Plant Identification | General Gardening | Insects & Plant Disease | Invasives & Weeds | Other Resources | Apps
Digital Atlas of Flora of Virginia
Virginia Botanical Associates – The Flora of Virginia Project
The Digital Atlas contains the most comprehensive information available on the geographic distribution of vascular plants in the Commonwealth.
Wood Decay Fungi of Living Trees
This site includes a Fungal Key, a Fungal Gallery, and biological information
Great Plant Picks
Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden
This page includes over 800 plants in zones 3 ‐ 9. Search by selectable attributes such as flower time and foliage color. The Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden does have an emphasis on the Pacific Northwest, so keep that in mind when using this site.
Key to Leaves of Virginia Trees
Virginia Tech Dendrology
Jeff Kirwan’s native tree ID online ‐ great to use with kids with wi‐fi outdoors. Get a leaf and key it via leaf shape and arrangement.
Oregon State University
This site has over 1,700 woody landscape plants, includes a Woody Plant Identification System, and is searchable by characteristics such as leaf margin, fruit shape, and flower color. It is great for landscape design ideas as well as identifying existing plants. Use the tabs at the top to move around the site.
Native Plant Finder
National Wildlife Federation
The National Wildlife Foundation plant finder site identifies keystone plant species by zip code and includes trees and shrubs. Find the best native plants specifically for your area that attract butterflies and moths, and the birds that feed on their caterpillars, based on the scientific research of Dr. Douglas Tallamy and Research Assistant Kimberley Shropshire. 3,200 references were used to create the data base.
Native Plants Database
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Explore the wealth of native plants in North America. Use search options to search for 8,811 native plants by scientific or common name or choose a particular family of plants.
Online Virtual Flora of Wisconsin
Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium
The database at Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium University of Wisconsin has thousands of plants listed by common name, family and genera. Each plant page has photos and information about form and habitat.
Missouri Botanical Garden
Use the Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder to search more than 5,400 plants by dozens of characteristics such as zone, attracts butterflies, bloom time and maintenance level. Individual plant pages include growing information, photos, noteworthy characteristics.
USDA Plants Database
United States Department of Agriculture
This is an authoritative source for correct plant names and US distribution maps. All plants have id and provenance. 1,000+ plants have extended information sheets.
General Gardening Sites
American Community Gardening Association
“The Mission of the American Community Gardening Association is to build community by increasing and enhancing community gardening and greening across the United States and Canada. The American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) is a bi-national nonprofit membership organization of professionals, volunteers and supporters of community greening in urban and rural communities.”
The Garden Professors
“Advancing the science of gardening and other stuff since 2009”
Four horticulture professors, from Washington State, Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia blog about research, junk science, new plants, strange sightings and much more.
- Facebook Public Group
“Welcome to the Garden Professors blog group – we look forward to your questions and comments. This group has grown out of our blog, started in 2009, addressing the science behind all things related to gardening.”
From the Chicago Botanic Garden
Citizen science based approach bringing together researchers, educators, and community scientists to help answer important questions around the effects of climate change on plants and animals and how we can mitigate those effects. Includes an app for participants.
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Enter your ZIP code in the search box in the upper-left of the map to find your location and the Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Click the map at your location of interest to see the Zone classification at that location.
Insects & Plant Disease
Iowa State University Entomology
This is a knowledgebase of bugs from the United States and Canada, for identification and research. It has a “Clickable Guide” of drawings of different insect shapes, which lead to insect order pages with many photos of specimens of the different families. It also has a handy page on household pests and dangerous pests. You can also submit photos for identification.
IPM for Commercial Horticulture
University of Maryland Extension
Scouts and growers contribute to weekly and bi‐weekly pdf updates on pests and pathogens for Landscape, Nursery, Greenhouse & Cut Flower industries in northern Maryland.
United States Department of Agriculture
A database of the scale insects of the world. With many photos and an identification key for 49 families of Coccoidea.
If you were a big fan of the pioneering Vegetable MD Online website, much of that content has been moved here. We are in the process of moving over the rest.
- (LIHREC) indicates information from the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center Vegetable Pathology website.
- List also includes some herbs (parsley, basil) and abiotic disorder
- Some content is available as printer-friendly .pdf versions.
Invasives & Weeds
Invasive and Exotic Species of North America
University of Georgia: Invasive.org
Plants, insects, pathogens and other species that are not native to the ecosystem and cause economic , health or environmental harm can be found on this site.
Invasive Plant Atlas of the USA
University of Georgia
The purpose of the Atlas is to assist users with identification, early detection, prevention, and management of invasive plants. The focus is on non-native invasive plant species impacting natural areas, excluding agricultural and other heavily developed and managed lands. Four main components are species information, images, distribution maps, and early detection reporting procedures.
If you know the name of the invasive plant, it will be listed on this comprehensive site.
Weed Identification Guide
These pages are intended to aide in the identification of common weeds and weed seedlings found throughout Virginia and the Southeastern U.S. Weeds are arranged by common name and it includes a grass ID section with keys
Arlington County Urban Agriculture
Community gardens, education, history and more
Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture
Promoting sustainable food systems in Arlington through education, communication and research.
Capital Naturalist by Alonso Abugattas
A naturalist reveals some of the wonders of the natural world found right around the Washington, DC Metropolitan area using his own photography and his life-long experiences.
Virginia Native Plant Society
The Virginia Native Plant Society (VNPS), founded in 1982 as the Virginia Wildflower Preservation Society, is a nonprofit organization of individuals who share an interest in Virginia’s native plants and habitats. The Society and its chapters seek to further the appreciation and conservation of this priceless heritage.
Plant NOVA Natives Plant “App”
Find the best NOVA natives!
Find the perfect Northern Virginia native for your planting needs using the Plant NOVA Natives plant database. Use the blue arrow to filter down the list based on plant characteristics such as height, moisture, sun/shade, and several others! Click on a plant to learn more about it.
The database is very mobile friendly. Navigate to the web page https://www.plantnovanatives.org/plant-finder-app and then follow the directions below for your Apple or Android device.
iOs Device: Add an icon for the current page to your Home screen
On an iPhone, in Safari, tap the “share” symbol, then tap on “Add to home screen.”
Android Device: How to pin a webapp/website to Android homescreen
On an Android, in Chrome, click on the 3 dots in the upper right hand corner, choose “Add to Homescreen”
United States Forest Service
Educational software for calculating tree eco‐benefits to a community. Register to get access to the software tools, a 300 MB downloadable package (Windows only)