Botanizing Tools

The activities of hunting native plants in the wild—wandering, seeing, sleuthing, the aha! moment—are known collectively as “botanizing.” They invoke curiosity, keen vision, a basic knowledge of plant parts, problem-solving skills, and sometimes dogged determination.

Although, strictly speaking, botanizing means collecting plants for scientific study or investigating plants scientifically, we prefer to focus on the joys of the hunt. 

Botanizing 101

This INPAWS Journal series by Rebecca Dolan, Ph.D., of Friesner Herbarium, Butler University, explores plant nomenclature and the basics of identifying native plants in the field. 

“Cracking the Nutt. of Plant Name Authorities”  Spring 2007

“Noted Indiana Authorities”  Summer 2007

“The Right Stuff: Tools for Botanizing”  Autumn 2007

“The Power of Observation”  Winter 2007-08

“Of Sheets and Vouchers: Herbarium Resources”  Spring 2008

“Make Your Own Dried Specimens”  Summer 2008

“Surfing for Plant IDs”  Winter 2008-09

Botany 101

Also by Rebecca Dolan, the Botany 101 series in INPAWS Journal presents the basics of plant identification by families.

Kay Yatskievych, who’s been documenting Indiana species for a number of years, counts 166 traditional families of native plants in Indiana outside of cultivation. She breaks these down as 18 fern and fern ally families, 3 coniferous families, and 145 flowering plant families.

Cyperaceae/Sedge Family Autumn 2006

Orchidaceae/Orchid Family Summer 2006

Apiaceae/Carrot Family Spring 2006

Scrophulariaceae/Snapdragon/Foxglove Family Winter 2005-06

Roseacea/Rose Family Autumn 2005

Lamiaceae/Mint Family Summer 2005

Goldenrods Galore

From Paul Rothrock of Taylor University, we have a tool for sorting out these confusing members of the Asteraceae family.  

Guide to Indiana’s Common Goldenrod Species