Flower Identification: Types and Classification

There are a large number of different types of flowers that grow in different areas and bloom in different seasons. Some have attractive petal arrangement while others have lovely fragrances and it is possible to identify different types of flowers based on their characteristics. Read on to learn about different types of flowers through this flower identification guide.
| Saturday, June 29, 2013

Flowers have been the ultimate symbols of purity, love, and friendship since ancient times. It is their beauty, their splendid colors and their fragrances that have fascinated people. People have also often chosen to give different types of flowers to their near and dear ones in appreciation and as an expression of their feelings.

Flowers are basically nothing but shortened and compacted branches that bear lateral appendages. Flowers develop from buds and come in different forms, colors, sizes and arrangements.

Typically parts of flowers include petals and stigma which is covered with a sticky substance to attract the pollen. Style allows the stigma to be raised away from the ovary so as to reduce possibility of pollen contamination.

Other important parts of flowers include the ovule, the flower stalk, the receptacle, nectar, the sepal,  the filament and the anther. The style, stigma, ovule and ovary are called the carpel or female parts of a flower while the anther and filament are collectively called the stamen or male parts of a flower.  

Types of Flowers

Classification as per Corolla

Sympetalous flowers are those that have fully or partially joined petals. Polypetalous flowers are those that do not have the petals joined. Actinomorphic flowers have radial symmetry. These types of flowers include funnel shaped, tubular and campanulate (bell like) shaped flowers. Zygomorphic are those that have bilateral symmetry.

Classification on Position

Terminal flowers are those where flowers or then clusters of flowers can be seen on ends of branches or axis. Axiallary flowers are those where flowers or the clusters of flowers are carried at the junction of stem or axis and leaf.

Classification as per Flower Branches

Single flower as the name suggests has a single flower present on the tip of the peduncle or the stalk of branch on the main axis of the plant. Cluster arrangement on the other hand has three or even more flowers that are gathered in close formation in simple of branched manner.

Classification as per Blossom

Annual flowers are those that complete their life cycle in one year and require replanting through the seeds of bedding plants every year. Biennials are those that do not bloom in the first year but grow into healthy plants during this time. Biennials bloom during the second growing season. These include pansies, evening primrose, sweet William, hollyhock, English daisies, forget- me-nots etc.

Flowers that have a particular growing season are also called seasonal flowers. Often the technique employed in growing these flowers along with the environment and climate determine the blooming period of the seasonal flowers. Lily-of-the-valley are seasonal flowers as are scented narcissi. Perennial flowers stay in the ground through the year and grow back from the roots to provide many years of beautiful growth.  They die in fall and grow back from the rootstock. Tulips and daffodils are among the perennials.

Tropical and Exotic Flowers

Popular flowering shrubs include the hydrangea, spirea, azalea, roses etc. Bulbs include daffodils, caladium, pineapple lilies etc. Tubers and tuberous roots include dahlias and begonias among others while rhizomes include irises and callas. These are also often classified as bulbs for the sake of simplicity.

Besides popular flowers such as roses, lilies, chrysanthemums some other exotic flowers are also gaining popularity. These exotic flowers because of their different shapes and bright colors look beautiful. Hawaii in particular has a rich variety in terms of types of flowers available in this area. Tropical flowers need rich soil and the environment and the volcanic soil in this area provides ideal location for the beautiful Hawaiian flowers.

The most famous Hawaiian flowers include the jewel orchid, the fringed orchid and the twayblade. Hibiscus is also popular and comes in different exotic shapes and sizes. The most popular of all flowers is of course the paradise flower and the crane lily variety is seen in most areas of this island.

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