The Value of Record Keeping
Contributed by MCBG Plant Records/Gardener Karen Youngblood
At their core, botanical gardens are living museums. They acquire, document, catalogue, curate and display collections. They differ from art and science museums in one critical way: their acquisitions are living organisms that require favorable environmental conditions to survive and grow.
Careful record keeping of our plant collections at the Gardens allows us to both observe and document many characteristics about the plants over time—health, age, size, and location, etc. Querying our plant database can help us answer various questions to improve and preserve plant health, diversity, and beauty of the gardens. We are curating our collections not only for the present but for the future so we can provide a comprehensive and accurate record that we can share with the public.
In our garden, we display…
*taxa—includes all species and types of cultivars for each species
- 108 Conifer species
- 199 Conifer taxa*
- 122 Rhododendron species
- 314 Rhododendron taxa*
- 37 Camellia species
- 48 Camellia taxa*
- 2,862 live plants managed in our records
- 155 fungi species logged in our database