Wild Plants of Texas NPSOT challenge Bioblitz 2023

As in the past years, we’ve wanted to see plants that are wild (not the ones planted in our landscapes) — I know folks love to show off their native plant gardens, and those are fantastic, but those plants have to be marked as “cultivated” even though they’re native.  This project is for finding all of those plants out in the ‘wilderness’ of Texas (even the ‘weeds’ in vacant lots in our cities)! Here is the link to the Wild Plants of Texas NPSOT BioBlitz page on iNaturalist.

Rules and FAQs:
Observations must be of a plant with a photo and must be in Texas during Oct 15 – 21. If cultivated, observation must be marked as cultivated.

How can I participate?
It’s easy! Just download iNaturalist on smartphone, create username and password. You can also go onto the website and create a username and password. You can use a camera if you don’t have phone; just put the observations on iNat using the computer. Use the app to make observations, but go to the website to look at the data!

Do I need to join the project?
No! Any and all observations of plants made in Texas during October 15 – 21 will automatically be added to the project. You don’t have to do any extra steps to add observations to the project.

How can I see the progress of the bioblitz?
Search this page that aggregates all of the observations that match the criteria (plants, Texas, photo evidence). You can filter results by your county/region or by individual or plant family or anything else.

Can I observe a native plant that I put in my landscape?
We would rather you observe plants that are wild and not planted… iNaturalist is best used for natural distributions of organisms, so if we do observe cultivated/planted, they need to be marked as cultivated or captive. After all, we do have elephants in Dallas — but they’re captive. So, observations of cultivated plants need to be marked as cultivated.

Why should non-natives or invasives count to this bioblitz?
So, this data is still important to know! This project is for documenting all wild plants.

Where should I go to make observations?
The best place to go includes those wild spaces like no-mow zones or ‘weedy’ spots. You can observe plants from around your home or roadside (no trespassing allowed!!!). Public parks are ideal – observations made in these public spaces can guide management.

How else can I help?
One of the most important things you can do is help with the identifications! If you know some plants, take a look at the observations that folks are making around Texas on the iNaturalist Wild Plants of Texas NPSOT BioBlitz page.

This is best done on the computer/PC. You need to have an iNaturalist account to identify observations.
Also, if you notice that folks are documenting cultivated/planted plants, you can mark these as cultivated/captive on the identify screen.