It's Botany season!
Botany is the study of plants. Plants are living organisms that create their own energy using sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. For this reason they are known as producers. There are over 300,000 species of plants worldwide! Plants include towering trees, breathtakingly beautiful flowers and curious insect-eaters such as the venus flytrap (native only to North Carolina!).
Botany Fun Fact
The North Carolina state tree is the longleaf pine and the state flower is the flowering dogwood.
More Botany Tips
Click on the resources below to learn more about plants:
- Arbor Day Foundation: What Tree is That?
- iNaturalist Project: Natural North Carolina
- North Carolina Native Plant Society
Botany resource apps:
- Audubon Trees
- Audubon Wildflowers
- Leaf Snap
To earn your Botany Field Badge you must submit 6 plant shares to your online account, complete one of the two Botany Challenges, and attend the Botany Season Summit in your area. This year you may choose between two different challenges:
- Find and remove an invasive plant:
- Find and identify an invasive plant species. Submit a photo of the plant with the correct identification onto your online account
- Take a separate photo of you removing the plant
- Email the photo of you removing the plant to your regional hub
**Remember to only remove plants with an adult and with permission of the property owner**
- Study a native wildflower
- Draw a picture of your favorite native North Carolina wildflower. Be sure to include the flower and leaf shape
- Also include a brief paragraph describing when the flower blooms in your area of North Carolina and one interesting fact that you learned.
- Email your work to your regional hub
For users living in Western North Carolina:
Attending the Botany Season Summit is part of earning your Botany Field Badge. The Botany Season Summit is hosted at the North Carolina Arboretum on May 30th. The deadline to submitting all of your badge materials is Sunday May 24th. Please email all of your badge materials to your regional hub at email@example.com
For users living in the Greensboro/Northern Piedmont area:
Attending the Botany Season Summit is part of earning your Botany Field Badge. The Botany Season Summit is hosted at the Greensboro Science Center on May 30th. The deadline to submitting all of your badge materials is Saturday May 25th. Please email all of your badge materials to your regional hub at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For users living outside of our current regions:
If you don't live close enough to attend any of our Season Summits you can earn your badge remotely! Simply complete both of the challenges outlined above and email your work to email@example.com. We will then mail you your Field Badge.
Jen Ward is a faculty member in UNC Asheville’s Biology Department, where she teaches classes in botany, genetics, and marine biology. Her research, which is funded by agencies including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Science Foundation, surveys plant populations, discerns population genetic patterns, and investigates plant / pollinator interactions. Current focal species are either imperiled or invasive, and include American ginseng, oriental bittersweet, pitcher plants, and Virginia spiraea. She also leads course-based research experiences in plant phenology, which examine patterns in the timing of life history events like flower production. Dr. Ward maintains home gardens for permaculture and native pollinator habitat, works to eradicate invasive plants on public and private lands, and is passionate about educating students and citizens about plant life!