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Making a Great EDDMapS Report -Tips for VMNs FINAL
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Making a Great EDDMapS Report                                                 September 2021

Your EDDMapS Profile

Your EDDMapS Profile: If you are a Virginia Master Naturalist, please include the  organization and your chapter. This helps verifiers and VMN project leads identify you as being associated with this VMN project.

Go to ‘My EDDMapS’

Select ‘Profile’ (will be on the left of your screen if using a desktop)

Select ‘Edit Profile’

Look for ‘Organization’ and ‘Unit/Department’

Scroll to Bottom and Click ‘Edit Profile’


Include any relevant notes about the plant including specific plant characteristics, its behavior, location, or anything you think is interesting. For example, did you notice that it may have escaped from a nearby planting? Make a note of that here. An example would be “Bradford (Callery) pear was planted on a property adjacent to this park several years ago and now observing seedlings in this area of the park.”


Good photos are key to expediting the verification process. Photos help the verifiers see the unique characteristics of invasive plants, distinguish them from native look-alikes or other non-native plants in the same genus, and to confirm that the plant is an escapee rather than one that was intentionally planted.  

All reports should include at least one photo, but verifiers benefit from the inclusion of multiple photos.   EDDMapS accepts up to five images per report along with captions for each image. Whenever possible, please include photos that clearly show the following:  

  1. General habit of the plant: examples would be an entire tree or group of plants or where the plant is growing (forest, stream, ROW, etc.)
  2. Sufficient context to demonstrate that the plant was not intentionally planted for landscaping, gardening, or other purposes.
  3. Upclose photo of key characteristics of the leaves, twigs, thorns, stem, flowers, and/or fruit: examples would be hairy stems as in kudzu, the red stem of wineberry, or deep blue fruit of porcelain-berry
  4. Bark of shrubs or trees: shreddy, smooth, deeply furrowed, etc. 


If you are reporting from a desktop computer at home, make sure the coordinates of the report are the actual coordinates of the plant location and not those of your current location (your home).

20 Virginia Non-Native Plants of Interest

Of particular interest is the following list of plants.  This is the list of plants for which we are specifically requesting reports. To download these as a list from EDDMapS follow the instructions below:

To get to it, go to...

1) the EDDMapS website

2) the My EDDMapS page (Button in the bar at the top of the page)

3) "My Species List" (from the list in the left margin)

4) Go to drop down menu under "Add Species List" (top right side of page)

5) Select "Virginia Master Naturalists Priority Species List"

6) Hit the "Add List" button.

Now these 20 species should appear below.

You'll want to transfer this list to your smartphone or tablet. Go to "EDDMapS Login" and log into the app (again) on your smartphone or tablet.Once you do so, the list of 20 species should appear under "My Species List."

List with links to EDDMapS descriptions

Akebia quinata

Five-leaf akebia, Chocolate vine

Arum italicum

Italian arum

Berberis bealei (Mahonia bealei)

Leatherleaf mahonia

Berberis julianae

Wintergreen barberry

Berberis thunbergii

Japanese barberry

Buddleja davidii

Butterfly bush

Clematis terniflora

Sweet autumn virgin's bower

Euonymus alatus

Winged euonymus, Burning bush

Euonymus fortunei

Winter Creeper

Hedera helix

English ivy

Hemerocallis fulva

Orange daylily

Hibiscus syriacus


Miscanthus sinensis

Chinese silvergrass

Nandina domestica

Nandina, Heavenly Bamboo

Perilla frutescens

Beefsteak plant, Perilla mint

Pyrus calleryana

Callery pear, Bradford Pear

Quercus acutissima

Sawtooth oak

Rhodotypos scandens


Ulmus parvifolia

Chinese elm, Lacebark elm

Vinca minor



For additional help with plant identification, consult with these resources:

Invasive Fact Sheets from DCR Natural Heritage and Blue Ridge PRISM

A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests

Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas

Mistaken Identity? Invasive Plants and their Native Look Alikes an Identification Guide for the Mid-Atlantic

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