Plants and Plant Communities

Delaware has more than 1,600 species of native plants. More than a quarter of them are rare and can be found in more than 100 different terrestrial and wetland habitat types.

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife, working with the Water Resources Center, part of the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration, maintains online databases of data and information about plants and plant communities in Delaware.

Flora of Delaware Online

The Flora of Delaware Online database contains basic information on the status, habitat type, and distribution of plant species in Delaware. It is based on the The Flora of Delaware: An Annotated Checklist (2001).

The online database includes many new plant species added since the 2001 publication as well as more information on the ecology and life history of each species. It is intended for use by landscapers, land managers, wildlife managers, planners, restoration ecologists, research biologists, educators and home gardeners.

Database Features

  • Plant species guides (for gardening, habitat management, etc.)
  • Digital images to assist with plant identification
  • Three search levels: Quick Search, Advanced and Habitat
  • Wildlife benefits
  • Invasive species listings

Delaware Statewide Vegetation Community Map

There are 140 distinct vegetation communities throughout Delaware. The Statewide Vegetation Community Map includes these communities as well as impervious (paved) surfaces, water, and non-vegetated areas (beach, tidal, mudflat, modified land).

The map presents aerial photography from 1937, 1954, 1961, 1968 and 1998. These can also be viewed to look at changes in land use over time. These maps are intended to serve as baseline data on land uses in the past and present and will help influence land use decisions in the future.