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Learn More about Gardens, Plants, Pollinators, and Ways to Enjoy Them

Links to Useful Sites

We have provided a glossary for your convenience.

In developing the web pages associated with the Discovery Garden, we have come across web sites with many wonderful pictures, life cycle diagrams, and information about plants, pollinators, city gardens, and activities for children, youth, and families. Many of the sites were used as references for the Discovery Garden pages. Sites that have links to education and/or activities for kids and families are marked with the word Activities at the end.

We offer this list of sites for you to enjoy. Many links go to one page within a site. Use the site's links to get more useful information on the topic you are researching. Commercial sites are mentioned because of the information they provide, not as an endorsement of the company or the company's products.

Plants is a link to lists of native plants and other resources.

Texas Superstar Many of these plants are not native, but have been selected by Texas A&M because they are disease and insect tolerant, drought tolerant, and require minimal care. They have been tested statewide. A source for seed & plants. is the home for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It has a wealth of information about native plants including everything you always wanted to know about Bluebonnets. There is also a very powerful search engine that allows you to search by state, time of bloom, color of bloom, etc. There are also “how to” articles and lists of wildflower resources. Benefits of native plants are also on the site. There is even a forum to post questions called “Mr. Smarty Plants” and educational materials. is "is a working list of all known plant species. It aims to be comprehensive for species of Vascular plant (flowering plants, conifers, ferns and their allies) and of Bryophytes (mosses and liverworts)." is a U.S. Government database that "provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories." focuses on the various plant families. contains a searchable database of native plants, landscape plans, where to find native plants, and other resources. - list of Texas native shrubs compiled by Texas A&M. - a nice native plants of Texas search engine. contains lists of certified organic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and more.

Scientific Names of Plants

"Hierarchical grouping (classification) of organisms helps us to learn the commonalities and the differences among life forms and helps us from a practical perspective to better comprehend the interrelationships among living organisms. Often scientific classifications can help to provide guesses at ecological requirements among species with which we are not familiar. Classifications help us to order the world around us. ... There is a common misconception that scientific classifications are static in nature (unchanging). Such is not the case, as plant taxa (groupings) are reclassified as additional information about their relationships are discovered." - Landscape Plants for Texas and Environs by Michael A. Arnold (p. 3).

To search for scientific names for plants see the following links. You can often find a plant using the common name of a plant. Wikipedia usually provides the scientific names of the plants that are called by that common name and gives lots of information about the genus and some important species in the genus.

Dave's Garden Find the plant by photo, link to the plant page, and get information on both the plant and its scientific name.

Floridata Find the plant by photo, link to the plant page, and get information on both the plant and its scientific name.

City Gardens

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Answers the question, "Why a pollinator garden?" The site encourages us to plant a Pollinator Garden to preserve pollinators and our biological diversity. Get information on instructions for developing the garden and animals that are pollinators using the links on this page.  Activities

Texas Discovery Gardens  This is the site for a butterfly and pollinator garden in Dallas, TX, that has organic show gardens, a butterfly house, and an insectarium.  Activities

The Butterfly Site
Offers tips on developing a butterfly garden and information on butterflies.  Activities

Creating a Butterfly Garden in Houston Offers information for the local area on which plants grow well here, Monarch butterflies, and the importance of milkweed.


U.S.D.A.  Forest Service 
A site of many pages of information on pollinators, this page provides images of pollinators, identified by scientific and common names.

What are Pollinators? A site of information about pollinators, this page gives a summary of information about pollinators, care of pollinators, and the threats to pollinators. Be sure to visit the home page. It is a more interesting page than this one with its pictures and links.  Activities

USDA Natural Resources and Conservation Service Get more information on pollinators, gardening, and farming from this site and its pages on pollinators. 

City of West Columbia • PO Box 487 • West Columbia, TX 77486 • (979) 345-3123 •
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