Friends of plants and conservation,


            Research –– including documentation and publication of the results –– is central in botanical science and can be especially significant in providing a basis for conservation efforts.  With this in mind, here’s a brief report on my major activities for 2010.  


            It was an interesting and productive year!  In 2010, my research results are reported in 33 publications (listed below).  Various manuscripts, including FNA treatments, are submitted and ‘in press’ and others are in various stages of progress.  I worked on FNA treatments of Oleaceae, Verbenaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Melastomataceae, Scrophulariaceae, Phrymaceae, and Fabaceae.  In connection with these projects, I studied at museum collections (on site) and in the field in Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, New York, and Texas.  A complete account of my publications is on my Web site, with examples of scientific publications and other kinds of research and writing. 


            My FNA work in 2010 focused on the taxonomy of Fraxinus (ash trees) and of Verbena and Glandularia (verbenas).  These genera proved to be full of unexpected complexities and unresolved problems, and my studies brought significant taxonomic changes to all of them.  Perhaps most remarkably, 5 species of ash trees (trees!) in the USA are being recognized that previously have been relegated completely or almost completely to synonymy.  Patterns of distribution, infraspecific variation, and nomenclature have been clarified for more common ash species.  Six species of Verbena new to science have been described from the USA and northern Mexico and two others have been raised to specific rank from their previous status as inconsistently treated varieties. 


            The task of preparing the FNA treatment of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae) came to me, and I finished and submitted the treatment in 2010 (except for one genus, Sicyos, needing more detailed study).  The domesticated gourds, squashes, pumpkins, melons, cucumbers, and luffas are in this family and many of them “escape” from cultivation –– other species and genera occur only in wild form.  It was extremely interesting and satisfying to become immersed in the taxonomy and literature of this family, where many of the species have been important in human history. 


            An interesting sideline in 2009-2010 was a study of “monkey grass” (Liriope and Ophiopogon, used as horticultural borders and ground covers) as it is cultivated and naturalized in the USA.  This project began as an attempt to identify a species that has escaped abundantly along a creek in a Fort Worth city park, but then, finding that little pertinent literature was at hand to enable the ID and that taxonomic problems existed among other commonly cultivated and naturalized species, I took a wider view and finished with a detailed report in 2010, including an “Online Appendix” that provides 101 photos of eight species.  Being able to identify these species and their common horticultural forms transforms a walk around the neighborhood into a grand field trip –– many are planted everywhere and in great abundance. 


            In January 2010, I began an online journal, Phytoneuron (  This initially was with only the thought of publishing some of my own studies, but a wider interest developed quickly and as of the end of December 2010, 57 manuscripts, from a total of 25 authors, have been published there.  Publication is at no cost to the authors.  A total of 7624 visits to the journal website were recorded for the year, with an average of 1.7 papers per visit read and/or downloaded.  Visitors represented 45 different countries.  An annual report and set of statistics on Phytoneuron readership for 2010 is posted on the journal website and available through this link: 2010 REPORT. 


            The account of non-native species in Texas has been moved to its own website ( and the information now is available as an Excel spreadsheet.  Geographic information is being added, hopefully to be finished soon.  I update the database as new information is published or becomes available in other formats. 


            My full-time employment involves contributions toward developing volumes of the Flora of North America, and my publications eventually will be more fully reflected in this as volumes continue to appear in print.  My FNA research is supported through contract with the Flora of North America Association.  On a contractual basis, I also do non-botanical technical and scientific writing/editing.  I am a Research Affiliate of the University of Texas (Austin) Plant Resources Center.  



Guy Nesom                                                                                                    

5 January 2011


2925 Hartwood Drive

Fort Worth, Texas 76109






Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Overview of Liriope and Ophiopogon (Ruscaceae) commonly cultivated and naturalized in the USA.  Phytoneuron 2010-56: 1–31. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Glandularia gooddingii (Verbenaceae): Notes on distribution and variation.  Phytoneuron 2010–54: 1–9. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Fraxinus biltmoreana and Fraxinus smallii (Oleaceae), forest trees of the eastern United States.  Phytoneuron 2010-51: 1–30. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Taxonomy of the Glandularia bipinnatifida group (Verbenaceae) in the USA.  Phytoneuron 2010-46: 1–19. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Taxonomy of the water ashes: Fraxinus caroliniana, F. cubensis, and F. pauciflora (Oleaceae).  Phytoneuron 2010-39: 1–13. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Taxonomic status of Fraxinus coriacea (Oleaceae).  Phytoneuron 2010-37: 1–9. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Notes on Fraxinus cuspidata (Oleaceae).  Phytoneuron 2010-38: 1–14. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Taxonomy of the water ashes: Fraxinus caroliniana, F. cubensis, and F. pauciflora (Oleaceae).  Phytoneuron 2010-39: 1–13. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Taxonomic revision of Verbena series Tricesimae (Verbenaceae).  Phytoneuron 2010-35: 1–38. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Notes on Erigeron vicinus (Asteraceae: Astereae), a rare species in Texas.  Phytoneuron 2010-36: 1–6. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Notes on Fraxinus profunda (Oleaceae).  Phytoneuron 2010-32: 1–6. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Observations on Fraxinus albicans Buckley (Oleaceae), the correct botanical name for Fraxinus texensis.  Phytoneuron 2010-33: 1–12. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Taxonomic notes on Fraxinus berlandieriana and F. velutina (Oleaceae).  Phytoneuron 2010-34: 1–8. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Taxonomy of the Verbena californica (Verbenaceae) group.  Phytoneuron 2010-25: 1–3.

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Is Verbena abramsii distinct from V. lasiostachys (Verbenaceae)?  Phytoneuron 2010-26: 1–7.

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Validation of series names in Verbena (Verbenaceae).  Phytoneuron 2010-27: 1–2.

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  A new species of Erigeron (Asteraceae: Astereae) from northwestern Chihuahua, Mexico.  Phytoneuron 2010-28: 1–6.

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Distribution of Erigeron pumilus and E. concinnus (Asteraceae: Astereae) in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.  Phytoneuron 2010-23: 1–3.

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Infrageneric classification of Verbena (Verbenaceae).  Phytoneuron 2010-11: 1–15. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Taxonomic notes on Verbena bonariensis (Verbenaceae) and related species in the USA.  Phytoneuron 2010-12: 1–16. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  A new species of Verbena (Verbenaceae) from northeastern Mexico and an overview of the V. officinalis group.  Phytoneuron 2010-13: 1–13.  

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Taxonomy of Verbena urticifolia (Verbenaceae) and its close relatives.  Phytoneuron 2010-14: 1–12.  

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Neotypification of Verbena carnea (Verbenaceae).  Phytoneuron 2010-15: 1–3. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Typification of Verbena spuria L. (Verbenaceae).  Phytoneuron 2010-16: 1–3. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Geography of unifoliolate taxa of Fraxinus (Oleaceae).  Phytoneuron 2010-17: 1–6. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Sectional name for the group including Erigeron radicatus (Asteraceae: Astereae).  Phytoneuron 2010-18: 1–2. 

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Notes on Leucojum and Narcissus (Amaryllidaceae) naturalized in Texas.  Phytoneuron 2010-9: 1–6.  

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  First report of Euonymus fortunei (Celastraceae) naturalized in Texas.  Phytoneuron 2010-1: 1-4.  

Nesom, G.L.  2010.  Pyracantha species (Rosaceae) naturalized in Texas and the southeastern United States.  Phytoneuron 2010-2: 1–6.   

Nesom, G.L. and T.R. VanDevender.  2010.  Verbena moctezumae (Verbenaceae), a new species from Sonora, Mexico.  Phytoneuron 2010-20: 1–4.

O’Kane, S., K.D. Heil, and G.L. Nesom.  2010.  Variation in Erigeron grandiflorus (Asteraceae: Astereae) in southwestern Colorado.  Phytoneuron 2010-44: 1–6. 

Spaulding, D., W. Barger, and G.L. Nesom.  2010.  Liriope and Ophiopogon (Ruscaceae) naturalized in Alabama.  Phytoneuron 2010-55: 1–10.

Williams, J.K. and G.L. Nesom.  2010.  The status of Fraxinus papillosa (Oleaceae): SEM study of abaxial epidermal features.  Lundellia 13: 14–22.