Bob Zuberbuhler grew up on a farm in Western Pennsylvania, attended Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. After a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Cardiology he joined the Cardiology Division of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in 1961. He headed the Division from 1967 to 1994, when he became the Medical Director of Children’s. Bob has authored a textbook of Pediatric Cardiology and over 100 papers. One study, done on the Tibet-Qinghai Plateau in West China showed that some forms of congenital heart disease were more common in children born at high altitude. The higher the altitude, the greater the numbers, with an incidence several hundred times the expected at the highest study site, a village situated at 16,000 feet above sea level. Bob retired from Children's in July 2004.

Bob has summited Mt. Whitney in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, backpacked into the Grand Canyon and climbed Mt. Emei, a holy mountain in China. Other interests include reading, golf, skiing and an unsuccessful search for a giant meteorite. Bob and his wife Jan live on a farm near Beaver Falls, PA and have 4 children and 8 grandchildren.

The author, Bob Zuberbuhler and his wife, Jan.

His interest in wild flowers began in 1975, when his daughter Ann asked for his help in identifying 20 wildflowers for a science project. Over the next 20 years Bob identified and photographed 159 species of wildflowers in Western Pennsylvania. During his semi-retirement he spent more time searching for new species - on walks through the woods and fields near his home, and on drives along country roads. The collection grew more quickly: 79 new species in 1997, 58 in ‘98, 83 in ’99, 69 in ’00 and 49 in ’01, 26 in ’02, 48 in ’03, and; 28 in ’04 for a current total of 599.

He considered putting together a field guide but at the suggestion of his son Jim he settled on a web site instead. This web site was developed at Zoltun Design, by Rick Zoltun, Eric Sonson and Tim Speicher. Bob provided the photographs, the species descriptions (each a synthesis of descriptions from several guide books and from personal notes), lists of common, Latin and secondary names, descriptions of all the different families represented, and an identification system based on family characteristics.

Of course, not all species found in Western Pennsylvania are included here, since this site is the work of a single person. But most of the common flowers and some rare ones are included. One of the least common, Pink lady’s slipper, was found in a grove of hemlock trees after an octogenarian friend remembered seeing them there several decades before. She was taken to the site by Bob and one of his grandsons, to her considerable delight.