Conservation Easements: An Alternative

A magazine article on the nature and practical value of conservation easements -- a way of preserving private property in its natural state.  Published in Iridos, from the Botanical Institute of Texas, 2008.


Trees of Huntsville and Walker County, Texas

A book on the biology and history of trees in Huntsville and the surrounding area -- including interesting in-town tree walks and where to see unusual species, the values of urban trees, an outline of Huntsville’s tree policies, and a discussion of landscaping, buffers, parks, and open space in the Huntsville Development Code.  Published by the Sam Houston University Press, 1998. 


Update to A Liberal Arts Education: Other Species     PDF

This essay suggests that a first-hand knowledge of species other than our own is a highly effective way of developing an appreciation for life on Earth and a more committed stewardship of the planet.  A know-the-species course should be a significant part of a liberal arts education.  The suggested course is integrated into an updated liberal arts curriculum comprising four major areas.  Coauthor: Alan Weakley of the University of North Carolina.


Representing Humanity

Five representatives are selected for a first encounter with aliens.  (1) a Cosmologist/ Astronomer/ Physicist; (2) a Chemist/ Earth Scientist; (3) a Biologist/ Physician; (4) a Human Historian/ Philosopher; and (5) a Musician.  Different combinations are considered, including a single Representative, and the choices say much about how we regard ourselves as a race as well as what we might expect in the encounter. 


The Meaning of Life.  Part II. 

A brief essay considering meaning, purpose, value, and happiness.  Part I is not yet finished, but Part II is independent. 


Choice words, phrases, and aphorisms

For fun, a collection of vocabulary and sayings: telegraphic vocabulary, often underused (or overused); evocative phrases and metaphors; aphorisms and truisms, good advice; big vocabulary. 


Why do scientific names of plants change?

An explanation, written primarily for professional gardeners and landscape designers.  For example (as as extreme example), why has the beautiful and relatively simple name of Aster azureus been changed to Symphyotrichum oolentangiense?  New classifications and names reflect new understanding about evolutionary relationships but the new names often are confusing and seen as unnecessary by those outside of scientific circles.  Published in the German magazine GartenPraxis (translated into German), January 2009. 


Name changes in Aster

The genus Aster recently has been divided into a number of smaller genera.  More than half of the North American species originally named as Aster now are placed in the genus Symphyotrichum.  Others have gone to equally obscure names such as Almutaster, Ampelaster, Canadanthus, Chloracantha, Doellingeria, Eucephalus, Eurybia, Oclemena, Oreostemma, and Sericocarpus.  Only two species of “true” Aster now grow outside of gardens in the USA, one native and one escaped from cultivation.  This brief overview gives the rationale for what’s happened and provides links to other popular, semi-technical, and technical explanations and related information. 


Using names in the genus Mimulus

Molecular geneticists who want to continue using names in the genus Mimulus for their study species --- which for the most part have been given new names to reflect newly recognized evolutionary positions --- are perfectly free to do that.  Newly described species that do not have a formal name in Mimulus can be referred to informally by a phrase like Mimulus "brevinasutus" (the only correct, formal name for the species is Erythranthe brevinasuta). 


Recent taxonomic literature for Erythranthe

Publications pertinent to the taxonomy of Erythranthe, mostly from about 2000 to the present. 


Concepts of genera and species in monkeyflowers

Brief presentation to Mimulus meeting at Duke, June 2014, in pdf format. 


Fact sheet for Golden Currant

Information about the golden currant -- with notes on the biology of the species.  One of many 'fact sheets' written by me and posted on the USDA PLANTS Web site, 2001. 






                                             Mr. Igeron ( Piero Delprete, 1995)