Plants Identification Resources

Web sites and other resources with information related to or aiding in the identification of plants.

  1. wcutler
    Welcome to the Resources area for Plants Identification. Feel free to check out the links, and add your comments or submit your own link suggestions by clicking the button on the right and discussing them on the Plants: Identification forum.

    Online Resources

    Aerulean.com
    Site of forum member SusanDunlap which enables gardeners to browse through our library of 20,000+ images using either visual or verbal cues. The non hierarchical key allows you to select from over 200 attributes – including water, height, flower color, and site location – to narrow the search results to plants you wish to consider for your gardening needs.

    Link location: Aerulean - Plant Search
    Submitted by SusanDunlap
    Submitted date 9 Jul 2014; last confirmed 15 May 2017

    African Plants - A Photo Guide
    Nice non-hierarchical search for African plants, result page shows photos. You can browse through a taxonomic hierarchy and / or search according to selected characters you observe on your plant. This was begun in 2008 as a result of field work on West African plant diversity performed within the project BIOTA-West Africa, and later SUN and UNDESERT and is continuously updated since.

    Link location: African Plants - A Photo Guide - Browse & Search
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 14 Jul 2017; last confirmed 14 Jul 2017

    Blake C. Willson's Flickr albums
    Blake Willson has hundreds of excellent photos of a lot of trees, and the collection is growing. They are split into albums by species name, and there are several photos for each species showing different aspects of the tree.

    Link location Blake C. Willson’s albums | Flickr
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 03 Apr 2017; last confirmed 03 Apr 2017

    efloraofindia
    The largest database on the web related to Indian flora, comprising details of more than 12,000 species of seed plants, ferns, fungi & others, organized by family, with several photos for each species.

    Link location efloraofindia
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 23 May 2017; last confirmed 23 May 2017

    eFloras.org
    Primarily keys to genus by family on several sites. Current sites are
    Flora of Chile
    Flora of China
    Flora of Missouri
    Flora of North America
    Moss Flora of China
    Trees and shrubs of the Andes of Ecuador (in Spanish)

    Link location eFloras.org Home
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 23 May 2017; last confirmed 23 May 2017

    Facebook Plants Identification Group
    There is a good crowd-sourcing group on Facebook, with 92+ thousand members, many from Europe, some from Italy.

    Link location Plant Identification
    Submitted by Andrey Zharkikh
    Submitted date 21 Apr 2017; last confirmed 21 Apr 2017

    Flora Analytica d'Italia
    Flora Analytica d'Italia, describing vascular plants indigenous, wild and cultivated in Italy. By Adriano Fiori and Giulio Paoletti

    Link locations to four volumes published in 1896-1908:
    Biblioteca Digital del Real Jardín Botánico
    Biblioteca Digital del Real Jardín Botánico
    Biblioteca Digital del Real Jardín Botánico
    Biblioteca Digital del Real Jardín Botánico
    Submitted by Andrey Zharkikh
    Submitted date 21 Apr 2017; last confirmed 11 May, 2017

    Flora Croatica Database
    Website about the flora of Croatia, contains more than 4500 species, 112762 photos. Site is run by the Department of Botany at the University of Zagreb.

    Link location Flora Croatica Database / Hrvatska flora / Flora of Croatia
    Submitted by Lila Pereszke
    Submitted date August 31, 2017; last confirmed 2 Sept, 2017

    Flora d'Italia
    La Flora d'Italia, by S. Pignatti, 1982. This 3 volume work is considered to be the only true and reliable BIBLE of Italian botanist. A must for all Italian Botanical gardens. It is extremely technical. Volume 2 is available for download as an ebook. Actually, all three volumes seem to be available. And there is a document describing an elusive desktop app:
    https://www.openstarts.units.it/dspace/bitstream/10077/3767/1/Guarino et al, bioidentify.pdf

    Link location La Flora d'Italia - Vol2 (Pignatti S. - 1982 - Edagricoltore)
    Submitted by duffy
    Submitted date April 21, 2017; last confirmed 13 May, 2017

    Flora Italiana (online book)
    Book by Parlatori and Caruel, Published by Firenze,Tip. Le Monnier,1848-1896, made available online by the Heritage Biodiversity Library. Google translates the book's description: Italian flora; namely, description of plants that grow spontaneously or grow as such in Italy and in the Islands to it aggiacenti; arranged according to the natural method.

    Link location 1 - Flora italiana; - Biodiversity Heritage Library
    Submitted by Andrey Zharkikh
    Submitted date 21 Apr 2017; last confirmed 11 May, 2017

    Flora Italiana (website)
    Website of over 8000 species of Italian flora with search by botanical or common name, browse by family or genus, or browse by family map location! Search results show a map and photos. The browse by family is hard to find - do a search and find it on the results page sidebar. This is an ad-supported page; it's not clear who runs it. Google offers to translate.

    Link location Flora Italiana
    Submitted by Silver surfer
    Submitted date 31 Jul 2017; last confirmed 31 Jul 2017

    Flora of Germany
    Website about german plants (native and ornamental plants too), contains more than 4000 species with pictures and ID keys (hierarchical view: Systematik; alphabetical view seems to be Artenverzeichnis)

    Link location Homepage
    Submitted by Lila Pereszke
    Submitted date August 31, 2017; last confirmed 2 Sept, 2017

    Flora-on - Flora de Portugal
    Easy to use even with no knowledge of Portuguese. It offers a screenful at a time of good-sized clear photos, organized by family, with some interactive key capability, but very biased toward flower characteristics.

    Link location Flora-On | Flora de Portugal interactiva
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 8 Sep 2015; last confirmed 11 May 2015

    Hungarian Flora
    Hierarchical picture gallery containing more than 2500 species. In Hungarian, but not too difficult to navigate. Search is at Keresés - Botanikai Fórum.

    Link location Képgaléria - MAGYARORSZÁG FLÓRÁJA
    Submitted by Lila Pereszke
    Submitted date 31 Aug 2017; last confirmed 2 Sept 2017

    NaturaLista
    This is a desktop and mobile app, in Spanish, launched in Mexico by the National Commission for the knowledge and use of biodiversity (CONABIO) in collaboration with iNaturalist. The site invites submissions for IDs, and you can search by genus or location. It's not clear whether the database consists just of what has been submitted for ID. Click Observaciones or Especies to start.

    Link location Una comunidad para naturalistas · NaturaLista
    Submitted by http://forums.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/members/daniel-mosquin.1/
    Submitted date 6 Nov 2017; last confirmed 18 Nov 2017

    Neotropikey: Neotropical Flowering Plant Families
    From Kew Botanical Gardens, a multi-access key (70 features) to 319 flowering plant families of the Neotropics. An alternate site is offered if the page does not load: Lucid Online Player - Key to the Flowering Plant Familes of the Neotropics. Kew's image database is also available at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew: Neotropical live plant image database.

    Link location: Neotropikey: Key to Neotropical plant families
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 23 Aug 2015; last confirmed 11 May 2017

    OSU Plant Identification System
    Oregon State University Department of Horticulture's Woody Plant identification system allows you to identify an unknown woody plant using a list of features. Click the appropriate link below for the kind of plant you are attempting to identify. The identification is limited to the more than 900 woody plants in the Oregon State Univ. Landscape Plants website, currently only broadleaf plants.

    Link location Plant Identification System
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 1Jun 2016; last confirmed 11 May 2017

    Plantaholic Sheila's Flickr albums
    Our own forum member Silver surfer has posted excellent photos of many plants from her former garden in Wales, in addition to 220 named Acers species and cultivars. Every single plant was labelled and catalogued. The 1300 photos are split into five albums alphabetically. As well, Sheila has added to flickr more than 20,000 photos, many tropical, from her travels. These albums are arranged alphabetically by family, and also by genus in some alphabetical subsets (Singapore, Hawaii, Acer).

    Link location https://www.flickr.com/photos/11713966@N02/albums
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 01 Apr 2017; last confirmed 01 Apr 2017

    Plantlife
    Plantlife is a British conservation charity working nationally and internationally to save threatened wild flowers, plants and fungi. You can browse alphabetical pages of plant and fungi species and do limited filtering. Check the Site Map page to see what all is available.

    Link location Plant & Fungi Species
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 03 Oct 2017; last confirmed 03 Oct 2017

    Treelib.ca
    Blake Willson, whose Flickr pages are listed separately, has developed this tree library for students, professors, laymen, artists, naturalists – anyone studying trees or who just appreciates their beauty. Need more pictures for a dendrology class, or to make your own collection, or to add background to a new website? You are welcome to use information from this site for non-commercial purposes.

    Link location http://treelib.ca/
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 03 Apr 2017; last confirmed 03 Apr 2017

    Wild Flower Finder
    This is a UK site on which you can browse or do a non-hierarchical search by characteristics. They have a lot more categories than just wildflowers, including trees, shrubs, grasses, ferns, several more. There are a lot of characteristics you can tick or select, including type of smell! But not leaf shape - most of the characteristics are about the flowers. The individual plant pages have a lot of photos of habit, leaves, flowers front and back, fruits. It says it will work well on a mobile device, but there is not a separate app.

    Link location WILD FLOWER IDENTIFICATION GUIDE (ID GUIDE)
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 14 May 2015; last confirmed 11 May 2017


    Written Resources

    Botany in a Day - The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
    Thomas J. Elpel / HOPS Press, LLC
    A herbal field guide to plant families of North America; learn to identify herbal plants based on plant family characteristics.

    Link location Botany in a Day (APG): The Patterns Method of Plant Identification.
    Submitted by togata57
    Submitted date 8 Jul 2014; last confirmed 11 May 2017

    Che Fiori è Questo?
    By Margot Spohn, Roland Spohn, Dietmar Aichele, Marianne Golte-Bechtle; published by Franco Muzzio editore, 2012

    Bulky field guide with Italian text. Identifies over 870 plants, with the breakdown by flower color and more than 1800 realistic colour illustrations.. New to this Edition: main hallmarks reported on the design of the plant; indication of similar species and what they observe to distinguish them; over 800 additional illustrations with details of flowers, leaves, fruits and roots. Extras: trees, shrubs and herbs.

    Link location Che fiore è questo?
    Submitted by duffy
    Submitted date 21 Apr 2017; last confirmed 11 May 2017

    Flores Silvestres de San Miguel de Allende
    By Richard Cretcher; published by R&D Publishing for Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden (2006)
    Pocket guide paperback to the wildflowers of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. The guide features a large number of local species in bloom, the majority of which can be found in the nature reserve of the Charco. The book is generally only available at the garden and bookstores in the town, but at least one copy has showed up on Amazon.
    A visitor has posted 40 photos based on IDs made using the book: Flores Silvestres de San Miguel de Allende by Al (Alfred) Toth

    Link location Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden
    Submitted by http://forums.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/members/daniel-mosquin.1/
    Submitted date 6 Nov 2017; last confirmed 18 Nov 2017

    Wild Flowers of the Mediterranean
    By Marjorie Blamey (Illustrator), Christopher Grey-Wilson (Author); published by A & C Black, 2015 (reprint of 2008 edition)

    Field guide to the flowers, fruit trees, grasses and ferns found in the countries bordering the Mediterranean, with 2700 coloured flowers. Originally hand painted, beautifully done and with 560 pp. Not very expensive £ 17,00.

    Link location Wild Flowers of the Mediterranean
    Submitted by duffy
    Submitted date 21 Apr 2017; last confirmed Apr 2017