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What is PlantWatch 
Why Monitor Plants? 
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Identifying Plants 
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Featured Plant

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Common name:

Scientific name:
Cornus canadensis

Commonly known as:
crackerberry, dwarf cornel

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What is PlantWatch?

PlantWatch is part of our national NatureWatch series of volunteer monitoring programs designed to help identify ecological changes that may be affecting our environment. PlantWatch partners include representatives from each province and territory. Our goal is to encourage Canadians of all ages to get involved in helping scientists discover how, and more importantly why, our natural environment is changing.

The PlantWatch program enables "citizen scientists" to get involved by recording flowering times for selected plant species and reporting these dates to researchers through the Internet or by mail. When you submit your data electronically, it's added instantly to Web maps showing bloom dates across Canada, so your observations make a difference right away!

PlantWatching has a long tradition and rich history. In 1750 the Swedish scientist and artist Linnaeus turned plantwatching into a systematic science. He made calendars of flowering times for 18 places in Sweden, also noting the exact climatic conditions at these times. This was the foundation of modern plant phenology which spread to many European countries and revealed, over the centuries, that some spring wildflowers are super-sensitive weather instruments!

Over one hundred years ago in Canada, Nova Scotia's Superintendent of education, Dr. Alexander H. MacKay had students collect plant, animal, agricultural and weather phenology from 1897-1923. Then in 1987 the Alberta Wildflower Survey started and blossomed into a program that initiated Alberta PlantWatch. The Alberta program then advised in the creation of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland PlantWatch. Today there are PlantWatch programs in each Province and Territory.

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David Suzuki Foundation Nature Canada University of Ottawa Wilfrid Laurier University