How to Identify Flowers in the Midwest


Nothing is more frustrating than going on a nature walk and taking tons of photos of wildflowers, then arriving back home only to not be able to identify what's in the picture. There is a multitude of native wildflowers in the Midwest region of the United States. Wisconsin alone has approximately 128 different wildflowers that have been cataloged. The ability to distinguish between the various native Midwestern flowers expands your appreciation for Mother Nature's artistic talents.

Step 1

Look for a good flower identification book specific to the Midwest region. Check local public libraries or garden centers for well-researched books on the topic. Read through the flower guide book to become familiar with local wildflower names and characteristics.

Step 2

Take a nature walk in an area with many different wildflowers. Hike in a state park that boasts a large variety of wildflowers. Sign up for a tour of the state park with a local guide who discusses the list of the native flowers. Ask questions about the flowers to learn helpful tips on how to classify them.

Step 3

Notice the shapes of the leaves, style of the flower bud, colorization of the flower and arrangement of the plant's leaves. These clues assist in establishing the type of wildflower. Practice pinpointing wildflowers when out walking through nature trails or parks. Check out some books with colorful photos of wildflowers at the library and apply these identification methods.

Step 4

Record the characteristics of the flower so that it can be recognized later. Take a photograph of the flower in question to capture the details needed to catalog the plant. Draw a sketch of the flower in a journal with some colored pencils. Note any unusual markings of the flower and write down a brief description of the plant near the drawing.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not attempt to touch or ingest any plant or flower that grows in the wild unless you have properly identified it. This may cause extreme discomfort or illness. Leave the wildflowers untouched. This allows others a chance to glimpse the same natural beauty. Watch out for insects and bees during hiking, especially near the wildflowers. Carry a first-aid kit in case of emergencies.

Things You'll Need

  • Flower identification book
  • Camera
  • Journal
  • Colored pencils


  • Wildflowers of the United States: U.S. Wildflowers Database of Wildflowers for Wisconsin
Keywords: draw flower sketches, identify midwest wildflowers, using flower guidebook

About this Author

Since May 2009, Christina Delegans-Bunch has been pursuing her career as a professional writer. Her work has been published on eHow and GardenGuides. She holds a certification in floral designing and wedding consultation from Harcourt Extended Learning.