We live in an amazing world where an app can help us identify almost any plant or animal. I have used a plant identifying app when I come across a plant I am unsure of or an ornamental plant I have never seen. It is a quick reference that allows me to look up the plant in more depth later on. However, I occasionally get a “confidence” percentage of 8 or 16% from the app. Hmmm. Those aren’t great odds, so I end up doing identification research anyway.
While my knowledge of plants is good, there are many times I wish it was better. I know enough to look at the stem, bark, leaves (look on the ground if the plant is bare), flowers, and fruit. These all help to narrow the identification. For me, this will always be a work in progress and I am okay with that. I love to learn and sleuth out information.
Throughout this year I will be talking about a variety of plant families and their relatives. The Asteraceae family is HUGE and is an example of a family needing to discuss their relatives. I have listed some resources I will be referencing below. I hope you will join me on this walk through the Plant Family “Tree.”
Your local botanical garden or garden shop
Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide
The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers
Wildflowers of New England
Botany in a Day