Sue Rutman Plant Identification Guides

The images in this collection are the result of years of collecting and photographing plant specimens in southern Arizona and northwestern Sonora. In about 2005 I started to collect plants and scan the specimens using a flatbed photo scanner. The scans opened a whole new world of botany for me. As my collection of plant photos and scans grew, I wondered how to best share them. I thought the scans could be used to help people positively identify plants, so I combined micro- and macro-views of each species, in various phenological stages, into a single image or “plate.” Plant enthusiasts can use the plates to supplement plant keys and other identification methods.

Each plate has a legend that identifies the place and date where each photo or collection was made. Species from southern Arizona and northwestern Sonora, Mexico, are represented. Specimens from Arizona are from Yuma, Pima, Cochise, and Santa Cruz counties, with some from other counties. For brevity’s sake, counties are not identified in the legend; a simple web search will lead to the information needed.

Scanned images include a scale, usually on the left side, that is in millimeters.

Scientific names follow the nomenclature of the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). This searchable database is located at Another valid source of taxonomic names is the PLANTS database, provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation District. It can be found at

For a PDF file containing instructions for how to create your own scans, click here.

The number beside each family name is the number of species contained in the database. Click on the family name to see a list of all species available in that family. There is a link at the top of each species listing to come back to this page.

Once on the species list, click on the thumbnail image or the species name to view the image.