M. Whitson

Joined: Mar 18, 2022 Last Active: Jul 13, 2024 iNaturalist

I'm a botanist and herbarium curator at Northern Kentucky University, and am interested in the Solanaceae (tomato family) and particularly Physalis (groundcherries). The Flora of North America Solanaceae volume has finally been published and my treatments of Calliphysalis and Nicandra appear there. (OK, that's only two species, but they're really charming!)

I enjoy photographing (and pressing) the flora of the southeastern US. I plant for pollinators and garden for wildlife, and am an amateur enthusiast when it comes to snails, slugs, insects, and herps.

I've participated in two of NKU's study abroad courses through our Biology program: Costa Rican Natural History (2005) and Tropical Ecology (2010). Thus: My Costa Rica Observations

I enjoy joining and creating iNaturalist projects. I belong to several and am building a few. Some works in progress are:
Sumacs for Wildlife
Fantastic Flowers
Water Plants
Blue (and just for fun, see a slideshow of nifty project stats). [and thanks go to upupa-epops on the iNat Forum for the stats link.]

I also find that identifying observations is great way to do some virtual botanizing. It's always fun to see what neat things others have found. I ID lots of things I've never seen outside of photographs, and while I do my best, I certainly make misclicks and mistakes, so feel free to @ me if you think I've gotten it wrong or if you wonder what ID features I saw.
My identifications grouped by taxon
My maverick IDs
My IDs of 2024 material...

Useful widgets (usually from the iNat Forum):
How to find observations with a certain ID that doesn't necessarily match the community ID, from rupertclayton, "Change “taxon_id=12345” to “ident_taxon_id=12345” to find observations that may be sitting at a higher level, but already got a relevant ID from someone else."
How to find comments in observations made to you or by you (posted by jwidness): https://www.inaturalist.org/comments?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=%40m_whitson&commit=Search
My Years in Review -- what fun! For 2022; For 2023; For 2024.
ID Stats with fun pie-chart and other useful info (thanks to Marina_Gorbunova): https://www.inaturalist.org/identifications?user_id=m_whitson
Map view of observation hotspots from earthknight: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/map?user_id=m_whitson#5/31.516/273.554
Map of identification hotspots from dianastuder: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/map?ident_user_id=m_whitson#2/21.534/34.452

Good online floristic resources (species lists, keys, common names, etc.):

To check nomenclature, species ranges, and see a few photos:
Smithsonian, Flora of the West Indies
. Can generate species lists for specific places or search for individual taxa. Includes common names for taxa. Nice.

To check nomenclature, species ranges, and see a few photos: Flora of North America at eFloras.org. Sadly not all volumes are published, but many are. Keys, species descriptions, range maps from the USA up through Canada.

Mexico: Flora de Veracruz.

Mesoamerica: Central Mexico south through Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panamá. From the Missouri Botanical Garden, Flora Mesoamericana. Some pictures, but mostly a mix of species checklists, keys, and some range maps. This site also has a dropdown menu to sort through other Missouri Botanical Garden floristic projects, like treatments for Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panamá.

Key to the Neotropical Plant Families ( https://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/key-server/player.jsp?keyId=43&thumbnails=true&gallery=true ): At Lucid Central, and by Kew. Not dichotomous, so you can click any traits you have and at least knock out some things.

Species lists for Brazil: Flora e Funga do Brasil.

African Plants: A Photo Guide.

Catalogue of the Plants of Madagascar. This is a 2012 checklist from the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Botswana Flora.
Mozambique Flora.
Zambia Flora.
Zimbabwe Flora.

To check nomenclature, species ranges, and see a few photos: Kew's Plants of the World Online.

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