Where do I find reliable plant information online?
What a great question. When I start thinking about planting in my landscape, I think about foliage color, density, and overall growth shape of the plant. I think a lot about flowers; flower color, flower size, flower abundance, and what time of year can I expect these flowers to emerge? Is there anything attracted to the flower color, pollen or nectar? Is there a berry or larger fruit that will come after the flower is exhausted? Can I eat these berries or larger fruit? I always have many questions, so I try to read a lot.
|FNPS "Native Plants for Your Area" is a great resource|
when looking for plants that will grow in your region.
Of course, our own FNPS website section on Native Plants for Your Area has an excellent search engine that will easily find plants by common and scientific names. What I like about the search engine is the ease of finding what you are looking for, even if use just part of the name.
The Real Florida
|The Real Florida Magazine|
|FWF Flower Friday|
One of the largest databases I reference is the USDA Plants.gov site. This site will show a plant's natural distribution range in North America, invasive or noxious potential, provides pictures and informational links when available. I believe the site has become more user-friendly over time, but it is still important to be accurate when spelling a scientific name into their search engine. It is always best if you use the botanical name, since many plants may share one common name.
|USDA Database Home Page|
I use scientific/botanical names when looking up information on the USDA website. If I don't know the scientific name, I'll google search the common name, make sure I put "Florida" somewhere in the search bar, then I'll locate the botanical name in an article below. I copy/paste the botanical name back into the search bar and voila, more accurate articles, write-ups and most importantly…accurate pictorial representations of the plant I'm wanting to learn about.
The USF Florida Plant Atlas provides the same type of information and can be used similarly.
Practicality in the native plant world suggests these plants are more specifically adapted to certain conditions. Understanding these conditions by seeing them thrive in their preferred environment teaches us the most. So learn all you can, and then give it a shot in your landscape.
Explore how each site presents information about the same plant:
|The USF Florida Plant Atlas allows you to search |
using many criteria, including common or scientific name,
county, nantve or non-native and more
Specific Links for Greeneyes, Berlandiera subacaulis
- FL Plant Atlas
- USDA plants .gov
- FNPS Plants
- Florida Wilderflower Foundation
- Regional Conservation
- Hawthorn Hill Wildflowers
Other Helpful links: