Hedge fun: CD lists all of Indiana's native shrubs

October 14, 2010

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Indiana is home to 117 native shrub species. Every one - from the populous common blackberry to the very rare American barberry - appears in a new Purdue University Cooperative Extension CD.

Shrubs of Indiana: Their Identification and Uses is a resource for Master Gardeners, nursery operators and amateur green thumbs interested in learning about or planting native shrubs.

Native shrubs outnumber native tree species in the Hoosier state, said Sally Weeks, dendrology laboratory coordinator in Purdue's Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, and co-author of the CD with George Parker, Professor Emeritus of forestry.

"Most people are unaware of how many native shrubs we have in Indiana," Weeks said. "This CD is a complete look at our native shrubs and covers most of the natives in surrounding states, as well. There are very few resources like this on the market."

The CD allows users to search for a species by its common or scientific name. Individual shrub entries include a general introduction page and information on leaves, buds, twigs, flowers, fruit, bark, habitat and counties where they have been found. Numerous color photos highlight important shrub characteristics.

Cataloguing the state's shrub varieties was no easy task, Weeks said. Up to now, the most comprehensive listing of Indiana native shrubs was Shrubs of Indiana, a book written by renowned Indiana botanist Charles Deam in 1924.

"He was my mentor, even though he had passed away before I was born," Weeks said. "I wanted to update the information he made available."

Among the interesting shrubs contained in the CD is the American barberry. The plant, an alternate host for the crop disease black stem rust, barely survived a federal eradication program in 1918. Only one known population of American barberry is left in Indiana, near Monticello. The shrub is listed as endangered.

Shrubs of Indiana: Their Identification and Uses (Extension publication CD-FNR-6) is $20 plus tax and shipping, and available only through Purdue Extension's Education Store. To order or for more information, visit the CD's Web page at http://www.extension.purdue.edu/store/Shrubs/. Orders also can be made by calling the toll-free Purdue Extension hotline at 1-888-EXT-INFO (1-888-398-4636).

Writer: Steve Leer, 765-494-8415, sleer@purdue.edu 

Source: Sally Weeks, 765-494-3567, weeksss@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
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