As you probably know by now, I like to shoot flowers. They’re beautiful and, as long as no wind is blowing, very willing subjects. So as with any subject, it’s only proper etiquette to know their name. I am, however, embarrassed to say, that I actually know very little about flowers and especially what types they are. I’m slowly building up my knowledge base but in the meantime I have to rely on other means in order to identify a particular plant or flower.
For this I want to take you through my steps in finding out what this particular flower is called. Before you get your hopes up, don’t expect anything too technical though.
Like many of you, I turn to old faithful… Google. More often than not, this gets me most of the way there. I start out with a broad search term such as, spiky plant or spiky flower. From here, I skip right over the “web” results and go straight to the “images” results. This really let’s me know if I’m on the right track. Apparently, I wasn’t. This brought up an assortment of cacti and other unrelated flowers.
I remembered that this is very similar to the purple flowers I saw earlier in the season. So I added “purple” to the search and it was a little bit closer but still not quite what I was looking for. At this point, I thought maybe I should include the shape since it is relatively unique. So I added “that looks like a ball” to the search term.
Bingo! that brought up the flower I was thinking about. It turns out, it is an Allium flower. So I now knew I was on the right path and I started looking up alliums. After a bit of searching, I still hadn’t located the exact plant. But the fact that it was so similar to those purple ones made me think a bit more. So I decided to dig into one that was called a Giant Allium. For this next phase, I abandoned the photos and went back to the “web” results. And before too long, I found out that the Giant Allium blooms in the spring and after it loses its bloom becomes this light brown color with new buds that never flower when summer comes around.
This was it!! After a little bit of searching I had finally identified this flower that inspired me to take such an interesting shot.
As you can see, it’s not rocket science. It’s really just taking a logical approach to researching. Since everything seems to have been photographed at this point, it’s just a matter of narrowing down your search to something that brings you close enough and once you are on the right path, you’ll get there quickly enough.
If anyone out there has other methods for identification, I’d love to know what they are. Let me know in the comments.
About Dov Plawsky
I am an aspiring freelance photographer and writer. I've always enjoyed the story around the picture and now want to expand upon that. I founded Beyond Your Bag to help share knowledge across like minded people and to hopefully connect those people to one another.
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