Explanation for Interactive Query

This is a new tool for accessing our database.

You can use it either for identifying plants or as a tool for generating special lists of plants. There are now about 19 variables from which you can use. Javascript must be enabled to work correctly.


There are 3 types of variables:


First come the text variables. You can enter a text string to search for in Latin Name, Family, English Name, Spanish Name, or Internal Record Number. By default (Option "Beginning with"), the system uses partial matches beginning with the text you enter, i.e. if you enter "Al" for Latin Name, all species beginning with A will be shown, like alstroemeria, alona, etc. By selecting the option "containing", you will be able to make searches inside the strings. So, if you enter "montana" as Latin Name and select the "containing" option, the system will give you Berberis montana, Rhodophiala montana, etc. "Exact" will give you only exact matches (usually not recommended).


Second group of variables consist of variables which describe a certain characterstic which may be present in a plant. There are two columns, "include" and "exclude." If you tick characteristics to be "included," the system will give you a list of plants which satisfy EITHER of the characteristics. So if you select to "include" Region 1, Region 2, Region 2, the system will give you a list of plants which live either in Region 1 OR in Region 2 Or Region 3. If you "exclude" characterstics, for instance exclude Region 1, 2, 3, the system will give you a list of plants which live outside these regions, i.e. if a plant lives either in Region 1, 2, or 3, it will be excluded. Both "include" and "exclude" can be used within a single query block, i.e., to obtain a list of plants which live in the 7th Region and do not live anywhere else, you would tick 7th Region as "include" and all other regions as "exclude".


Third group of variables consists of those variables which have a numeric value. For the time being only one variable, the height of the plant, is used. You can enter either one value or a range of values separated by "-". The measure unit is cm. For instance, if you enter "10," the result will be all plants which have a height (as is given in our database) of up to and including 10 cm. If you enter "60 - 80", the result will be plants with a height between 60 and 80 cm. You can enter "300-" for plants higher than 3 meters.


Finally, the different blocks can be combined into a single query by selecting several features. For instance, you can select Flower: 5 blue petals as "include" and 7th Region. It will give you a list of plants with 5 blue petals which live in the 7th Region. By default, the blocks are "AND"ed. However, you can use "OR" to tell the system to get all the species which satisfy the conditions set out in either of the corresponding blocks. This may be useful when generating special interest lists. You can also use "NOT", i.e., exclude plants which satisfy certain characteristics in a given block. For instance, if you want to obtain a list of all medicinal plants which are not trees, you would select Useful properties: Medicinal ("include"), and Plant Type: Tree ("include") and set the the block operation for Plant Type to NOT.


Once you have obtained the results, you can either refine your query by going back (the system will maintain open the blocks in which variable(s) were entered or selected) or make a new query.

Make a new query