Delaware Wildflowers

Two problems with field guides: they list some plants that don't grow here, and they don't list all the plants that do. (Claude Phillips' Wildflowers of Delaware and the Eastern Shore has been out of print for years, and doesn't reflect changes to Delaware's flora since the 1970's.) These guides are an attempt to remedy that. Only plants that are currently found wild in Delaware are listed. I've tried to give identifying features that are easily visible, and can be described in non-technical language. Photos showing distinguishing features are included, if I have them.

To use these guides to identify a plant, you first need to know its genus — the first part of its scientific name. So if your field guide tells you it's a fleabane, the guide to Erigeron will tell you which it is.

I've just started on these. The flora of Delaware includes about 800 genera and 200 families; only a few are available here, as listed below. I'd appreciate any comments; please e-mail me at
Adoxaceae Moschatel family Viburnum Arrow-wood (just a list)
Anacardiaceae Cashew family Rhus Sumac
Apiaceae Carrot family Osmorhiza Sweet-cicely
Araceae Arum family Arisaema Jack-in-the-pulpit, Green dragon
Araliaceae Ginseng family Aralia Aralia
Hydrocotyle Pennywort
Panax Ginseng
Asteraceae Aster family Antennaria Pussytoes
Arctium Burdock
Aster Aster
Bidens Tick-seed, Beggar-tick, Spanish-needle
Cirsium Thistle
Erigeron Fleabane
Eurybia Aster
Eutrochium Joe-Pye weed
Helianthus Sunflower
Hieracium Hawkweed
Lactuca Lettuce
Prenanthes Rattlesnake-root
Sonchus Sow-thistle
Balsaminaceae Jewel-weed family Impatiens Jewel-weed
Brassicaceae Mustard family Cardamine Bittercress, toothwort
Cannabaceae Indian Hemp family Humulus Hops
Commelinaceae Spiderwort family Tradescantia Spiderwort
Cucurbitaceae Gourd family
Euphorbiaceae Spurge family Acalypha Three-seeded mercury
Caryophyllaceae Pink family Spergularia Sandspurry
Gentianaceae Gentian family Gentiana Gentian
Sabatia Marsh-pink
Juglandaceae Walnut family Juglans Walnut & Butternut
Lamiaceae Mint family Teucrium Germander
Melastomataceae Melastoma family Rhexia Meadow-beauty
Plantaginaceae Plantain family Veronica Speedwell
Oxalidaceae Wood-sorrel family Oxalis Wood-sorrel
Polygonaceae Smartweed family Persicaria Tearthumb, Smartweed
Ranunculaceae Buttercup family Clematis Virgin's-bower, Leatherflower
Ruscaceae Ruscus family Polygonatum Solomon's seal
Violaceae Violet family Viola Violet
Vitaceae Grape family Vitis Grape

Copyright David G. Smith

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