Unidentified flora and fauna

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Wildlife, Flora
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Unidentified flora and fauna
Created On: Jul 25, 2007
Last Edited On: Apr 11, 2009

What this album hopes to achieve

This album aims to serve as a tool if you need help in identifying plants, trees or animals you took a picture of.

There is a wealth of information in the SP community, and some members are very skillful in this area. This page tries to bring together those needing help with those in the know.

Feel free to add your pictures (specify where the picture was taken) if you just need that last bit of advice in deciding between two subspecies, or if you have absolutely no idea what you took a picture of, and please detach them once you are satisfied with the answers received. (Anything that's identified down to the genus shouldn't count as "unidentified", at least not after some time has passed. There are lots of cases where even a professional can't tell the exact species, especially from a photograph.)

To improve the chances of successful identification in the case of flowers, it is a good idea for the pictures to include both bloom and foliage. Including the size of the bloom and the height of the plant in the description helps. The location and time of year are helpful, too. Context also helps - examples: "Along a stream running through mountain hemlock and meadows", "at the timber line", or "under ponderosa pines".

And you experts, please stop by from time to time to help out others by commenting on the pictures themselves. Thank you!

Also share with others what books, websites or other resources you use to identify plants and wildlife.

Some basic advice

Some basic advice on identifying plants from nartreb.

If you know the common name, the easiest thing is to type that in to Google or Wikipedia.

If you don't know the common name, you have to learn to identify major families. For example:
  • If it's got a very large number of ray-shaped petals, like a dandelion, it's probably related to asters (Asteraceae). There's an album on "Sunflowers/Asters" here on SummitPost.
  • If it's got lots of short stamens in a ring, it's probably related to roses (Rosaceae). There's an album on the "Rose Family" here on SummitPost.
  • Azaleas, along with rhododendrons (in fact, azaleas *are* rhododendrons), rosebay (again a kind of rhododendron), laurel (Kalmia), blueberry, and many other shrubs are in the family Ericaceae. They all tend to have waxy, oval-ish leaves which they usually retain in winter, and their petals are fused together to some degree. Blueberries and their many relatives (cowberry, bearberry, cranberry) have small bell-shaped flowers, laurel (Kalmia) has cup-shaped flowers with fused petals, and rhododendrons have big showy flowers with the petals fused only at the base. There's an album of "ericaceous shrubs" here on SummitPost.
  • The iris is loved by many. There's an album on "the family Iridaceae, genus Iris" here on SummitPost. Also check out the Iris Species Database.

    Resources

    Resources on the web

    Africa

    Asia

    Australia

    Europe


  • European Mountain flora album on SummitPost.
  • Flora.cyberia
  • FloreAlpes.com (in French)
  • SoortenBank (in Dutch)

    North America


  • Paul Slichter's Flora & Fauna Northwest
  • Paul Slichter's Flora & Fauna of Denali National Park
  • Plants, Birds, Insects, Organisms of Hawaii
  • Calflora
  • USDA PLANTS Database
  • Plants of the Lewis and Clark Trail (for the inland northwest/northern Rocky Mountains)
  • know-it all (a web site with many natural history resources, operated by a bilogist/retired teacher)

    South America

    Resources in print

    Africa

    Asia

    Australia

    Europe


  • Alpine Flowers: Of Britain and Europe by Christopher Grey-Wilson and Marjorie Blamey
  • Mountain Flowers in Colour by Anthony Huxley

    North America


  • The Peterson Field Guide series
  • Plants Of The Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska by Jim Pojar and Andy MacKinnon
  • Guide to Colorado Wildflowers Vol. 2: The Mountains by G. K. Guennel
  • Flora of the Pacific Northwest: An Illustrated Manual by C. Leo Hitchcock and Arthur Cronquist
  • The Butterflies of Cascadia: A Field Guide to All the Species of Washington, Oregon, and Surrounding Territories by Robert Michael Pyle, Idie Ulsh, and David Nunnallee (definitive, if heavy)
  • The Sibley Guide to Birds by David Allen Sibley (probably the current definitive fild guide to most users, there are LIGHTER Eastern and Western editions)
  • Wildflowers of the Olympics and Cascades by Charles Stewart (Most smaller field guides have a problem with selection of what to leave out. This guy has a genius for including the flowers you are likely to see when climbing and hiking. And the book is LIGHT.)

    South America

    Acknowledgements / credits / thanks

    For their help in identifying flora and fauna: A Bit, alpbabe, Anya Jingle, Arthur Digbee, b., BazZ, birdny, Bob Sihler, Mrs. dh3 and donhaller3, Ejnar Fjerdingstad, Elisabeth, franza mosco, hfaust, hiltrud.liu, Kerstin, klwagar, Lolli, MOCKBA, mrh, nartreb, ochoco, peterbud, tarol.

    10 successful identifications were made in the first 3 days of this album - thanks to all!





    Comments

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    Viewing: 1-20 of 21
    12
    sunfish

    sunfish - Jul 25, 2007 6:42 pm - Voted 10/10

    Well done...

    and a very good idea.

    Regards
    sunfish

    Arthur Digbee

    Arthur Digbee - Jul 25, 2007 6:44 pm - Voted 10/10

    great idea

    Not only a great idea but full of good pictures.

    birdny

    birdny - Jul 25, 2007 8:06 pm - Voted 10/10

    It is a Great idea

    Agree with those above, its a great idea. The first key in identifying here is the location of where the pics were taken.

    Michael Hoyt

    Michael Hoyt - Jul 25, 2007 9:03 pm - Voted 10/10

    Excellent

    I agree, this album is a good idea; however with several provisos.

    First – If people truly want help with identifying flora, it’s essential the pictures include both bloom and foliage.

    Second – Including the size of the bloom and the height of the plant helps.

    Third - The location and time of year are helpful, too.

    Lastly – Your idea will only work if pictures are removed from this album as soon as identification is made. Even the most dedicated person is not going to page through hundreds (or even tens) of pictures in an attempt to help. That’s asking far too much.

    dmiki

    dmiki - Jul 26, 2007 1:50 am - Hasn't voted

    Re: Excellent

    Thank you! I have incorporated your useful comments in the main text.

    donhaller3

    donhaller3 - Jul 26, 2007 4:50 pm - Voted 10/10

    Re: Excellent

    Also context helps--what "zone"? Jargon or tech language not necessary..

    "Along a stream running through mountain hemlock and meadows", "at the timber line", or "under ponderosa pines" are examples.

    dmiki

    dmiki - Jul 26, 2007 5:04 pm - Hasn't voted

    Re: Excellent

    I've incorporated your suggestion - thanks!

    mrh

    mrh - Jul 26, 2007 2:33 pm - Voted 10/10

    Nice idea

    I'll try to get back to this soon and see if I can provide some indentifications. Generally I can at least give the genus or family name, but with some plants its hard to go beyond that based simply on photos for reasons photohiker lists.

    donhaller3

    donhaller3 - Jul 26, 2007 9:03 pm - Voted 10/10

    Guides

    The Butterflies of Cascadia: A Field Guide to All the Species of Washington, Oregon, and Surrounding Territories by Robert Michael Pyle, Idie Ulsh, and David Nunnallee (definitive, if heavy)

    The Sibley Guide to Birds by David Allen Sibley (probably the current definitive fild guide to most users, there are LIGHTER
    Eastern and Western editions)


    Wildflowers of the Olympics and Cascades by Charles Stewart (Most smaller field guides have a problem with selection of what to leave out. This guy has a genius for including the flowers your likely to see when climbing and hiking. And the book is LIGHT.)

    I do not know how much detail our fearless page dude wants. There are several regional guides that are useful. The Wallowas, Steens, Three Sisters all have monographs on plants that are not field guides.

    Also, National Parks, Refuges, and many other areas have checklists of flora and fauna that help us nonspecialists narrow down the likely and the possible.

    Where do we stop?

    Finally, know-it all, a web site with many natural history resources, operated by a bilogist/retired teacher, with many excellent on-line sources, is located at:
    http://www.pacifier.com/~mpatters/






    dmiki

    dmiki - Jul 27, 2007 2:15 am - Hasn't voted

    Re: Guides

    Thank you! I have added this great info to the page.

    mrh

    mrh - Aug 9, 2007 3:56 pm - Voted 10/10

    Re: Guides

    There is a plant guide for the Sisters? Do you have a citation or link?

    donhaller3

    donhaller3 - Aug 9, 2007 5:54 pm - Voted 10/10

    Re: Guides

    Yes, sort of. I have a copy at home. I will send you specifics tomorrow. ( My home computer ate its own allocation tables last Friday.)

    I believe it is a U of O Press bulletin, large format soft back.

    donhaller3

    donhaller3 - Aug 10, 2007 12:53 pm - Voted 10/10

    Re: Guides

    Plants of the Three Sisters Region, Oregon Cascade Range.
    Orlin L. Ireland. 130 pages, 34 figures. April 1968.

    http://www.uoregon.edu/~mnh/Pages/mnch_pubs.html

    Also appears to be available through various bookstores.

    mrh

    mrh - Aug 10, 2007 1:46 pm - Voted 10/10

    Re: Guides

    Thanks Don.

    peterbud

    peterbud - Aug 13, 2007 5:51 am - Voted 10/10

    Very useful!

    I'll be on the "seek" side :)

    hiltrud.liu

    hiltrud.liu - Nov 3, 2007 6:14 pm - Voted 10/10

    Very nice...

    and colourful!
    Cheers
    Hiltrud

    dmiki

    dmiki - Nov 5, 2007 1:21 pm - Hasn't voted

    Re: Very nice...

    Hiltrud, thank you for your encouragement and also for helping identify some of the plants people are unsure about!

    Cyrill

    Cyrill - Nov 29, 2007 4:13 pm - Voted 10/10

    AAA

    a very interesting report!

    Nelson

    Nelson - Dec 1, 2007 10:09 pm - Voted 10/10

    Great idea

    I missed this one when you first posted it, glad to stumble on it now. This is a great idea and puts SP and the album concept to a great use. This idea could be extended to unidentified birds, mammals, even mountains.

    There may be too many pictures in there now (64), but it's still a nice idea.

    dmiki

    dmiki - Dec 3, 2007 8:01 am - Hasn't voted

    Re: Great idea

    Hello Nelson,

    Thanks for your kind words.

    Theoretically it does include birds, mammals (but not mountains), and there are some insect pics waiting for help in identification, but most are indeed flowers/plants.

    Viewing: 1-20 of 21
    12


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