The site is a resource for identifying taxonomic information (scientific names) as well as common names on more than 500,000 accessions (distinct varieties, cultivars etc.) of plants covering 10,000 species; both economically important ones and wild species. It profiles plants that are invasive or noxious weeds, threatened or endangered, giving out data on worldwide distribution of its habitat; as well as passport information. GRIN also incorporates an Economic Plants Database.
The network is maintained by GRIN's Database Management Unit (GRIN/DBMU). GRIN is under the oversight of National Germplasm Resources Laboratory (NGRL) in Beltsville, Maryland, which in 1990 replaced its forerunner, the Germplasm Services Laboratory (GSL), that had formerly run GRIN).
A stated mission of GRIN is to support the following projects: