Plant Identification Key by Choices

Make selections from the categories below, then click "GO TO SELECTED PLANT TYPE" below the choices to jump to the Category Index and see the plants that match the Characteristics you entered.
Please note that the choices within each category may not be mutually exclusive, make the choice that best fits the description of your plant. If you make too few choices the list of possible plants may be large and takes time to load. Not all choices will have a match. If you don't get an expected match, try unselecting categorie(s) that look most uncertain for your plant. Especially surfaces and flower colors can be highly variable. This Key is limited to the species presented on this site. The term "Flower" in this Key will include daisy-type flowerheads, even though they are technically clusters of flowers.
Plant Type
Herbs, mainly upright growing, with clear sap
Herbs, climbing
Herbs with spreading or creeping stems
Herbs with no or very short stems
Herbs with milky sap
Cactuses
Flowering plants that lack chlorophyll
Shrubs, at least 1 foot tall, free-standing
Shrubs, at least 1 foot tall, climbing vines
Shrubs, low and mat-forming
Grasses, sedges or rushes
Trees
 
Surface
Naked or short-hairy
Spreading-hairy on most parts
Spiny on stem or leaves
Sticky on some parts
 
Leaf Type ?
Simple, flat, with smooth edges
Simple, thick or succulent, not needle-like
Simple, firm, narrow and needle-like
Toothed or lobed less than halfway to middle
Pinnately lobed more than halfway to middle
Palmately lobed more than halfway to middle
Divided into 2 separate leaflets
Divided into 3 separate leaflets
Pinnately divided into 4 or more leaflets
Palmately divided into 4 or more leaflets
No leaves
 
Leaf Arrangement ?
Basal only, or just 1 stem leaf
Alternate
Opposite
Whorled
No leaves
Flower Color
White or cream
Yellow or orange
Red
Pink or purple
Blue
Greenish or gray
Other
 
Flower Type ?
2 equal flower parts (usually petals)
3 equal parts
4 equal parts
4 or less parts of unequal shape or size
5 equal parts that are separate to the base
5 equal parts that are partly joined
5 unequal parts, not pea-type
6 equal parts
6 or more parts of unequal shape or size
7 or more parts other than types below
Flowers pea-type
Flowers like daisies or dandelions
Flower parts difficult to distinguish
 
Shape of the individual flower parts
All parts whole with mostly smooth edges
Some parts fringed or toothed on edges or tips
All parts notched or divided into 2 lobes
All parts divided into 3 or more lobes
Flower parts difficult to distinguish
 
Flower Arrangement ?
Flowers single on each stem
Elongated, comparatively narrow cluster(s)
Umbel-cluster(s)
Many in congested head-like cluster(s)
Flowers in separated pairs
Other type of cluster(s) with 2 or more flowers
2 or more not arranged cluster-like



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