Features for Fall 2015

Plant: Gentianella amarella
Text: How to Identify Plants
Definitions: Pappus
Biography: Linnaeus
Links: Flora of North America Project

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Recent Additions to this Web Site

1) Identify plants with the characteristics key on the opening page of this web site. I think you will find the key fun to use.

2) "How to Identify Plants Using a Botanical Key".

3) The glossary contains many new terms, new flower illustrations, and expanded definitions. 

4) Photographs of species new to this web site. Also see #3 below.

March, 2015
Corallorhiza trifida

April, 2015
Oenothera caespitosa subspecies navajoensis
Toxicoscordion paniculatum
Astragalus eastwoodiae

May, 2015
Asclepias involucrata
Physaria newberryi
Pediomelum tenuiflorum
Sophora nuttalliana
Populus x acuminata
Galium coloradoense
Crataegus rivularis

Camelina microcarpa

June, 2015
Veronica peregrina
Ranunculus cymbalaria

July, 2015
Astragalus cicer
Symphyotrichum foliaceum variety apricum
Trifolium hybridum
Delphinium robustum

August, 2015
Rumex crispus
Symphyotrichum ascendens

September, 2015
Erigeron ursinus
Laennecia coulteri
Sonchus arvensis

5)  New photographs of species already on this web site.

February, 2015
Cylindropuntia whipplei

Rhus aromatica
Penstemon breviculus
Fraxinus anomala
Erysimum capitatum
Pinus edulis 

March, 2015
Lappula redowskii
Vesper bulbosus
Atriplex confertifolia
Penstemon utahensis
Juniperus deppeana
Purshia stansburiana
Artemisia tridentata
Juniperus osteosperma

April, 2015
Ribes inerme
Erodium cicutarium
Ephedra viridis
Astragalus ceramicus
Lycium pallidum
Stanleya pinnata
Astragalus naturitensis
Echinocereus triglochidiatus
Penstemon utahensis
Cymopterus purpureus
Townsendia annua
Eremogone kingii
Asclepias cryptoceras 
Pediomelum megalanthum
Castilleja chromosa
Opuntia phaeacantha
Astragalus mollissimus
Lappula redowskii
Sisymbrium linifolium
Astragalus coltonii
Erigeron tracyi

May, 2015
Astragalus missouriensis  
Townsendia leptotes
Phlox austromontana
Astragalus ceramicus
Castilleja integra
Trifolium gymnocarpon
Poterium sanguisorba
Lygodesmia grandiflora
Calochortus nuttallii
Ephedra viridis
Xanthisma grindelioides
Stenogonum flexum
Penstemon angustifolius
Platyschkuhria integrifolia
Eriogonum ovalifolium
Neokochia americana
Sisymbrium altissimum
Descurainia sophia

June, 2015
Equisetum laevigatum
Salix exigua
Capsella bursa-pastoris
Artemisia nova
Dodecatheon pulchellum
Ivesia gordonii
Trifolium longipes
Cypripedium parviflorum
Pinus flexilis
Calypso bulbosa
Marrubium vulgare
Ephedra viridis
Penstemon breviculus
Nasturtium officinale
Yucca baccata
Packera streptanthifolia
Coeloglossum viride
Shepherdia canadensis
Erythronium grandiflorum
Noccaea fendleri
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Sibbaldia procumbens
Viola adunca
Packera dimorphophylla
Geum macrophyllum
Thermopsis montana
Lewisia pygmaea
Allium geyeri
Podistera eastwoodiae
Ribes wolfii
Pseudotsuga menziesii
Cirsium arizonicum
Thalictrum fendleri
Rosa woodsii
Onobrychis viciifolia

July, 2015

Epilobium anagallidifoliumm
Populus deltoides
Pedicularis procera

Arnica latifolia
Castilleja rhexiifolia
Veratrum californicum
Oxypolis fendleri
Calochortus gunnisonii
Senecio bigelovii
Cirsium parryi
Galium boreale
Vicia americana
Polemonium foliosissimum
Micranthes rhomboidea
Penstemon hallii

August, 2015
Pedicularis groenlandica
Claytonia megarhiza
Castilleja rhexiifolia
Ranunculus macauleyi
Chionophila jamesii
Polemonium confertum
Bistorta bistortoides
Erigeron leiomerus
Trifolium parryi
Sibbaldia procumbens
Castilleja occidentalis
Veronica wormskjoldii
Senecio bigelovii
Senecio amplectens
Lupinus argenteus
Arnica mollis
Micranthes odontoloma
Heracleum maximum
Pedicularis groenlandica
Agoseris aurantiaca

September, 2015
Gentianella amarella
Senecio atratus
Geum aleppicum
Ageratina herbacea


Genetic and morphological research continues to produce new information about relationships among plants and new names for these plants. The table below lists some relatively recent name changes. The new names are in accord with the Biota of North America, the product of John Kartesz's continuing study of all research published on the plants of the United States and Canada.

Synonym New Name
Anotites menziesii Silene menziesii
Asclepias macrosperma Asclepias involucrata
Aster foliaceus Symphyotrichum
var. canbyi
Aster spathulatus Symphyotrichum
Astragalus cottamii Astragalus monumentalis
Astragalus tenellus Astragalus multiflorus
Bahia dissecta Amauriopsis dissecta
Calylophus lavandulifolius Oenothera lavandulifolia
Camissonia scapoidea Chylismia scapoidea
Camissonia walkeri Chylismia walkeri
Cardaria chalepensis Lepidium chalepensis
Castilleja sulphurea Castilleja septentrionalis
Centaurea repens Rhaponticum repens
Cerastium strictum Cerastium arvense
Chaenactis alpina Chaenactis douglasii
Chamaesyce fendleri Euphorbia fendleri
Chamaesyce glyptosperma Euphorbia glyptosperma
Chamerion danielsii Chamerion angustifolium
ssp. circumvagum
Chamerion subdentatum Chamerion latifolium
Cirsium eatonii var. hesperium Cirsium scopulorum
Cleome lutea Peritoma lutea
Cleome serrulata Peritoma serrulata
Coryphantha missouriensis Escobaria missouriensis
Coryphantha vivipara Escobaria vivipara
Cymopterus bulbosus Vesper bulbosus
Cymopterus constancei Vesper constancei
Encelia frutescens Encelia resinifera var. resinosa
Erigeron peregrinus Erigeron glacialis var. glacialis
Frangula betulifolia ssp. obovata Frangula obovata
Listera cordata Neottia cordata
Lotus wrightii Acmispon wrightii
Lysiella obtusata Platanthera obtusata
Machaeranthera spp. Xanthisma spp. or
Dieteria spp.
Malcolmia africana Strigosella africana
Mitella pentandra Pectiantia pentandra
Pentaphylloides floribunda Dasiphora fruticosa
Phlox hoodii ssp. canescens Phlox canescens
Polygala subspinosa Rhinotropis subspinosa
Pseudocymopterus montanus Cymopterus lemmonii
Saxifraga odontoloma Micranthes odontoloma
Schoenocrambe linifolia Sisymbrium linifolium
Smelowskia calycina
var. americana
Smelowskia americana
Solidago canadensis Solidago velutina
Spergulastrum lanuginosum Arenaria lanuginosa
ssp. saxosa
Talinum brevifolium Phemeranthus brevifolius
Trollius albiflorus Trollius laxus ssp. albiflorus
Urtica gracilis Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis
Valeriana capitata Valeriana acutiloba
Veronica nutans Veronica wormskjoldii



Genetic research carried on since the 1990s has provided considerable new information about the relationship of plants. The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG) was formed to review the research and make taxonomic recommendations, many of which led to the merging of some families and the movement of some genera to new families. The vast majority of families and genera have not been shifted into new families, and species names have not been changed.

Major herbaria, most botanists, and most new publications accept the APG research and the new family classifications.

This web site uses the APG III classification, which is also accepted by John Kartesz, the ultimate authority for all plant names on this web site.

Click here to see the composition of all families shown in this web site.

Following are the family shifts that affect plants found on this web site. This information is current as of March, 2015. There certainly will be updates.

Almost all genera of the Snapdragon Family (Scrophulariaceae) have been moved to other families:
Paintbrush (Castilleja), Lousewort (Pedicularis), Club Flower (Cordylanthus), and Owl Clover (Orthocarpus) are now in the Broomrape Family (Orobanchaceae);
Snow Lover (Chionophila), Blue-Eyed Mary (Collinsia), Toadflax (Linaria), Penstemon (Penstemon), Veronica (Veronica and Veronicastrum) are now in the Plantain Family (Plantaginaceae);
Monkey Flower (Mimulus) is now in the Lopseed Family (Phrymaceae).

All Maple Family (Aceraceae) genera including Maple (Acer) are now in the Soapberry Family (Sapindaceae).

All Waterleaf Family (Hydrophyllaceae) genera including Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum), Fiddleleaf  (Nama), and Scorpion Weed (Phacelia) are now in the Borage Family (Boraginaceae).

All Pyrola Family (Pyrolaceae) genera including Single Delight (Moneses), One-sided Wintergreen (Orthilia), and Pyrola (Pyrola) are now in the Heath Family (Ericaceae).

Almost all Goosefoot Family (Chenopodiaceae) genera including Saltbush (Atriplex), Goosefoot (Chenopodium), Hop Sage (Grayia), Saltlover (Halogeton), Winter Fat (Krascheninnikovia), Poverty Weed (Monolepis), Green Molly (Neokochia), and Tumble Weed (Salsola) are now in the Amaranth Family (Amaranthaceae).
Greasewood (Sarcobatus) is in the Greasewood Family (Sarcobataceae).

All Milkweed Family (Asclepiadaceae) genera including Milkweed (Asclepias) are now in the Dogbane Family (Apocynaceae).

Many Lily Family (Liliaceae) genera are in new families:
Onions (Allium) are in the Amaryllis Family (Amaryllidaceae);
Sand Lily (Androstephium) and Giant Onion (Triteleia) are in the Asparagus Family (Asparagaceae);
Corn Lily (Veratrum) and Death Camas (Anticlea) are in the False Hellebore Family (Melanthiaceae);
Solomon's Plume & Star Lily (Maianthemum) are in the Asparagus Family (Asparagaceae);
Sand Lily (Eremocrinum) is in the Asparagus Family (Asparagaceae).

Most Purslane Family (Portulacaceae) genera including Spring Beauty (Claytonia), Bitterroot (Lewisia), Fameflower (Phemeranthus) are now in the Miner's Lettuce Family (Montiaceae).

All Mistletoe Family (Viscaceae) genera including Ponderosa Mistletoe (Arceuthobium) and Juniper Mistletoe (Phoradendron) are now in the Sandalwood Family (Santalaceae).

Grass of Parnassus (Parnassia) is now in the Staff-tree Family (Celastraceae), not in the Saxifrage Family (Saxifragaceae).

Burreed (Sparganium) is now in the Cattail Family (Typhaceae), not in the Burreed Family (Sparganiaceae).

All Mare's Tale Family (Hippuridaceae) genera including Hippuris are now in the Plantain Family (Plantaginaceae).

St. Johnswort (Hypericum) is now in the St. Johnswort Family (Hypericaceae), not in the Scotch Attorney Family (Clusiaceae).

Hackberry (Celtis) is now in the Hemp Family (Cannabaceae), not in the Elm Family (Ulmaceae).

Pinedrops (Pterospora andromedea) is now in the Heath Family (Ericaceae), not in the Pinesap Family (Monotropaceae).

Bee Plants (Cleome, Cleomella, and Peritoma) are now in the Cleome Family (Cleomaceae), not the Caper Family (Capparaceae).

Click here to see a list of all families according to the APG classification.

Click for Walt Fertig's succinct discussion of the APG families.

Click for a nice discussion of APG in Wikipedia.

Click for the very complex APG details.


Immediately below you will find links to comments & updates on three Colorado floras.

Floras are complex and very time consuming to write. They demand not only expertise in the plants of an area but also expertise in technical writing, logic, and scientific precision. Three recent floras of Colorado strive for these goals and achieve them to various degrees, but all three have great room for improvement, especially in the construction of clear and accurate keys.

Comments & Updates on Weber and Wittmann's Colorado Flora

Click here for comments on the flora of Colorado and helpful suggestions for better understanding Weber and Wittmann's 2012, 4th edition of Colorado Flora.

Click to order and read more about Colorado Flora: Western Slope. Eastern Slope.

Comments & Updates on Heil and O'Kane's
Flora of the Four Corners Region

Click here for comments, corrections, and additions to the 2013,
Flora of the Four Corners Region

Click to order and read more about this flora.

Comments & Updates on Ackerfield's Flora of Colorado

Click here for reading comments about and submitting your comments on the Flora of Colorado.

Native Plants On-line Discussion Groups

Do you have questions about native plants? Would you like to share information about native plants? 

Join the Colorado and New Mexico Native Plants on-line botanical discussion groups for amateurs and professionals. Once you sign up you can participate as much or as little as you want to.  Send in photographs of your mystery plants for identification, discuss key issues about conserving native plants, discuss techniques for growing native plants in your garden, learn about field trips, etc. 

1) Join the Colorado Native Plant discussion group by sending a blank email to

2)  To subscribe to the very active New Mexico discussion group: