Have you ever hiked on a trail and saw a flowering plant that you wanted to identify? Or experienced a butterfly fluttering past you, to its next destination in a forest? If you are curious about plants and butterflies, the state of Alabama has two of the most comprehensive guides/inventories on the internet – the Alabama Plant Atlas and the Alabama Butterfly Atlas.
Alabama Plant Atlas
A joint effort by the Alabama Herbarium Consortium (AHC) and The University of West Alabama, the Alabama Plant Atlas provides users with a comprehensive searchable database of plants that occur in the state of Alabama.
According to the Plant Atlas, Alabama ranks ninth nationally as the most floristically diverse state with over 3000 species of native lycopytes, pteridophytes, gymnosperms, and flowering plants. The Alabama Plant Atlas provides a source of information for each species including the distribution within the state using historical and recent data.
Here are some of our favorite entries.
Alabama Streak Sorus Fern – Stegnogramma burksiorum
*Named after Bob and Mary Burks, founders of the Alabama Conservancy
Common butterfly milkweed – Asclepias tuberosa
Purple passion flower, Maypops – Passiflora incarnata
Learn how to use and participate in the Alabama Plant Atlas – HERE.
Alabama Butterfly Atlas
Organized by “Butterflies of Alabama: Glimpses into Their Lives” authors Sara Bright and Paulette Haywood Ogard, and a steering committee that included Mike Howell, Vitaly Charny, Grant Gentry and Andrew Rindsberg, the Alabama Butterfly Atlas had over 50 photographers contributing images and over 4000+ species sightings in its first year.
Citizen scientists of all ages are encouraged to share their sightings and observations at AlButterflyAtlas@gmail.com.
Here are some of our favorites photos.
Learn how you can participate in the Alabama Butterfly Atlas – HERE.
Once you hopes websites, you may never leave them. Along with the details about each and every plant and butterfly are in most cases beautiful photographs.
Check out each site. Make this year’s Fall hike, one of discovery!