Online Wildflower Resources
Saskatchewan Wildflowers: A wonderful website featuring photos of hundreds of Saskatchewan native plants, with shots of foliage, leaves, stems, overall shape, etc. Extremely useful for identification, with thumbnail images sorted by colour for quick ID. The pictures for each flower include a handy ruler to illustrate size — and demonstrate just how tiny some prairie wildflowers really are. (The contents of this site have been online for some time, and recently moved to the new URL at http://www.saskwildflower.ca/.)
Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan: Several online field checklists (as PDFs ) and guides.
Nature Regina's Native Plant Garden at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Regina, Saskatchewan. Features a searchable index, by flowering months.
Nature Saskatchewan's online bookstore is a good source for hard-to-find, locally focused guides.
Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre: The lists of images of Prairie creatures and plants is provided through a search page. (To confirm what's there, click the Common or Scientific name lists, or go right to the search.)
Saskatchewan Forage Council: The PDF “Field Guide: Identification of Common Range Plants of Southern Saskatchewan” has very clear line drawings of grasses, grass-like plants, forbs and shrubs. (Forbs = the broad-leaved herbaceous plants, i.e., not shrubs or grasses, that are an integral part of the prairie. aka potential wildflowers!) Also from the Forage Council, Field Guide: Identification of Common Riparian Plants of Saskatchewan. Good, clear line drawings of wetlands trees/shrubs, grasses, grass-like plants and forbs.
Invasive Species in Saskatchewan, with a range of fact sheets about invasive plants, insects and animals.
Virtual Herbarium: Features pictures of flowering Prairie plants, with a focus on Saskatchewan; includes pictures taken in the field and pressed specimens from the University of Regina.
Lichens: Bernard De Vries (Getting to know Saskatchewan Lichens) has written (with Irma De Vries) a number of online publications on lichens, including Prairie Lichens Series One (primarily soil lichens) and Prairie Lichens Series Three (primarily rock lichens). Series Two and Series Four feature Boreal lichens. There is also a De Vries field guide for lichens in Cypress Hills.
Other Canadian sites/references:
- Alberta Native Plant Council: Lots of information, including a fact sheet with plant collection guidelines for wildcrafters.
- Common Coulee Plants of Southern Alberta: Downloadable PDF, revised 2014. E-book with clear line drawings, colour images and information about 124 plants from this region, sorted by colours with a hyperlinked list by flowering times (Early Spring; Late Spring/Early Summer; Summer; Late Summer/Early Fall). Brilliant idea!
- Manitoba Agriculture: Weeds: A useful site for identifying common Prairie weeds, especially that confusing Composite family (Sow thistles, Hawks' beard, etc.)
- Manitoba Native Orchid Conservation, with pix of 39 varieties of orchids.
- Native Plant Database: Recent search results for Saskatchewan wildflowers generated hits for 805 species, many with thumbnail images. Several ways to search; many different kinds of plants (trees, shrubs, ferns, vines, ground cover, etc.)
- Ontario Wildflowers: As the home page says, most plants featured grow elsewhere.
- University of Manitoba: Weeds. Yes, weeds again — but a good site, with several images for each linked plant.
- Wildflowers and Scenery of the Canadian Rockies: Plants are indexed by common and scientific names, with several photos of each. Sections include the Rockies, Foothills, Prairies, Glacier/Waterton Area, and Alaska/Yukon/NWT, with a general search function.
- Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses: Going further afield... Yes, I know Kansas is a little way from Saskatchewan, but we have many wildflowers in common and this is a lovely site. What could be better than flowers listed by logical colours (blue, purple, lavender, violet? white, green, greenish-white?), and displayed by thumbnails?
- Minnesota Wildflower Info: This site features an app, and includes trees, ferns, grasses and sedges.
- Montana Field Guide: The official state website for flowers — a lovely notion, and a good site.
- Montana Plant Life: Saskatchewan borders Montana to the south, and so we have many plants in common — especially in the Grasslands. This site has a number of lists, including Native, Introduced, Edible, Medicinal and Poisonous Plants.
- Prairie Wildflowers and Grasses of North Dakota: Links to Spring, Summer and late Summer flowers, with about a dozen in each group.
- Prairie Wildflowers of Illinois has interesting information about our shared wildflowers.
- Wildflower Search
- Wildflowers East of the Rockies: Not specific to the Prairies, but this charming 1927 guide is worth a glance if you're interested in old botany books. Posted on Gutenberg in 2014, this e-book is searchable (Control-F) and featured painted illustrations.
To be continued... Not that I'm still actively searching for more links, but as I find them I will add to this list — and if I've omitted your favourite Prairie/Northern Great Plains wildflower identification site, please let me know! (No commercial sites, i.e., plant sellers, please.)