History of the Project
The initial work was done with 12 months funding from Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) in 1999. The Lucid product was to replace the by then out-of-date and out-of-print 1982 treatment of the family in Flora of Australia volume 29; it was to be a proof of concept and be projected as a web product on the web site of the State Herbarium of South Australia, Adelaide and mirrored at ABRS.
A key to 237 taxa of Australian species of Solanaceae was completed in this time using the first edition of Lucid; the key consisted of a parent key to 76 species of Solanaceae with 2 subkeys, one to 136 species of Solanum and one to 27 species of Nicotiana. All species had text, and most had images, attached. However there still remained character state illustrations, maps and testing of the key to be done. At this stage web capability was still unavailable for the projection of LucID keys, although a test version was projected for a short time on the South Australian government site at the end of 1999 as a proof of concept.
In 2004 ABRS again allocated some funding to pick up work on this project. All keys had to be migrated to the 2nd edition of Lucid. However in the intervening period a considerable body of work had been published by Tony Bean of the Queensland Herbarium on the north-eastern Australian species of Solanum (Bean 2001, 2002 & 2004). Nearly 50 new species had been added to Solanum for northern New South Wales and Queensland and there had been changes in species limits. All of the extra species had to be scored in the key, their synonymies worked out and notes added to the key about their closest relationships. A number of species already treated in the key also had to be re-scored because of changes in their circumscription.
The descriptions of new Solanum species by Bean were far in excess of those of the Flora of Australia treatment but rather than cut these down, permission was sought from Tony Bean and granted by the editor of the journal of Austrobaileya, for the reproduction of these descriptions, as published, within this key. I am grateful to Tony Bean and the editors of Austrobaileya for their cooperation in this instance.
As a result of this work a further two levels of keys in Solanum were introduced; one key was to the subgenera of Solanum and the other to the groups of the largest of these subgenera, subgenus Leptostemonum.
At this time the number of illustrations for Nicotiana was also considerably increased by attachment of scanned images from Japan Tobacco Inc.s The genus Nicotiana illustrated; permission for use of these images was given by JT Inc in Feb 2003. Scanned images of the seeds of Nicotiana species were prepared for David Symon by Bob Baldock (both of the State Herbarium of South Australia) and these images were also attached to the key.
There was also considerable pruning of character states, attachment of character state images and building of linkages to other web sites at this stage of production.
After completion of the introductory material the keys were migrated to the 3rd edition of Lucid in 2008. At this point it was not envisaged that fact sheets would be built for the species but, using the Fact Sheet Fusion software of Lucid, these were completed during time the author spent working at the Allan Herbarium in Christchurch (Feb-April 2009); this opportunity was also taken to update the information in the fact sheets as much as possible and to provide links to other web material. The author apologises for any linkages which have become non-functional in that time and also for some of the inconsistencies in fonts and word spaces which occur in the fact sheets since these were built using an early version of the software.
There still remain things which could be done but attaining perfection is not possible when the classification and technology is in such a state of flux.
Bean, A.R. (2001). A revision of Solanum brownii Dunal (Solanaceae) and its allies. Telopea 9 (3): 639-661.
Bean, A.R. (2002). New prostrate species in Solanum subg. Leptostemonum (Dunal) Bitter (Solanaceae) from eastern Australia. Austrobaileya 6 (2): 247-252.
Bean, A.R. (2004). The taxonomy and ecology of Solanum subg. Leptostemonum (Dunal) Bitter (Solanaceae) in Queensland and far north-eastern New South Wales, Australia. Austrobaileya 6 (4): 639-816.
Japan Tobacco Inc. (1994). The genus Nicotiana illustrated. (Japan Tobacco Inc.: Tokyo, Japan).
State Herbarium of South Australia