This meeting of the PlantNetwork Plant Records Group started with a talk by Phil Callan on Iris Botanical Garden software, introduced from Norway in 2007. Exbury Gardens and Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens use this software. Ian Turner gave a very clear talk on transforming the Sheffield Botanical Gardens database from a system with a very basic front end on a complex base to a flexible system on a simpler base. Six databases were set out for a hands-on session: Iris Software; plant recording, tree management and mapping systems from Pear Technology; and record systems used at Paignton Zoo, Sheffield Botanical Gardens and National Botanic Gardens Glasnevin. Topics considered in discussions included minimum data standards for plant records, standardising geographic origins, verification and changes to plant names, sharing information and mapping. It was concluded that a Wiki page on plant information and database systems and an email user group would be helpful; standards and basic datasets need to be considered further.
Our thanks to Ian for hosting this meeting and providing databases for delegates to try out. We are also grateful to Botanical Software Limited and Pear Technology for providing equipment and donations towards the costs of this meeting.