Plants of the Northeastern United States

About this website

This site was designed and is maintained by Michael Hough ( Mike is a graduate of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF), where he earned his MS in plant ecology. He currently teaches botany, general biology, and environmental science at SUNY Cortland.

The main purpose of this website is to foster an understanding and appreciation of the plants that occur in the eastern half of the United States. Most of the images featured on this site were taken using a Nikon CoolPix 995 digital camera.

The site is named after a unique genus of plants which do not produce chlorophyll but instead rely on parasitism of certain fungi. This form of nutrition is called mycoheterotrophy. One species in particular, Thismia americana, is known from a single location in northern Illinois and is now thought to be extinct. It was discovered around 1910 by a graduate student at the University of Chicago and has not been seen since 1916. The original habitat where it was discovered has long since been destroyed by development. The most unusual thing about this species is that its closest living relative is only found in and around Tasmania and New Zealand in the southern hemisphere. 

The first draft of this site was originally hosted in 2004 by the Syracuse University system. It quickly grew too large for the 50 MB limit placed on student accounts and expansion was only possible by borrowing space from a fellow student. A few years later a domain name was purchased and all of the files were moved to the present server. It has since expanded from a meager listing of 200 plants to over 700 species and requires nearly 1 GB of server space. If you would like to support the continued development of this website there is a paypal donation button on the home page.