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Documenting Collections

Dec 7, 2003
I've only been growing for about a year and recently took over the CP collection at a community college. The college has an amazing greenhouse that is severely under funded and under manned. Because we lack funding and people to help and since there are so many other plants to worry about, none of the permanent staff have the time to learn about CPs and their demands.

I have no experience with documentation and need to learn how. Because of the transient nature of the community college environment, I'm trying to put together a CP program that will run itself after I leave. One of the things that this requires good documentation so that my successors have realiable information on what they're growing. Given that the collection is starting small and will be growing primarily out of the overflow from my collection (and the generosity of Tamlin and Brooks), it should be easy to keep track of, but I still need to have a good system.

Any tips or books on the subject?

May 11, 2003
My documentation consists of various things like:

a) My own clonal numbering system
b) Origin of the plant
c) Date that I got the plant
d) Age of the plant
e) any other side notes of interest, such as date of flowering, flower color etc.

If anybody else has something to add, please do! I'm interested as well!



It's been one of dem days
Jun 7, 2002
I live in Chaffee County, Colorado, USA
Might be a good idea to keep track of any pest/fungal problems and their treatment. Since, as you mentioned, the help will be transient in nature and their knowledge of CPs in particular is likely limited, this might help the newbies.
Also, while this is a no brainer/common sense thing, the name of the plant and the crosses (if any) that resulted in the plant. While the parentage of the plant may not be needed on the pot lable, it may come in handy later when creating your own crosses.
Dec 29, 2003
Martinez, California
Well, I would talk to Mike King. He has the most thorough documentation I've ever seen. It is centered around locale bogs and species therein. Maybe another place to start, give it a shot. Good growing!!
Apr 15, 2002
Cernunnos Woods
Yup, I do document my plants as well. My records are generally as follows:

Grouped by Growing Conditions/chamber : Highland, lowland or lowland/intermediate

Plant species or hybrid name and parents (if known)

Date of arrival

Size/condition upon arrival

Natural Origin of clone or seed plant (if known)

Nursery/TC lab the plant originally came from (if known)

Retailer the plant was ultimately bought and delivered to me from (their receipt/invoice is attached to each plant record in my file cabinet if a multiple plant invoice the exact plant is highlighted)

Then I also have a chart attached which lists a calandar year from the plants arrival (if the plant arrived in july the calendar will begin and end in july) Each monthly space is noted with columns for newest leaf size, pitchers size, tendril length and the overall diameter from leaf tip to leaf tip.

Am I nerd or what?