How to Identify Annual Flowers by Color & Number of Petals

Written by brandy alexander
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An annual is a plant that lives for only one year. Thus, an annual's flowers germinate and blossom for just one year as well. Such plants have the ability to return only if their seeds fall to the ground during the growing season. When you encounter an unknown plant species, you can identify it by taking note of special characteristics, such as the quantity of its petals and the colours of the bloom. With this knowledge, you will be able to take care of any annual flower that may show up in your garden.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Computer
  • Internet connection
  • Camera (optional)

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  1. 1

    Write down the colours that your annual flower displays and inspect the petals to see if they produce more than one shade. The African daisy, for example, is an all-orange blossom, but the annual China pink (sweet William) has tones in pink, red and white.

  2. 2

    Count the number of petals that the bloom has. Some plant families, like the brassicaceae, which include the western wallflower, bittercress and fireweed blossoms, grow only four petals, while others, like the marigold, grow numerous petals.

  3. 3

    Inspect the foliage of your annual blossom. Note any distinguishing traits on the leaves, such as streaks of different colours, and watch to see if the foliage turns different shades throughout the year.

    Identifying the Flower

  1. 1

    Visit the Wildflower Information's Annual Wildflowers webpage or the United States Department of Agriculture Advanced Search online database to enter your discoveries and locate your annual flower. Click through the links on the "Annual Wildflowers" page to find your blossom, or click "Annual" next to the "Duration" title on the USDA site and continue to make selections before clicking the "Display Results" button to get your results.

  2. 2

    Photograph your flower and take the picture, along with your findings, to a nursery to receive help with identifying your blossom.

  3. 3

    Consult a field guide to compare your notes with the information and locate your annual blossom.

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