Posted on Sep 23, 2011 in Science & nature
Is there a good way to identify a specific flower I have found?
This answer was chosen as best by the post author
One of the first places you might want to check out is the Wildflower field guide at eNature.com. Narrow the field by providing some basic information about the flower you seek — for example, is it daisy and dandelion-like, odd-shaped, or does it have elongated clusters? — and then browse the photos.
The search tools at MyWildflowers.com and WildflowerInformation.org work much the same way, but with more options available.
The Healthy Home Gardening flower identifier starts by asking you about the number of petals on your flower, and the petal colors. If that doesn’t help enough, try their leaf identifier tool. (If you want an app for that, you can check out Flower Pedia for iPhone.)
Ball Horticultural Company and Burpee Seeds both offer ways to research garden-variety flowers. Sunset magazine’s Plant Finder and Better Homes & Gardens‘ Plant Dictionary can be helpful, too, although they’re actually meant to help you find plants to add to your garden based on your preferences.
There are some regional searches, which, again, might help to narrow your search:
If you’re looking for an industrial-strength flower finder, look to the World Wide Flowering Plant Family Identification from Colby College in Maine. The downside of this tool is that you need to know botanical descriptors like suffrutices, verticillate, stellate and monopodial.
If you have tried these options with no luck, you can try tapping into the web’s amazing community by joining a forum, posting a photo and asking if anyone can help you. Try something like FlowersForums.com or GardenGuides.com.
Ultimately, though, what helped me identify the flower at right was a plain google search. I searched for my state, the flower’s color, and typed in “fuzzy” (to describe the leaves and petals). Browsing through the images, I soon found out: this is a Texas Sage flower.
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