Here are links to regional Floras and other websites that can help with identification of plants in the Western Cascades.
The Oregon Flora Project has been working on a much needed Flora for the state of Oregon for a number of years now. While a printed version is still quite a ways off (I know how that goes!), draft treatments of families for the final Flora are coming online as they are completed. They have also created a number of terrific online resources that are available for everyone at no cost (please contribute to the effort if you find these useful, however). The Atlas is an interactive mapping program which draws from a database of over 540,000 records to display plant distributions and the data behind each mappable point. This is an invaluable resource for finding the known range of plants. Some observations include plant lists from the site which aren’t available elsewhere. The Photo Gallery is also a terrific resource and will become even more helpful as volunteers continue to donate their photos.
The following are some of the most important institutional websites for plant identification in the Pacific states. The Flora of North America is the authority for plants of North America, but creating the Flora is a long term project, so the treatments for some families have not been published yet. The USDA site is helpful for looking up names and ranges of plants. However, it is not always in agreement with the Flora of North America or the Oregon Flora Project. The Burke Herbarium site is a wonderful resource for photos of Washington plants, many of which also grow in Oregon. The Jepson Manual is the flora for California. The second edition has just been published. The online version has everything in the newly updated printed version except the illustrations. There are few drawings and no photos, unfortunately, but Calphotos is very good for plant photos. It is most useful for plants in the southernmost part of our area, which is part of the California Floristic Province.
- Flora of North America Family Index
- WTU Herbarium Image Collection
- USDA PLANTS Database
- Jepson eFlora
A number of other Pacific Northwest native plant lovers have created websites that include photos or other information pertaining to the Western Cascades. Like me, these folks are members of the Native Plant Society of Oregon, the organization for anyone interested in learning more about Oregon’s native plants.