The most recent draft of the Columbia County Plant List (May 2014) is based on McVaugh's "Flora of Columbia County" (1958), the on-line NY Flora Atlas, and observations made since 2003 by researchers of the Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program and their colleagues from Hudsonia Inc.
The Columbia County Plant List can be viewed in a printer-friendly pdf version (organized by plant family and scientific name of all vascular plants known to occur in Columbia County) or in an excel format which allows for sorting and searching. The text below gives valuable information to help with the interpretation of some of the annotations in the plant lists.
The list largely follows the nomenclature of the NY Flora Atlas. The NY Flora Atlas is also the source of the information of most plant's native status in NY State (Y=yes, N=no), their state rank (S1=extremely rare, S2=very rare, S3=rare to uncommon, S4=common and apparently secure, S5=very common and demonstrably secure, SE=exotic plant), their growth habit (tree, shrub, herbaceous, graminoid, fern) and duration (annual, biennial, perennial).
For the few species that were not included in the NY Flora Atlas, we gleaned the information from the USDA Plants website, from the "Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada" by Gleason and Cronquist (2nd ed., 1991) and from the "Flora Novae Angliae" by Haines (2011).
A plant is listed as invasive (N-I), if it was listed at least as highly invasive by the NY Invasive Species Council in the "Final Report: A Regulatory System for Non-Native Species" (2010) or if, based on our own experience, it is highly invasive in Columbia County.
Additional annotations in the list refer to the sprecies' rarity and habitat preferences in Columbia County as observed by McVaugh in the 1930s (columns "FCC Rarity" and "FCC Habitat").
The current regional rarity of species was gleaned from Hudsonia's "Biodiversity Assessment Manual for the Hudson River Estuary Corridor" (Kiviat and Stevens 2001) and is included in the column "Regional Rank", where: R=regionally rare in the Hudson Valley, S=regionally scarce in the Hudson Valley, R?/S?=regional status uncertain. Our own attempt at assessing each species' rarity within Columbia County: is reflected in the column "Spec Status CC", where CCr=rare in Columbia County, CCu=uncommon in Columbia County, CCg=occurrence geographically limited to a certain area of Columbia County. Finally, each species' population trend comparing our observations since 2003 with McVaugh's records from the 1930s is reflected in column "Pop Trend". These last columns reflect our current state of knowledge and are subject to change as we continue to learn more about the plants in Columbia County.
We hope for your help in making this list ever more accurate, so please give us feedback if you have seen additional species or disagree with any of the information presented. This list is very much a work in progress, but we hope it serves as a useful tool for everybody interested in exploring the flora of our County.
Columbia County Plant List (May 2014) - printer-friendly pdf format; for explanations on the annotations in the plant list, please see the text above
Columbia County Plant List (May 2014) - excel format for easy sorting and searching; for explanations on the annotations in the plant list, please see the text above