About the Database


The Sharsmith Herbarium database consists of the information on the labels of the 15,000 sheets in the Sharsmith Herbarium. The late Dr. Sharsmith checked the determination for each sheet in the Herbarium and did the mounting himself so that key characteristics were shown. He also wrote the labels based on the information given to him by the collector.

Natalie Hopkins, Sharsmith Herbarium Curator Emeritus, designed the database using FileMaker Pro for Macintosh and entered data from the labels of the herbarium's 15,000+ sheets. The database was developed for the World Wide Web by Cathie Pietrolewicz, Programmer/Analyst for SJSU's Information Systems, and first went online in October 1998.

In 2002 Carol Mattsson of Mattsson Web Solutions updated the search to use the new Jepson names and display a results summary.

The Sharsmith Herbarium thanks Tony Morosco of the Jepson Herbarium for his assistance in the changeover from the the database's existing species names to the Jepson Manual names.

Field Descriptions:

The Scientific Name and Synonym combine the three database name fields so that species can be found using either an older, a more recent, or the Jepson name.

At the time most of the sheets were added to the herbarium, Munz was the definitive reference for California plant names. In the search results, the Jepson name field is displayed for the Scientific Name, unless the species is not in the Jepson Manual, in which case the California (Munz) plant name is shown. The California name is the name presently on the herbarium label. We are currently updating the sheets from California to Jepson Manual names. The other names appearing are synonyms.

The Family names are current and older names are included. The Englerian number follows the older family name. The Sharsmith Herbarium is still organized by Englerian number but will eventually be updated.

The Tribe name is used only for grasses and composites.

The Country is United States unless another name is listed.

Postal abbreviations have been used in the State field for US states. Cantons and provinces are spelled out.

The name of the County is often followed by N, S, E, or W.

The Location field may include some reference point such as town, river, street name, or geologic feature.

The Habitat field includes such things as soil type, community, and/or associated species.

The Elevation is given in feet.

The Description field has such information as habit, abundance, height, flower color, odor, (male) or (female), etc.

Other is a field for such notations as Rare and Endangered, Holotype, "Annotated by CWS 10/84."

Collector is listed in this field with the last name first.

The Date Collected field is listed as month/day/year.

Quad/L&L is the field for the name of the USGS topographic map and/or the latitude and longitude if mentioned in the label.

Township, Range, and Section are given if used in the label.

The Herbarium # is the number on the sheet, not the collector's number. It should be the same as the one following the species name.