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Plants of Utah Site #1

Bennie says "thumbs up!"

In the original review request of Range Plants of Utah, the author commented: This site is intended for those without a botany background, mainly students, teachers, extension agents, and agency employees. The main benefit in this site is easy to understand language rather than the complex terms found in most botany books. It also provides pictures and interesting information about the plants to help people remember it.
Reviewed by: Bennie C. Taylor
This very well-organized and pleasant site presents in-depth descriptions of Utah range plants including information about life span, origin, season, flowers, leaves, soils, ecological adaptations, and so on. There is a medium-sized photo of the plant above its description. In addition, there are thumbnails of plant details and distribution maps showing where each plant may be found within the area.
      Banner - very nice and colorful.
Layout and structure
Content area has adequate white space and readable font. But I found the image of flowers in the middle of the start page to be too close to the banner, and the two images compete for attention. I would replace this image with some introductory text telling about the concept and purpose of the site - maybe give some credit to those who organized the material. The larger photos are good; some of the thumbnails are not quite as clear.
Basic navigation is logical and consistent and serves as a search tool as well. We can search by category of plant: grasses, herbaceous plants, and shrubs and trees. Under each of these categories there is an alphabetical list by scientific and common names. We can also find a plant by using the additional alphabetical lists: one for common names and one for scientific names.
      There are a couple of problems with navigation, however. The plant details and distribution maps open in separate windows. We need a button to close the window or a link back to the previous page. Also, two of the external linked pages - USU Extension and College of Natural Resources - do not allow a return to the main site by use of the back button.
Parting words:
This is a really good reference site for anyone interested in plants, and the bibliography is helpful for more advanced scholars.
Editor Notes:
Also see Leona Wisoker's review of this same site!
Posted: 7/30/2003

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