Here are links to regional Floras and other websites that can help with identification of plants in the Western Cascades.

OregonFlora (formerly the Oregon Flora Project) has been working on a much-needed flora for the state of Oregon for a number of years now. Flora of Oregon Volume 1: Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, and Monocots was published in 2015, and Volume 2: Dicots A–F, which covers all the families of dicots through Fumariaceae, was published in 2020. The final volume, covering the remainder of the dicots, will hopefully be done by 2023. I am the designer and layout artist for the Flora of Oregon, but I don’t think I’m biased in recommending that anyone with a serious interest in Oregon native plants should purchase this important set. 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). There is an interactive mapping program that 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. There are also numerous photos of most of the ~4700 taxa found wild in Oregon, and descriptions of the species as they become available.

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 (I am now helping with layout and editing of the remaining volumes of this flora as well). 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 OregonFlora. 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. 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.

A number of other Pacific Northwest native plant lovers have created websites that include photos or other information pertaining to the Western Cascades and elsewhere in our region. Like me, many of these folks are members of the Native Plant Society of Oregon, the organization for anyone interested in learning more about Oregon’s native plants.

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