Plants growing in the Jura Mountains and southern Vermont are remarkably intertwined, with nearly a third of the 700 species native to the Neuchatel Canton region also growing here. A small number of the species are circumboreal, native to northern US as well as Switzerland. The others traveled across the ocean, by design or by accident, to settle into our fields, gardens and roadsides – now naturalized and often considered weeds. Seeing the plants on both sides of the ocean broadened my concepts of ‘a worldwide flora’.
The field guide to the plants of Neuchâtel, undertaken by botanist Jason Grant of the University of Neuchâtel, has a design plan that will include an introduction to 28 prominent plant families with descriptions and anecdotes for individual species, including rare orchids, alpine gentians, sedges and grasses as well as ferns, conifers, lichens, mushrooms and mosses. Jason, his students, and my sister have been taking photographs of the native flora and color photos will be the main focus of the book.