The plant identifier database is intended to provide the non-specialist interested in alpine plants with the ability to identify mountain plants. The database is not going to be comprehensive for some time to come - the limiting factor being my ability to contribute detailed pictorial "description" of alpine plants included. My initial focus will be on plants of Canadian Western mountains, up to Alaska. Whenever possible, this will be expanded to Andean (initially Patagonian) plants, later filling in the "in between" US mountains and the tropical and subtropical American mountains. Future collaborations with other digital photographers may speed up the rate of acquisition of images from other alpine regions of the world.
Ultimate use of the identifier
The alpine plant identifier is based on simplified categorization of plant characteristics - these are described under the "Field definitions" label. Alternatively, specific lists are revealed by clicking on the underlined name of the plant characteristic field. To use the identifier, make your selections based on observations of the plant in your hand. Gradually narrow down the number of species by selecting additional characteristics. When only a few species remain, click on the Adobe pdf image field to see the photographs of the plant. If these don't match your plant, check the other selected species. Depending on your internet connection and computer, the downloading of the images may be frustratingly slow. I hope this limitation will improve with improving technology. Right now, there are too few entries in the database to make the identifier useful. Contents of the major database subsets can be revealed by selecting a general characteristic, such as "herbaceous" or "woody".
Latin name search
For the time being, this may be the more useful way of getting to the pictures in the database. Assuming you know the Latin name of the plant you wish to see, type in the genus OR species name. (Try Parnassia OR fimbriata - the entries are case insensitive, but we are sticking to the convention of capitalizing the genus name). If the plant with corresponding name is in the database, you can see the linked images.
Future expansion
Cultivation of alpine species is becoming important for conservation and restoration purposes. Information on germination and growing of these plants is being gathered and will be eventually included in the database.

For a more detailed description of the project click here.

The copyright to this site and images it contains belongs to Dr. L. Malek. Materials are for free use for educational and public research purposes only. Contact the author for commercial use licensing.