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Random Access Identification Key

This simple random access key can help you identify an unknown plant by narrowing the number of species that could possibly match your plant. To use this key you will need to compare your plant against the characteristics given below and then select those characteristics that best match your plant. Once you are finished, click on the Show Matches button to view a list of all the species in our photo collection that match the characteristics you selected.

Characteristics are organized into categories, and for each category you can make one selection. If you are uncertain which character to select within a category you are better off leaving that category blank.
 

  

Growth Habit:
  (leave blank)
  Tree
  Shrub
  Vine
  Herbaceous

Growth Duration:
  (leave blank)
  Annual
  Biennial
  Perennial

Leaf Arrangement:
  (leave blank)
  Alternate (leaves born singly along stem)
  Opposite (leaves in pairs along stem)
  Whorled (leaves in groups of 3 or more along stem)
  All basal (attached at base of plant)
  Leaves absent (or all modified into scales or spines)

Leaf Type:
  (leave blank)
  Needle-like
  Simple (but not needle-like)
  Compound
  Leaves absent (or all modified into scales or spines)

Main Flower Color:
  (leave blank)
  White
  Yellow or orange
  Red or pink
  Blue or purple
  Greenish
  Brownish
  No flowers (reproducing by spores or seed cones)

Flowering Period:
  (leave blank)
  March
  April
  May
  June
  July
  August
  September
  October
  November - February
  No Flowers (reproducing by spores or seed cones)

Habitat:
  (leave blank)
  Forested areas at low-mid elevation in Western WA
  Forested areas at low-mid elevation in Eastern WA
  Subalpine/alpine forest, meadow, or rocky slopes
  Prairie or rocky bald in Western WA
  Sagebrush-steppe, desert, or grassland in Eastern WA
  Freshwater wetland, bog, lake, river, or stream
  Saltwater beach, marsh, or dunes
  Disturbed area - field, roadside, wastelot, town

Origin:
  (leave blank)
  Native to Washington
  Introduced to Washington


Family:
  
  (if you know which family your plant is in, select it here)

Genus:
  
  (if you know which genus your plant is in, type it here)


Sort Matches By:
  
  
 

Burke Museum


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All Rights Reserved. Box 353010, University of Washington,
Seattle, WA 98195-3010, Phone: 206-543-5590.
On the UW campus at 17th Avenue NE and NE 45th Street.
Washington Native Plant Society
WA Native Plant Society