[Wildflowers East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington: Floral ID Key]

Identification of Wildflowers Having 5 Petals

Wildflowers East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon & Washington

Phlox viscida

Sticky Phlox: Phlox viscida

Updated July 5, 2016

Bladderwort Family: Insectivorus.

Blazing Star Family: 5 petals are all separate from one another. Sepals are in between petals. Many stamens. Leaves alternate.

Bluebell Family, Harebell Family: The 5 petals are united to create either a bell-shaped corolla or a 2-lipped flower. The 5 stamens are united to make a distinctive baseball bat shaped structure. The overy is inferior.

Borage Family, Forget-me-not Family: Petals, sepals and stamens are 5 each. Stamens alternate to the petals. Corolla is a trumpet or elongated tube. Flowers arranged together in a one-sided coil (shaped like a coiled scorpion's tail). Herbage often stiffly haired.

Broomrape Family: Petals joined, the corolla tubular. Stems underground with the erect, flower tipped pedicels emerging from the ground. Plants parasites.

Buckbean Family (Buckbean, Bogbean: Menyanthes trifoliata (Synonym: Menyanthes trifoliata var. minor))

Buckthorn Family:

Buttercup Family: Petals not joined. Petals either identical shape and size, or petals irregularly shaped (often with spurs). Numerous stamens. If yellow, petals are bright and shiny.

Cucumber Family: Base of petals slightly joined. Large, viny plant with tendrils to help it climb objects. Flowers are single-sexed. Leaves are maple-like.

Dogbane Family:

Spurge Family, Euphorb Family: Milky sap.

Figwort Family: Petals mostly joined. Most flowers of this family have fused petals to form a fat tube opening into two broad lips. If petals are not joined, one looks much larger than the others. Stems are round.

Flax Family: Slender-stemmed wildflowers with short linear leaves alternating along the stem. Flower parts all free and five of each. Stamens alternate to petals.

Four-o'clock Family:

Geranium Family: Petals not joined. Geraniums have flowers with 5 petals, 5 sepals, and 5 stamens. The central ovary has a long style that often looks beak-like.

Ginseng Family:

Gooseberry Family, Currant Family: Shrubs with alternate, palmately-veined leaves. Flowers tube-like to parted, with the tube fused to the ovary. Fruit a berry.

Goosefoot Family:

Grass-of-Parnassus Family: Petals free, often fringed along the margins of the lower half. 5 fertile stamens and 5 sterile stamens (staminoda). Flowers white, large, and showy. Plants of moist places in the mountains.

Heath Family: Petals either joined and bell-shaped, or petals free. Flowers with 5 sepals and 10 stamens.

Honeysuckle Family: Petals joined. Long funnel or bell-like flowers with 5 sepals and stamens. Leaves opposite.

Mallow Family:

Meadow Foam Family:

Milkweed Family:

Mint Family: Petals joined. Square stems. Flowers long and tube-like ending in 2 lips. Leaves opposite.

Morning Glory Family:

Oxalis Family: Petals joined at base, free above. Compound, clover-like leaves. Flowers funnel-like. 5 stamens.

Parsley Family: Petals not joined. Flowers are tiny, and arranged in clusters called umbels (The flower and seed arrangements look like an inside out umbrella.). Leaves often compound and leaf stems often clasp main stem.

Pea Family: 2 petals (the lower ones which look like a pelicans pouch) joined, 3 are free of each other. Petals irregularly shaped. 2 sepals. The leaves are alternate and compound with leaf-like stipules where the leaf stem attaches to the main stem.

Peony Family:

Phlox Family: Petals joined. Flowers often look trumpet-like. 5 petals, 5 sepals, 5 stamens.

Pink Family: Petals not joined. Leaves mostly opposite. Petals often notched at tips. Joints of stem often swollen.

Potato or Nightshade Family:

Primrose Family: Petals, sepals, and stamens in 5's. Stamens opposite petals. Flowers either regular and pinwheel-like, or like a shooting star with petals reflexed backwards.

Purslane Family: Petals not joined. 2 sepals. Leaves fleshy.

Rose Family: Petals not joined, and all are identical in shape and size. Many stamens. Leaves alternate, and with wide leaf-like stipules where leaf stem joins branch.

Sandalwood Family:

Saxifrage Family: Petals not joined. 5 petals and 5 sepals, with 5 or 10 stamens. Flowers often cup-like or tube-like because of fused sepals.

St. Johnswort Family:

Stonecrop (Sedum) Family: Sepals and petals 5. Stamens 5 or 10. Leaves and stems are fleshy.

Sumac Family:

Sundew Family: Insectivorous. Leaves with numerous sticky, gland-tipped hairs.

Valerian Family: Joined petals. Petals irregularly-shaped. Sepals indistinct. Fused petals often have a spur or bump at the base of the flower. Opposite leaves.

Violet Family: Petals not joined. Petals are all differently shaped with 2 upper petals, 2 side petals and 1 lower petal.

Waterleaf Family: Petals, sepals and stamens are 5. "Flowers" are bell-like. Stamens long, whisker-like, longer than the corolla. Flowers arranged in coiled clusters (cymes). Herbage frequently stiffly hairy.


Paul Slichter E-mail