Ask Me About USDA Hardiness Zones

I’d ask if the cliffhanger was too much for you but I’m publishing this entry within the same hour I posted my last one, so I don’t think anyone’s going to be jiggling legs anxiously waiting for me to explain more of my research.

Once I had about ten plant photos in my camera roll, I’d log onto and upload the photo and the name of each plant. PlantsMap also gives a user the ability to input a large amount of information (below).Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 2.26.06 PM Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 2.26.17 PM Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 2.26.30 PM Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 2.26.44 PM Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 2.27.04 PM Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 2.27.13 PM

I would trawl through gardening hobby forums, university botany pages, and commercial greenhouse websites to try and fill out every section on the PlantsMap website. It was tedious at times, but if someone’s interested in a plant in the William & Mary greenhouse, I wanted them to be able to find information about how and where it grows all in one place.

This part of my summer project was definitely the most enjoyable–I got to learn a little bit about a lot of different plants and with that knowledge was able to piece together similarities and differences between various plant families. I was initially worried about it qualifying as research, but the amount of different plant sites I┬ávisited and information I gleaned assured me that what I was doing did count as real work, although it shared very few similarities with the work my labmates were doing.

Pop back in a few hours to hear my final take on the work I did this summer! I love all my fans!


  1. emturrietta says:

    Third comment is the charm! This is a really cool tool that I had no clue existed. I cannot imagine all the time it spent to find all that information about each plant in the greenhouse. Did it require you to fill out all the information, or just what you found relevant/easily accessible? I researched grass shrimp this summer, and something I struggled with was discerning between two incredibly similar species with only a few differences. Sometimes the shrimp would be injured or less than a centimeter long, which added to the struggle. I don’t know too much about plants, but I’m interested to know if plants also can be incredibly similar looking, yet be different species. If so, I imagine this made data collection and labelling difficult, as it was for me!

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