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Reference List for Michigan Wildflower Identification

Site Description
Michigan Botanical ClubThe Michican Botanical Club is the native plant society for the state of Michigan. They have 5 chapters, each of which holds monthly meetings and conducts field trips. They publish a quarterly scientific journal, The Michigan Botanist, and a quarterly newsletter, Arisaema.
Charles and Diane Peirce's Michigan Wildflowers*Very* nice photographs of 543 species (as of January 2015) of Michigan wildflowers sorted by common name and by scientific name. You must select a plant name to see the photos of that plant, so it is somewhat difficult to browse through the site to identify a plant unless you already have an idea of what it may be, but the photos are excellent - both beautiful and useful in finding identifying characteristics. The Peirce's report that after 16 years of effort, they have photographed all of Michigan's native orchids.
Michigan Flora Online - University of Michigan HerbariumRecommended by Ron Gamble - Based on the website description: "The immediate goals of MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE are to present, in a searchable and browsable form, the basic information about all vascular plants known to occur outside of cultivation in the state."

From Ron Gamble: '...really nice Search function, lots of photos for many of the plants listed. - (best and most important advice: don't add too much information in the search line, e.g., just type first few letters of sci or common name...)

'Example: Type "catch" in the Search menu in the "common name". All the catchflys will come up in a list. If you see an icon under the "image" column, there is at least one photo. Click on "sleepy catchfly", info specifics will appear, and below the image you'll see the link "all images". Click it and you’ll see a number of photos.'

My take: This is not exclusive to flowering plants, but appears to be an invaluable aid to identification of wildflower species found in Michigan. It is searchable by common and scientific names, family, genus, and some plant characteristics. It usually includes at least one photograph (frequently several) of the plant to help in identification, as well as listing the counties where it has been confirmed to have been found. It includes some descriptive information, although in my limited perusal of the site it appears to be more descriptive of the habitat, growth habit, and origin than of the plant itself. Still, a very valuable and admirable asset, and if I were identifying plants I found in Michigan, I would refer to this site in most cases as a confirmation or even as a primary identification source.
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! 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:
(Commission to USWildflowers.com if purchased)
Includes 200 species of wildflowers found in Michigan, organized by color and size. The sample photos from the book that I saw online showed both the flowers and the leaves to help in identification.
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--E: Eastern Region - Revised Edition
(Commission to USWildflowers.com if purchased)
"...gives full descriptions of more than 650 species found east of the Rocky Mountains, along with notes on several hundred more. The eminently sensible organization relies on first-impression visible characteristics..."
I use this guide frequently, and unless I have a good idea what family a flower is in, this is usually still my first stop. In my opinion, a must-have for beginning wildflower enthusiasts; augments more locale-specific wildflower references.
Item at Amazon: Wildflowers of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes Region: A Comprehensive Field Guide
(Commission to USWildflowers.com if purchased)
"Describing more than 1,100 species, this is a comprehensive guide to wildflowers in Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Ontario. A new introduction to this second edition discusses wildflowers in the context of their natural communities. Packed with detailed information, this field guide is compact enough to be handy for outdoors lovers of all kinds, from novice naturalists to professional botanists."
Number of References 11

USWildflowers.com Database

Family Index for 306 Wildflowers of Michigan

Thumbnails of 306 Wildflowers of Michigan


White Wildflowers of Michigan (135)


Yellow Wildflowers of Michigan (80)


Red Wildflowers of Michigan (101)


Blue Wildflowers of Michigan (44)


Green Wildflowers of Michigan (24)


Other Wildflowers of Michigan (8)



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Updated 04/20/2015