Industry News:
New CD tackles woody prairie plants

Woody Plants in the Prairie Landscape, a new made-in-Canada CD offers information specifically for prairie dwellers in Canada and the northern United States (U.S.).

     The main portion of the CD provides detailed descriptions of approximately 200 species of native and introduced woody plants, plus their cultivars, which can be accessed from either a scientific or common name index. Descriptions are well illustrated with over 2100 high quality photographs of woody plants and their component parts. Images are displayed by clicking on key words in the text. Other interesting features include 60 maps showing the range of native species, hardiness zone map and vegetation zone map of the Prairie Provinces, information on taxonomy, biology and characteristics of woody plants including growth and development, adaptation, form and pests, an easily accessible glossary of over 1050 terms, bibliography of suggested reading with short reviews of each reference, an image viewer with thumbnail pictures that can be enlarged, tutorial help and printable text files.

     With few such references that focus on the prairie region, this product stands out because it ties the woody plants to the unique culture of the prairies by providing information on the relationship of woody plants to prairie culture, with narrated quotations from literature about prairie settlement. One example is Wallace Stegner’s Wolf Willow, and music about woody plants performed by the musical group, Caragana. One notable piece is ‘Hold on Caragana’, a song about one of the most important woody plants in the settlement of the west, composed by Don Freed of Saskatchewan.

     A unique feature included as companion software is a searchable database that allows a user to input landscape characteristics such as flower colour, plant size, shape and ecological adaptation to produce lists of plants.

     Woody Plants in the Prairie Landscape was developed at the University of Manitoba with additional support from the City of Winnipeg, Forestry Branch, the Manitoba Hydro Forest Enhancement Program, Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative (ARDI), Western Nursery Growers’ Group and the Coalition to Save the Elms.

     The retail price of the product is $60 and can be obtained by accessing, as well as at selected bookstores and garden centres through the prairies.

     For more information, contact: Bill Remphrey, Remphrey Botanical Publications, Box 33, St. Norbert, MB R3V 1L5, e-mail:, or Department of Plant Science , University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, (204) 474-6097.