The flora of the Washington (D.C.) -Baltimore Area (see Map)
is rich in number and diversity of species. Nearly 2,800 species of native and naturalized vascular
plants (ferns and fern allies, conifers and flowering plants) have been catalogued
in this region. The region includes mountain, Piedmont, and coastal plain habitats
and thus embraces a wide variety of ecological conditions.
Local plants have been studied since at least the 1830s (see "A Prodromus of the Flora Columbiana"), and the DC
Herbarium, located within the U.S. National Herbarium, was established as an integral part of that
research. An up-to-date Annotated Checklist of the Vascular Plants of the Washington-Baltimore Area has been completed in two parts
(Part I, 2000;
Part II, 2002) by Stanwyn Shetler and Sylvia Orli.
The recording of spring flowering dates is another of the current projects,
which has continued for more than 30 years.
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