You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, it may need to be reactivated.
Questions? Feel free to use my contact info to the right, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat.
Plant Background Info:
The best place to get information on the plant name, cultivation, and discovery is via reference books. Check out the options below:
Elsevier's dictionary of plant names and their origin REF QK13 .E565 2000
- Great taxonomic info and short origin info. A good place to start.
The A to Z of plant names : a quick reference guide to 4000 garden plants REF QK 96 .L78 2012
- Look plants up by common or scientific names. Abbreviations on page 22 and pages 21-22 explain common plant names.
Dictionary of gardening REF SB450.95 .D53 1992
- This 4 volume set includes great cultivation and description info for many plants, including a long description of how to plant and varietal information the end of each entry.
- This book also has great cultivation/scientific info.
Other great sources of information:
The American Horticultural Society A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants REF SB403.2 .A45 1997
- Best for flowering plants. Includes scientific name, cultivation, etc.
Top 100 exotic food plants REF QK98.5.A1 S62 2012
- Check for tropical plants here.
The Big Bad Book of Botany REF QK7 .L25 2014
- Check for any plant that might be deadly (Nightshade, the Venus flytrap.) Often includes 2-3 pages of info per plant.
Weeds of North America SB 613.N7 D54 2014
- Check for images of weeds, info about seeds, etc.
Finally, your local public library's children's section might have wonderful info on your plant, from cultivation info to name info to cultural info. Take a look!
Plants and Culture:
There are a number of places to find the cultural information you need. Try searching the following:
- Encyclopedia of Food and Culture: Online Via Gale and in print in reference. Search by common or scientific name.
- Encyclopedia of cultivated plants : from acacia to zinnia Online via Ebrary. Search by common or scientific name.
- Nectar & Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology REF GR498 .A53 2000. Search by common or scientific name.
- You'll also want to search the Gale Virtual Reference Library for any plants that may be special or medicinal.
You can also check out the course reserves for this class.
Contact me if you have any questions about how to do it.
Finally, search the library databases.
Best bets databases are as follows:
Academic Search Complete offers a wide overview of articles you can use. Try searching with the scientific name AND culture (or AND economics). Once you know more about your plant, you can have fun: the search below will get you articles about Almond trees and California's drought.
Anthrosource has anthropology-oriented research articles. Certain plants will be well represented here. Use the tiny top right search box and the common name of the plant.
JSTOR is another good source for cultural info on your plant.
Using APA Style
Find directions about how to cite your sources on the library citation guide.
Most databases will have a Cite link that you can also click to get article citations.
Finally, you are welcome to use NoodleBib if you'd like to use a program to create and organize your citations. You must "Create a New Folder" when you use NoodleBIB for the first time. Click on "I am citing a(n):," choose the type of item you are citing, and then fill in the online form. Your bibliography will be formatted for you.
Further questions about APA style? Check out the Purdue OWL APA website, which includes sample papers.