Explore Plants

Welcome to Explore Plants. Our goal is to assemble and disseminate information that will encourage the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes throughout North America. The Native Plant Information Network (NPIN) is designed to inform a broad audience ranging from members of the general public such as homeowners, wildflower enthusiasts, and gardeners to practicing professionals such as botanists, land managers, and government personnel.

You can dig a little deeper into NPIN history with the links below or start your native plant journey with the Explore Plants menu to the right.

NPIN Resources | NPIN Updates | NPIN Personnel | Link to NPIN | Support NPIN

About the Native Plant Information Network (NPIN)

Now, more than ever, there is a need to bridge the gap between people and the natural world, a need to foster understanding and appreciation of the plant world, and a need to provide local, regional, and national audiences with scientifically accurate resources about their native plant heritage. Since its inception in 1982, the Wildflower Center has fulfilled those needs beginning with a mail-order Clearinghouse and continuing with its modern-day equivalent, the Native Plant Information Network (NPIN) - the Wildflower Center's national web portal for native plant information and resources.

Become a Contributor

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to developing a premier resource for native plant information in North America through continued growth of the Native Plant Information Network (NPIN). You can help us achieve our mission by contributing high-quality images and data to the Native Plant Information Network. Please contact Dr. Damon Waitt, Senior Botanist, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to discuss how you can help this project grow.

Regional Spotlight: Midwest

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Native plant: Verbena hastata (Swamp verbena, Blue verbena, Blue vervain, Simpler's joy) Simpler’s-joy or blue verbena is a 2-5 ft., stout-stemmed perennial with numerous, pencil-like flower spikes branched upwards like the arms of a candelabra. Each flower spike has a ring of blue-purple flowers; the flowers at the bottom of the spike bloom first, and the ring of flowers appears to advance upward to the tips of the spike. Stiff, pencil-like spikes of numerous small, tubular, blue-violet flowers are at the top of a square, grooved stem and its branches. An attractive perennial, it has flowers on showy candelabra-like spikes. Bumblebees are among the important pollinators. In ancient times the plant was thought to be a cure-all among medicinal plants and the genus name is Latin for "sacred plant." Hoary Vervain (V. stricta), to 10 feet (3 m) tall and with flowers 1/2-inch (1.3 cm) long, is most abundant in the Midwest and occurs sporadically eastward. Narrow-leaved Vervain (V. simplex), has narrow leaves and lavender flowers 1/3 of an inch (8 mm) long; it is a southwestern and midwestern species.
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Mr. Smarty Plants: I just planted wildflowers and I was wondering how long before I know if they will grow?
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Supplier: Abbott's Nursery (Ann Arbor, MI) Abbott's Nursery operates on a turn of the century farm. We carry many of the most popular native trees, shrubs, perennials, and groundcovers indigenous to our area.
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Organization: North Dakota Natural Heritage Program (Bismarck, ND)
ND Natural Heritage Program's comprehensive inventory of the state's ecological resources provides a continuous process for identiying valuable natural areas and setting land protection priorities.
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Book: "Attracting Birds: From the Prairies to the Atlantic" (New York, Crowell) Out of Print--Limited Availability
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