Most Common R.G. Plant (and Fish, haha!) Observations (Maps). Update 6/20 - oaks, orchids, fish, England, Asia now in comments!

Hey everybody! I was curious, so I ran some queries - these are the all-time most common research-grade plant observations, by state. Obviously not top-grade scientific research, but I thought it was kind of neat - so I put it in map form to share. The grey states have unique top observations (see table below), the colored ones share with at least one other state.

A few states were kind of close; it wouldn’t surprise me if they change seasonally. The closest right now was Wyoming - Creeping Mahonia beat out Fireweed by one observation.

Without further ado:

As a table (listing all states)
State Plant
Alabama American Sweetgum
Alaska Fireweed
Arizona Saguaro
Arkansas Virginia Springbeauty
California California Poppy
Colorado Great Mullein
Connecticut Striped Wintergreen
Delaware American Pokeweed
Florida White Beggarticks
Georgia American Sweetgum
Hawaii Ohi’a Lehua
Idaho Great Mullein
Illinois Praire Trillium
Indiana Mayapple
Iowa Common Milkweed
Kansas Green Antelopehorns
Kentucky Mayapple
Louisiana White Clover
Maine Canadian Bunchberry
Maryland Garlic Mustard
Massachusetts Eastern White Pine
Michigan Common Milkweed
Minnesota Bloodroot
Mississippi Pale Pitcher Plant
Missouri Amur Honeysuckle
Montana Fireweed
Nebraska Common Milkweed
Nevada Creosote Bush
New Hampshire Eastern White Pine
New Jersey Garlic Mustard
New Mexico Creosote Bush
New York White Snakeroot
North Carolina Christmas Fern
North Dakota Plains Pricklypear
Ohio Virginia Springbeauty
Oklahoma Eastern Redcedar
Oregon Pacific Trillium
Pennsylvania Garlic Mustard
Rhode Island Rugosa Rose
South Carolina American Sweetgum
South Dakota Hoary Vervain
Tennessee Christmas Fern
Texas Pinkladies
Utah Kingcup Cactus
Vermont Eastern White Pine
Virginia Mayapple
Washington Western Sword Fern
West Virginia Christmas Fern
Wisconsin Common Milkweed
Wyoming Creeping Mahonia

27,455!!! RG observations
Apparently I observed 5 and IDed 244 of those


That’s a lot, ain’t it? :grin: You’ve got me beat, I’ve only observed two of 'em down there! I would have guessed Bluebonnet as most common, but that’s third, behind Indian Blanket.

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Creosote in NM is largely on one user who uploads massive quantities of common flora. Saguaro and California Poppy are probably the least surprising to me.


Cool idea to look at it this way! I was a bit surprised that CA poppy beat out CA buckwheat, feels like I’ve seen so many observations of the latter…


Yep! It seems he’s heavily influenced New Mexico, too. Course, some of the fun of iNaturalist is being able to create those sorts of influences - although often on a smaller scale! Looks like he’s labored a fair bit in Arizona, too, but Saguaro is well ahead - Creosote Bush is just 2nd place there!


Don’t discount the mighty, 2nd-place-in-California, Pacific Poison Oak :grin:


First two for Louisiana are non-natives (white clover & Chinese tallow). I better go ID a bunch of bald cypresses to try to move it from 3rd to 1st. :grin:

Edit: I succeeded in moving baldcypress up to 2nd place. It’s also now my most IDed species.


It’s my most-observed plant in California, with California poppy in fourth.

Also, @comradejon, you can reply to multiple posts in one post by using the quote function. It helps to keep threads cleaner.

Finally saw my first baldcypresses, in Illinois, this year. Amazing ecosystem.


here’s a previous effort to visualize something similar, with some discussion: i think there have been other variants of this sort of visualization made for other taxa, too.


Maybe because there are different species of Bluebonnets?

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Hesperis matronalis is found in all the states except for Hawaii, Louisiana and Florida.

That’s really sad about Garlic Mustard (an invasive alien) in PA and MD. If I still lived there I’d try to go out and flood the zone with a native species.


The zone is the entire state, like pretty much every square foot of it that isn’t paved, lol. Trying to get rid of garlic mustard in PA is like trying to get rid of dandelions.


I wonder how well the list lines up with the official state flowers for each? Might be fun to check.

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Saguaro wins that subcategory by a landslide.

For the District of Columbia (Washington DC) it’s lesser celandine :-(

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white snakeroot for NY kind of shocks me. it’s common for sure, but i don’t see it all the time. it’s usually just wooded areas i see it.

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California poppy is California’s state flower. Also, there’s a persistent myth that picking it is illegal, which is not true.


I think that’s more a result of a pretty big amount of super users uploading large quantities.