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Our 2020 Achievements

February 9th, 2021 by Alex Zorach

Like for much of the world, 2020 was a rough year for us, with me falling sick with COVID and becoming a "long-hauler", but in spite of the setbacks and lost work associated with this illness, we still achieved a remarkable amount on bplant.org over the past year.

New Plant & Ecoregion Articles

We now have 59 published plant articles, and 25,142 stub articles. These stubs represent imported data on even more of North America's plants, now covering most native and introduced species as well as many naturally-occurring hybrids. Many these unpublished articles, which are viewable through the site's search function, have substantial amounts of material on them already: 5612 have range maps, 208 have images, and 352 have some text but are not yet complete.

We also made great progress on ecoregions. Moving west and south from the northeast, we have completed all articles on Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

Here is an interactive map of Michigan as a sample:



We also completed much of Illinois, Alabama, and Georgia, and began work on Wisconsin and Mississippi.

Many of these articles, however, still lack photographs. Our blog post about helping us find ecoregion photos explains what we are looking for. If you have or can take or locate any photos that we could use for regions presently lacking photos, please get in touch!

Many More Plant Photos

We added 418 plant photos. Here is a brief gallery highlighting a few of them. Can you identify any of these plants before clicking on the images?


Many of these images were added specifically for use in our plant ID / compraison guides, which leads into our next accomplishment.

More ID / Comparison Guides

We completed and published 23 new plant ID / comparison guides, and began 19 more in-progress. Here are the ones we completed in 2020, as well as 3 more that we began in 2020 and have since completed:
As you can see, we have mostly been focusing on woody plants, but have begun making a few guides about some of the more common herbaceous plants as well.

Interlinking with Databases

One of the most exciting achievements of 2020 was our interlinking of our plant pages with their entries in other plant databases, which you can read about in our previous blog post if you missed it. Since publishing that post, we have added 5 more databases, bringing us to a total of 10, and we have more underway.

You can find our list of such interlinked databases on our websites page, which is updated as we add new ones.

New Homepage

We redesigned our homepage in order to better highlight newly-published and recently-updated plant pages, ecoregion articles, and ID/Comparison guides, as explained in this blog post.

Numerous Small Tweaks

We also made a whole series of small tweaks, some visible and some behind-the-scenes. These improvements include bug fixes, optimizations to make our pages quick to load even when being viewed by many people at once, as well as navigational and user-interface tweaks, and improvements in the pulling of images and descriptions when sharing our pages on social media.
Photo © Leila Dasher, CC BY 4.0, Source.

More Donors & Financial Support

We are also pleased that, in spite of dedicating very little energy to fundraising, we received over four times the amount of donations in 2020 as in 2019. You can find updated information on our Finances page, which is linked to in the footer of our site. Thank you so much to all our early donors!

If you are not already supporting us, please consider donating! You can also find the link in the footer of our site, along with a FAQ that we hope will address any concerns you might have.

We are still a long way from paying a living wage to support my full-time work on this site, which leaves the site's future uncertain. Donating is the most effective way to ensure that bplant.org continues to be developed and maintained, and remains ad-free and freely accessible to all.

What's In Store For The Future?

Besides continuing publishing plant and ecoregion articles, new ID/comparison guides, and interlinking with more databases, we also have some exciting new projects in the works. We are planning on eventually launching user accounts, which will allow users to save or bookmark plants, and also to request the prioritization of incomplete or missing articles. We also are planning the generation of plant lists for a particular ecoregion, which, combined with our ecoregion locator, will allow anyone to type in an address or location, and pin a point on a map, and then access a list of plants native to the region.

There is a lot to look forward to!