This is an identification guide to 148 of the more common showy species seen on the trails of the Santa Rosa Plateau. See Flora of the Trails of the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve for a complete list of all species found on the trails.
Some species can reliably and easily be identified from a photograph. Other species look extremely similar, and only can be distinguished using subtle characteristics or ones not typically seen in a photograph. Notes are given for the look-alike species.
The flowers are arranged in order of the colors of the rainbow, from red to violet, with white flowers appearing first. White flowers have been divided into plants less than 3" high (often known as belly flowers), between 3 and 12" high, and larger than 12" high. The larger ones are divided into no woody stems and multiple woody stems. Yellow flowers have been divided into plants having no woody stems, multiple woody stems and a single woody trunk.
The flower color is indicated by the color of the background for the flower names. In cases where the flower has several different colors or changes color with age, as for Deerweed, which changes from yellow to orange with age, the predominant or first color of the flowers are what is indicated.
The flower names are linked to the best individual pictures of the flowers, with the "more" link having more photos of different parts of the plant.
To use this table for bloom identifications, first find the entries with the color of the bloom you are trying to identify. If the bloom is white, look at the section with the appropriate plant size and stem characteristic. If the bloom is yellow, look at the appropriate stem characteristic section. Then look for plants that are blooming during the month that you observed the plant, or from the previous month if we have not yet observed the plant in the current month. Finally, click on the pictures of those flowers to see if one of them corresponds to the plant that you observed.
Click on the color below to go to the bloom identification guide for blooms of that color. You can continue through the table sequentially by starting with white and following the continue link at the bottom of each section.
The months in the tables refer to our observations in the year 2000, which were fairly incomplete. We will eventually add the months in which each species was observed to be in bloom, which will make it easier to locate species for a given month.
Note on the species names: We made this guide in the year 2000, when we were just wee budding amateur botanists. We therefore relied on lists and voucher specimens made by others for the Santa Rosa Plateau for the plant species names. On 1 March 2006, we finally have gone back through this Guide to correct the species names, delete species not actually present at the SRP on the trails, and add some species that are similar to ones already in the Guide. (The guide is still not 100% complete for all the showy species, but it is getting there.) Since many people have used this in the past to obtain species names, we provide a separate page that gives the changes made in 2006. (This page may also amuse others to see the errors we made in the past!)
Click on the color below to go to the bloom identification guide for blooms of that color. The number of species with each color is given below the color.
White Pink Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Purple 59 5 5 3 40 0 4 32
For date and location of the observations in the year 2000, see Observations of Plants Blooming With Locations
Beginning of Bloom Identification Table (white colors)
Copyright © 2000-2006 by Jane Strong and Tom Chester.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to us at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 3 March 2006.