Plant databases and scientific resources for gardeners
Plants Map is not a scientific plant database, encyclopedia of plants, or plant identification tool. Our goal is to allow individuals and organizations to make their own unique garden journal of plants. Plants Map is about documenting your plant stories, notes, observations, experiences, and photos of your plants, gardens, and gardening interests or activities.
Each plant profile page allows you to add your own favorite reference links in the story or the plant details tab. Some of these references may include sources such as: USDA Plants, Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder, NPIN Native Plant Database, American Conifer Society database, Cooperative Extension Fact Sheets, etc.
It is recommended to reference these other sources to verify the plant name and identification.
Below is a list of plant databases and resources you may find useful in documenting your plants
- ASPCA Toxic & Non-Toxic Plants Database: A great resource to keep pets safe in the garden.
- International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants: The Shenzhen Code (2018) was adopted by the 19th International Botanical Congress which took place in Shenzhen, China during July 2017. The Shenzhen Code (2018) supersedes the previous Melbourne Code. Before 2011 this Code was referred to as the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN). The Code is a set of rules and recommendations that govern the scientific naming of all organisms traditionally treated as algae, fungi, or plants.
- International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants: This code is a recognized system to promote uniformity, accuracy, and stability in the naming of agricultural, forestry, and horticultural plants in cultivation.
- International Plant Names Index (IPNAI): A consortium effort of Harvard University Herbaria, the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew) and the Australian National Herbarium. Their goal is to compile and maintain a comprehensive record of scientific names of all vascular plants.
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System: An authoritative reference on taxonomy and names of plants, animals, fungi and microbes. Updated on a regular basis. A collaborative effort of US, Mexico, and Canadian agencies.
- Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder: This database contains approximately 6,400 plants grown in the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening, an 8.5 acre and 23 demonstration garden. Information includes additional information such as tolerances to pests, soil conditions, and other factors.
- Native Plant Information Network (NPIN) Plant Database: From the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and The University of Texas at Austin. This database includes nearly 8,000 native plants to North America.
- National Invasive Species Resource: This USDA website contains many resources as well as links to federal, regional, and state specific invasive species of both plants and animals. Learn more about invasive species on this website.
- North Carolina State University Extension Plants Database: A database of plants from annuals to poisonous plants to wildflowers and everything in between.
- Ohio State University Plant Facts Database: This is a great search engine to find plant fact sheets from across Cooperative Extension databases all over the country. Search 260k pages of extension fact sheet information.
- Plants Poisonous to Livestock & Animals: From Cornell University College of Agriculture & Life Sciences. Another very useful plant database resource for pet owners.
- The Plant List: An attempt to create a working list of all known plants. This database contains 1,293,685 scientific plant names and is a collaborative effort of the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew) and the Missouri Botanical Garden and others.
- UConn Plant Database: An extensive database of trees, shrubs, vines from the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension.
- USDA Plants Database: A native and naturalized species database of plants within the United States (USDA, NRCS 2014 The PLANTS Database, 31 May 2014 | National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA).
- Virginia Tech Dendrology Fact Sheets database: This is a great tree database with fact sheets. They also have a companion vTree app for tree identification that connects to this database.
- Vegetable Growing Guides: This database from Cornell University contains more than 50 vegetable profiles plus a database of 5k vegetable varieties.
- Wikipedia – WikiProject Plants: A community-aggregated encyclopedia of plants. Not all information has been reviewed for accuracy.
- Yard & Garden Online – Iowa State University Extension: This database is categorized into flowers, herbs, weeds, pests and more.
Plant Specific or Plant Society Databases
Many plant societies have their own websites with a database of plants or registered named plants from members. Here are just a few:
- Cacti & Succulents: Succulent Guide and Cacti Guide
- The American Conifer Society: Conifer Database
- Hardy Fern Library
- The American Hemerocallis Society: Online Daylily Database
- The Herb Society of America: Herb Guides & Profiles
- The American Hosta Society: The Hosta Registry
- The American Iris Society: The Iris Encyclopedia
- The American Rhododendron Society: A-Z List of Names
[Published August 2014. Updated July 2018]