2021 Plant Photographic Scavenger Hunt garners 8988 images!

Participation of native plant lovers from across Indiana made the IU Herbarium's 2021 Plant Photographic Scavenger Hunt an overwhelming success.

Learn more by reading our latest news release.

Read the news release

Helianthus tuberosus (Jerusalem artichoke).  Photo by Robert Barber

We appreciate your help

If you have explored IU Herbarium’s digital herbarium and poked around in the species pages, you might have noticed that some species have beautiful, detailed photos that show off various parts of the plants. With more than 2700 different species in Indiana, however, many species pages are lacking quality images and instead only have photos of herbarium specimens—dead, dried plants mounted on paper. That’s where you came in!

With the help of the public, the goal of the 2021 Photographic Scavenger Hunt was to gather diagnostic photos of various plant species from across Indiana. Every region of the state is home to different species, so we encouraged people of all ages to get outside and explore their area’s unique flora! In the process, the photos and information you submitted also served as occurrence records—essentially an informal population count that documents how plant species are doing across the state. It was a win for everyone!

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Claytonia virginica (common name: spring beauty)—with its loose clusters of pink-striped, 5-petaled white flowers— is a herbaceous perennial found across Indiana. A pair of smooth, grass-like leaves occur halfway up the slender, 4- to 12-inch stem. This small woodland plant is an early spring bloomer.

Thank you to IU Plant Biology Endowment Funds, IU Institute for Advanced Study, Indiana Academy of Science, and the Indiana Native Plant Society for their generous funding of this project. We also thank our additional collaborators—including ACRES Land Trust; Central Indiana Land Trust (CILTI); Indiana Department of Natural Resources; IU’s Environmental Resilience Institute, part of the Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge; Monroe County–Identify and Reduce Invasive Species (MC–IRIS); NICHES Land Trust; Oak Heritage Conservancy; Purdue Extension Master Gardener Program; Red-tail Land Conservancy; Sycamore Land Trust; and The Nature Conservancy in Indiana.