Using a field guide to flowers, you can identify many types that you may not readily recognize. You will find that in addition to the shape of the flower and its size, the color of the flower is of great importance when trying to discern one type from another. Some flowers come in similar shapes but different colors. Observing and processing the shade of a flower's color, seeing where on the flower certain colors exist and taking into account other facets of a flower's color can ultimately help you to identify the bloom.
Look at the flower and determine its most dominant color to help you locate it in a field guide. The majority of field guides for flowers use color as their primary way to arrange the guide. Some will group the photos of same-colored flowers together while others will have sections based on a flower's main color. For example, the "National Audubon Society Field Guide to Flowers" has pictures of the flowers in the front of the book categorized by color, followed by the text with flowers listed according to their families.
Look for differences in colors between similar flowers to identify their particular species. Many flowers have different colored varieties but have the same basic shape and form. Clovers are one example, coming in white, red and yellow types. Asters are another kind of flower where the color allows you to know what species it is; New York asters are a bluish-violet while New England asters are a robust purple.
Look at the shade of color on a flower and try to match it to its field guide description. Even a color such as white has a multitude of shades. Boneset is a dull white flower while the aquatic arrowhead plant features a pure white blossom. Disitnguish between dark and light shades of colors like red, blue, violet, orange and yellow.
Look for small areas of color on a bloom that can help you identify a flower. Notice any small portion of the flower that is a different color than the rest of the flower. An example is Queen Anne's lace, which has a large cluster of tiny flat-topped flowers that contains one single purple flower in its center.
Look at where the colors are on a multi-colored flower to identify it. The northern catalpa, a flowering tree of eastern parts of the U.S., has white flowers shaped like tubes. Inside the blossom there are small lines of purple combined with a small patch of yellow and then orange within the purple lines. Studying where the colors occur allows a positive identification of the flower.
Look at the center of the flower and take careful note of its color. Often the center is the same color as the petals, such as in chicory, but many times the center is a dissimilar color from the petals, such as black-eyed Susan or field daisies.