Learn to recognize your plants
Plant identification depends on several factors; ranging from botanical
descriptions of flower form, leaf construction and size of the plant to
details such as colour of blooms, texture of the leaves and stems and
appearance of flower stems and seed pods.
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All these characteristics combine to form a specific key to identify individual plants.
field guides have a key system for identifying plants where each
particular characteristic which can be used to pin down the exact plant
In my experience the best way to learn to identify
plants is to get to know them – then just like good friends, you’ll
recognize others in the same family, or even the same one in a different
phase of growth.
Plant identification is an art, and like most art forms, becomes easier as you gain knowledge.
how plants grow, the different ways that cultivation or the growing
environment affect their appearance, and how similar plants can be
identified by comparison to each other is a life long quest.
For example, there are many species and named varieties of Sempervivum,
running the gamut from tiny fingernail sized to those bigger than a
dinner plate; ranging from soft and covered in down or cobwebs to shiny
Colours can be palest white to darkest midnight purple, and every shade in between, changing with the season.
Identification of these plants is relatively easy once you’ve grown them and propagated many different forms, at least to the limit of identifying the genus and species; named cultivars not so much.
There are some other plants so similar to Sempervivum that even experienced growers can be fooled.
This includes other hardy rosette forming succulents such as Jovibarba heuffelii.
differences then are limited to flower shape, the Sempervivum flower
being star shaped and held upright, and the Jovibarba bell shaped and
In certain seasons other aspects such as growth pattern, colouring and general appearance the resemblance is amazing.
other plants have similar problem in identification. With luck, other
growers have the same plant which has been reliably identified and you
can compare a tagged plant with yours.
In some cases the
accurate names of some varieties and species of these kinds of plants
can never be completely nailed down, as there are hybrids, genetic
mutations and throwbacks, and regional natural varieties and forms in
the trade, and even those grown in the garden can cross pollinate with
Plant identification is essential for determining the best conditions to grow a certain plant in, and its likes and dislikes.
For example, Echeveria as a group dislike an alkaline soil, so it’s important to pot them into a soil that contains very little.
if the plant will grow in shade, sun, damp soil or dry conditions will
give you a head start in successfully growing these fascinating,
correctly identified plants, with plant labels, in your garden.
Succulent Plant Identification
Succulent Identification Chart
Types of Succulents