Plant Locator Guide

Use these resources to find out which of these featured plants grow near you. Note that some of these plants may not show up on the map for your area, but may still be growing regionally as planted ornamentals or localized weeds. Rose, mimosa, yarrow, daylily, bee balm, raspberry, and blackberry are prime examples. Some of our featured plants aren’t listed here since they won’t likely be found in the wild, but can be cultivated in your garden.

Many of these plants can also be purchased as dried herbs. This is a good option if the plant doesn’t grow near you or you prefer not to forage. 

Some of these plants are extremely invasive and should not be planted! It’s absolutely essential that you make sure that a plant is not invasive in your region before you plant it. Some plants are devastating to certain ecosystems. Refer to each plant lesson to read about its potential to spread.

You’ll also be documenting this information on your Module 1 Experiential Projects. Before you start your research, pull up this assignment so that you can record your findings there.

Here is the list of featured plants that may be growing in the wild in your region. If you live in North America (United States or Canada), click the links below to see which of these plants grow in your area. Note that the maps use a color key to denote plant distribution.

Click here for the BONAP
North American Plant Atlas Map Color Key

Short Guide to the Color Keys: 

Green, blue, hot pink, or aqua = Present in state or province

Brown, yellow, orange, or red = Not present or rare

Please be aware that these maps list distribution by state or province; plants may not be distributed evenly throughout the state or province and thus may not be growing in your immediate vicinity. To search for any existing U.S. county maps, visit here


Here are some additional resources for North America:

United States

The Biota of North America Program’s (BIOTA) Plant Atlas (State)
North American Plant Atlas (NAPA)
State-level Species Maps: List by Genus

The Biota of North America Program’s (BIOTA) Plant Atlas (County)
North American Plant Atlas (NAPA)
(US County-Level Species Maps: List by Genus)

United States Department of Agriculture’s Plant Database: Search by scientific or common name. Zoom in on the maps to find county distribution maps (sometimes available).


Database of Vascular Plants of Canada (VASCAN)
Search by scientific or common name.

The Biota of North America Program’s (BIOTA) Plant Atlas (State-level or Province-level)
Species Maps: List by Genus.

Evergreen Native Plants of Canada Database
Browse by region (province) and plant type. Advanced search available by name or characteristics.

International Databases

Use the list provided above to search for each plant by its scientific name.


Euro + Med PlantBase – Resource for European and Mediterranean Plant Diversity
Keyword search plants by scientific name. Lists by regions of occurrence and shows distribution maps.


Australian Government – Databases for Flora and Land Management
Lists databases and websites by name, owner and goal of organization.

Australian Biological Resources Study – Flora Database
Lists several different databases and online resources for Australian plants and fungi.

Flora of Australia Online
Search by common or scientific name. Gives detailed plant descriptions, no photographs.


Threatened, Invasive, and Poisonous Plants

In order to be a responsible forager, you’ll need to know which plants in your area are threatened, which ones are invasive, and which ones are poisonous. We’ve culled the best resources available on the web and list them here by region. This information will be helpful for your Botany and Foraging Experiential ProjectsRemember that you don’t need to forage a single plant from the wild in order to earn a certificate for this program!

United States

Threatened Plants:

USDA Threatened and Endangered Plants

Search by scientific name, common name, symbol or family. Can search by category, duration, and growth habit. Narrow search by state and territories.

Invasive Plants:

Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System (EDD Maps)

Search by plant categories and locations. Maps display states, counties and points where plants are existing, eradicated, or “treated.”

USDA Invasive Plants Database

State lists of noxious (invasive) plants. Also available: search for plants by common or scientific name.

Poisonous Plants:

USDA Poisonous Plants by Toxic Syndrome

Plants shown in lists (common and scientific names) according to toxic syndrome.

FDA Poisonous Plant Database

Search by common or scientific name to display lists of scientific articles on poisonous plants.



Threatened Plants:

Government of Canada – Species at Risk Public Registry

Narrow search by taxon of vascular plants, mosses and lichens.  

Poisonous Plants:

Government of Canada – Poisonous Plants Information System

Lists poisonous plants by common or scientific name. More geared toward livestock than humans. Note that some plants on this list have edible or medicinal parts.

Invasive Plants:

Invasive Species Council of British Columbia

List of invasive plants in the province.

Canadian Botanical Conservation Network – Invasive Plants

Lists plants by category, common and scientific names.



Threatened Plants:

Botanical Gardens Conservation International – ThreatSearch

Globally search plants by scientific name. Lists status and sources of information.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species – Europe

Enter any part of taxonomic name of plant to view a summary, map, and classification.

Invasive Species Inventories for Europe

Search by region to browse list of invasive terrestrial plants or search by scientific name.

Poisonous Plants:

Mediterranean Garden Society – Toxic and Allergic Plants

Lists common toxic or reactive plants found in Mediterranean gardens. Not all plants listed are native to the Mediterranean.

Invasive Plants:

European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization

List of invasive exotic plants (not searchable database)



Threatened Plants:

Australia EPBC Act List of Threatened Flora

Lists flora that are endangered, vulnerable or extinct.

Poisonous Plants:

Australian Botanical Illustration – Poisonous Plant List SE Australia

Lists plants by scientific name with brief descriptions, some common names and detailed illustrations.

Merck Veterinary Manual – Table of Important Poisonous Plants of Australia

Lists by scientific and common name, toxic effect and distribution.

Sustainable Gardening Australia Common Poisonous Plant List

Lists and briefly describes common Australian poisonous plants. (List contains a few inaccuracies)

Invasive Plants:

Australian Government – Weeds of National Significance

Lists invasive species by common and scientific name with photographs. Includes distribution maps.