Due to the high cost of color separations, few plant materials texts have photographs and line drawings showing each plant at different times of the year and at different ages. CD-ROM computer technology allows the user ready access to this information at a reasonable cost. Horticulturists at the University of Florida have developed three CD-ROM discs for use throughout the U.S. The discs contain more than 3000 pages of text, extensive morphological characteristics and plant use suggestions, in addition to more than 2000 line drawings and nearly 3600 photographs of more than 1,800 plant species. Software developed for DOS and Windows allows the student to generate customized plant lists for landscape sites. Lists can be created to match specific site characteristics, desirable ornamental attributes, or both. Students can also use the programs to help identify unknown plant specimens. Other features allow viewing of insect and disease problems and access to up-to-date control recommendations.
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