Using Keys to Identify Plants

Various schemes have been developed over centuries of time — and innumerable discussions by people interested in classifying and naming plants. In this video I share:

  • Why we use a “key” to help identify a plant
  • The types of keys typically developed
  • Examples of each key as used in specific field guides

What type of key is used in your favorite field guide? Share your response, with a comment below.

If you are interested in learning even more about how to use keys in field guides, you can purchase a set of six videos which clearly demonstrate the process of keying a plant.  I carefully take you through each of these keys by using eight different plants for identification practice . . . while using nine different field guides. This is a fun “hands-on” demonstration of how to use each of the keys.  Read more . . .


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4 Responses to Using Keys to Identify Plants

  1. Claire says:

    Well done! I learned a lot, and mostly I’m inspired to be more curious! Thanks!

  2. Margaret says:

    I would love more information on identifying medicinal herbs growing in the wild. Thank you and good luck with your site. We need this information!

  3. Ben Lannoy says:

    Very interesting. I too film Plant identification videos for my customers and like minded gardening professionals and this has shown me how in depth I should sometimes be going. Great information and a well produced video. Thanks a lot!

  4. Vidya Arora says:

    Want to identify trees around me. Want to make the keys to identify tree species. I am a student of PhD botany working on identification of trees based on leaves.

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