Plants Identification Online 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
    (For written resources, see Plants Identification Written Resources)

    Acta Plantarum
    Recommended as an important website for flora of the Italian regions. There are floral galleries of 6000 images by family or species, a key for some species, index cards by region, and some very detailed. Notes on Plant Morphology, nine buttons at the bottom centre on the home page, lead to very detailed pages on morphology of plants with good drawings and illustrative photos. Site is in Italian, but there are various ways to get it translated. Here is Microsoft's translated page.

    Link location Acta Plantarum - Home Page
    Submitted by duffy
    Submitted date 3 August 2017; last confirmed 2 March 2018

    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

    British Bryological Society Field Guide
    Mosses and Liverworts of Britain and Ireland: a field guide with a page each of detailed description and drawings of around 700 species of mosses and 300 species of liverworts. There are drawing galleries to get you started, and a very nice detailed key with drawings.

    Link location BBS > BBS Field Guide species accounts
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 31 Aug 2018; last confirmed 31 Aug 2018

    Cretan Flora
    This illustrated guide to the 93 flower families that can be found on Crete are represented here by 186 unique flower shapes. To assist with the identification of individual flowers species, there is a "Genera Colour Guide". There is a link to a related Facebook page that has excellent photos of named plants.

    Link location Cretan Flora
    Submitted by https://forums.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/members/daniel-mosquin.1/
    Submitted date 17 Jan 2019; last confirmed 2 Feb 2019

    Discover Life Wildflower Key
    This link is for a non-hierarchical key to US wildflowers, but the Discover Life offers much more - various keys to plants by type or location, as well as photos of other life forms.

    Link location Wildflowers -- identification guide -- Discover Life
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 29 Jul 2019; last confirmed 29 Jul 2019

    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

    Flora Virtual de El Verde
    Developed by the University of Puerto Rico, The Virtual Flora of the El Verde Biological Station contains information on more than 600 species of vascular plants that have been registered for the area. For almost all species, photos in the field and images of herbarium specimens are included, but only tree and shrub species (more than 200) contain complete descriptions and are included in the interactive keys. You can browse by family or by species, can filter flowers by colour, can browse fruit or bark photos, also photo of ferns. The website is in Spanish, but since almost everything is a botanical name, that should not be a problem.

    Link location Flora Virtual de la Estación Biológica El Verde
    Submitted by Silver surfer
    Submitted date 15 Feb 2018; last confirmed 2 March 2018

    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

    Minnesota Wildflowers
    Not just wildflowers! If a tree, shrub, flower, grass or fern you want to know about happens to grow in Minnesota, even rarely, the information on this site is detailed, often with comparisons to similar plants, and the photos are excellent. There is an alphabetic browse, and search by six characteristics or by flower colour. This is a privately run site that requests a minimal but not obligatory annual donation.

    Link location Minnesota Wildflowers
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 5 Mar 2018; last confirmed 5 Mar 2018

    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

    Top Tropicals
    This plant retailer in Fort Myers, Florida, established in 2003, calls themselves the "World's Leading Authority on Tropical Plants". Their catalog approaches 5000 plants and they have almost 50,000 photos that are searchable by plant name or family name, with some filtering options, and there are usually many good photos for each plant. Plants are in the catalog that are not necessarily in stock.

    Link location Plant Finder TopTropicals.com
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 8 Feb 2019; last confirmed 8 Feb 2019

    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