Identifying Native Plants in Western North Carolina

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Identifying plants can be difficult. In North Carolina, there are over 4000 different species of plants. If you knew 100 of the most common you would be considered a very knowledgeable gardener.

So how do we begin to identify all of the many beautiful plants that grace the hills of western North Carolina? Well, it helps to start studying. Familiarize yourself with the most common plants in your area using books. Some good ones are:

NC Wildflower Folding Pocket Guide

Wildflowers and Plant Communities

Trees of North Carolina

Common Trees of NC booklet

native plants flower purple flower plant

Phone-based plant identification apps have improved over the years. This one is supposed to be pretty good:

Plant ID app for mobile devices: PlantSnap (search in your app store)

There are many plant identification websites. These are helpful:

NC State University’s Plant ID website

Carolina Native Plant Society list

Remember, not all plants are good. Some plants from other countries are invasive and wreak havoc on our native plant communities.

Invasive plant identification