New plant identification cards great tool for teachers or home gardeners
hort flash cards
April 30, 2014
  • /ACES
  • /ACES News
  • /Advancement
  • /Crop Sciences

URBANA, Ill. – Whether you are teaching or studying horticulture plant identification, a new resource produced by the University of Illinois can help even beginner horticulturalists to distinguish a white fir from a white pine, or an azalea from a gardenia, for example.

ITCS Educational Publishing, a unit of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and U of I Extension, has created a set of horticulture plant identification flash cards which can now be purchased on the Pubs Plus website. The boxed set features 272 cards displaying photographs of all plants on the national and Illinois FFA horticulture judging lists.

Each card shows the plant in full color on one side and provides a description, plant characteristics, and growing conditions on the back. Section cards describe the 12 plant categories.

The resource was primarily developed for agriculture educators to teach horticulture plant identification and to help FFA and 4H students prepare for horticulture contests. Marianne Stein, marketing director for the Educational Publishing unit, said the cards can also be used by home gardeners and landscapers.

“It’s a wonderful resource for anyone in the horticulture business,” Stein said. “Home gardeners, nurseries, landscaping companies, and florists could use these cards.”

Stein explained that U of I horticulture specialists and experts identified and photographed the over 200 plants featured in the box set. The collection was then reviewed by Theresa Meers, a horticulture specialist at Parkland College in Champaign to ensure quality and accuracy of information.

The 12 sections of plants featured in the set include:

  • Bulbs, underground stems or plants
  • Bedding plants
  • Foliage plants
  • Flowering container plants
  • Cut flowers and foliage
  • Herbs
  • Herbaceous perennials
  • Ground covers and vines
  • Deciduous shrubs
  • Deciduous trees
  • Broadleaf evergreens
  • Coniferous plants

For more information on this or other products available from Pubs Plus, visit their website at

Pubs Plus is a comprehensive source for nonbiased, research-based publications and other educational materials available from the U of I College of ACES. Extension publications translate scientific discoveries into information geared to the needs of agricultural and horticultural producers, educators, families, consumers, school-age children and community leaders.