About the Atlas


Florida, with more than 4,300 species of native or naturalized ferns and seed plants and over 400 species of bryophytes, is the third most floristically diverse state in the United States.

The Atlas of Florida Plants provides a source of information for the distribution of plants within the state.  It also serves as a resource for the the Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida (Wunderlin, 1998; Wunderlin and Hansen, 2003, 2011) and for various regional floras, such as Long and Lakela (1971), Wunderlin (1982), and Clewell (1985).

Species occurrences in Florida are synthesized from numerous herbaria, which together hold over 500,000 plant specimens from Florida. County records are based mainly on the four herbaria having the largest holdings of Florida plants: University of Florida (FLAS), Florida State University (FSU), Fairchild Tropical Gardens (FTG), and University of South Florida (USF).  Additional significant records are found in several other USA herbaria, including other Florida herbaria such as the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services' Division of Plant Industry (PIHG), Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (SEL), the South Florida Collections Management Center (FNPS), and the University of West Florida (UWFP).

The documented occurrence of a species in a county is indicated by shading of that county on the maps.  The Florida keys consist of the chain of islands from Key Largo to the Marquesas Keys and the Dry Tortugas.  Politically, they are part of Monroe County, but are phytogeographically distinct and are mapped separately from mainland Monroe County.

The knowledge of the flora of any large region will always remain dynamic as new species are discovered and others disappear.  Certain counties or areas of the state that previously were sparsely collected will undoubtedly gain the attention of botanists eager to fill in the distributional gaps.  The authors welcome specimens to document the occurrence of new distributional records.



To learn more about the USF Herbarium, click on the following PDF links for a 1971 report (PDF, 3.4MB) or a 2017 report (PDF, 5.1MB). To see the departmental page about the herbarium, please click here.



Specimen data, including distribution information compiled from herbarium specimens, are entered into a Microsoft SQL Server database management system (PlantDB).  Atlas web pages are generated directly from the PlantDB database using the ASP program language served from Microsoft's Internet Information Server.  Maps are generated directly from PlantDB using ESRI MapObjects 2.0 technology residing on a Microsoft NT server.  Because the Atlas web site is generated directly from PlantDB, all web pages and maps are as up-to-date as the information entered into the database.

All servers are maintained at the USF Water Institute at the University of South Florida.  The PlantDB database management system was designed by Shawn Landry with the help of Jeb Holub (Axis Technologies, Inc.) and Bruce Hansen (ISB). All ASP programming was developed by Jeb Holub under the direction of the FCCDR and ISB.  Web page graphic design was created by Kristin Parker with assistance from Kevin Kerrigan.  Questions regarding the technology behind the Atlas of Florida Plants can be directed to Shawn Landry at the USF Water Institute.



The Atlas of Florida Plants has received funding from: Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Southwest Florida Water Management District, South Florida Water Management District, St. Johns River Water Management District, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Department of Transportation, Suncoast Native Plant Society, Florida Wildflower Foundation, and Florida Native Plant Society.  Funding for initial development of this project was provided by Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Nongame Wildlife Program and supported by the Florida Department of Transportation.


Literature Cited

Clewell, A. F. 1985. Guide to the Vascular Plants of the Florida Panhandle. University Presses of Florida, Gainesville.

Long, R. W. , and O. Lakela. 1971. A Flora of Tropical Florida. University of Miami Press, Coral Gables.

Wunderlin, R. P. 1982. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Central Florida. University Presses of Florida, Gainesville.

Wunderlin, R. P. 1998. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

Wunderlin, R. P., and B. F. Hansen. 2003. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida, Second Edition. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.


Contact the authors:

Richard P. Wunderlin
Bruce F. Hansen

Alan R. Franck

Fred B. Essig
Institute for Systematic Botany
Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology
University of South Florida, ISA 2015
4202 East Fowler Avenue
Tampa, FL 33620-5150



An accurate database of plant distributions depends on the continuous work of thousands of botanists and enthusiasts alike.  Because the Atlas of Florida Plants is an ongoing and dynamic project, we encourage you to contact the project staff with new information.

The Atlas is a specimen derived database.  All new county records submitted for inclusion in the database must be backed by a voucher specimen deposited in a recognized herbarium (not personal collections).  It is encouraged that the voucher specimen or a duplicate be sent to USF for verification.  Individuals not familiar with how to make a voucher specimen should contact the USF Herbarium Staff.  Online instruction is available at the University of Florida Herbarium website.

To comment on the Atlas of Florida Plants or to provide distribution data, contact the project staff: Bruce F. Hansen or Richard P. Wunderlin.


We graciously thank the following individuals for their recent valuable contributions:
Loran Anderson
Daniel Austin
John Beckner
Andrea Bishop
Keith Bradley
Edwin Bridges
Ron Chicone
Stephen Dickman
Elizabeth Gandy
John Kunzer
Patricia Howell
Wayne Longbottom
Steve Myers
Steve Orzell
Kent Perkins
Cecil Slaughter
Mark Strong
Carmel vanHoek
David Williams


Photo Credits

The more than 17,000 photographs presented on the Atlas of Florida Plants website represent the kind donation of many photographers; the major ones are listed below.  We are always receptive to further excellent photographs, especially those for species currently not or little illustrated, or for plant parts and developmental phases not now illustrated. Contact Bruce F. Hansen or Richard P. Wunderlin for submission information.

All photographs are copyright protected, but are available for non-commercial use in any educational, scientific, or non-profit venture.  Permission for use of particular photographs can be obtained by contacting Bruce F. Hansen or Richard P. Wunderlin who can further direct the request to the photographer or copyright holder in question.


Major Contributors
Guy Anglin
Bob Bierman
Allen Boatman
Keith Bradley
Shirley Denton
Dennis Girard
Roger Hammer
Patricia Howell
John Kunzer
Matthew Merritt
Gil Nelson
Walter K. Taylor
Dan Tenaglia
Betty Wargo
Teekeela Ann Williams