Oxford and Royal Horticultural Society pair up to make plant data more accessible

first_imgProfessor R. George Ratcliffe, Head of the Department of Plant Sciences, said: “The Department has nurtured the development of BRAHMS over many years and its adoption by the RHS is a wonderful endorsement of the power of the tool for managing botanical names and collection data.” Any one cultivated plant canbe known by many names. For example, Acer has over 1600 cultivars, with over2000 different Latin names associated with them. This variety of names cancreate confusion. Sian Tyrrell, RHS head of horticultural information, said: “This is an exciting time for horticultural information management at the RHS and with the support of colleagues at Oxford University’s Department of Plant Sciences, accessibility and usability of our plant data is coming to the fore. Dr Philippa Christoforou, BRAHMS Licensing Lead at Oxford University Innovation, said: “Working with the RHS and applying BRAHMS as its database management system is great news for the gardening community. We are excited to share the new naming system with all BRAHMS users across the botanical world.” Image credit to Tejvan Pettinger. In collaboration with Denis Filerand Andrew Liddell of Oxford University’s Department of Plant Sciences, the RoyalHorticultural Society has begun to counter this confusion through their use ofthe BRAHMS database system. This software was originally developed over decadesto deal with biodiversity research, taxonomic revision and natural historycollection management. It has now been adjusted to manage the complexity of managingand displaying all the cultivated plant names typically encountered by gardeners.center_img BRAHMS will rank the variousnames a plant has to determine which name should be used at various times, aswell as supplying data to an enhanced RHS website. Professor Stephen Harris, Druce Curator of Oxford University Herbaria, said: “BRAHMS is the product of long-term commitment by the Department of Plant Sciences to releasing the research potential of the data contained in botanical collections. The adoption of this software by the RHS affirms BRAHMS’s significant role in the management, analysis and security of global botanical data.” The University of Oxford and the Royal Horticultural Society are undertaking a project together to make information about plants more accessible and available. “Our charity is driven by our desire to support our members and the wider gardening community. The investment put into this new system will greatly benefit everyone and ensure that gardening becomes more accessible and enjoyable.”last_img