archival collection of plants that have been pressed, dried, mounted, and labelled. Herbarium specimens serve as a reference to verify identification of plant species and are a permanent, historical record of where a particular plant has been found. Currently, there are over 55,000 herbarium records included in the NOPD. For more information, see "What is an Herbarium? "
The goal of the NOPD is to provide up-to-date and accurate information on the flora of northern Ontario. To accomplish this, data from herbarium specimens from our northern Ontario partners and specimens from northern Ontario that are housed in major institutions in southern Ontario, such as the Natural Heritage Information Centre (Peterborough), and the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto) are included in the database. Also, the NOPD website provides descriptions of many northern Ontario plant species to assist foresters, students, and the interested public in the identification of our local flora. We invite you to explore the links along the left-hand side and top of the NOPD homepage to view other topics included in the NOPD website. For more details on what is included in the NOPD website, please click on the link "Website Information."
Under each species name, accessed through the alphabetical list of genera at the left, three columns are shown: Synonymy, Records, and Description. Select Synonymy to see the full scientific name, list of known common names in English, French, and Ojibway, and synonyms for that species. Select Records to see the list of herbarium specimens included in the database, then click on the Accession # to view the label information for each specimen. A digital map showing where that specimen was collected appears below the label information. Select Description to link to websites with images or descriptive information on that species.
Please note that all links appear in GREEN, including those in the description pages and the accession numbers under each species. If you experience technical problems, we encourage you to contact Kevin Lawrence with the details. Taxonomic or identification questions may be addressed to Susan Meades.
The Northern Ontario Plant Database (NOPD) project began with funding of $150,800, in 2 grants (June 2002 and Dec. 2003), from the Ontario Living Legacy Trust (LLT), which ceased to exist in April 2004. The December 2003 award brought Laurentian University, the Royal Ontario Museum, and Nipissing University into the NOPD as partners. Between May 2004 and February of 2005, the NOPD received $25,083 in funding from Service Canada's (then HRSDC) Job Creation Program in 2004. Also, a First Nations Forestry Program grant of $18,000 to Batchewana First Nation saw the addition of a First Nations liaison position to the NOPD staff. In June 2005, the NOPD received an $83,000 grant from the Forestry Futures Trust Ontario's Enhanced Forest Productivity Science (EFPS) Project, which saw the addition of descriptions for each of the northern Ontario forest types included in Ontario's Forest Ecosystem Classifications (FECs) and the development of a 3-credit, 6-day intensive course, Biol 2397: Northern Ontario Flora: Plant Identification Techniques, which is offered each May at Great Lakes Forestry Centre through Algoma University. This course is open to college/university-level students, as well as the general public.
The Northern Ontario Database project was developed by and is managed by Susan J. Meades, a field botanist and adjunct professor (now retired) at Algoma University College. Administration is handled through the Upper Lakes Environmental Research Network (ULERN).