Native Flowers
Native Trees
Native Shrubs
Lichens & Slime Mold
Non-Native Flowers
Non-Native Trees
Index - Common
Index - Latin

Non-Native Plants

As we have moved around the planet in the past hundreds of years, we have taken plants with us, often inadvertantly. Plants have hitched rides on every method of transport we have devised, most recently, airplanes. Vehicle tires and undercarriages are great places for an adventurous seed to stash itself, as are our animals and animal feed. We ourselves become modes of transport --- unless we venture out buck-nekked we are probably wearing something with cuffs, pockets, knappy material, all-terrain soles, or what-have-you. Some non-natives are garden plants, and become escaped ornamentals. Many are toxic, and probably as many have medicinal properties.

"Weed" is the common name given to plants if they are found in a place where they did not grow as natives, and also if they are growing in places man prefers to usurp for his own needs. In the latter case, natives are also called "weeds."

The category I have here is strictly plants who have not co-evolved with predators and diseases also native to this area. They have no enemies to control their populations, hence they may become aggrassive colonizers, stealing nutrients and space from native species.

The State of Colorado has a list of plants considered noxious:

We have only one plant from the "A" list up here, and that is Tithymalus myrsinites, or Donkeytail/Myrtle Spurge, which has been used as an ornamental, but is considered a major baddie. From the "B" and "C" lists we have several.

Boulder County also has a weed list:

These sites also have information on best treatments and required disposal.

I would encourage everyone to be familiar with at least the Boulder County Weed Management Plan, as it clearly states that it is illegal to harbour suspected invasive plants! Absentee landlords, in particular, who have ignored their weed problems, have found that they might not go unnoticed.

There are also other links to sites about weeds. You could spend hours at your computer, but you should be outside pulling weeds.

Major points: Know what works! It isn't a good idea to pull perennials, as it breaks the roots and produces more plants. Perennials need to be cut, grazed, or poisoned. Go ahead and pull or dig annuals and semi-annuals. Work to prevent seed formation. Bag and dispose of all seed and flower heads. Revegetate treated areas with native plants. If you use herbicides, follow directions.


Open a family to go to genera and species.




My attitude toward the natural world has been guided by exposure to such persons as E.O. Wilson, Paul Martin, Erik Bonde, and Arthur Holmes. My friend David Laing, who was my husband for many years, taught me more than he intended. My Dad, Hugh Stewart, a graduate of Oregon State University School of Forestry, kept trying to teach me to indentify members of the Pinacaea from ski lifts --- I do remember "cork-bark fir." Jim Halfpenny fed my starving brain at a crucial time. Nan Lederer has been a helpful email correspondant, helping me with tough identification puzzles. Craig Jones, of the Colorado State Forest Service, validated me by hiring me. The Plant Lab on the CU campus has been a wonderful resource, as has the internet. And all those books! Especially Weber.

The cast of characters goes on. I love and thank you all.

My beloved husband, Dan Metzger, has made all this possible. With immeasurable gratitude I dedicate this site to him.

All photographs were taken by me, and any errors are mine.


Jennifer Stewart

Native Tree Families

Trees are defined as tall, woody, single-stemmed perrenial plants. We have a few. In Rosaceae, the tree is Prunus emarginata , Bitter Cherry.

Open a family to go to genera and species.

Lichens and A Slime Mold

Lichens are the products of symbiotic relationships among algae or cyanobacteria and fungi.They are found globally, in every ecoogical niche. While there may be 20,000 species known world-wide, I can only offer a paltry six.

INDEX - Latin Names of Families and Species

INDEX - Common Names of Families and Species

Native Shrub Families

A shrub is defined as a plant with multiple woody stems which is smaller than a tree. Our shrubs range from underfoot (Kinnikinnik) to overhead (Rocky Mountain Maple). I've also linked the maple and birch to trees because in some cases"tree" is the first descriptive that comes to mind, multiple stems or not.

Open a family to go to genera and species.

Native Flower Families

We are fortunate in living in an area that still supports some natural flora and fauna. I can't imagine living in an area that didn't.

Here is a list of some of the wildflower families that grow here, beginning with Magnolia Road where it leaves Canyon. Open a family to go to genera and species. The list will be dynamic, with additions and revisions pretty much any time. I find new species, or have to update an identification, or two or three, every year.

If I don't have a species name, I simply say "sp.".

Non-native Tree Family

I have found only one non-native tree up here, on 68J, and it is yet a mere spindle. Siberian Elm is now considered a weed, officially so in a few states, and more commonly by landowners. It arrived in the 1860's from Asia, to be planted as a windbreak, and for lumber(!).

Open a family to go to genera and species.


Ackerfield, Jennifer, Flora of Colorado, Colorado University Herbarium, 2015

Anderton, Laurel K.; Barkworth, Mary E.; Capels, Kathleen M.;, Long, Sandy; Piep, Michael B.. Manual of Grasses for North America.Intermountain Herbarium and Utah State University Press, Utah State University. Logan, Utah. 2007.

An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG IV,

Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, Versions 12 & 13.

Biodiversity Sciences Technology. University of California, Berkeley.

Boulder County Weed Management Plan

Botanical Society of America

Bugwood Images,

Buhner, Stephen Harrod. The Lost Language of Plants. Celsea Green Publishing.White River, Vermont. 2002

BLM National List of Invasive Weed Species of

Burrill, Larry C., Cudney, David W., Dewey, Steven A., Lee, Richard D., Parker, Robert. Whitson, Thomas D., Editor.Weeds of the West. The Western Society of Weed Science. Newark, California. 1996.

Carter, Jack L.. Trees and Shrubs of Colorado. Johnson Books, Distributer. Boulder, Colorado. 1988

Colorado Noxious Weed Act.

Colorado State Forest Service.

Colorado State-listed Noxious Weeds.

Colorado State University Cooperative Extension - Natural Resources.

Craighead,John J., Frank C. Craighead, Ray J. Davis. Peterson Field Guides, Rocky Mountain Wildflowers. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston, Massachusetts. 1963.

Digital Flora of Texas.

Dunmire, William W.. Tierney, Gail D.. Wild Plants and Native Peoples of the Four Corners. Museum of New Mexico Press. Santa Fe, New Mexico. 1995.

Dunmire, William W., Tierney, Gail D.. Wild Plants of the Pueblo Province. Museum of New Mexico Press. Santa Fe, New Mexico. 1995. 1997.

Elmore, Francis H.. Shrubs and Trees of the Sounthwest Uplands. Southwest Parks and Monuments Association.Tucson, Arizona. 1976.

Fay, Mike; APG - classification by consensus

Flora of North America

Grant, Michael C. The Trembling Giant. Discover Magazine, October 10,1993

Harris, James G. and Melinda Woolf. Plant Identification Terminology. Spring Lake Publishing. Spring Lake, Utah. 2004.

Kane, Charles W.. Medicinal Plants of the American Southwest. Lincoln Town Press. 2013.

Moerman, Daniel E.. Native American Ethnobotany. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon, and London, England. 1998

Moore, Michael. Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West. Museum of New Mexico Press. Santa Fe, New Mexico. 2003.

National Invasive Species Information Center.

Phillips, Wayne. Central Rocky Mountain Wildflowers. Falcon Publishing Company. Helena and Billings, Montana. 1999.

Phillips, H. Wayne. Plants of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Mountain Press Publishing company. Missoula, Montana. 2003.

Porter, C. L.. Taxonomy of Flowering Plants. W.H. Freeman and Company. San Frqancisco, California. 1967.

Schneider, Al and Betty. Lewis, Colorado.

Shaw, Robert B.. Grasses of Colorado.University Press of Colorado. Boulder, Colorado. 2008.

Spellenberg, Richard. Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers. Alfred A. Knopf. New York, New York. 1979.

Smith, James Payne, Jr.. Vascular Plant Families. Mad River Press, Inc.. Eureka, California. 1977.

Taylor, Ronald J.. Sagebrush Country, A Wildflower Sanctuary. Mountain Press Publishing Company. Missoula, Montana. 1992.

United States Forest Service.

USDA Plants Database.

Van Driesche, Jason. Van Driesch, Roy. Nature Out of Place, Biological Invasions in the Global Age. Island Press, Washington, D.C. and Covelo, California. 2000.

Weber, William A. and Wittman, Ronald C..; Colorado Flora, Eastern Slope. University Press of Colorado. Niwot, Colorado. 1996.

Weber, William A.. Colorado Flora, Western Slope. Colorado Associated University Press. Boulder, Colorado. 1987.








This website is the culmination of a life-long fascination with plants, which is part of a life-long fascination with the natural world and its inhabitants. I love them all, including warthogs and spiders and poison ivy. It is just a matter of response --- does one touch this thing or not?

While this website is intended for non-botanists, I have made every attempt to be as scientifically correct as possible. I continue to update and edit to stay current with nomenclature and classification.

I have been studying the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group IV, primarily on the website dedicated to it by the Missouri Botanic Garden. The classifications presented in the APG are based largely on molecular and DNA research, and the results are the subsequent reclassification of almost everything. Notes about affected plants will include information about standing within the APG IV, but I am not making any major changes to my indices. It is a work in progress.

Information about the APG (ANGIOSPERM PHYLOGENY WEBSITE, version 13.) can be found at:

You will need to know, or at least have an idea, what family a particular plant is in. If you need more information, please go to the references section.

I frequently think of the old saying, "ignorance is bliss"--- My foray into noxious plant identification didn't stop with the Magnolia area in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies, and I now know more than I ever wished. My vacations will never be the same. The West, in my opinion, is choking in cheatgrass, thistles, yellow toadflax, and knapweed, to name a few. I suppose a few agencies, underfunded and understaffed, try to address the problem, but I am not optimistic. Invasive species, animal and vegetable, are a global issue. Everything we love is at risk. We are sliding into a depauperate world, with horrendous loss of biodiversity. Unfortunately, for the millions in the world who cannot even find dinner, the concept of environmental health matters little, and it matters little for those who only see their bottom lines. There is, of course, a ripple effect. Think of the pollinators who are disappearing, the creatures who depend on plants for survival, the unknown viruses that appear when forests are destroyed. We ourselves are becoming a monoculture, and we all know what happens to monocultures. When we exhaust our planet, there will be unavoidable consequences.

Back to more uplifting notes ---

Latin names are so much fun that I began this site using them exclusively. Common names vary so much that Latin is much safer and some plants don't have common names. However, I am including common names, where they exist.

To avoid confusing the computer, names are listed as often as the stupid machine thinks it will need them.This appears redundant, and most assuredly is.

The indices contain listings of families and species. The "Native" and "Non-native" sections contain families only, and will get you into Genus/species indices.

I have not included authorship, as it just gets too cumbersome for this site. Intersted person can find more at:

I have taken photos in sun and shadow, wind and rain. Please forgive less than perfect exposure and focus for these reasons. Flowers don't pose.

Beauty is such a wonderful quality, present everywhere. I present these photos in an attempt to help others see and understand.

Jennifer Stewart
Maintained by Jennifer Stewart