San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature ConnectionSan Diego Natural History Museum Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias: Botany Department


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Database Search Guidelines

Search Botany Type Database
The Botanical Type Specimen Collection
What is a Type Specimen?

The SD herbarium holds about 400 type specimens or putative types. The records in the SD types database are not full label data records. They hold only the information relating to each specimen's status as a type -- collector name and number, general locality, the name it typifies, any more recent synonym, the type of type, the SD accession number, and a note field with the publication citation and any additional comments.

Three of the fields may be searched directly, and in addition there is a global search that searches all fields. You may search more than one field at a time. Multiple-field searches are treated as AND searches, returning only records that match all search criteria.

The search algorithm searches for character strings, and does not accommodate wildcards or operators like AND and OR. Do not use punctuation —like + or quotation marks—to define your search terms. Case is ignored—upper and lower case letters are treated as being alike. You can enter any consecutive string of letters, spaces, and punctuation that might appear in a field. Only an exact match of that string will result in a hit.

Search results are sorted in alphabetical order by family, and then by name. There is no weighting of returns. The full record for each specimen is linked by the number at the left margin of the search results list.

Family field—exact match only

Searches of the Family field must be on a full family name. If you are searching for a taxon that has been placed in various families over the years, you'll need to search for each family name separately, or else try the family names in the Global search field instead of the Family field. We are adding alternative family names as keywords within the Notes field, but undoubtedly have not thought of them all.

Name—any string of characters

The Name field contains the genus, specific epithet, and authority for the name that the specimen is a type for. The subspecific taxon name is in a different field and cannot be searched for from this field, but a search on the species name will return all subspecific taxa of that species.

Searches may be on any string, whole or partial or multiple words. A search on "Ast" will return not only Astragalus, but also Castilleja, Lepechinia hastata, and Seymeria deflexa Eastwood.

Collector—any string of characters

The Collector field contains the name of the person who collected the specimen, as well as the names of those accompanying the collector if they are named on the specimen label. Search may be on any string.

Global—any string of characters

A Global search searches all fields in the record, including fields not searchable separately. You can use this search to select only holotypes, for example, or only type specimens collected in Mexico. A convenient function of this field is to search for all types associated with a particular person. Search on "Moran" would give all plants named by, named for, or named from a specimen collected by, Reid Moran. A search on "aceae" will return the full list of type specimens.