MinneFlora

A visual encyclopedia of northern U.S. wildflowers

Why?

  1. I like nature.
  2. I like photography.
  3. I like developing websites.

What's the deal with the photos?

Currently, all the photos on this site have been taken by me over the past several years. I've used a variety of different cameras, from an old Elph point-and-shoot (with dust inside it) to my newest friend, a Canon EOS T2i.

Can I use a photo for {my project}?

All the photos on this site are copyrighted, but released under the Creative Commons BY-NC license. The short answer is: yes, as long as the project is not commercial in nature.

Aren't there other sites that do this?

Of course there are - the web is nothing but overflowing with millions of overlapping ideas. Some other, more comprehensive sites are listed in the Resources section. Wikipedia also has good, detailed articles and photos for common plants. However, I believe this site offers a unique perspective and presentation, tailored to the particular geographic area where I live - the Minnesota-Wisconsin area of the north central U.S.

I also think most of the photos here are better quality and higher resolution than many you'll find online. Try doing some image searches for various common or scientific names in this collection, and the results are somewhat disappointing. Images are easy to find, but often aren't large enough and don't show enough level of detail to really give you a good idea of what something looks like in the field.

You misidentified something!

Very probably, and I'd love to hear about it. I'm only an interested amateur. My usual identification strategy for something I'm unsure of is:

  1. Start out by looking it up in Peterson/McKenny or one of the other field guides.
  2. Verify by looking for online images of the tentative identification (Wisdom of the crowd works in this case!)
  3. For fine distinctions, for example between similar species, break out Gray.

One drawback of this approach is that Peterson is written primarily for the north-and-northeastern U.S., and Minnesota is in a transitional zone. Some common species of the northern Great Plains (like Prairie Larkspur) aren't included at all in that otherwise excellent reference.

If you are knowledgeable, though, you might be able to help! Take a look at the unidentified list and see if you recognize anything there. I'd appreciate any pointers toward a positive identification.

Why do you list a lot of common, weedy plants?

Duh, because they're common. At the risk of making a bad pun, I could say they're the "low hanging fruit". If they're easy for me to find and photograph, then others will also encounter them often - so they deserve a place in an identification list.

No entry for {my favorite flower}?

Not until I find it in the field. Expanding outside of my home area would make this site a lot bigger than I'm ready for it to be. I'm adding to the collection as time goes on, at my own pace. But, see my most wanted list for the highest priority targets in the coming year.

If you have pictures of flowers in the Minnesota/Wisconsin area that you would like to contribute to this site (with attribution), please let me know at contact at minneflora dot com.

Where can I get more information about identification?

Try the Resources page.

How do I contact you?

Through e-mail: contact at minneflora dot com. (Replace the obvious "at" and "dot" with the appropriate symbol.)

Or use this online form.