Plant Finder & Interactive Map (ABE)

Welcome to the U.S. National Arboretum’s Arboretum Botanical Explorer, or as we like to call it, “ABE”*. Combining our plant records, GIS maps, and images, ABE is a powerful yet easy-to-use search and mapping tool for researchers, die-hard plant lovers, and novice gardeners alike. Detailed information about the Arboretum’s accessioned plants is available by clicking right on the map, using the simple plant name browser, or the advanced search. Use it to plan your visit to a particular must-see plant or dedicated bench, or just have a look around. Then, download our handy USNA mobile app to your iOS or Android mobile device to take special tours of our collections, see what’s in season, or navigate to specific plants and benches!

Arboretum Plant Explorer (ABE): interactive map and plant finder

User tips: Plants are shown on the map with dots in two different colors: medium green (medium green ABE dot, mapped plants) and bright green (bright green ABE dot, unmapped plants). The medium green dots represent plants that have been mapped precisely where they are growing, and the bright green dots represent all of the unmapped plants growing in each garden bed, to give you an approximate location (the dots are usually at the center of each bed).

ABE is optimized for viewing on a computer with a mouse, but can work with any pointing device. Zoom in and out using your mouse’s scrolling wheel or the on-screen controller, or on a keyboard using key combination ctrl+ (to zoom in) or ctrl- (to zoom out). Click and drag the cursor to pan the screen in any direction, and click on any green dot to see detailed information about the plant or plants it represents, along with any photos. (Pro tip: there’s more information shown in Advanced Search mode than in Explore Arboretum.)

The first time you use ABE in your web browser, you will probably be asked to run Adobe Flash. Just click on the button to enable it, and ABE will load automatically.

Arboretum accession numbers, field collection numbers, country of origin and many other criteria are searchable from the Advanced Search. Fill out any combination of fields (fewer criteria will give a larger number of results) and then use the resulting list that appears to further sort and choose plants of interest. You can sort the list in the “Search Results” window by clicking on each column header.

Known issues and bugs: Currently, the tours in ABE are not current, particularly the 2019 self-guided cherry tour; the tours function has been moved to the USNA mobile app and will be removed from ABE in a forthcoming update. Also, “My Visit” features including map directions and CSV export are out of order. Navigation assistance for locating specific plants is now provided by the USNA mobile app, and data exports will be greatly improved in an updated, streamlined version of ABE that we’re hoping to debut in summer 2019!

We’re hard at work mapping more plants, taking more pictures, and making ABE even more user-friendly. We welcome your feedback! Email Stefan Lura (stefan.lura@ars.usda.gov) with your comments and suggestions.

Arboretum Plant Explorer (ABE): interactive map and plant finder, zoom in for more details

*The acronym also recalls the founder of the United States Department of Agriculture, President Abraham Lincoln. The Arboretum is part of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.