The Pacific Northwest, because of climate, location and rainfall levels, has a rich plant diversity. Sometimes, identifying plants can be difficult, especially when looking at a plant in a place like the Olympic Peninsula, which is part of the world's only temperate rain forest. Your county agricultural extension is a good place to start, and one of the area's many botanical gardens also can be a useful source.
University of Washington Botanic Gardens
The University of Washington Botanic Gardens are an excellent resource for plant identification. In fact, they offer a well-regarded non-credit course in field skills that can help you identify plants native to the Pacific Northwest. The University of Washington Botanic Gardens are located at 3501 NE 41st St, Seattle, Washington. The Botanic Gardens maintain an arboretum where many native and non-native plants are grown and labeled. The Botanic Gardens also have a library that may contain books and documents to help you identify plants.
Bellevue Botanical Garden
The Bellevue Botanical Garden maintains the largest gardens on the the east side of the Seattle Metropolitan area. In addition to offering personnel and resources that can help you identify plants growing in the Pacific Northwest, the Bellevue Botanical Garden operates one of the finest Japanese gardens in the Pacific Northwest, the Yao Garden. The Bellevue Botanical Garden is located at 12001 Main Street, Bellevue, Washington. In addition to the Japanese garden, the Botanical Garden grows many native Pacific Northwest species.
University of British Columbia Botanical Garden
The University of British Columbia Botanical Garden and Center for Plant Research is one of the largest resources for information and identification of plants growing in the Pacific Northwest. As part of the University of British Columbia, the UBC Botanical Garden offers a number of weekend courses and noon lectures that can help you gain information to help you identify plants in the Pacific Northwest. The University of British Columbia Botanical Garden is located at 6804 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.