BG-Map TechNote

Questions and Answers Involving Plant Labeling and BG-Map

Updated 12/17/1998

 

This document contains an e-mail message thread regarding how to label plants - specifically if the accession number qualifier should be included on the label.

Question:

FROM:	Lydia Newcombe
            Lydia.Newcombe@cgu.edu
            Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
DATE:	11/24/98 7:18 PM

RE:	a procedural problem at RSABG

Are there any subscription e-mail lists for BG-BASE & BG-Map users? If
not, I'll start by asking both of you this question, since you're in
touch with so many users.

We are progressing with our mapping project but have not yet changed our
reporting procedures to reflect the fact that our Plants records are now
            (becoming) individually surveyed and identified by qualifiers.
Therefore, when a gardener removes a plant from a surveyed quadrant and
turns in a removal card to me, when before mapping I could just reduce
the quantity of plants in that quadrant by one, now I have to know
exactly which plant was removed and delete it from the map before
marking its record "dead" in Plants. But the gardener doesn't know which
plant it is because our accession labels do not include the qualifier.

Some of our mapped quadrants are already becoming obsolete. My question
is - how do other gardens handle this? How does Holden?

1. Add a qualifier label to the accession label, and have the gardener
   return both labels after removal?

2. Give the gardeners quadrant maps and have them identify which plants
   they removed?

3. The plant recorder goes out periodically with maps and determines
   which plants aren't there anymore?

Number 1 seems most efficient to me, but (someone) is against it. "We both
believe that #2 would be difficult to carry out with the necessary
accuracy." He's for #3, but I think it would be confusing and
inexact to rely solely on that method. Since we can't agree on a method,
we haven't done anything.

Thanks,


Lydia

Reply 1:

Lydia,

	One clarification:

	You don't need to delete the plant from the map.  Just mark it as
	dead or removed in PLANTS.  It will automatically disappear
	from the map, unless you specifically request to see dead plants.

	If you do want to remove the plant from the map, reverse your
	procedure.  First, mark it as dead in PLANTS, then delete it
	from the map.  That way, it will be written to the BG-Map
	archive file.

	Best wishes,
	Mark
	-------------------------------------------------------------------------
	Mark Glicksman, Glenside, PA USA
	BG-Map Botanical Garden Mapping System   www.bg-map.com
	tel:  1.215.887.1100   fax:  1.215.887.1470

Reply 2:

     I suspect Margaret will fill in all of the gory details, however, the short 
     version is we have re-tagged everything with the qualifier on the label.  It 
     has been indispensable in our case as plants from the same accession may be 
     located all over the site.
     
     Wayne Cahilly (NYBG)

Reply 3:

	Mark already forwarded your message to the other BG-Map gardens.  We do not
	have that problem here since all of our plants have been individually
	qualified for years (long before we started computerized mapping); we know
	the exact plant that was removed.  Of your suggested methods:

	1. Add a qualifier label to the accession label, and have the gardener
           return both labels after removal?
	2. Give the gardeners quadrant maps and have them identify which plants
           they removed?
	3. The plant recorder goes out periodically with maps and determines
           which plants aren't there anymore?

	I would favor #2, even though both you and (someone) have doubts as to whether
	this will work or not; still, gardeners *must* shoulder the responsibility
	for accurately conveying information to the plant records office (after
	all, they are the ones working directly with the plants).  The plant
	recorder (I feel) should act as more of a recorder/auditor - that is,
	logging all of the information in and periodically validating that
	information via inventories and mapping.  Option 1 (attaching qualifiers to
	plants) should be done anyway.  Afraid I don't like option 3 at all (sorry
	(someone)!), you will never be up to date under this scenario.

	Hope this helps a little, I'll be interested to hear what you do.

	Mike
	*************************************************************
	Mike O'Neal			phone: +1 440-256-1110
	BG-BASE, Inc.			fax:   +1 440-256-1655
	c/o The Holden Arboretum        email: moneal@holdenarb.org
	9500 Sperry Road                www:   http://www.bg-base.com
	Kirtland, OH 44094

Reply 4:

	Lydia,
	This is only necessary when each accession has just one plant. For 
	example, a group of Hosta 'Blue Girl' consisting of ten plants was 
	acquired from all different sources, they need to be accessioned 
	separately. Each plant will have different accession number and will 
	be mapped individually regardless the planting location in your garden.  

	You will need a qualifier only when plants with the same 
	accession number are planted in separate locations. If five Hosta 
	'Blue Girl' are planted in one location, they may have qualifier 
	(example 9801*A), if the other five plants are planted in another location, they may 
	have another qualifier (example 9801*B). 
 
	If all ten plants were acquired from the same source, same time, and 
	were planted in the same location, these will have to 
	be accessioned and mapped as a group. They need only one label 
	without a qualifier. If one plant dies, it is not important to make note of which 
	plant died because they have all same accession numbers. You only 
	need to reduce the total number of the group and the map will update it.  

	> 1. Add a qualifier label to the accession label, and have the gardener
	> return both labels after removal?

	This is most logical and practical option. But you may not need to 
	make additional qualifier label. Just add a 
	qualifier after the accession number if necessary.
 
	Let me know if you have further questions on this matter, I will be happy to share 
	my experiences with you.
 
	Sincerely,

	Kunso Kim
	Curator of Botanical Collections
	The Morton Arboretum
	4100 Illinois Rt. 53
	Lisle, IL 60532

	phone: (630) 719-2435
	fax: (630) 719-2433

Reply 5:

	We wrote the accession number and the plant qualifier to the same
	label for each plant, like 19980025*A. When the gardeners remove,
	replant etc. the plant, they need to fill out a card (and the label,
	if the plant died) and give it to me. 

	Best regards
	Melinda
	==
	Mészáros Melinda
	Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem Botanikus Kert
	Botanic Garden of University of Sciences
	H-1083 Budapest, Illés u. 25., HUNGARY
	Tel/Fax: (36)-1-314-0535
	E-Mail: mmelinda@ludens.elte.hu
 	       mmelinda_211@yahoo.com

Reply 6:

	As far as the RSABG request goes, we have chosen the first alternative 
    	as the only viable method for keeping everything straight.  Before the 
    	surveying team goes into an area, we check the old maps, the card file, 
   	the current accession records in BG-BASE, etc.  We determine the 
   	correct accession #, qualifier and name, produce the aluminum 
   	accession label and put it on the plant.  We do every accessioned 
   	plant in each area and decide which unaccessioned plants should be 
   	given accession numbers and mapped.
     
  	This means that the maps when they are produced are immediately 
  	useable and few corrections have to be made.

  	Margaret (Falk - NYBG)

Reply 7:

	>1. Add a qualifier label to the accession label, and have the gardener
	>return both labels after removal?

	Holden, puts both the qualifier and the actual location on the label.  The
	location was first before we even had BG-Map.  It took us about 4-5 years
	to switch all the labels without locations to new labels with locations.
	Now as we need to replace (lost, stolen, broken) labels we put the
	qualifier onto the new label. 

	>2. Give the gardeners quadrant maps and have them identify which plants
	>they removed?

	>3. The plant recorder goes out periodically with maps and determines
	>which plants aren't there anymore?

	Whenever there is any question i.e. a label is turned in without a qualifier
	or a location on it, the plant recorder will double check exactly which
	plant in the field (noted in the PLANTS file) is dead.  In most cases we
	update the PLANTS file and let BG-Map alone.  Only when we plant a new
	plant in the same location as a dead plant do we adjust BG-Map.


	>Number 1 seems most efficient to me, but (someone) is against it. 

	I would be happy to talk to (someone) about how this can be done over a period
	of time so the capital (new labels) and labor are not so prohibitive.
	Having the qualifier on the label will in the long run be most efficient.

		Best regards;
		Peter W. Bristol
		pbristol@holdenarb.org

Reply 8:

	Each time we assign a new accession, it designates the entire number of seeds
	or plants... whichever we receive. When we eventually plant in the field, that
	is when individual qualifiers are used... no matter where the plant is located
	on the property.

	The survey team then goes out on a regular basis and surveys. Once mapped, new
	book and plotter maps are updated. Throughout the year as plants are removed
	for whatever reason, the specific Horticulturist (for us Palm or Cycad) is
	responsible for informing the Plant Records Department by means of a designed
	form. This form will give the accession number, qualifier, plant name, and
	location. Also on the form are columns for the Plant Records Department to
	make note of when the reflective changes were made to BG-BASE, BG-Map, and the
	bookmaps.  On a yearly basis a full field inventory is taken and any and all
	changes are noted and corrected.

	Now this does not *always* work! We struggle with the Horticulturist to indeed
	make note of the changes and get the forms to us. We have progressed in a
	positive manner, but again we do have to remind constantly.

	We have 120 acres of which everything is accessioned and labeled... at least
	we are working towards that goal. Plant Records staff consists of 1 full time
	(me) and 2 part time (one which works 2 days, and the other 30 hours.) This
	summer we planted well over 1000 palms and approximately 350 cycads. We are
	doing our best to keep up, but mistakes of course are made... that is why the
	annual field inventory.

	Best to all,

	Sue

	==========================================================================================

	Sue Katz                                                   Montomgery
	Botanical Center
	Collections Supervisor                                11901 Old Cutler Road
	305-667-3800 (voice)                                  Miami, Fl 33156-4242
	305-661-5984 (fax)