Using the Interactive Identification Key

The identification key of the 'Guide to the trees of Papua New Guinea' is to assist people to identify the more common trees that grow in the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea. It is not designed to identify trees from other provinces.

The features used to distinguish the trees included in this 'Guide' can be combined in any order to assist with the identification. However, it is important to only use features about which you are certain. It is important to remember that here are a several reasons why it will not always be possible to reduce the number of possible species down to one. Therefore, when trying to identify a tree by using this 'key', initially the aim should be to reduce the number of possible species to fewer than 10 or 15 possibilities. At this point, the descriptions and/or images should be compared with the tree being identified. It may be possible to identify the tree without further use of the 'key'. In particular, if there are only a few possible species that are comparable with the tree being identified, then it is unwise to continue adding additional features of doubtful applicability in the hope of reducing the number of possibilities to one.

This is a prototype version of an interactive information and identification system to the common trees of Papua New Guinea. To open the PNGtrees identification tool ('key') [CLICK here]. The following points should be considered when using the 'key':

Morphological features

The morphological features used in this 'key' include the following:
General Features - habit, trunk features, bark and indumentum on branches;
Leaf Features - general leaf features, including leaf position, arrangement on branchlets, petiole, colour, indumentum; and more specific features, such as - lamina shape for simple leaves or compound leaflets, lamina colour, base, margin and apex features, venation, stipules;
General Flower Features - arrangement, presence of cones/strobili, sex of the flowers, size and symmetry of flowers; perianth features; staminal (stamens) features; and features of the gynoecium (including ovary, and style);
Fruit Features - arrangement, size, colour, surface, texture, structure, dehiscence mechanism and type;
Cone Features - presence, size and colour;
Seed features - number, size, shape, presence of wings.

Group Name features

The group name features include: group (whether the tree is a conifer or dicotyledon), family name, tradename and timber group names.