Skip to main content

Introduction to the Search

Handbook Use

Handbook Use

Colour is the first thing we notice about a flower. This Field Guide has been arranged in many categories, including colour — pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue purple (and violet), white (and cream), and brown. Occasionally a flower will have more than one colour. If this is the case for the plant you are trying to identify, refer to the list of plants with more than one colour, as on this web site a plant is included only once.

Colour photographs of each plant are presented with simple, yet fairly detailed, descriptions which contain as few botanical terms as possible. However, a Glossary is provided for the scientific terms used.

It is not uncommon for a flower to have several common names. The main common names used in this Field Guide are from a standard reference.1

Botanists use a universal language, Latin, to classify plants. The plants are divided into families, and within each family there may be one or several groups or genera and one or several species within each genus, thus giving each plant basically two names (e.g. Family = Asteracease = Daisy Family; Genus and species = Aster conspicuous = Showy Aster). In this guide, if a family name, genus, or species has been changed, the old names are given in brackets.

The detailed description is provided for each flower for those wishing additional information. Included are illustrations of parts of the plants such as

  • flowers (arrangement of the flowers on the plant)
  • each flower (description of a single flower)
  • leaves (description)
  • stems (description),

plus facts on

  • colour
  • height
  • time of flowering
  • preferred habitat.

Notes have been added where applicable, referring to poison status to humans and special habits such as parasitic or saprophytic. As it is often rewarding to visit an old haunt expecting to see familiar plants, the duration of growth (annual, biennial, perennial) has also been included.

1Taylor, R.L. & MacBryde, B. (1977). Vascular plants of British Columbia: a description resource inventory. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press.