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Native Plant Information Network
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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

March 26, 2014
Added 234 images from Ontario Canada contributed by Julie Makin.

January 31, 2014
Added 433 images from east Texas by Carolyn Fannon.

October 24, 2013
Added 394 images from east Texas by Carolyn Fannon.

September 08, 2013
Wrote NPIN function to pull and display synonyms from Plant_USDA.

August 21, 2013
Added new "_county" table to the NPIN tables containing a list of all 3143 counties, parishs, boroughs and city administrative units in the US. This table will support the coming "plant_county_dist" table.

August 11, 2013
Completed search and results pages for Botanical Glossary.

August 10, 2013
Recoded plant detail pages to pull HTML encoded scientific names and scientific names with authority from plant_usda table.

August 10, 2013
Recoded plant detail page to pull Native Status from plant_usda. Added Native Status regions and definitions to glossary. Deleted usda_nativity from plant_index.

August 09, 2013
Performed fresh import of USDA plants database into MYSQL plant_usda table.

August 08, 2013
Added wetland status ratings from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2013 National Wetland Plant List.

July 10, 2013
Added 382 additional images from photographer Janice Lynn.

June 27, 2013
Added 520 images from Ontario Canada contributed by Julie Makin and surpassed the 35,000 mark of total images published in NPIN.

June 25, 2013
Added 12 images from the San Angelo, TX area contributed by Louis Nugent.

June 20, 2013
Added 836 images from Sanders County (northwestern) Montana contributed by Terry Glase.

January 23, 2013
Added 242 images from NE Texas contributed by Johnny L. Johnson.

November 29, 2012
Added 152 additional images of original pen and ink drawings from artist Collene Sweeney.

September 19, 2012
Added 223 additional images from photographer Julie Makin.

September 17, 2012
Created new Web Reference maintenance tool and Bibliography reference display.

August 20, 2012
Added 175 images contributed by Janice Lynn.

July 06, 2012
During the week of 7/2/12 added 101 images (mostly from Lenawee County, MI) contributed by Robert (RW) Smith.

June 29, 2012
Added 435 images (mostly from Lenawee County, MI) contributed by Robert (RW) Smith.

June 29, 2012
Added 132 images contributed by Ray Mathews.

June 29, 2012
Added 55 images contributed by Lee Page.

June 25, 2012
Added 252 images (mostly from Lenawee County, MI) contributed by Robert (RW) Smith.

June 20, 2012
Added 276 images (mostly from Lenawee County, MI) contributed by Robert (RW) Smith.

June 08, 2012
Added the first 65 images from new contributer, Marilyn Knight

May 05, 2012
Added
Mollie Steves Zachry Texas Arboretum to Mobile Tour.

April 30, 2012
Added 339 images (mostly from Lenawee County, MI) contributed by Robert (RW) Smith.

April 25, 2012
Added 238 images contributed by Ray Mathews.

April 16, 2012
Added 62 (mostly Alaskan) images contributed by Tom Muller, bringing his total to 450 and surpassing 30,000 images published in NPIN.

April 12, 2012
Added 159 additional images from photographer Julie Makin.

February 28, 2012
Added Value to Beneficial Insects from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation: Special Value to Native Bees | Special Value to Honey Bees | Special Value to Bumble Bees | Provides Nesting Materials/Structure for Native Bees | Supports Conservation Biological Control.

January 31, 2012
Added 135 images from photographer Julie Makin.

August 08, 2011
Added New Topic Structure to Smarty Plants and reformatted Results page to include images.

July 31, 2011
Added Image Gallery section to Smarty Plants Answer page.

July 28, 2011
Added What's in Bloom section to Visit Us page.

July 24, 2011
Added WFC Herbarium to Reccommended Species.

July 16, 2011
Added Google Map to Smarty Plants search bar.

July 09, 2011
Added Web Feature Archive to Library & Archive.

July 02, 2011
Added Leaf Characteristics (Arrangement and Retention) to Native Plant Database Combination Search.

June 09, 2011
Completed Wildflower Center Web Survey. Click here to to download PDF of summary results.

March 19, 2011
Added Step by Step Guides from Wildflower Magazine to NPIN.

March 14, 2011
Added prompt based Mobile Tour with QR Codes to Mobile website.

March 11, 2011
Added Gardens, Trail, Facilities and Interactive Map to Visit Us linked to podcasts and garden-specific plant collections.

February 20, 2011
Added two printer-friendly features to Recommended Species Lists. See for example List with QR Tags to NPIN and List with QR Tags to Mobile for Wildflower Center Master Taxa List.

February 04, 2011
Cross-linked Newsletter Archive to plant detail page.

December 06, 2010
Added North, Central and South Florida plant lists in collaboration with the Association of Florida Native Nurseries.

November 10, 2010
Added 85 images from photographer Rachel Cywinski.

October 29, 2010
Added 36 images from photographer James O. Baines.

October 26, 2010
Added 91 images from photographer Thomas Muller.

September 05, 2010
Added Height to Combo Search in Native Plant Database.

August 06, 2010
Added Strickland Grass Scan Collection to Image Gallery.

July 02, 2010
Added 13 images from photographer Michael McKniff.

July 02, 2010
Added 74 images from photographer Nan Hampton.

June 23, 2010
Added 112 images from photographer Steven Schwartzman.

June 20, 2010
Added 7 images from photographer Carole Rey.

June 15, 2010
Added 24 images from photographer John Wilson.

June 15, 2010
Added 6 images from photographer Mike Smoller.

June 15, 2010
Added 14 images from photographer Henry Domke.

June 14, 2010
Added 10 images from photographer Maggie Livings.

June 11, 2010
Added 8 images from photographer Kathleen Cook.

June 01, 2010
NPIN Mobile - A mobile version of the Wildflower Center's website made available for your web-enabled smart phones. NPIN Mobile is a slimmed down version of key features of the main website including the Native Plant Database, Image Gallery and Mr. Smarty Plants.

May 28, 2010
Added 160 images from photographer Thomas Muller.

March 16, 2010
Texas Wildscapes - Added Plant List from the Texas Wildscapes CD-ROM (TPWD).

March 12, 2010
Native Seed Imaging Project - A compendium of seed images from Texas species collected by the Wildflower Center for storage in the Millennium Seed Bank Project.

March 01, 2010
Homeowner Inspiration Gardens - Added species lists and garden designs for the Formal, Traditional and Naturalistic Homeowner Inspiration Gardens.

February 15, 2010
Great Small Trees for Houston - Fourteen trees selected by The Garden Club of Houston to bring variety and charm to the Houston landscape.

August 31, 2009
Added 100 images from photographer Steven Schwartzman.

July 12, 2009
Added Remarkable Riparian species list from A field guide to riparian plants within the Nueces River Basin to Special Collections.

June 17, 2009
Added 79 images from photographer Bruce Leander.

May 16, 2009
Added omni-present combo search panel to recommended species, name and family search results in native plant database.

March 15, 2009
Removed shot category checkboxes from image_index and updated associated web pages. Also revised image_contributor spreadsheet and re-posted.

March 14, 2009
Updated Organizations and Supplier Geo-Search to lat/long decimal degrees.

March 07, 2009
Added 194 images from photographer Sandy Smith.

March 06, 2009
Added Google maps of Affiliate Organizations, Associate Suppliers and Seed Grants.

February 15, 2009
Added new Wildflower Quiz feature. Linked from Recommended Species, Green Guru and Explore Plants.

February 07, 2009
Added new fields to photographer table and maintenance pages.

February 01, 2009
Added 93 images from photographer John Hixson.

January 27, 2009
Added new pagination feature to Mr. Smarty Plants, Bibliography, Organizations and Suppliers Directory.

January 05, 2009
Added 11 images of Dalea halli from photographer Karan Rawlins.

November 26, 2008
Added 64 images from photographer Steven Faucette.

September 13, 2008
Integrated inventories from Associate Suppliers and species lists from Affiliate Organizations into Native Plants Database

September 11, 2008
Debut of Spanish language website including 5 artículos en español.

August 21, 2008
Suppliers associate program reaches 80 associates offering discount to Wildflower Center members.

August 06, 2008
Batch email to Suppliers results in 103 updating entries in Directory.

July 11, 2008
Added 417 plant images from the Harry T. Cliffe Collection.

June 21, 2008
Updated Plant Distribution to include regional USDA Native Status and added USDA Native Status symbols to the glossary.

June 01, 2008
Added last 148 images from the Wasowski Collection to the Image Gallery.

May 22, 2008
Added 950 images from the Wasowski Collection to the Image Gallery.

April 01, 2008
Added 955 images from the Wasowski Collection to the Image Gallery.

March 25, 2008
Added location search feature to National Suppliers Directory and National Organizations Directory.

March 19, 2008
Converted Clearinghouse Articles into How To feature under NPIN main navigation.

March 12, 2008
Added Google Maps to Suppliers and Organizations details pages.

March 05, 2008
Added U.S. Image Map as primary navigation for Recommended Species and links to state lists for Suppliers and Organizations

February 08, 2008
Reorganized Recommended Species page and added Just for Texans Section. Also added two new collections: Hummingbird Plants for Central Texas and Native Plants for Container Gardens in Central Texas.

February 01, 2008
Added 951 images from the Wasowski Collection and 27 new plant records to the Native Plant Database.

January 30, 2008
Culled all Supplier records missing email information in preparation for Supplier Directory rebuild.

January 20, 2008
Debut beta version of Mr. Smarty Plants mapping application.

January 01, 2008
Updated Canadian Provinces in plant distribution table based on Evergreen plant database. Also added definitions for province abbreviations to glossary.

December 26, 2007
Added 959 images from the Wasowski Collection.

December 18, 2007
Added page for Native Alternatives to Invasive Species.

December 06, 2007
Added 268 images of Texas Endemics from photgrapher Bill Carr.

October 27, 2007
Implemented tracker system to log changes to NPIN databases. Also added 54 images from photgrapher Tom Muller.

October 01, 2007
Added 346 images from the wildflower seedling recognition project. This was an effort by the Center in the late 80ís to photo document the different growth stages (cradle to grave) of wildflower species commonly found in mail order seed packets. About 100 species were tracked, about 75% of which were native to the U.S. Aerial and side views of the plants were taken at the first true leaves stage, mid-growth, and flowering stage.

August 18, 2007
Added 344 images from photgrapher Melody Lytle and 180 images from photographer Fran Cox. Added bibliography titles to plant detail page.

August 07, 2007
Added rating system and user comments to Mr. Smarty Plants and rating system to Image Gallery.

July 28, 2007
Added Recommended Species lists for all states in the continental U.S.

June 06, 2007
Completely re-designed wildflower.org website debuts. NPIN and Wildflower Center content integrated into a single web application.

April 06, 2007
NPINís Native Plant Database and Image Gallery become additional resource links on USDA Plants website.

March 30, 2007
Harry C. Cliffe Bexar Regional Herbarium containing 1160 digitized herbarium sheets from the San Antonio region is integrated wih Native Plant Database.

January 01, 2007
New and improved Native Plant Information Network makes its debut. All databases converted to MySql and pages to PHP.

February 10, 2006
Added Native Plant Society of Texas Image Special Collection to Image Gallery including 691 images by noted horticulturist, Benny Simpson.

January 24, 2006
Added H. L. Blomquist Garden of Native Plants Special Collection to Image Gallery.

November 25, 2005
Ask the Expert becomes Mr. Smarty Plants managed by volunteer Nan Hampton.

August 10, 2005
Excluded non-native (introduced) species from search criteria in Native Plants Database.

March 24, 2005
Added remainder of Image Gallery Plants to NPD. total number of species=7175. Second Melody Lytle image contribution added to Image Gallery.

February 28, 2005
Completed conversion of eNature and Evergreen fields to NPD. Added Introduced Species filter to special collections.

February 17, 2005
Added Introduced Species list to Special Collections under NPD.

February 01, 2005
Converted Native Plant Bibliography database to online web application. Created Botanical Glossary using Loughmiller's "Texas Wildflowers" as foundation.

January 18, 2005
Updated authorities in Native Plants Database using USDA PLANTS. Updated missing common names in Native Plants Database and in Image Gallery using USDA PLANTS. Verified Image Gallery Taxonomy using USDA PLANTS. Changed Native Status from ITIS to USDA convention in IG and NPD.

December 20, 2004
Merged fields from eNature, Evergreen, and Chesapeake Bay Field Office to NPD bringing the total number of taxa to 5,280.

March 31, 2004
Debut of Ask the Expert.

January 16, 2004
Fee-based listing service put into effect for National Suppliers Directory.

December 01, 2003
Debut of National Events Calendar and revised National Organizations Directory.

October 01, 2003
A completely redeveloped NPIN makes its debut.

June 01, 2003
Wildflower Center received a $36,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to begin Phase II of NPIN development. Center makes substantial improvements to NPIN.

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