Botany Badge

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:

Botany resource apps:

  • Audubon Trees
  • Audubon Wildflowers
  • Leaf Snap
  • vTree

Botany Challenge

To earn your Botany Field Badge:

  1. Find and identify an invasive plant species. For a list and photos of common invasive plants email us at
  2. Snap a photo of the plant and upload it onto your ecoEXPLORE account with “botany challenge” in the comment section
  3. Take a photo of yourself removing the invasive plant and email it
  4. Attend the Botany Season Summit on Saturday, June 1.

The deadline for submitting all of your Botany Field Badge materials is Friday, May 24th.

*Only remove plants with an adult and with permission of the property owner.


If you are leading a group of ecoEXPLORERS, these children can also earn the Botany Field Badge by doing the following:

  1. Earn a total of 50 points for your group prior to June 1, including at least six pictures of plants. You can submit a photo of the same plant species up to two times.
  2. Meet our Botany Science Mentor by watching a quick video
  3. Complete a Poster Project:
  4. Choose one plant observed and create a poster showing how you identified the plant as well as where and when you found it.
  5. Visit Type in the name of your plant in the "species" field, and your county in the "location" field. Include on your poster how many other times your plant was observed in your county. Does this plant seem to be where scientists would expect to find it? Why?
  6. Include artwork, maps, and anything else you'd like. Then photograph your poster and send your image to
Jennifer Rhode Ward, University of North Carolina, Asheville Botany Science Mentor

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!