PLANTS Interactive ID Keys: Introduction
Automated Key Data Available For Use and Testing
Draft interactive keys and plant character data sets for selected groups of U.S. plants are available for use and testing on-line or by downloading the specific PLANTS Identification application.
Unlike a traditional plant identification key that provides you with only two choices at each step (a dichotomous key), these keys let you select multiple characters simultaneously (polyclave key). This makes more character data available in the key and minimizes the number of steps it takes to identify a plant.
Data development for the grass and legume keys were partially funded by the USDA NRCS Agricultural Wildlife Conservation Center and the USDA NRCS Louisiana State Office contributed to grass key development. For more information, click on Instructions, Information, Disclaimers and Policies after the application is loaded.
We welcome your comments to improve this draft data set or the interactive key. Please email the USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center and include the name of the data set (e.g., PLANTS Identification-Wetland Monocots-Cyperaceae) in your subject line.
The versions of SLIKS used for these keys were specifically designed for Microsoft Internet Explorer but also run well in Mozilla Firefox if the IE Tab extension is installed and enabled.
If you download the application, please recognize that some application links to external sites will not work unless your computer is connected to the Internet.
Remember that you must copy all downloaded files to a new folder in order to guarantee that they are fully unzipped. The key will not run if you simply click on the zip file, or any of the files within it, if you do not first copy the unzipped files to a new folder.
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