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Flora of West Virginia is a comprehensive guidebook to the approximately 2,200 wild plants found in the state. The 1,079-page book represents decades of research and study by botanists and West Virginia University professors P. D. Strausbaugh and Earl L. Core, their associates, and successors. In compiling the classic book, the authors drew upon resources at the WVU herbarium, library studies, and field work.

Flora describes the general features of West Virginia’s vegetation, from types of forests to grass balds and heath barrens, shale barrens, aquatic plants, farm and garden weeds, artificial prairies, and plant migrations. The flora are presented by family, genera, and species. Each is described by physical characteristics, blooming season, habitat, and locations in the state. Line drawings, many of them by artist William A. Lunk, accompany the entries. Other contributing artists include A. S. Margolin, William F. Strunk, Nelle Ammons, Dorothy Megowen, Richard L. Brown, Jane W. Roller, Anthony J. Hyde, and Marguerite Givens.

Flora of West Virginia was originally published in four parts, beginning with part one in 1952 and ending with part four in 1964. The first one-volume edition was published in 1965 and reissued by Seneca Books of Morgantown in 1993. A group of six botanists from West Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina is updating the book for future publication in a new edition.

Flora of West Virginia should not be confused with an earlier book of the same name by C. F. Millspaugh and Lawrence William Nuttall and published in 1896 by Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History.

Last Revised on November 30, 2023

Related Articles


Core, Earl L. Vegetation of West Virginia. Parsons: McClain, 1974.

Strausbaugh, P. D. & Earl L. Core. Flora of West Virginia. Morgantown: 1964, Second edition, 4 vols. Morgantown: West Virginia University, 1970-77.

Cite This Article

e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia "Flora of West Virginia." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 30 November 2023. Web. 24 July 2024.


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