October 8, 2015
Contact: Jim Meisner Jr., DCR Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-8442, email@example.com
Online tool helps identify best Virginia native plants for pollinators
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA —Virginians who want to plant beneficial plants for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds have a new resource at their fingertips.
The online Virginia Native Plant Finder now lets users search for native plant species that benefit pollinators. The finder is managed by the Virginia Natural Heritage Program.
“Fall is a great time to plant, and we encourage people to remember native pollinators when they’re planning fall gardens,” said Kevin Heffernan, stewardship biologist with the program. “Pollinators provide an important service to many plant species by assisting in their reproduction. Without pollinator species, many plant species would disappear.”
Native plants are those that grow where they evolved. They have traits that enable them to adapt to local conditions.
The Virginia Native Plant Finder lets users create their own custom native plant lists by selecting from a few dropdown menus. Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are among the choices, and there’s a special category for monarch butterflies.
Users also can search plants by common or scientific name to learn which plants benefit a particular pollinator.
The Virginia Native Plant Finder is an easy way for people to find which native plants were suited for certain light and moisture conditions, as well as regions of the state. It links users to photos of each plant species and to nurseries where they can purchase native plants.
The tool is free and anyone can use it. Searches can be completed on desktops, tablets or smartphones.
Scientists with the Virginia Natural Heritage Program are responsible for identifying and conserving Virginia’s plants, animals and natural communities. The program is housed at the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and reaches its 30th year in 2016.
For more information about Virginia native plants, go to http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/nativeplants.shtml