Flowering Plant Kinds



Flowering Plant Identification

Almost every part of a plant can be used to help in identification. Leaves are the most common and usually visible for most, if not all, of the year. Bark, roots, and fruit / spores are less commonly applied, but sometimes very useful. Among the Angiosperms (flowering plants), the flowers are very useful in helping to determine a kind. There have been various methods of describing the flower parts used over the years. This author finds the floral formula quite useful.

Floral Formula

The floral formula uses the morphological structure (form) of the flower including the calyx / sepals (K), corolla / petals (C), androecium / stamens (A), and the gynoecium (G). For example, if a flower has 5 petals it would be designated as C5. Other additional symbols are included in the formula such as: C? which represents 5 fused petals, C8 many petals (usually any number greater than 12), G an inferior ovary, and a G a superior ovary.

Meaning of Complex Floral Formula

A relatively simple and straightforward floral formula suggests that a kind is well defined and delineated from other kinds. For example, A4 shows a kind with 4 stamen. A more complicated floral formula with many elements, especially something in parenthesis, suggests a poorly defined kind which is in need of more work. For example, A4(8) shows a kind that usually has 4 stamen, but in rare cases has eight. This could be caused by incorrectly attributing a small group of plants within the kind. A doubling of the number could also represent some form of polyploidy (doubling of the chromosomes) that occurred within the kind.

Plant Cognita

The taxonomy and classification of the angiosperm (flowering) plants by use of the floral formula.


Annonibar – Custard Apple Kind – P3+3+3 A(few) G


Berberidibar – Barberry Kind – K3+3 C3+3 A6 G1

Includes: mayapple Podophyllot :

Betulibar – Birch Kind – K0,4 C0 A2-4 G0 (also K0 C0 A0 G&#9313)

Includes: birch, alder, ironwood, hazelnut

Bignonibar – Bignonia Kind – K&#9316 CZ&#9316 A&#9315 G&#9313

Includes: spathoda african tulip tree :

Cactacibar – Cactus Kind – KX C A G2-

Includes: prickly pear, barrel, saguaro

Cannabibar – Hemp Kind – K5 C0 A5 G0 (also A0 G1)


Caryophyllibar – Pink Kind – K5 C5(0) A5-10 G&#9313-&#9316

Includes: silene, carnation

Chenopodibar – Goosefoot Kind – K&#9313-&#9316 C0 A2-5 G&#9313-&#9314

Includes: Lamb’s quarter


Clusiacibar – Mangosteen Kind – K4-5 C4-5 A G&#9314-&#9316

Includes: mangosteen / Garciniot

Cucurbitibar – Gourd Kind – K&#9316 C&#9316 A5 G0 (also K&#9316 C&#9316 A0 G&#9314)

Includes: watermelon, pumpkin, cucumber, canteloupe,

Fagacibar – Oak Family – K4-7 C0 A4-40 G0 (also K4-6 C0 A0 G3-6)

Includes: Oak, hickory, beech, chestnut

Hamamelidibar – Sweet Gum Kind – K&#9315-&#9316 C4-5(0) A4-5(10) G&#9313

Includes: Sweet Gum :

Juglandibar – Walnut Kind – K3-6 C0 A3- G0 (also K4 C0 A0 G2-3)

Includes: walnut, hickory, pecan,

Lauribar – Laurel Kind – K3+3 C0 A3+3+3+3 G1

Includes: sassafras : cinnamon :

Magnolibar – Magnolia Kind – P6-18 A G

Includes: Tulip tree – Liriodendrot : magnolia :


Melastomatibar – Melastoma Kind – K4-5 C4-5 A8-10 G&#9312&#9325

Includes: camasey / miconia :

Malvacibar – Hibiscus Kind – K3-5 C5 A G&#9313-

Includes: hibiscus, mallow, okra, cotton, rose of Sharon

Moracibar – Mulberry Kind – K4 C0 A4 G0 (also A0 G2)

Includes: Mulberry,, Ficus, Breadfruit, fig, rubber plant :

Nymphaibar – Water Lily Kind – K3- C3- A G

Includes: water lily :

Orchidibar – Orchid Kind – K3 CZ2+1 A1-2 G&#9314

Includes: epidendrum :

Papaveribar – Poppy Kind – K2-3 C4- A G2-

Includes: poppy : bloodroot : celandine :

Passifloribar – Passion Flower Kind – K5,5 C5,5(0) A5 G&#9314-&#9316


Piperibar – Pepper Kind – K0 C0 A1-10 G&#9313-&#9315

:unusual scatter vascular bundles : black pepper :

Plantanibar – Sycamore Kind – K3-8 C3-8 A3-8 G6-9(3)

Includes: Platanot :

Polygonibar – Buckwheat Kind – K3+3 C0 A3+3 G&#9314 (also K5 C0 A5-8 G&#9314)

Includes: buckwheat, dock, sea grape, rhubarb : coccoloba ? hot cat tail :

Ranunculibar – Buttercup Kind – K3- C5- A G3-(1-3)

Includes: buttercup : columbine : ?delphinium – banes ? :

Sarracenibar – Pitcher Plant Kind – K4-5 C5 A G3(5)

Includes: pitcher plant

Ulmacibar – Elm Kind – K&#9315-&#9319 C0 A4-8 G&#9313

Includes: Elm

Urticacibar – Nettle Kind – K4-5 C0 A4-5 G0 (also A0 G1)

Includes: nettles

XXXVIIA. Last Updated: 10/01/2016
Todd Elder

Todd Elder

Todd Elder has a deep desire to understand and experience Creation. As a Baraminologist, his current research includes developing the Katagenos Species Concept, the Natanzera Classification System, and the Floral Formula Method of determining Plant Kinds. As an author and speaker, his books and seminar materials are designed to encourage a growing relationship with the Creator.
Todd Elder

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