One way to identify shrubs in Florida is to consult a plant database or identification catalog. These guides allow plant enthusiasts to identify a plant by answering a series of questions regarding the plant and narrowing down the choices until the correct one is identified.
Discover Life explains that plant databases and identification catalogs help people to identify plants by posing several questions about the plant – such as the leaf type, shape, margin, arrangement and division – and giving illustrated examples. The first question asks readers to identify the leaf type between broad, needle-like, spineless cactus and spiny cactus. The next question is about leaf shape and whether it is heart-shaped, linear, lobed, only spines, wider near the base, wider near the middle or wider near the tip. The third question inquires into the leaf margin, such as smooth, wavy, spined or toothed. The fourth and fifth questions are about the leaf arrangement and division.
There are other identification catalogs that focus on Florida flora. The Virtual Herbarium, for instance, provides an interactive key to identify the plants of both Florida and Jamaica. Southeastern Flora focuses on identifying all plants in the Southeastern states of the U.S., complete with photographs and information on each species.