Plant Inventory: A to Z and 1, 2, 3…
July 9, 2019
From the Abraham Darby rose to the Zululand Cycad, our plant database is a myriad of plant names and numbers. Twice a year our Plant Curator inventories the plants on our 20 acre site, recording and mapping new plantings and noting plants that were removed. Not every single plant is counted: it would be a never-ending task to try to determine just how many individual penta plants make up a grouping! But approximately 1,900 plants were individually counted on our May inventory.
Thanks to that count, we know we have more than 750 species and varieties of trees, shrubs, vines, bamboo, and other plants on our grounds. And the locations of all of our trees and most shrubs, cycads, succulents, palms and roses were checked or updated on our maps. Of course, the big trees don’t move very frequently, but you might be surprised how often other plants are changed out by our garden staff. And with more than 100 commemorative trees on our property, it’s important that we know where they are in the event the donor wants to visit their tree or we have another hurricane like Irma that knocked down many of our trees.
Plant inventories are also necessary for achieving museum accreditation, something our museum curatorial staff is working toward. Plants are considered a “living collection” and most national and international museum accreditation programs require that plants be inventoried in a similar manner as museum artifacts. This is especially true for historic sites like Edison Ford where some of the trees growing during the Edisons’ time are still standing, making them true original pieces of history.
The next time you visit the Edison Ford gardens, be sure to pick up one of the self-guided tours our Plant Curator made and learn about some of the most fascinating plants we have on the property.