Wildflower is published quarterly by the Wildflower Center. Its content is national in scope with articles about the conservation and use of native plants as well as news from the Wildflower Center. A subscription is provided to Wildflower Center members as a benefit of membership.
THERE ARE FEW THINGS AS HUMBLING for editors as retracting incorrect information published under their direction. Unfortunately, in this information-intense age under deadline pressure, errors creep into the largest and smallest of publications.
At the Wildflower Center, we employ a zero-tolerance policy for errors. Given the highly technical nature of the information within Wildflower and its predecessor magazine Native Plants, this requires greater attention to detail and fact-checking than at other publications with equivalent staff and resources.
In the past five years, we’ve had to print only a handful of corrections. However, we deeply regret that the article “Nursery Time” by Mary Boldan that ran in the Summer 2006 issue of Native Plants contained four errors of attribution. This information should have been attributed to Virginia Harding Hooper of Utah State University, who authored a thesis on native plant use in her state in 2003 that examined many of the same issues covered in “Nursery Time.”
For each article we publish, countless hours are spent making sure we have reported correctly the native ranges of different native plants, that the plants in our photographs are correctly identified and that the native wildflowers, trees and shrubs we mention are referred to according to the most currently accepted botanical nomenclature. When our reporters or staff botanists and ecologists can’t verify the information themselves, we reach out to individuals at other plant organizations throughout the country to make sure we are publishing information you can trust.
Our disappointment about this oversight and how it might impact our credibility with you, our readership, urged us to enhance our factchecking system. While no system is fool-proof, we feel that adding an additional two layers to that existing fact-checking process will go a long way to bring you the type of error-free publication you expect. These changes to our system have been implemented with this Spring issue.
We extend to Virginia Harding Hooper and Utah State University the most heartfelt of apologies for the attributions that were absent within the article last year. And we hope that the silver lining to this regrettable situation is that it ultimately adds to the quality of Wildflower magazine.
— Christina Kosta Procopiou, Editor