Sewanee Herbarium » Flora of the Domain

Grey Beardtongue
Penstemon canescens Britton

Since 2002, when a preliminary checklist of the plants of the Domain was developed, the Herbarium staff has been working to complete the inventory of vascular plants on the Domain. To date the list consists of nearly 850 ferns, fern allies, conifers, and flowering plants and includes seven species that are threatened or endangered in the state of Tennessee. That number is expected to grow as we begin to document plants in the 3000 acres in Lost Cove that the University has recently acquired.

Approximately 16% of the species are naturalized non-native plants. The checklist serves as a basis for further investigation into the flora of the Domain. It provides information for land use planning for the Domain. As such, the objective is the provission of comprehensive, reliable information on all plant species and their distribution patterns across the Domain, especially those of particular significance.

Also, it is used primarily for research and teaching at the University of the South. As such, objectives are:

  1. Maintenance of a standard reference collection/database of the flora of the Domain (composed of computer references, pressed plants, and other documentation, such as digitized photographs)
  2. Possession of voucher specimens for ecological investigations
  3. Documentation of the temporal and spatial distribution and abundance of particular species
  4. Identification of endangered, protected, or otherwise significant plants
  5. Creation of a working computerized taxonomic system for all of the plants on the Domain for use in teaching plant taxonomy.