Spring Wildflowers and a Great Online Identification Tool

Yellow Rocket flower

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One of the things I love most about homeschooling is the ability to emphasize Nature Study.  We get to study nature up close and personal as opposed to learning about it from a book.

Don’t get me wrong–we do learn quite a bit about Nature from books.  Our large home library includes an ever expanding stock of nature books, from beautifully illustrated picture books to reference books to guides of all shapes and sizes.  But our primary focus is on nature itself and on getting to know the wonderfully diverse world created by the Master Creator.

A fun part of our Nature Study is learning about the things in our own neck of the woods.  Last spring, we kept seeing masses of these beautiful yellow wildflowers all over the fields and roadsides near our home.  We also discovered them on our own property, which gave us easy access as we tried to identity these mystery spring wildflowers.

Older Brother with Yellow Rocket
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We finally did identify our mystery yellow wildflower with the help of this handy Wildflower Identification Tool.  It’s essentially a list of 13-questions designed to pinpoint your particular wildflower.

At first glance, I thought the terminology was way over my head.  I have a degree in Spanish Education, not botany! When I took a closer look at the real live plant, it made much more sense.

Based on the answers I submitted, the Wildflower Identification Tool generated a short list of possibilities.  From there, it was easy to choose the correct plant by viewing images linked to the plants’ names.

Drumroll, please!  Our unidentified yellow spring wildflower was: Yellow Rocket.  If you live in Loudoun County, Virginia (and perhaps elsewhere–I’m not an expert on its range), you’ll notice this beautiful wildflower all over the place right now (early to mid-spring).  And now you know its proper name!  

Yellow Rocket flower
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The first four question of the Wildflower Identification quiz address the parts of the flower.


Yellow Rocket leaves
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Questions seven through thirteen concern the leaves and stem.


Yellow Rocket en masse
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Question six addresses the plant’s height, which seems tricky. We’ve seen Yellow Rocket from less than one foot all the way up to three or four feet tall.

Have a mystery wildflower to identify?  Try the Wildflower Identification Tool and let me know what you think!

Check out these other great nature resources:


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Kathleen | Roots & Boots

Let's get real! I’m Kathleen Henderson, your Natural Living Mentor. I’m on a mission to help families see the joy in real food, while finding natural remedies and creating a nontoxic home. Learn more about my story >>

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