PLANT IDENTIFICATION RESOURCES
Warning! Clicking on a resource may increase your knowledge and understanding!
Proceed without caution!
Biota of North America Program (BONAP): the most useful part of this site probably consists of the range maps for plant species. Frequently I enter a general web search for the genus name in this way: "Tradescantia BONAP" to arrive immediately at a set of maps for all spiderworts found on the continent. The maps are detailed to the county level with bright green, and the expected range, usually much larger, is dark green. Additional colors may indicate a protected status or other information. Many botanists favor these range maps as the most accurate and useful over other sources.
Illinois Wildflowers: this site is organized by basic ecosystem, such as prairies, savannahs, and woods; and by types of plants, such as grass-like species, trees and shrubs, and mosses and liverworts. The site is rich with details about each plant entry and photographs that are quite similar to what you are likely to encounter.
USDA Plants Database: search by common names or scientific names. You may enter only the genus name to find all species results, for example, "Acer" for the maples. Most species pages have several tabs that provide a zoomable range map, images of the plant, its taxonomic classification (although this isn't the most updated information), subspecies with range maps, the legal status (such as Endangered or Threatened and if the status is federal or for certain states), its wetland status for each region, and other information.