Botanical names color and tree cheat sheets

Even from the beginning of my more formal education in horticulture it became clear I needed to learn the botanical names of some plants. There are many reasons for learning these and you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t already know why its important. But one of the key things that’s helped me was to see that the names are sometimes (definitely NOT always!) clues to what the plant looks like (color, shape, size) or its origin.

Here are my cheat sheets that I used to learn colors and words similar to colors

Botanical terms 2 Common Botanical terms page 2






Other times learning botanical names is an exercise in just sitting own and learning at least the genus of the more common plants in your area and then more detail will come with experience. I was not raised in the Pacific Northwest and I had to make an effort to go out and learn the trees in my area. I grew up in Arizona and knew cactus, but that didn’t help too much in Washington. Sometimes I simply had to learn the difference between a Pine vs. Hemlock vs. Fir or Maple vs. Poplar vs. Alder. And then with time I began to learn the more detailed varieties of maples.

Here is my trees cheat sheet. Its frankly aimed at the western US although there are many commonalities.

Learn Common Botanical terms

One place I LOVE for tree names, especially when I was learning about Christmas trees, is the Tree Names website.


Please let me know if you think there are errors in any of these… I did these for myself and not school or any other organization… so there may be errors. Also, if you have any ideas on other ways to learn or remember botanical names please let me know in the comment section below!

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