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BRAHMS for Living Collections


The living collections module in BRAHMS manages data and images for botanic gardens, arboreta, estates and other horticultural projects. The module uses all the standard BRAHMS features to edit, query, report, map, export and publish online with additional features to manage garden accessions and plants.

As living collections data are fully integrated within BRAHMS, it becomes possible to develop a comprehensive system for both curation and research enabling you to review these collections alongside the other associated collections that the BRAHMS system is managing. The Getting Started guide and video clips show you how things work.

Key features

  • Develop an infrastructure of taxa for all ICN and ICNCP ranks from higher level classifications down to infra-specific levels, cultivars and hybrids. Add synonymy, common names, trade names, groups, series, grexes, patent IDs, descriptions, native distribution, hardiness, shade tolerance, water requirements, conservation status and more.
  • Store accession records with details of the type and amount of material received, who and where from, the original or derived source, and the initial identification.
  • Add production propagation details for all plants including cuttings, grafts and seed.
  • Add plant records, linked to accessions, with all details from planting out to disposal or death.
  • Record garden locations from a defined garden area or theme zone down to pinpoint map location with options to record bed, grid numbering and map shape files. Use the interactive ArcGIS mapping features to edit and display data. Or hook up to your preferred GIS.
  • Events for plants can be recorded. Examples are plant maintenance and stock-checks; name changes; observations on leaf flush, flowering, fruiting, disease and cause of death. Requests can be logged in the plant management requests file with their ongoing status.
  • Manage incoming material, garden exchanges and other transaction categories as defined.
  • Link images and documents to accessions and plants as physical files or media library URLs.
  • Optimize data capture using the Rapid Data Entry module.
  • Vouchers may be added from original wild collections and/or established garden plants.
  • Publish a virtual botanic garden or online plant catalogue.

The key components of the living collections module.

The Morton Arboretum mobile device displays plants near the user and allows entry of plant events (inventory, observation, maintenance, etc.) and to log requests, feeding these directly to BRAHMS v8 RDE files awaiting verification and import.

An example plant accessions data grid with the column management tool opened. A large number of descriptive fields are available - and you can add your own custom fields if needed. Check out the video clip on selecting columns

Quick data grid filters can be applied using the the data grid filter row - this example in the main plant table has 4 filters set. If you have the ArcGis map open, this auto-updates as filters change. Check out the video clip on using grid filters

The Living Collections module in BRAHMS has been developed collaboratively with The Oxford Botanic Garden and The Morton Arboretum, Illinois.

The Morton Arboretum database brings together data about their garden plants and herbarium vouchers. Here, zooming in online to a selection of their Malus collection. Visit the Morton Arboretum Malus collection.

As a celebration and count-down to this anniversary, the University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum, together with the Oxford University Herbaria and the Department of Plant Sciences, will highlight 400 plants of scientific and cultural significance. One plant is profiled weekly using BRAHMS online, and illustrated with images from Oxford University's living and preserved collections. Visit the Plants 400 website.

BRAHMS is also used to publish images and illustrations. An example is the collection of watercolours by Charlotte Georgina Trower. Visit the Trower Botanical Illustrations website.