Adjunct faculty member Elizabeth Farnsworth announces New England Wild Flower Society’s Go Botany, a suite of new online tools for anyone interested in plants. Use Go Botany in the field or on your desktop computer to identify and learn about thousands of native and naturalized plant species of New England. Funded by the National Science Foundation, this innovative website is free.
Go Botany features an interactive Simple ID Key to 1200 of the more common vascular plants of the region, covering everything from aquatic duckweeds to trees. In three easy steps, you hone in on the identification of your species while increasing your observational skills. Once you’ve arrived at a species, visit its information page to learn more: fun facts and uses, maps of the species’ range, gorgeous images, information about all its features, look-alike species, and whether it’s native, invasive, or rare in New England.
Coming soon will be a set of advanced tools for more experienced botanists, including a Full Key, which uses the same friendly interface as the Simple ID Key to identify all 3,500 species, subspecies, and varieties of plants in the New England flora, and a clickable Dichotomous Key that allows you to trace your steps, change your choices, and key out families or genera. Later this summer, the site will introduce PlantShare, an online forum that connects you with other plant enthusiasts to create and share checklists and photographs of species you have seen.
Elizabeth thinks Go Botany will be a helpful resource for Conway students newly learning about the region’s plants, as well as experienced designers who are assessing sites and creating sustainable landscape plans.
Elizabeth Farnsworth, Conway Conservation Biology Adjunct, is the principal investigator on Go Botany! Elizabeth is also Senior Research Ecologist with the New England Wild Flower Society (NEWFS), and a biologist, educator, and scientific illustrator.