Welcome to the McMaster Paleoethnobotanical Research Database. This database is run and designed by Dr. Shalen Prado.

This database is a collection of microbotanical specimens from modern plant material processed at the McMaster Paleoethnobotanical Research Facility (MPERF). You can browse by type of specimen (i.e. starch grain or phytolith) or you can search for a particular species by using the search bar.

If you have any questions please contact shalen.prado@usask.ca

Recently Added Items

Solanum tuberosum (Potato)


Shape: conical/triangular/ovoid and sphere shaped starch grains (transitory)
Surface: smooth
Outer wall: single
Hilum: eccentric, rarely…

Phaseolus coccineus (Scarlet Runner Bean)


Shape: ovoid - ellipsoid / kidney shaped (reniform) starch grains and sphere shaped starch grains (transitory)
Surface: smooth-wrinkled
Outer wall:…

Zea mays (Haudenosaunee White Corn - dried)


Shape: polygonal and spheroid (transitory)
Surface: rugose
Outer wall: double
Hilum: centric, often open
Extinction cross: well defined, arms are…