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Horticulture and Home Pest News
Horticulture & Home Pest News is filled with articles on current horticulture, plant care, pest management, and common household pests written by Iowa State University Extension specialists in the Departments of Entomology, Horticulture and Plant Pathology.

Identification of Woody and Herbaceous Plants

This article was published originally on 5/24/2002

To facilitate plant identification, please follow the guidelines listed below when sending tree, shrub and herbaceous plant specimens to the Horticulture Department.

  1. The specimen should be representative of the plant in question.
  2. If present, the specimen should include stems, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds. The size of the specimen depends on the type of plant. Woody plant specimens should be approximately 1 to 1-1/2 feet in length. Dig up entire plants when sending in small herbaceous plants. A grass or turf sample should be 4 to 6 inches in diameter (if possible) and include the root system. Gently shake the sample to remove excess soil from the roots.
  3. Wrap the specimen in dry paper toweling and then place it in a plastic bag.
  4. Each specimen should be accompanied by a note containing the following information: collector's name and address, area where specimen was collected (garden, roadside, field, woodland, etc.), size (height and width), and plant habit (erect, arching, pyramidal, vining, etc.). Also describe traits and features not present on the plant specimen. These might include flower characteristics (shape, size, and color), season of bloom, fruit type, fall leaf color, and stem color or texture.
  5. Place the specimen in a strong box or carton to prevent damage during shipment.
  6. Specimens should be mailed as soon after they have been collected as possible. Mail to:
Reiman Gardens 1407 Elwood Drive Ames, Iowa 50011.



This article originally appeared in the May 24, 2002 issue, p. 70.

Year of Publication: 
2002
Issue: 
IC-487(12) -- May 24, 2002