About the Maps
For each species, we feature an image of a Virginia map showing the distribution of its wild populations, broken down by county and region. Each species is found in areas of suitable habitat throughout its marked range. The frequency at which it is found is shown in red, as seen in the key above. While looking at the maps, it's important to remember that these show the natural dispersal of each species, and when species are shown as less frequent, this is typically from a natural lack of suitable habitat in the area. For example, if a species is shown as very infrequent on its map, it is likely because this species prefers a specialized habitat that isn't found often throughout Virginia (such as high elevation rock cliffs, etc.). This same species may be common in another state that has more of an abundance of this habitat, where as Virginia is just not meant to support larger populations of this plant.
Info credit for all maps: Digital Atlas of the Flora of Virginia, vaplantatlas.org
-Flora of Virginia (2012)
-Peterson Field Guides: Wildflowers Northeastern/Northcentral North America, Roger Tory Peterson, Margaret McKenny
-Piedmont Native Plants: A Guide for Landscapes and Gardens
-National Wildlife Federation: Field Guide to Trees of North America, Kershner, Mathews, Nelson, Spellenberg
-Newcomb's Wildflower Guide, Lawrence Newcomb
-Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora, vaplantatlas.org
-Illinois Wildflowers, illinoiswildflowers.info
-Virginia Native Plant Society, vnps.org
-The Xerces Society, xerces.org
Medium to Dry Soil, Sun
This group includes species that naturally grow in areas that receive direct sunlight for part of the day (generally 3 hours or more) and have dry to medium soil moisture. The natives within this section have adapted to dry periods and well-drained soil and will not need to be watered once established--most plants typically become established in the first few weeks. This group includes many of Virginia's native grasses.
Very Dry Areas: Some species have adapted to life in very dry habitats in Virginia—dry cliffs, banks, and large rock outcrops that are exposed to sunlight during the day and can hold very little water. Unable to handle the competition of larger, more aggressive plants, these species have evolved to find their niche in the natural world by living in dry sites where many other plants cannot survive. In response, they are typically shorter in height, as there is less moisture available for growth. These plants can be grown in very dry sites and include the following species: Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum), Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata), Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris), Prickly Pear (Opuntia humifusa), Moss Phlox (Phlox subulata), and Birdfoot Violet (Viola pedata).