Most of the flowers have keywords for a number of standard properties including common and scientific names, family, primary color, number of petals, leaf description etc. The list below is for swamp milkweed, and is fairly typical.
k-swamp-milkweed-k k-asclepias-incarnata-k k-dogbane-family-k k-milkweed-family-k k-apocynaceae-k k-asclepiadaceae-k k-pink-color-k k-pink-flower-k k-five-petals-k k-rounded-cluster-k k-cyme-k k-opposite-leaves-k k-simple-leaves-k k-entire-leaves-k k-ovate-leaves-k k-wetlands-habitat-k k-summer-k k-native-k k-edible-k k-nomenclature-change-k
Note that every key is a string without spaces, possibly of multiple words separated by hyphens, beginning in k- and ending in -k. This structure is designed so that if necessary, a key can be entered exactly with no possibility for confusion. Matching, however, is on simple substrings, so "asclep" will match "asclepiadaceae-k" (and "asclepias-k"), and both "pink" and "pink-col" will match "pink-color-k". Case is ignored. This admits selective abbreviation. The initial k- permits disambiguation of a handful of unfortunate technical terms that have substring relationships. For example, "ovate" is a suffix of "obovate". Entering -ovate will prevent unwanted matches. If you are using these terms, you presumably know the confusable ones.
Every keyword provided in the search box must match for a flower to be selected. For this reason, it is probably best not to be more specific than necessary. Your author may have neglected to enter a descriptive term you noticed. For primary properties such as color, I have tried to minimize missed matches due to subjective terminology or variability by providing multiple keys. For instance, both "k-blue-color-k" and "k-violet-color-k" may occur in a keyword file. In the example above, both "k-apocynaceae-k" and "k-asclepiadaceae-k" are listed as the botanical family. This reflects a recent change in nomenclature, which has happened with a surprisingly large number of common species in the last few years as a result of genetic studies. The ones I know about are marked with "k-nomenclature-change-k".
Below are listed the most common entries for standard properties. This list does not include everything in all of the keyword files. If a flower has some obvious, unusual property, such as being striped or spotted, try entering the term. The system will tell you if a string was unmatched anywhere. Not all properties are provided for all plants; many are used only if they are diagnostic. For example most of the flowers here are herbs, but most are not currently specified as such. Vines or trees, on the other hand, tend to be specified.
Not all the entries are exactly technically correct. If a flower looks like it has eight petals, even though they are really four deeply notched petals, both four and eight may be listed. Similarly, a five-lobed corolla may be described as having five-petals. If a flower has petal-like sepals, it may be described as having e.g., five petals. There are no gray or black flowers currently in the collection, but I'm leaving the possibility open. There may be oddball color terms such as maroon used occasionally, but the flower would also be listed under a primary such as red, brown, or purple. A lot more technical detail could be put into the keyword lists. It is currently unclear how helpful this might be.
Copyright © 2009, Randal C. Nelson