Buddleja pringlei type, 1883 Arizona Botanical Catalogue of Cyrus G. Pringle - Home
.Compiled and maintained by Kathryn Mauz, University of Arizona

Background

Cyrus Pringle is best known to botany as the founder of the Pringle Herbarium (VT), since 1902 at University of Vermont, and for an unparalleled botanizing career in Mexico between 1885 and his death in 1911. This portion of his career formed the basis for a biography published in 1936 {1}. Less well known is the history of Pringle's earliest commissions, from 1881 to 1884. He began what became annual trips to the western United States by collecting wood specimens on behalf of Charles Sargent, as Sargent prepared the U.S. Census of American Forests and coordinated collecting for an exhibit of American woods mounted by the American Museum of Natural History {2}. At the same time, Pringle collected plants for Asa Gray at Harvard, who continued to expand and revise his Synoptical Flora of North America; sent specimens to botanists specializing in such groups as ferns, grasses, sedges, lichens, fungi, and algae; and collected sets for distribution and sale. Pringle spent portions of four field seasons in southern Arizona, during which time he explored several of its Sky Islands, the surrounding Sonoran Desert upland, and intervening riparian bottomlands.

{1} Davis, H.B. 1936. Life and Work of Cyrus Guernsey Pringle. University of Vermont, Burlington.
{2} Sutton, S.B. 1970. Charles Sprague Sargent and the Arnold Arboretum. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.

Catalogue

At present, Cyrus Pringle's Arizona catalogue numbers in excess of 1400 specimens, of which about 18% are not duplicated at VT. The total includes type collections from Arizona for at least 148 names {3}. All of the Arizona material, as well as collections from other parts of the West, will be treated in a forthcoming volume. This site is intended to showcase the specimens themselves and facilitate access to the historical data that they embody for the landscapes of southern Arizona.

Standard database information and images for Pringle's specimens are presented by plant family. These mainly follow the family arrangement of the Flora of North America North of Mexico project, however more recent work has led to changes in the circumscription of some families and genera, as well as to specific nomenclature, that may affect taxa represented here. Nomenclature and synonymy presented here follow a combination of taxonomic databases and literature. Many of the specimens are labeled just as Pringle left them, without subsequent annotations; all have been examined in conjunction with recent literature and many have been annotated since being photographed. There are also some cases of mixed mountings, resulting in the same image being associated with more than one identification. Image thumbnails appear with each database record and link to full-size files (requires Java, and browser must allow pop-up windows).

A note on locality data: Locality data are provided as they appear on Pringle's labels. Some of the plants Pringle collected have limited distributions and are considered rare in Arizona, and some are considered imperiled by one or more factors. The herbarium community has debated the question of regulating publicly-available data in these instances, whether to minimize the potential for harm or to serve the public interest, with a range of opinions that are often context-dependent. A common set of opinions is that research and education will help to protect plants in the long run and that truly unscrupulous persons will not be deterred simply by an online obstacle. Pringle's locality data are typically broad (landform-scale) and not more explicit than species' ranges and habitats described in publication (e.g., Arizona Flora and more recent treatments in the Journal of Arizona-Nevada Academy of Sciences and Canotia) or through digital resources (e.g., Arizona Native Plant Society's Rare Plant Field Guide, online version). It is my hope that any data assimilated from these pages will be used and cited responsibly.

Construction of Pringle's catalogue from herbarium specimens has been accompanied by an extensive review of major botanical literature, including journals, annual and occasional serials, monographs, and floras. Citations in the literature have been cross-referenced with herbarium specimens when at all feasible. Catalogue entries for which Pringle's Arizona specimens have been cited in the literature include abbreviated citations (refer to Index of Botanical Publications for full reference titles).

Most recent updates: Wednesday, January 8, 2014.

{3} Mauz, K. 2011. Cyrus Pringle's vascular plant types from western United States and Mexico, 1881-1884. Harvard Papers in Botany 16: 71-141.

Images

Representatives of nearly all of the vascular plant specimens were photographed at the University of Vermont's Pringle Herbarium. Images were acquired in native high-resolution TIFF format (1704x2560 pixels, 300 dpi) using a Nikon 5700 CoolPix digital camera. Lighting was achieved using four 26W (120W incandescent equivalent) full-spectrum (5500K) fluorescent lamps, supplemented by a low-intensity fill flash from the camera. The camera was supported by a fully adjustable boom, and its position was fine-tuned while a circular level rested on the back of the camera. The camera was set on aperture priority mode (F 7.5, ASA 100), and was allowed to focus automatically in focus confirmation mode. Exposure times varied depending on the specimen, but generally were 1/60-1/125 seconds. Saturation control was set to maximum and image sharpening was set to high.

The imaging process began with a series of lighting experiments and continued to provide opportunities for adjustment and modification. Highly dimensional and very flat specimens presented challenges, as did the range of paper types encountered with these historic specimens. Improvement was the rule over the course of making nearly 2000 exposures; nonetheless, some specimens remained recalcitrant and their images may, in one way or another, fail to do justice to Pringle's originals.

Post-acquisition image processing was performed in Adobe Photoshop CS, and involved the following steps: the original dark background of the copy stand was converted to black; 'auto contrast' was applied to the area of the specimen sheet within the image; TIFF images were converted to smaller JPEG files using the Save for Web function (image quality 30). The original TIFF images are archived separately.

Notice regarding image use: The images in this Web site may be downloaded, printed, and projected for research, educational, and other non-commercial purposes. Images may not be posted or linked to directly by other web sites. All uses of images must cite this Web page, and must credit the photographer (Kathryn Mauz, 2004) and the Pringle Herbarium at University of Vermont where the specimens are housed.

Acknowledgements

Collections and facilities at the Pringle Herbarium (University of Vermont) were generously made available by its director, Dr. David S. Barrington. Travel to herbarium collections was originally supported by the Office of Arid Land Studies (University of Arizona) and by the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society. Assistance with constructing the database was contributed by Edward Gilbert (Arizona State University). This Web site was first hosted by the University of Arizona Herbarium (ARIZ), College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona.

.Title image: Buddleja pringlei, Tucson, 1883 (VT)
 Home/contact: www.uvm.edu/~plantbio/pringle/arizona/
 Page created: Monday, October 25, 2004
.Last updated: Wednesday, January 8, 2014