Botany & Horticulture Subject Guide

Welcome to the Botany and Horticulture Branch Library's subject guide.  This subject guide's concentration follows the primary print holdings found in the Branch library.  So for botany, the websites featured are on on taxonomy, systematics and botanical nomenclature and for horticulture the websites are on primary American garden history, plants that can grow in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, and landscape design.  This is a list of freely-available resources for students and teachers to learn about these specific subject areas of both botany and horticulture. 

Please feel free to contact us at with suggestions for additional resources or with questions.  See links to specific guide categories below:

Smithsonian Resources

  • Collections, Department of Botany, Smithsonian:  A searchable database of over 1.7 million botany records including plant images and botanical art.
  • Department of Botany, Smithsonian official website: Links to the current research projects of the Smithsonian's  National Museum of Natural History's Department of Botany, featuring botanical work around the globe and more recent projects such as the DNA Barcode Project.
  • The Field Book Project:  Field books are important primary source documents that describe the events leading up to and including the collection of specimens or observations during field research. 
  • Seed and Nursery Catalogs:  An early designed website from the Smithsonian Libraries on seed and nursery catalogs in the library's collection.  It features cover art from over 250 different historical seed catalog companies.
  • Smithsonian Gardens official website:  Smithsonian Gardens creates outdoor themed gardens through the Smithsonian museum complex and provides educational opportunities and programs to the public to learn about gardening.

Botany Resources

  • International Plant Names Index (IPNI):  A searchable database of plant scientific names including vascular plants, ferns and lycophytes.  IPNI is the product of a collaboration between The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, The Harvard University Herbaria, and the Australian National Herbarium.
  • LINNAEUS Link:  This website is an international collaboration between libraries with significant holdings of materials by or relating to Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), his students and his legacy.
  • PLANTS database:  a database from the U.S. Department of Agriculture featuring taxonomic, habitat, and geographic information of the plants in the United States and its territories.
  • The Plant List:  A searchable database of plant scientific names.  It is a collaboration between Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Missouri Botanical Garden.
  • Tropicos:   A botanical nomenclature database managed by the Missouri Botanical Garden, it features over 4 million specimen records, 2 million distribution records, and 230,000 images.

Horticulture Resources

Botany & Horticulture Libraries

  • Plant Libraries (Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries) : A listing of libraries that specialize in botanical or horticultural information throughout the United States, Canada, UK and Australia.  All libraries listed are members of CBHL and offer a wealth of information, through their collections and services.  Links to their freely available online catalogs is provided.