The identification tool is intended to help hobbiests identify wildflowers based on easily observable characteristics. The database is searched for flowers that have ALL of the characteristics that you selected, so leave the "search all" option selected for any information that your're not sure of. Because we're looking for characteristics that are obvious to the untrained eye, we've taken some liberty with the detailed biology. Click the icons for more details.
- Asymetrical and irregular flowers:These are flowers that don't have classic-looking petals sticking out of a central point. Instead, they have more complex shapes. An example of this type of flower is the everlasing pea.
- Flowers with rays or petals:These are the typical daisy-like flowers, with some number of petals, sepals, or ray flowers emerging from a central point or disc. We're loosely referring to all of these structures as petals here, even though they've actually have more correct names. Look for these flowers by the number of petals.
- Flowers with numerous very thin petals:Think "fringy." Think dandelions fleabanes, and thistles. This group doesn't correspond to any particular biologic category, it's just those flowers that are symetrical, but either don't have petals, or have so many tiny ones that you can't count them.
- Flowers with fused petals:These flowers are symetrical, but their petals are joined along the sides, like a morning glory. An example is field bindweed, shown to the right.
Height: Full height of the mature plant, in feet.
Flower width: For round and flattish flowers, the diameter of in individual blossom. For more irregular flowers, the longest dimension of the blossom. For clusters of flowers, use the size of the individual blossoms, even if they're tiny. For example, the flower size is 0.125 inches, even though the cluster (which you might consider to be the flower at first glance) measures 3 inches or more.
Although this is probably the most obvious characteristic, it is also the most variable. We've tried to group colors into a few categories, but one flower may occur in more than one color category.
The month when you found the flower blooming. The data have been assigned based on the northeastern US, so you may need to make adjustments for your location. Also, variations in weather from year to year will affect when some flowers bloom.
Select the shape that best describes the leaves of the plant. If the plant has multiple leaflets coming from a single stalk, select divided, reguardless of the characteristics of the individual leaflets.
If a plant has two or more types of leaves, select multiple.
Our database includes photographs of leaves, fruits, and buds, in addition to blooming flowers.
- Individual Flowers: One blossom per stem. However, one plant may have any number of stems with blossoms.
- Elongate Clusters:A number of flowers emerging from a single main stem, like tall bellflower, shown to the right.
- Rounded or flat clusters:A number of blossoms emanating from a central stem, with the overall cluster being wider than it is long.