Resources to learn more detail about specific species of native plants
- USDA Plant Database: https://plants.usda.gov/java/
This is an excellent resource. For the more common plants, there are “Fact sheets” or “Plant Guides” that provide excellent detail. In addition, it provides links for other sites such as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/
This site provides good thumbnail sketches for plants of interest. It also tends to have more photographs of the plants to provide a sense of how they look in a landscape.
- Illinois Wildflowers: http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/
Somewhat similar to factsheets from the USDA site. Good level of detail and includes useful information about interactions with insects (both pollinators and insects that lay eggs on the plant).
- Missouri Botanical Garden: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/plantfinder/plantfindersearch.aspx
Level of detail is somewhere between the thumbnail sketches of LBJ Wildflower Center and the fact sheets provided by USDA site.
- Chesapeake Bay Native Plant Center: http://www.nativeplantcenter.net/
This is an interactive site that allows you to choose plants based on a variety of factors.
- Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora: http://vaplantatlas.org/
This site provides range maps, thumbnail sketches, and a few pictures. The maps provide the best information available regarding whether a plant is native to your specific area of Virginia.
- Native Plants for Virginia’s Capital Region: https://www.plantvirginianatives.org/plant-rva-natives
Great resource with pictures and thumbnail sketches of several hundred plants native to the Richmond area.
- Flora of Virginia app: https://floraofvirginia.org/flora-app/
For $20, you can load a mobile app on your phone and have access to most of the information contained in “Flora of Virginia”. It includes photos, range maps, dichotomous keys, species description, and more. There are also interactive features so you can try to identify a species in the field without using the dichotomous keys – a great help to those without extensive botanical knowledge.