An Interactive Flora

By Jeffrey R. Hapeman

Where Am I?

Welcome to Orchids of Wisconsin! This is an interactive flora of the native and naturalized orchids of Wisconsin. Right now you're at the front page of this site, which can be accessed through lists of the taxa or through keys. Choose your favorite method and click away! To the best of my knowledge, this is (and was) the first complete flora on the Web, and the first to use interactive hyper-keys. I feel that the HTML language has tremendous potential for interactive determination of plant specimens, and Orchids of Wisconsin is the first incarnation of that idea.

PLEASE be aware of the fact that the majority of the thumbnail images are in JPEG format. This means that some browsers may not be able to load these images. This site has been optimized for Netscape; for the best results, you should be using the latest release of Netscape to browse this site. The latest version of Netscape is available for free downloading by clicking here. While it would be nice if this site worked with every browser, I don't have the time to make that possible. Given that the largest percentage of the Net community uses Netscape I decided to use it as the standard. Sorry if I don't support your favorite browser!

Tell Me More!

Species accounts include photos, typical taxonomic descriptive information, a description of similar species to aid in identification, habitat information, blooming dates, a section on pollination biology (if information is available), herbarium records, and a range map. Information was compiled from published literature (see References), detailed examinations of specimens in the University of Wisconsin-Madison herbarium, and my personal experience and observation of the species in the wild, both in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Enjoy your visit to Orchids of Wisconsin, and remember, here you can pick the flowers (download the images)! All images included here are mine (unless otherwise noted) and are copyrighted; please ask permission before using them for any purpose.

What's the Image at the Top of the Page?

By the way, in case you were wondering, the image in the title is a stylized close-up of a single flower of Platanthera leucophaea, the Prairie fringed-orchid. I have decided to use this rare prairie native as the symbol for this site. Historically, this species was probably the most common orchid in southern Wisconsin. Sadly, habitat destruction has led to its listing as federally threatened. Given the small size and fragmented nature of the few remaining populations, it is probably only a matter of time until this species will survive only in photos and memories.

Legal Mumbo-Jumbo

OK, it's sad, but unfortunately I need to add a few disclaimers and restrictions to this site. First, all the contents of this site, both text and pictures, are copyrighted and may not be used for any purpose besides education and edification. They may not be published, either in print or in Internet-based publication, without my express permission. The views and information provided here are all my responsibility and do not represent or reflect on the University of Wisconsin in any way whatsoever.

Now, given that, I am glad to let anyone download and use the images for personal enjoyment. The images and text may also be used for educational purposes, although I ask that you inform me of how you will use them before doing so. I have had to place these unpleasantries here because I had problems with plagiarism of text and unacknowledged use of images from my previous release of Orchids of Wisconsin. To make that problem worse, the images in question were not even mine, but ones that I had been given limited permission to use. Please respect these disclaimers and restrictions on usage so that Orchids of Wisconsin can remain free on the Internet for all to use!

Related Links

You can also connect to a collection of more than 5,000 images of plants (on Gopher) used in various Botany courses taught here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. These image sets belong to several faculty members, and may not be used for anything besides educational purposes without their express permission. These image collections were put together by Mike Clayton as part of an instructional technology project; more information on this project can be found on his home page, Virtual Foliage.

Credits, Disclaimers, Etc.

This page is the work of Jeff Hapeman. All the keys and descriptions are solely his work, as are the photos, unless otherwise noted. If you have any questions, comments, etc. (or, heaven forbid, you find any errors!), please contact me by e-mail: or . I would love to hear from anyone who visits this page. Hope you enjoy it! Click here to find out more about me and my research at UW-Madison.

While I take sole responsibility for the content of these pages, I cannot take credit for all the work that went into producing Orchids of Wisconsin. The most credit for facilitating this project goes to Mike Clayton, who first planted the idea for this site with his glowing descriptions of the possibilities of digital imaging for educational use. Mike also was instrumental in my "conversion" to the Mac platform, and served to educate me in the myriad capabilities of the Mac for multimedia creation and presentation. Mike also provided valuable computer resources for scanning and editing all of the images, and even scanned many of the images himself. David Jourdan kindly provided a home for this site on the library server for its first year. Several people kindly provided images of species, and are credited on the appropriate pages: Mark Larocque, Dan Aussem, Bill Alverson, Ken Sytsma, and Emmet Judziewicz. Merel Black spent many hours in the herbarium entering the herbarium sheets in the database. Kandis Elliot and Nick Hill provided the artistic expertise you see in the distribution maps. My wife Carolyn tolerated my many hours in the field, the great sums of money spent on camera equipment and film, and the numerous hours I spent furiously typing away on my computer. Many others contributed comments and helpful suggestions that improved the site. Thanks to all for making this a great site!

Last updated April 22, 1996 JH