Wildflowers of the United States

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Reference List for California Wildflower Identification

Site Description
California Native Plant Society We need to be aware of the importance of native plants in the environment. This "top spot" in the reference list will be a native plant organization in each state.
CalfloraFrom the website: Calflora is 1. a website you can use to learn about plants that grow wild in California (both native plants and weeds); and 2. a nonprofit organization responsible for the website. Calflora is run by a few volunteers and one part-time paid engineer. Information in Calflora comes from many sources: public agencies, non-profits, scientists, private donors, and you!

Calflora provides a searchable database of California plants. Excellent resource, and for most species they also provide a link to the Jepsen Manual description.
Birdmom's Wildflower IndexOver 300 species with Common Name, Scientific Name, and Family name. Thumbnails indexed by blossom color. From the site: "Almost all of the approximately 320 species on these pages were photographed in Park Sierra's 120 acres in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Coarsegold, California. A few were taken in Oak Creek, situated in the town of Coarsegold, about 400-600' higher in elevation. "
Common Plants of the Upper Klamath Basin This is a large PDF file of a 272 page book put together apparently by Rabe Consulting and the Klamath Basin Chapter of the Oregon Native Plant Society. It provides excellent of Ferns and Horsetails; Conifers; Flowers; Hardwood Trees and Shrubs; Grasses and Grass-like Plants; and Lichens, Bryophytes, and Blue-green Algae of the 7,230 square mile Upper Klamath Basin in southern Oregon and northern California. This includes the famous Crater Lake National Park.

The book includes a photograph and description of by my estimate nearly 500 plant species.
San Diego County Wildflowers - Identifying Them From the site, by Ken Bowles:

"This guide is for people who
  1. Want to identify the many interesting wildflowers they see growing in wild places in San Diego County, and
  2. Lack formal botany education, and/or the needed experience, to rely on formal botanist publications, and
  3. Want to do as well as possible at identifying the Family, Genus, and Species using only visual information."
Kris Light's Website of East Tennessee Wildflowers and Hiking TrailsThis site has as of this writing 715 different East Tennessee wildflowers in the various photo galleries, which can be searched by common name and scientific name. In addition, Kris Light has made wildflower photo/ID trips to Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah, and has additional wildflower photos from those states
Idaho Wildflowers Mobile App by High Country Apps and The University of Washington Burke Museum " target="_blank">Idaho Wildflowers Mobile App by High Country Apps, LLC Extract from the publisher description: "The University of Washington Herbarium at the Burke Museum has partnered with the University of Idaho's Stillinger Herbarium, Idaho State University's Ray J. Davis Herbarium, Mark Turner, and High Country Apps to produce Idaho Wildflowers, a plant identification app for smart phones and tablets. The app provides images, species descriptions, range maps, bloom period, and technical descriptions for more than 800 common wildflowers, shrubs, and vines found in Idaho and adjacent areas of Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Utah. The majority of species included are native, but introduced species common to the region are covered as well. The app does not need an Internet connection to run, so you can use it no matter how remote your wanderings take you."

I have purchased this application since it is available for the Kindle Fire HD, and I think it will be a great resource when I get back to Idaho. However, it is no longer listed on Amazon.com, so I assume that the Kindle version is no longer available.
Oregon Wildflowers - mobile app by High Country Apps and Oregon State University " target="_blank">Oregon Wildflowers Mobile App by High Country Apps, LLC A description provided to me by Oregon State University: "The Oregon Flora Project at Oregon State University and High Country Apps have partnered to produce the new Oregon Wildflowers plant identification app for iOS and Android mobile devices. The app provides photographs, range maps, bloom period, and detailed descriptions for more than 940 common wildflowers, shrubs, and vines that occur throughout Oregon and adjacent areas of California, Washington and Idaho. Designed for both budding wildflower enthusiasts and experienced botanists, Oregon Wildflowers will appeal to individuals who are interested in the names and natural history of the plants they encounter. It is an excellent educational tool for all ages to learn about botany, plant communities, and ecology using the plants found throughout Oregon. Each of the 948 plants profiled has multiple photographs, distribution maps, and a detailed description. The majority of species included are native, and introduced species common to the region are also covered. Plant hunters can use the app to identify species in all ten of of Oregon's diverse ecoregions. Users can browse through the stunning photographs of plants organized by common name, scientific name, or by family to select a plant and access the related information. However, most users will likely use the identification key that is the core of the app to identify an unknown plant of interest."

The application, which I'm sure has a large database and therefore requires a fair amount of memory on your device, does not require an Internet connection to use after the initial download. This application is no longer listed as working on Kindle Fire tablets. However, it does work on other Android devices, and reportedly on IOS (iPad / iPhone).
Reny's WildflowersReny Parker's wildflower galleries, with "over 1,820 images identified to 79 plant families." Includes family and species common and scientific names, photo location. Searchable by color, shape, location, and name. Very nice photographs.
Turner Photographics Wildflowers of the Pacific NorthwestOver 7,000 excellent photographs from Washington and Oregon and northern California, by one of the co-authors of 'Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest' (see below.) These are indexed by Latin and Common name, by blossom color, and by blossom characteristic. Good information about each species, and the detail page includes a county-level map of distribution. This is one of my first go-to sites for wildflowers in the northwestern United States.
Wildflower Field Guide - DesertUSAOver 50 species of wildflowers found in USA deserts, organized by flower color. Common name, scientific name, and desert regions in which they are found - Mojave, Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Great Basin. These deserts touch 7 states in the western US.

This site also has good information about parks and destinations within these deserts, including, as an example, updates on wildflower status within the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Check on the "Destinations" drop-down menu at the top of the pages.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at AustinPremier native wildflower information site in the United States. "Native Plant Database - Search 7,024 native plant records by traits or names. Image Gallery - Browse through our collection of 23,770 native plant images. Ask Mr. Smarty Plants - Have a question? Mr. Smarty Plants has 3,584 answers. How To Articles - Don't know where to start, try one of our articles."
USDA Plants DatabaseGreat resource for native plants! Their own description: "The PLANTS Database provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories." Provides these important (to me) pieces of info: 1) Listing by state and county within a state where specific species have been identified. 2) Scientific name synonyms are listed. 3) Scientific names are matched to a widely-used common name. 4) Photographs of many species. 5) State by state list of all the species identified in that state. Official Citation: USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 22 June 2009). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
Flicker Wildflower Field Guide, North AmericaOver 9,000 Flickr member photos tagged with wfgna. The WFGNA group has good tagging requirements for their excellent photos, so you'll find, in addtion to the photo, the state in which the photo was taken, and at least a common name and the scientific name as identified by the contributor. After you get to the linked page you should add search criteria, including the state name, the color of the plant, or scientific name, to reduce the number of photos. Several states have several hundred photos(California has over 1,500!) so you'll probably want to add color to the search criteria.
WildflowerSearch.comSteven K. Sullivan has done a tremendous job of putting together a database and search engine to help in identifying wild plants. Not only can you search by plant scientific and common names, you can narrow the results using location (currently lower 48 states and parts of Canada and Mexico), flower shape, color, size, habitat, and observation time. His database currently includes over 7,000 plants. Definitely worth checking out.
Item at Amazon: Wildflowers of California's North Coast Range
(Commission to USWildflowers.com if purchased)
This appears to be a very nice photographic guide targeted for those of us who are not botanists. The author, Reny Parker, has been a president of a local chapter of the California Native Plant Society, so has established her credentials for knowledge and access to knowledgeable friends.

Reny presents 358 species of wildflowers found in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino counties of California with brief, understandable descriptions and over 500 beautiful photographs.

The author also maintains the Reny's Wildflowers website described above.
Item at Amazon: Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest (Timber Press Field Guide)
(Commission to USWildflowers.com if purchased)
"Featuring more than 1240 stunning color photographs, this comprehensive field guide will remain a trusted, authoritative trailside reference for years to come. It describes and illustrates 1220 commonly encountered species" - This book appears to be the regional guide one needs for wildflower identification in the Pacific Northwest. It has received excellent reviews on Amazon.
Wildflower Information.orgFrom the site: "WildflowerInformation.org is a resource for wildflower enthusiasts and gardeners. With a growing interest in the environment and natural gardening, our objective is to offer comprehensive information that is easy to use, and accessible for those from the casually interested to the expert."

While this information doesn't appear to be on the website itself, WildflowerInformation.org seems to be owned by American Meadows, the "recommended wildflowers seed supplier" of WildflowerInformation.org.
Item at Amazon: National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers: Western Region
(Commission to USWildflowers.com if purchased)
Covering the region from Alaska to California and east to the Great Plains, this well-produced, compact guidebook contains more than 940 photos of over 650 species of wildflowers of western North America. The color images are grouped by flower color to suit the needs of inexperienced enthusiasts. I think anyone interested in wildflowers in the western United States should have a copy of this guide. Situated in the Eastern U.S., I use the Eastern Region guide extensively.

Looking for Wildflowers for a specific state? Check here:

Number of References for California: 19

USWildflowers.com Database

Family Index for 183 Wildflowers of California
Thumbnails of 183 Wildflowers of California
Persicaria punctata
White Wildflowers of California (87)
Helianthus annuus
Yellow Wildflowers of California (63)
Ratibida columnifera
Red Wildflowers of California (64)
Triodanis perfoliata
Blue Wildflowers of California (19)
Cyperus strigosus
Green Wildflowers of California (6)
Plantago virginica
Other Color Wildflowers of California (5)

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Page updated 02/09/2017