Plant exploration provides the horticulture industry, public gardens, the scientific community, arboreta – and ultimately the public – with more diverse and hardier germplasm that increases the breadth of plants available for research and landscape use. The issues fundamental to plant exploration presented in this symposium included protocols for working with foreign governments and scientists, evaluating plants from expeditions, controllng the importation of invasive plant species, maximizing the scientific value of the plants and ensuring the preservation and transfer of plants to the commercial trade.