Before you throw in the trowel and call it quits on gardening, let ’ s interpret if we can sort this out. here ’ s a basic presentation to vegetable plant identification .
Identifying the Most Common Vegetable Plants
While we constantly love when PlantSnap can help people identify photos ( you equitable need your phone, an pornographic plant, and decent light to identify plants with PlantSnap ), there are always limitations. PlantSnap can ’ triiodothyronine identify seedlings or damaged plants, so it ’ south best to be able to identify vegetable plants without your telephone .
once you ’ ve identified the vegetable plants in your garden, it ’ mho credibly prison term to get them labeled !
unfortunately, we credibly won ’ triiodothyronine be able to guide you through precisely which variety of vegetable plant you have in your garden ( there are fair besides many ). If you ’ ve planted four different varieties of carrots, you ’ ll have to wait until the harvest to figure out which is which .
Seedling: The beginning two leaves of a seedling bean will look cordate. When the implant is very young, you might be able to find the out shells of the bean on the plant or very nearby .
General Structure: Climbing and vinelike or bushy, depending on the kind
Leaves: Come in trios, smooth edges. Two turn opposite each early with a third above. They generally are greens or purple .
Flowers: Generally white, pink, or imperial. They are shape slightly like an elephant ’ south head, with big erect petals and a “ keel ” protruding out and down .
Vegetables: Bean pods are by and large visible from mid-summer onwards, helping make this plant easy to identify .
Notable Characteristics: Look for elephant head-like flowers or bean pods .
Lookalikes: Pea plants. Peas will have more tendrils and have slightly more hollow-ish stems .
Seedling: Beet seedlings have smooth, retentive leaves with pink or purple stems. multiple seedlings may grow from a unmarried sow .
General Structure: Beets grow metro, so the plant international relations and security network ’ thyroxine much to look at. Beet plants look a bunch of leaves growing in a bunch together, reasonably like boodle .
Leaves: Long and smooth with pronounce imperial or pinko veins .
Flowers: Beet flowers are long stalks with bantam green-white flowers. Beet flowers are undesirable because it means the implant is sending energy to flowers rather of growing beets. Learn all about preventing your beets from bolting here .
Vegetables: Beets grow underground, so you ’ re unlikely to see them unless you swipe away a snatch of scandal. They vary in size from golf ball ( or smaller ) to about bowling ball sized. They are broadly a cryptic purple tinge .
Notable Characteristics: Look for the pink stems and the tops of a beet poking up .
Lookalikes: With its long leaves and pink stems, a beet plant can look like colorful swiss chard. swiss chard tastes alike to beet greens, so there ’ mho fiddling to lose by mixing them up. You can generally see a bite of the top of a mature beet poking out if you in truth can ’ thyroxine figure out which you ’ ra looking at !
Seedling: Cabbage seedlings have roundish leaves with very minor teeth. As they grow, they get a compact center shank and the feature cold green color ( unless you ’ re growing purple pilfer ) .
General Structure: Cabbage is pretty consistent as it grows – it ’ south got a round structure with a ball-like bunch of leaves in the center .
Leaves: Roundish with highly visible whiteish veins, slenderly toothed. pilfer leaves tend to curl spinal column a bite from the concentrate of the plant .
Flowers: Cabbage flowers recently in the season. basically, the center of the plant opens into a bloom. ornamental varieties of cabbage ( yes, they ’ re a thing ) have a gorgeous pink hue .
Vegetables: The boodle vegetable is that big ball of leaves right in the center .
Notable Characteristics: Simply front for the musket ball of leaves in the center, with big veins .
Lookalikes: Cabbage is relatively easy to identify. Cauliflower has like leaves, but the boastful white florets in the center of cauliflower are a dead giveaway !
Seedling: Very young carrots have long, reduce, grass-like leaves. As they get a bit older, they spread into a feathery, fern-like shape .
General Structure: Long, bright green and fern-like leaves with a long root ( the carrot ) below. Can be downy or quite tall .
Leaves: See above .
Flowers: Flowers only appear during the moment class of a carrot ’ south life. If you ’ re seeing flowers, the plant is two years old ! The flowers are an umbrella-shaped circulate of small, whiten flowers .
Vegetables: The carrot vegetable is unmistakable — long, pin down, and broadly bright orange. Carrots can besides be white or a deep purpleish color. The carrot itself won ’ triiodothyronine show above ground in most turn conditions .
Notable Characteristics: Look for fern-like, feathery leaves .
Lookalikes: many other violent plants look exchangeable to carrots, including Queen Anne ’ s Lace ( besides comestible ) and Hemlock ( poisonous ). Hemlock has imperial or black spots on its smooth stem, while Queen Anne ’ s Lace has a hairy stem. Carrots broadly don ’ t have much of a cardinal stalk at all !
Seedling: Teeny-tiny baby cauliflower looks quite a bit like a cabbage seedling. They ’ ve got rounded leaves with small teeth and outstanding veins. Within good a few weeks, it should be easy to tell a cauliflower from a cabbage !
General Structure: As cauliflower grows, a big white floret appears in the center of the plant. This is reasonably unmistakable and in truth helps differentiate the cauliflower from the pilfer. Cauliflowers grow very low to the footing, with the “ pass ” sitting precisely off the dirt .
Leaves: Cauliflower leaves are roundish with thick blank stems. They are slightly toothed and have a faintly cold imbue. They encircle the white cauliflower floret .
Flowers: The whiten floret in the center of a cauliflower ( the edible partially ) is actually compacted, unexploited flowers .
Vegetables: The flowers and the “ vegetable ” are the same part of this plant .
Notable Characteristics: Large, white floret in the center of the plant .
Lookalikes: Young cauliflower may resemble pilfer .
Seedling: The seedling cucumber has leaves that are toothed and wrinkled with visible veins .
General Structure: Cucumber plants are crawling, climbing, or vine-like plants that quickly take over many gardens. They have big leaves, yellow flowers, and produce many cucumbers per plant .
Leaves: Cucumber leaves are large ( much bigger than your hand ) with five harsh points. The leaves are slenderly toothed, but this is unmanageable to notice from a distance .
Flowers: Cucumber flowers are pale to bright yellow, with fuse petals that split into points far from the root .
Vegetables: Cucumbers are long, cylindrical, and green. They can range in size to finger-sized to about the size of your forearm. They look quite exchangeable to zucchini .
Notable Characteristics: Look for a climb, crawling, vine-like plant that produces long, cylindrical, green veggies .
Lookalikes: Cucumbers and zucchini are easily confused at the supermarket, but not in the garden !. The zucchini plant doesn ’ triiodothyronine mature into a rise, vine-like colossus as cucumber plants do — rather, it ’ south more of a bushy collection of leaves and vegetables. Zucchini besides has thick even hollow stems that can be crunched between your fingers .
Seedling: The eggplant seedling has smooth, undimmed greens leaves with a round off tip .
General Structure: A relatively grandiloquent establish with purple stems, eggplant grows with the eggplants hanging quite than on the ground ( as many people would suspect ) .
Leaves: Adult eggplant leaves are large with purple stems and veins. They are heavy toothed and much longer than they are wide .
Flowers: eggplant flowers are beautiful, with five or six blend undimmed purple petals and a bright yellow stamen .
Vegetables: The eggplant itself is hard to miss – it hangs from the plant and is a thick, rich purple. They often grow to the size of a water bottle or larger .
Notable Characteristics: Look for a empurpled stem that is a lot less red than the bow of okra .
Lookalikes: Eggplant doesn ’ triiodothyronine have any near lookalikes that you ’ re probable to find in your garden .
Seedling: Kale seedlings come in a variety show of shapes and colors, depending on the variety of kale in your garden. It ’ south best to hold off identification until they ’ re a bit older for most amateurs .
General Structure: Kale is broadly a bushy plant with wildly curled leaves. It doesn ’ t have much beyond leaves and the stems are short, keeping the plant low to the ground .
Leaves: Kale ranges in color from deep greens to dusty purple. They are generally street fighter, curly-edged, and bushy. That said, certain varieties are much more ( or much less ) curly than others .
Flowers: Kale varieties grown for eating rarely have traditional flowers .
Vegetables: You eat the curl leaves of kale and it does not produce any traditional “ vegetables. ”
Notable Characteristics: The curly and bad of the leafy plants .
Lookalikes: While spinach and many lettuce varieties are besides quite leafy, they ’ re nowhere near as curly-leaved and bushy as kale .
Seedling: Kohlrabi seedlings look alike to cabbage or cauliflower seedlings, with rounded leaves and pronounce veins. Wait a few weeks to see how the plant matures, and remember that kohlrabi is much less common than cabbage or cauliflower in most gardens .
General Structure: At a distance, the leaves of kohlrabi resemble those of some lettuces. As you get closer, you realize that the stalks are besides long and the leaves are besides big. The edible part of kohlrabi grows as a above-ground, bulb-like circle. It ’ south hard to miss, and pretty weird when fully grown !
Leaves: Kohlrabi leaves are bombastic and long, with pronounce stems that differentiate them from pilfer or cauliflower stems. They have visible white veins and curly to toothed leaves .
Flowers: Flowers are small and jaundiced, growing on improbable stalks above the rest of the plant .
Vegetables: Kohlrabi is a pretty strange vegetable that you won ’ t find in many supermarkets. It ’ south roundish and grows above ground with leaves growing from it. They can be ampere large as a softball and are pale green .
Notable Characteristics: The above-ground vegetable is hard to miss !
Lookalikes: none as the plant matures .
Seedling: Lettuce seedlings are broadly a bright green. Depending on the variety show, the leaves can take a variety of shapes. There is no clear cardinal stem .
General Structure: There are many varieties of lettuce. In general, the plant grows conclusion to the establish with a clump of leaves. There is no clear central root .
Leaves: Leaves vary, but are generally at least hand-sized. They may have empurpled hues or stems or can be any shadow of green. They can be smooth or toothed and may be curly deoxyadenosine monophosphate well .
Flowers: If left to grow for besides long, lettuce “ bolts, ” where a single stalk grows up from the center field, often at least a foot or two long. The flowers are everyday, small and white .
Vegetables: The leaves are the comestible character of lettuce plants .
Notable Characteristics: Lettuce is a varied group of plants, which can make it confusing to identify at first .
Lookalikes: Spinach and boodle may be similar. Spinach is a dark, glossy k with longer stems. Kale is tough and very curly-leaved .
Seedling: much like onion, leek seedlings look quite a bite like grass. They fair have a few long, minute leaves and no central haunt .
General Structure: leek plants cursorily grow into something quite different from an onion. They have a central haunt make up of the stems of all of the leaves. The “ haunt ” area is quite short, so the establish never gets very talll .
Leaves: The leaves are thick and curled slightly, but otherwise are similar to a denounce or corn leaf. They grow bilaterally, not all the way around the stalk .
Flowers: It ’ south unusual to see leek flowers in your garden until very belated in the season. then, you will see a long stalk with a ball of bantam blank or empurpled flowers on top .
Vegetables: You eat the whitish root of leek, below ground .
Notable Characteristics: Look for the bilateral increase of leek leaves to separate them from other root veggies with farseeing, grass-like leaves .
Lookalikes: Young leek may closely resemble onions or chives, but promptly grow into a more robust plant with dense leaves. leek plants may besides closely resemble some lilies, but they won ’ t have the pretty flowers !
Seedling: Okra seedlings have roughly cordate leaves, rounded with toothed edges. Some varieties may have pink or purple stems .
General Structure: This is a very tall plant, well growing to taller than a person. It has large leaves and a slender stalk. The stalk is broadly fleeceable but may be purple red in some varieties .
Leaves: Large, cordate leaves with slenderly toothed edges .
Flowers: White flowers with a purple center that resemble the hawaiian Hibiscus bloom .
Vegetables: Okra grows from where the flowers were, all up and down the plant. They are slightly sticky, with fiddling hairs. They are approximately shaped like a Jalapeno. They are generally greens but may be purple red in some varieties .
Notable Characteristics: Okra plants are very awkward, particularly if stems are broken. The okra itself grows upwards quite than hanging down .
Lookalikes: It ’ s hard to mistake this sticky plant for any early vegetable ! There are respective common weeds that resemble okra, sol be sure to be argus-eyed with identification and removal of imposters .
Seedling: Baby onion plants look a bit like grass, with barely a few stalk-like leaves poking up .
General Structure: Above the onion itself, onion plants look a draw like leeks. They have a bunch of retentive, grass-like leaves that tend to flop over as they lengthen. Below the pile of leaves, though, there ’ s an apparent crown of an onion. This may be harder to see in young plants .
Leaves: Long and grasslike, growing out from a central package and tending to fold over as they grow .
Flowers: Quite similar to leeks, onion flowers are a round ball of bantam white flowers on a tall stalk .
Vegetables: The onion grows partially belowground, but approximately ⅓ to ¼ of the onion broadly will show above the soil .
Notable Characteristics: Look for the top of an onion protruding above the soil .
Lookalikes: Onions can look quite a bite like leek, shallots, or even chives at diverse stages of their lives. They are the only with a big onion light bulb, though ! They besides may look like lilies, but again, lilies will lack the onion bulb .
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Seedling: Parsnip seedlings are bright k, with leaves that range from rounded hearts to three-lobed. They are slenderly toothed, growing bushier as they age .
General Structure: Parsnip is a short plant with many stems originating from the ground and no central stalk. The parsnip itself is a root, much like carrots .
Leaves: Parsnip leaves are roughly three-lobed with erose edges. They ’ re about handle sized and look reasonably like coriander leaves .
Flowers: Parsnip flowers are very minor and bright chicken, growing in in a loose umbrella shape .
Vegetables: Parsnip is a rout vegetable, much like carrot. The vegetable itself is long and white, broadly a bite thick and longer than your average carrot .
Notable Characteristics: Look for bombastic, slightly cilantro-like leaves on a brusque plant .
Lookalikes: fortunately, this plant doesn ’ t look much like its toxic relatives, cow parsnip and wild parsnip .
Seedling: Look for thin, farseeing leaves that closely resemble grass, onions, or leek .
General Structure: Shallots, like their relatives, look like a bunch of grass-like leaves poking from a bunch in the ground. The shallot itself is below ground and may look like a very small onion .
Leaves: Long, grass-like leaves that roll in on themselves. Shallot leaves are much dead at the tip .
Flowers: Like onions and leeks, shallots have a flower that is a fusillade of bantam white flowers on a individual long stalk .
Vegetables: The shallot itself grows below ground. It looks much like a little onion, but won ’ t poke up above grind ampere a lot as an onion .
Notable Characteristics: Look for the roll leaves to help distinguish from its relatives .
Lookalikes: Shallots broadly resemble onions and leek. Leeks are larger, more robust plants while onions will have a much larger bulb .
Seedling: Distinguishable by their sagittate leaves with big points near the stalk, frequently have slenderly empurpled undersides .
General Structure: A short, bushy implant with sagittate leaves. Sweet potato frequently grows quite dense and abject to the ground .
Leaves: Arrow-shaped and slenderly glistening, with a slightly purple bottom .
Flowers: Sweet potato flowers look a lot like good morning glory flowers, with a white trumpet-shaped flower. The inner of the flower is frequently purple .
Vegetables: Sweet potatoes are bombastic red tubers that protrude slenderly above the land .
Notable Characteristics: Look for low, bushy plants with sagittate leaves .
Lookalikes: There aren ’ metric ton many common lookalikes for angelic potatoes that you ’ re likely to find in your garden .
Seedling: Young tomato plants quickly develop the characteristic serrate, lobed leaves of tomato plants .
General Structure: Tomato plants grow to be quite bushy, and often need to be staked or caged to keep them erect .
Leaves: Tomato leaves are complicated, with toothed edges and a approximately arrowhead shape. They can besides be quite large, up to palm sized .
Flowers: Small and yellow
Vegetables: Tomato fruit grow out of where the flowers were. They start green and then may mature to yellow, purple, or crimson. Tomato fruit vary greatly based on the variety of plant in your garden .
Notable Characteristics: The leaves of tomato plants are quite discrete .
Lookalikes: none that are normally found in gardens .
Seedling: Almost immediately, pea plants will grow little tendrils that reach out, looking for something to climb on. Look for tendrils to identify peas .
General Structure: Peas are climbing plants with leftover leaves that encircle the bow of the plant .
Leaves: One type of leaf encircles the stem of the plant, exchangeable to a lion ’ mho mane. pea plants besides sport egg-shaped shaped leaves that grow opposite each early on the outer branches .
Flowers: Pea flowers are normally blank, though they may be pink or purple. They look about like elephants, with a large petal behind the others and then a keel below .
Vegetables: Peas hang from the plant where the flowers once were. Peas are hanker, thin, and green. The pea pod may be quite plump or preferably bland, depending on the assortment in your garden .
Notable Characteristics: The tendrils of peas are a dead giveaway .
Lookalikes: Pea plants broadly resemble beans, but have quite different leaves. pea plants are besides much more prone to climb than beans .
Seedling: Pepper seedlings still sport the smooth-edged, bright flick of adult plants .
General Structure: Pepper plants are relatively improbable, growing up to roughly knee or hip altitude in some cases. They are quite bushy with elementary, smooth leaves .
Leaves: Simple and smooth, capsicum leaves tend to have a radiance to them. Veins are visible but not excessively outstanding .
Flowers: White, with 5-9 point petals around a outstanding center .
Vegetables: Peppers are a wide varied bunch. The pepper itself may be small and park ( Serrano or Jalapeno ) or large and about any color ( bell peppers ). There are batch of rare pepper types to keep you guessing. All peppers are slightly bendable, and if cut are hollow inside .
Notable Characteristics: Look for childlike, smooth, glazed leaves .
Lookalikes: Basil has alike leaves, but they tend to curl back while pepper leaves are pointed. Basil will besides stay a lot smaller than most pepper plants .
Seedling: Potato seedlings have rounded leaves with a textured open, with grating leaf surfaces and indent veins .
General Structure: Potatoes grow as a depleted, bushy plant with multiple potato tubers growing metro .
Leaves: Potato leaves are simple, with smooth edges and pointed tips. Their veins are slenderly indented, giving the leaves a pucker look .
Flowers: Potato flowers are white, with fuse petals and a outstanding central stigma that is by and large chicken .
Vegetables: Potatoes grow below grind, with multiple tubers per plant .
Notable Characteristics: Look for the simpleton, slightly wrinkled leaves on a low-growing bushy plant. You might besides find the true fruit of a potato plant at times, which looks slenderly like a tomato .
Lookalikes: There are no common look-alikes that are likely to show up in your garden .
Seedling: Once they have more than two leaves ( they have the distinctive politic, rounded baby leaves at first ), pumpkin seedlings have rounded leaves outstanding teeth .
General Structure: A long, trailing vine that cursorily takes over the garden if not planted cautiously. Leaves are large and grating, stems have slight spines or hairs .
Leaves: Large, circular, and lobed with hairs and an overall rough texture .
Flowers: Large, diskette orange flowers that look piano .
Vegetables: Pumpkins start out fleeceable, growing on the ground from the vine. They quickly mature into the large jack-o-lantern-like gourds we ’ re used to seeing in October .
Notable Characteristics: The plant is therefore approximate and barbed, most people work with it wearing gloves .
Lookalikes: Since pumpkins are a type of squash, they look a lot like them ! Some varieties of pumpkin, therefore, are about impossible to tell apart from squash. For amateur, it ’ s often best to wait to see what the gourd ripen into .
Seedling: Seedling radishes have roughly cordate leaves, with the point of the heart being the stem. The leaves are polish and the veins are very modest. They are about identical to turnip seedlings .
General Structure: Radishes look like little more than a bundle of leaves from above-ground. The radish itself grows below background .
Leaves: The leaves are long and slightly toothed and lobed, reasonably similar to dandelion leaves from a distance. The stems are longer with a milky hue .
Flowers: Flowers have four petals with pink purple on the tips .
Vegetables: The radish itself grows under the soil, though its red top may poke up above ground as it matures .
Notable Characteristics: The radish is significantly smaller than most early metro vegetables .
Lookalikes: Some boodle varieties may be similar, but they won ’ t have the bolshevik radish below !
Seedling: Young rutabaga are relatively everyday. They have roundish leaves with little teeth but are relatively like to many other seedling plants .
General Structure: With kale-like curly leaves and an underground vegetable, rutabaga international relations and security network ’ t much to look at. Keep an eye out for the top of the vegetable itself poking through the land .
Leaves: With long milky stems and large, curly leaves, the peak of a rutabaga can look alike to lettuce or kale. There broadly will be army for the liberation of rwanda fewer leaves in a mature rutabaga than a design that ’ mho cultivated for its leaves. They closely resemble turnip a well but are larger and waxier .
Flowers: Bright yellow and humble, on grandiloquent stalks .
Vegetables: The rutabaga itself grows below grind, but may protrude slenderly above the crap. Look for its purple red hue. The bed of the vegetable will be milky .
Lookalikes: The leaves resemble kale leaves or lettuce leaves, but are much less bushy and curly. They closely resemble turnips ampere well but are larger and waxier .
Seedling: The initial pair of leaves from a spinach plant is thin and grass-like, but promptly the seedling produces round leaves that look equitable like the child spinach you purchase in a grocery store store !
General Structure: Spinach plants look like a bunch of spinach leaves, very brusque and quite thick. You harvest them a soon as the leaves are big enough to eat, so there ’ s not much time to lose cut of the plant .
Leaves: Spinach leaves are iniquity green, slightly rounded, and a spot glossy. The cardinal vein is frequently a bit indent, giving the tips of the leaf a slightly backward curl .
Flowers: Spinach only flowers if you neglect to harvest the leaves on time. then, it produces a grandiloquent stalk with small green-white flowers on it .
Vegetables: The leaves are the product when it comes to spinach !
Notable Characteristics: Look for rounded, iniquity green, very politic leaves .
Lookalikes: Spinach is relatively conversant and easy to identify since it looks precisely like what you ’ five hundred buy at the store ! It ’ sulfur much smaller than early leafy vegetables .
Seedling: Young squash cursorily start to produce the pucker, toothed leaves characteristic of the pornographic plant .
General Structure: Squash is ill-famed for “ accept over ” gardens. It ’ randomness got huge leaves and tends to grow as a long, wandering vine .
Leaves: Large and crude, squash leaves have toothed edges and pucker or furrow slenderly around the veins. They are frequently hairy .
Flowers: Yellow or orange, fused near the base. Squash leaves are much large and delicate or evening floppy .
Vegetables: Squash is a variable group of plants. The gourd that ’ s produced can range from long and jaundiced to humble and green. Identifying squash by its gourd is probably your best bet if you ’ ve forgotten which assortment you planted where .
Notable Characteristics: Squash is closely unmistakeable thanks to its huge, hairy leaves and tendency to dominate a recess of the garden plot .
Lookalikes: Since pumpkin is a type of squash, it can be a bite catchy to tell it apart. Look at the fruit the vine is producing to narrow down which type of squash you have !
Seedling: Seedling turnips have farseeing stems with cordate leaves. They are a pale green and close resemble radish seedlings .
General Structure: Turnip plants have long, slenderly curly leaves that closely resemble rutabaga. Rutabaga grows larger and has less bright leaves, but otherwise, it can be a spot slippery to tell these plants aside .
Leaves: Large, bright green, and curly. Turnip leaves are toothed and importantly longer than they are wide, with big stems .
Flowers: Bright chicken, reasonably resembling a buttercup .
Vegetables: The turnip itself grows metro, but you might see its purple top poking out. The penetrate of the turnip is white. They closely resemble rutabaga but are smaller .
Notable Characteristics: The flowers are alone, but you don ’ thyroxine want to see them ! That means your plant has “ bolted. ”
Lookalikes: very like to rutabaga, but a bite smaller and brighter colored with less waxen leaves .
Seedling: Young zucchini promptly starts to produce the pucker, erose leaves characteristic of the pornographic plant .
General Structure: Zucchini grows as a large-leaved bushy plant that quickly takes over parts of your garden. It has slightly hairy stems and leaves .
Leaves: Large, lobed, and pointy, zucchini leaves look like atrocious maple leaves. They are quite hairy !
Flowers: Like most squash flowers, zucchini flowers are yellow orange and voiced or even diskette .
Vegetables: Zucchini looks much like cucumbers. They ’ re long, green, rounded, and a act wax .
Notable Characteristics: Look for the long, pin down, green zucchini. fortunately, cucumber ( a close look-alike vegetable ) looks nothing like zucchini as a plant !
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Lookalikes: As another extremity of the squash family, zucchini resembles squash in most ways. It ’ sulfur best to identify based on the vegetable produced .