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Celebrating Wildflowers

Closeup of the White Lady Slipper Orchid flower.
Plant of the Week: White Lady Slipper Orchid (Cypripedium candidum)

The white lady slipper is a showy species in the Orchid family (Orchidaceae). In fact, the name “Cypripedium” translates to “Venus slipper” and refers to the shape of the flowers.

Closeup of a White Striped Black Mason Wasp, all black with white stripes, on a green leaf.
Pollinator of the Month: White-Striped Black Mason Wasp

The White-Striped Black Mason Wasp is a frequent visitor to flowers that produce copious amounts of nectar, and in the process they carry pollen from flower to flower.

A large clump of Red Wake Robins (Trillium erectum) in the Appalachian Mountains.
Beauty of It All: Terrific Trilliums

Trilliums hold a special place in the hearts of naturalists, botanists, horticulturalists, and those who enjoy the outdoors worldwide!

Four plants on a creme colored background above text "Rare Plants"
Explore Rare Plants on our National Forests and Grasslands

“Caring for the land and serving people”, the mission of the U.S. Forest Service, means caring for rare plants and their habitats, and helping people learn about these special plants on our national forests and grasslands.

An illustration of plants, candles, rope, bowls, a cup and saucer, and a flying insect.
Ethnobotany…Plants Sustaining People

Ethnobotany is the study of how people of a particular culture and region make use of indigenous (native) plants.

Celebrating Wildflowers News

Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Recognizing National Pollinator Week

Posted June 20, 2022

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2022 – Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) proclamation in recognition and support of National Pollinator Week (June 20 – 26, 2022). Pollinator species, such as bees, other insects, birds, and bats play a critical role in producing more than 100 crops grown in the United States. Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $18 billion in value to agricultural crops annually.

USDA recognizes the critical role pollinators play in agriculture and supports pollinator health through research, data collection, diagnostic services, monitoring, pollinator habitat enhancement programs and pollinator health investments. USDA also released today its “Annual Strategic Pollinator Priorities Report (PDF, 1.8 MB)” that outlines USDA pollinator research and programmatic priorities for the coming year. Research priorities focus both on managed and wild pollinators. Identifying pollinator research priorities and practices enables USDA, our partners, and communities we serve to make informed decisions when supporting pollinator health in the agricultural systems, ecosystems and economies that depend on pollinators.

USDA will also be hosting a pollinator exhibits exposition in conjunction with the USDA Farmers Market on Friday, June 24, 2022 (no rain date scheduled), from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EDT) on 12th Street and Jefferson Drive SW (next to the Smithsonian Metro Station). This event, in celebration of National Pollinator Week, will feature dozens of vendors and exhibits for the public to explore and learn about pollinators and pollinator health.

Read the full proclamation: National Pollinator Week Proclamation (PDF, 244 KB)

National Seed Strategy Provides Native Seed Progress

Posted December 20, 2021

Plant seedlings in small pots on trays in a greenhouse.
USGS Photo

RESTON, VA. - The Plant Conservation Alliance, a coalition of federal agencies and their Tribal, state and non-governmental partners with the goal to protect and restore resilient native plant communities, released a five-year progress report detailing coordinated efforts to increase the pace, quality and scale of native seed development and use in restoration efforts across our Nation. Read the National News Release