Wildflowers to Identify



Use one or more (preferably all) of the following websites to practice identifying these wildflowers.

Southeastern Flora

SE floraAll these practice plants can be found in western North Carolina.  So this is a good site to find these wildflowers.  However only four characteristics are selectable when searching for a wildflower.  If the flower is white or yellow, this website is not an efficient first choice for searching for that unknown wildflower.  If the flower color is less common (for example, purple or orange or red), then it will be easier to find the wildflower you are looking for.  After you have a tentative identification, this website is great for confirming that identification since you can then search on the scientific name.  The website includes a large number of clear photos for each identified wildflower.

Weed ID Guide

Weed ID guideMany common weeds are also beautiful (or not so beautiful) wildflowers.  It helps to check a weed identification website such as this one for the unknown wildflower.  This is especially true if you find the wildflower in profusion along the side of a road or in an area of disturbed ground.

Minnesota Wildflowers

Minn wildflowersThis is a useful site for searching by a number of simple characteristics.  You can also search by scientific name after you have a tentative identification from another source.  The information provided for each wildflower is thorough and the photos are clear.

Missouri Plants

Missouri plantsSince this website’s search function is by flower color and leaf arrangement (only two easy characteristics), this site works most efficiently when the flower color is less common.  It can certainly be used to search for a white flower with alternating leaves.  However, you will then have to look through a large number of photos to find the wildflower you want.  When you select a wildflower image, you will be taken to a page with excellent photos and botanical descriptions of the plant’s parts.

Wildflower Identification

Wildflower IDIf this site has a match with the characteristics you supply, you will then get the common names of several possible plants along with a separate clickable link to photos (which come from a Google search for images).   Click each suggested wildflower’s “photos” link to study the images.  If you think they look like the unknown wildflower, you will then have to determine the plant’s scientific name by clicking on some of the images to get more information.

Discover Life wildflower identification guide

Discover LifeAs you make selections for the characteristics, you can click on any of the “search” buttons along the right side.  Each additional characteristic defined by you will narrow the field to fewer possibilities (which show up on the left side of the window).  After the list of possible matches gets short enough for you, then click on each of the suggested plant names on the left.  This brings up detailed information about that plant on the right.  As you click on each plant name, the right side changes without having to click “back” in your browser window.  This allows for a fast review of each choice.


When using any of these websites, remember to search on both “blue” and “purple” if both choices are available.  Also, search on both “pink” and “red.”

I looked for each of the practice wildflowers with these six websites.  Not every site has each wildflower.  However, it is possible to discover the wildflower plant’s common and scientific names with these websites.

The wildflowers are in four groups.  Group #1 includes those which are easiest to find and identify.  Wildflowers in Group #4 are the most challenging to identify with these websites.  Click on each plant’s practice name (“A,” “B,” “C,” etc.) to see the page of photos for that wildflower.

Group #1

Group #2

Group #3

Group #4

After you have made your determination of these wildflowers’ identities, check your results.