Looking for a faster, easier, and engaging way to identify plants? Related plants have similar characteristics, and they often have similar uses. Rather than learning new plants one-at-a-time, it is possible to learn them by the hundreds, based on plant family patterns.
Each family of related plants has unique patterns for identification. Learn to recognize these patterns, and discover them again and again in the plants you encounter. It is possible to instantly recognize a plant never before seen, and in many cases, to know its edible or medicinal properties on the spot-even before you have identified it down to the species!
Very helpful, very encouraging. For non botanists, the complexities of flower identification especially edible wild plants seems overwhelming. Like so many challenges in life, breaking them into recognizable patterns/groups makes learning manageable. Making a good video, requires lots of preparation of graphics, and subject matter arrangement, lighting, careful sound recording, and camera direction. "It is tough!" "I know" This was a great video that could be a lot better if the camera stayed focused "closely" on each picture for a "pregnant moment". I say that because it sends a signal to the viewer. This image is important to observe closely. Each time a critical leap of new information comes along it's important to define it carefully distinctly to isolate the new concept. The card games are a great tool. Please do more. Millions of us crave new understanding. life only has so many days to take it all in. We need your help. Thanks.
Mr. Elpel...thanks for your accredited way of teaching. I am surprised with that! I like your way of learning the families...So, what may I do to collect those books and materials you taught with? I live in Bangladesh.. How can I get or buy those from my country? I think those would be very useful to my students as well....(My name is Muhammad Saikat Rahman). I am an assistant professor of Botany.
You have a unique way of teaching with the card games. ☺ I'm in Georgia and have lots of tall (5 ft +/- ) bushy wildflowers with yellow blooms (5 or 6 petals) blooming right now. It's driving me crazy not knowing what they are. They may be thin leafed sunflowers but not sure the petal count is correct and can't find a photo online to compare the leaves and blooms. Are wildflowers identification covered in your book? Thanks!
My great grandmother was like your grandmother. She had a lot of kids and taught them all about gardening, wild herbs, what heals and what you can eat. My grandfather still lives by this and thats how my mom grew up. Id love to become a botanist or plant-biologist. Im in pennsylvania, can you recommend any good programs for me? Im especially interested in medicinal plants and teas.
Question: Here the rose family is described as "5 petals, many stamens," but what folks usually call a "rose" seems to have many many petals- are some of the petals actually sepals? are the petals folded to seem more numerous?
Sorry for all the questions. I read that the buttercup (ranunculaceae) family has many different genus (geni?) that have strikingly different characteristics, for example anemone, celandine and clematis, all have different numbers of petals. So in this instance you would have to be able to identify the genus name, not only the family, is that correct?
I am a plant science student, and unfortunately I didn't have the chance to study more about plant systematics and classification but I'm quite interested about this subject. thank you so much sir, your videos r much helpful, hopefully I can buy ur book someday ☺
The "knees" or nodes are helpful to distinguish grasses from rushes and sedges, which otherwise look similar to the Grass family. Carnations don't look anything like grasses, so it is unlikely to confuse them. Nodes are also common in the unrelated Buckwheat family: http://www.wildflowers-and-weeds.com/Plant_Families/Polygonaceae.htm
This was a very enjoyable video. I had already bought the book, but it had been sitting on the shelf collecting dust since my service-connected injuries started getting worse and worse. Now that they are stabilized a bit, I want to pursue a new career path as a self-educated herbalist. Videos like this help so much. Thank you again.
the principle holds worldwide. The eight families are widespread and the characters he suggests you learn will work anywhere. There might be other families you need to learn in other parts of the world. There are way more than 8 families in the Flowering Plants.
Thanks. I love your book! Was trying to figure what the difference is between Lomatium lucidum in the parsley family and a live oak seedling from a photo. They both look the same. Is there any other identifier than to wait to see if it gets umbels?
Flowers typically offer the easiest and most reliable patterns for identifying plants, and it doesn't hurt to wait for the bloom. Most plant families also have good secondary patterns for identification, as detailed in Botany in a Day. Learn a family by its flowers first, then learn to recognize other plants in the same family by the leaves and stems. :)
I was given small plant , but I dont' know anything about it or the name of it. I would like to identify it and to know more about it. It was given my non English speaking old woman , she did not know the name of the plant.
OMG!! I loved this video. When you first opened the book while sitting in front of the brick wall it reminded me of the school in the village i attended in Kenya. We used to learn about plants in this way, the teacher would take the whole class outside to look at the plants. Not to mention it's a coffee and substance farming region so listening to you talk about the plants i grew up with in a scientific way is almost tear jerking. Kids in developed countries miss so much of life! side note, I finally got some bougainvilleas, two of them, I hope they survive my patio tonight(freezing temps)... never thought that would be a problem in Texas. Excellent video.
What other books would you recommend for plant identification apart from yours? I am a biology student and am looking to buy severeal books for this, yours looks pretty awesome definitely gonna buy it.
Excellent video Thomas, this should be a part of every horticultural course! I only wish I had come across this video 8 months ago when I started school ha ha, better late than never I suppose :)
Just ordered all 3 books and the cards, can't wait til they get here!!
Even if you believe you cannot afford the book, you should still buy it!
This one book has everything that you will need to identify what grows around you and how to use it.
There is nothing better and probably never will be.
If you can buy gas for a car, buy coffee or whatever you can buy this, too.
Interesting information about plants. You know, every time I step outside my backyard and look at all the different plants and trees, I cannot help but fall in love with just how beautiful they look, which made me come to your video out of curiousity.
I am only on third of the way done with your video and I am having so much fun. I am an avid gardener. I have been studying computer science and I recently decided to study botany. You live the life I seek. Birds, pets, plants growing in the house, etc. I can tell you are passionate tool. Great ideas with the cards and such.
+Solo bushcraft 82 - The plant families are the same the world over. Most herbaceous plants in the UK are in the same plant families as those found in what Elpel calls the 'frost belt' of the US, and slightly southward. The specific species will vary in some cases, but many of the plants we have here you also have their, especially those called 'weeds' but which are often valuable edible and/or medicinal plants.