Plants with Green or Brown Flowers

Green or brown flowers are most often found on plants that are not insect-pollinated and generally have rather small petals. Many of them are wind-pollinated and so do not need to advertise their wares with bright colours. This section also includes a number of plants with flowers that are completely petalless (thus appear green) or plants whose flowers may be tinged reddish or whitish in colour but appear insignificant because they are so small.

As well as flower colour, it is important to take careful note of the exact petal shape (where they exist!) - are the petals rounded, or do they came to a sharp point, for example; are there gaps between the petals or do they overlap; are the flowers solitary, or arranged in spikes or bunches.

Within the colour sections, the pictures are grouped so that similar-looking (though not necessarily closely-related) plants will be near each other. This should help to reduce your search time. To keep things concise, not all species are shown in the colour keys, so you may have to go for a 'best match' to get you through to the next stage of the identification process. Particularly in large families where there are a number of very similar species, a representative species is shown here, but clicking on it will take you to a page that tells you how to tell the more difficult species apart.

Many plants will be obviously one colour or another, obviously five petalled, or obviously a woody shrub, etcetera. But many will be debatable. In such cases, I have tried to imagine how a flower might be perceived by others, especially beginners to plant identification. Generally this results in a plant appearing in more than one place on these pages, but some still remain problematic. In particular, the section labelled 'tubular flowers' contains a variety of flowers that might be considered to fall into that category and these generally have petals that are fused together to fully surround the sexual parts of the flower. But these tubes might be elongate like a pencil, or broad and bell-like. Flowers of two colours are entered under the colour that covers most of the flower, but equally bicoloured flowers may be entered under both colours. Woody plants with green stems that might not be considered woody, are entered under their flower colour or shape, as well as under the woody plants sections.

If you still can't find your plant, you either have something very interesting that you may wish to tell me about, or I just haven't got a picture of it yet - I'm still working on the latter!!

Click on the pictures below to go to the species pages.

No Petals
European Sweet-flag Meadow Foxtail Barren Brome False Oat-grass
European
Sweet-flag

Grasses

Grasses

Grasses

Sea Club-rush Greater Quaking-grass Sea Fern-grass Slender Tufted Sedge
Club-rushes

Grasses

Grasses

Sedges

Sand Sedge Green-ribbed Sedge Common Sedge Common Wood Sedge
Sedges

Sedges

Sedges

Sedges

Grey Sedge Crested Dog's-tail Rough Dog's-tail Common Spike-rush
Sedges

Grasses

Grasses

Spike-rushes

Pale Galingale Wall Barley Compact Rush Soft Rush
Galingales

Grasses

Rushes

Rushes

Heath Wood-rush Common Adder's-tongue Water Bent Common Bulrush
Wood-rushes

Ferns

Grasses

Bulrushes

Grey Club-rush Sea Arrowgrass Branched Bur-reed Common Pirr-pirri-bur
Club-rushes

Arrowgrasses

Bur-reeds

Pirr-pirri-burs

Field Parsley-piert Mousetail Hemp Whorled Water-milfoil
Parsley-pierts

Mousetail

Hemp

Water-milfoils

Common Nettle Common Mistletoe Sea-purslane Fat-hen
Nettles

Common Mistletoe

Sea-purslane

Goosefoots & oraches

Many-seeded Goosefoot Dwarf Spurge Sun Spurge Dog's Mercury
Goosefoots & oraches

Spurges

Spurges

Dog's Mercury

Dog's Mercury Broad-leaved Dock Purple Glasswort Ribwort Plantain
Dog's Mercury

Docks

Glassworts

Plantains

Ribwort Plantain Buck's-horn Plantain Common Mugwort Field Wormwood
Plantains

Plantains

Mugworts

Wormwoods

Pyramidal Fleabane Marsh Cudweed Chilean Giant-rhubarb
Fleabanes

Cudweeds

Gunneras

Four Petals
Travellers-joy Herb Paris Moschatel Common Mistletoe
Travellers-joy

Herb Paris

Moschatel

Mistletoe

Five Petals
Sea Beet White Bryony Mousetail Annual Sea-blite
Beets

White Bryony

Mousetail

Sea-blites

Six Petals
Common Asparagus Jointed Rush Common Butcher's-broom Black Bryony
Common Asparagus

Rushes

Common Butcher's-broom

Black Bryony

More Than Six Petals
Downy Lady's-mantle
Lady's-mantles

Many-rayed Flowers
Common Carline Thistle
Common Carline Thistle

Tubular Flowers (petals fused into a tube-like form)
Common Lords-and-ladies Thracean Birthwort Stinking Hellebore
Lords-and-ladies

Birthworts

Hellebores

Many-flowered Heads
European Sweet-flag Meadow Foxtail False Oat-grass Sea Club-rush
European
Sweet-flag

Grasses

Grasses

Club-rushes

Greater Quaking-grass Sea Fern-grass Wall Barley Slender Tufted Sedge
Grasses

Grasses

Grasses

Sedges

Sand Sedge Green-ribbed Sedge Common Sedge Common Wood Sedge
Sedges

Sedges

Sedges

Sedges

Grey Sedge Crested Dog's-tail Rough Dog's-tail Common Spike-rush
Sedges

Grasses

Grasses

Spike-rushes

Pale Galingale Jointed Rush Compact Rush Soft Rush
Galingales

Rushes

Rushes

Rushes

Water Bent Heath Wood-rush Honey Garlic Bog Pondweed
Grasses

Wood-rushes

Honey Garlic

Pondweeds

Grey Club-rush Black Bryony Sea Arrowgrass Lizard Orchid
Club-rushes

Black Bryony

Arrowgrasses

Lizard Orchid

Downy Lady's-mantle Sickle Medick Frog Orchid Bird's-nest Orchid
Lady's-mantles

Sickle Medick

Orchids

Orchids

Indehiscent Amaranth Sea-purslane Fat-hen Many-seeded Goosefoot
Amaranths

Sea-purslane

Goosefoots & Oraches

Goosefoots & Oraches

Wood Spurge Smooth Rupturewort Lesser Swinecress Broad-leaved Dock
Spurges

Ruptureworts

Swinecresses

Docks

Annual Knawel Knapweed Broomrape Pyramidal Fleabane Common Cudweed
Knawels

Broomrapes

Fleabanes

Cudweeds

Common Ivy Alexanders
Ivies

Umbellifers

Woody Trees, Shrubs & Climbers
Travellers-joy Common Hazel Bog Myrtle Common Beech
Travellers-joy

Hazels,
birches and alders

Bog Myrtle

Common Beech

Roble Pedunculate Oak Sea-buckthorn European Spindle
Southern-beeches

Oaks

Sea-buckthorn

Spindles

Common Virginia-creeper Common Hop Common Hop Red Currant
Vines & Creepers

Hops

Hops

Currants

Hybrid Black Poplar Almond Willow Spurge-laurel Common Ash
Poplars

Willows

Spurge-laurel

Ashes

Common Ivy
Ivies