Basic Plant ID

by Nancy Slowik
New York Botanical Garden

Originally presented on November 6, 2021

Identifying plants in the field can be difficult for the novice. This program will start with the basics of plant identification using Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide. Practical tips on how to use a dichotomous key will then be demonstrated. We will then explore the online formats iNaturalist and GoBotany and how to include them in the identification of native plants.  

Nancy has been teaching natural history programs and leading guided walks in the metropolitan area for 40 years and is the author of two field guides on local flora, including A Naturalist’s Guide to the Southern Palisades (2006). She is the Coordinator of the Urban Naturalist program and an adult education instructor at the New York Botanical Garden, where she has been teaching classes on native plants since 2012. She joined the Restore Native Plants team in 2013 where she serves as a consultant, identifying local flora and fauna in the Ramapo Mountain State Park, and providing guidance for their native plant propagation facility and restoration projects. Formerly the director of Greenbrook Sanctuary, a 165-acre nature preserve in the NJ Palisades, she was previously the co-founder of the Greenbelt Native Plant Center – the first native plant propagation program for the New York City Parks Department. She is a graduate of State University College at Oswego with a degree in Biology and has a Master in Environmental Science from the College of Staten Island, CUNY.