Maryland Native Plant Resources

Native plants are the foundation of the healthy ecosystems that support native wildlife and a thriving economy, as well as having their own intrinsic value. Maryland law requires that each entity that receives State funding and each State agency prioritize, whenever possible, the use of plants native to the State for every planting project.

Native Plants

The Maryland Plant Atlas (MPA) provides access to a checklist of vascular plants of Maryland that is updated as new records become available. The MPA is a partnership between the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the University of Maryland’s Norton-Brown Herbarium, and the Maryland Biodiversity Project. Each plant species in the flora has a species page containing information about whether the species is native or non-native (including invasive species), distribution, sources of records, and photographic images. The Maryland Plant Atlas is synced with the Checklist of Maryland Plants by Wesley Knapp and Robert Naczi (Smithsonian Press, 2021), which is updated as needed on the MPA. The link to the original article (Knapp & Naczi 2021) is located on the MPA homepage.

Invasive Plant Species

The Maryland Department of Agriculture maintains a list of regulated Tier 1 and Tier 2 invasive plant species.

Additional information regarding invasive plant species is available in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas (Swearingen et al. 2010). Links to other resources on invasive and exotic species can be found here.

Information for Maryland G​ardeners, Landscapers, and Homeowners:​
Native Alternatives to Invasive Plant Species

The Department of Natural Resources Wild Acres program includes information on native plant species and some of the alternatives to Tier 2 invasives in the "Landscaping for Wildlife" section.

The Maryland Native Plant Society provides abundant resources for gardening and landscaping with native plants including alternatives to using non-native species.

The University of Maryland Extension also provides recommended native plants for Maryland and additional resources for plant selection, planting, and plant care.

Additional Resources for Information Regarding Maryland’s Native Plant Species

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources publishes a comprehensive list of the Rare, Threatened and Endangered Plants of Maryland.

The Mid-Atlantic Herbaria Consortium serves as the portal for the Mid-Atlantic herbaria with online digitizing of our regional plant collections.

Contact Information

​Chris Frye, State Botanist
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Wildlife and Heritage Service