Research & Conservation Projects

Current Projects - By Taxon (Name)

Selby Botanical Gardens classification studies have focused on plant families rich in epiphytic species; in particular, the Bromeliaceae, Gesneriaceae, and Orchidaceae. Over the years, researchers based at, or affiliated with the Gardens have helped us build collections of other families such as Araceae, Cyclanthaceae, Heliconiaceae, Marantaceae, Zingiberaceae, and Pteridophyta. The Gardens living collection contains approximately 215 plant families, 1200 genera, and nearly 6000 species. The herbarium of over 100,000 specimens has not been fully catalogued in electronic form but contains perhaps as many plant families, with nearly half of the specimens represented by bromeliads, orchids, and gesneriads. It also includes a representative sample of terrestrial plants from a wide range of vascular plant families. A liquid-preserved collection of flowers or small plants includes 28,000 bottles; the majority of these are Orchidaceae followed by Gesneriaceae and Bromeliaceae.

Systematics of the Cyrtandra samoensis complex, Gesneriaceae
Orchidaceae: Diversity and Distribution
Bromeliaceae: Diversity and Distribution
Systematics of Navia, Bromeliaceae
Selby Gardens Living Plant Collection Inventory

Current Projects - By Geographic Area

Botanical studies have taken Selby scientists around the world, though a majority of our inventory, classification, and conservation projects have taken place in the Neotropics. With nearly 200 expeditions conducted over 3+ decades, an impressive number of new distribution records, new species for science, and ecological information have been added to our knowledge plant diversity and distribution. Countries especially well-represented in our collections include Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Several projects in southwest Florida are allowing us to build a valuable reference collection useful in a variety of regional inventory and conservation purposes. 

Venezuela - Upper Río Cuyuní
Flora of the Sierra de Lema, Venezuela
Epiphytic Plants of Florida
Everglades Rare Plant Conservation Project
Flora of the Maya Mountains, Belize
Ex situ Conservation of Rare and Endangered Gesneriads
Gesneriads of the Interface Zone
Botanical Studies of Southwest Florida