Tennessee Smart Yards Native Plants

A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants

Advanced Search

Search Instructions

Our website has a built-in search bar on the top right that can be used for general searching. However, it can be somewhat limiting because it searches every part of the site for the exact word /phrase entered. It also searches by the date which means newer pages show up first. This can be limiting, but it’s a good tool to find a specific plant by common or scientific name.

Noticing these limitations we decided that we really wanted to come up with a search possibility that would be more specific to plant types and conditions. We are a non-profit trying to get the most out of a free website so in that spirit we devised a search enhancement option that can be used for a more refined search. This search option allows you to look for groups of plants that prefer specific light levels, moisture levels and soil types. We are calling these search “strings” and you can enter them directly into the search bar to refine your search.

To use the search “strings” you need to do 3 things:

  1. Select one word from each category in the order presented below.
  2. Type each word exactly as it is written below.
  3. Separate each of the words with a semi-colon and do NOT use any spaces.


Here is an example of a search “string”:     flower;sun;medium;sand
Entered into the search bar this “string” will find any flower that grows in full sun, needs a medium level of moisture and grows in sandy soil.

Another example is:     grass;sun/shade;wet;loam
This search will find any grass that grows in partial sun and needs wet, loamy soil.

Essentially this search “string” functions as if you were entering a word into the search bar so it’s important that it is space free. Also, double check that you are using a semi-colon when separating the terms. Do not modify any of the terms, for example don’t use “sandy” for “sand.” If you use another form of punctuation or word the search won’t function properly.

We hope that this added search option will help you refine your searching capabilities on this site. We’ve tried it out and it seems to work pretty well.  Perhaps one day we will be able to invest in a programmer that can create a customized database for us, but until then the word around here is search “strings”!! Try it out and let us know what you think!

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