Identify leafy indoor house plants by looking at the shapes and colors of the leaves, noting the types and colors of the flowers, and considering the growth habits. Consult an online house plant database such as the Guide to House Plants, Healthy Home Gardening or the Encyclopedia of House Plants.
First, look at the shape of the leaves, which can range from round and oval to heart-shaped or serrated, and can have lobed, unlobed or rounded attributes. Look at the leaf groupings, and decide whether they are simple or compound leaves. Compound leaves can contain several leaflets per leaf and be palmate or pinnate. The former is lobed, and the latter contains leaflets on either side of a stem. Leaves are attached to the stem in alternating, opposite or whorled patterns.
Next, look at the colors of the leaves. They can be a solid color such as green, yellow and purple, or they can be variegated. Decide if the leaves are big or small and if they grow upright or down. Finally, look at the flowers, coloring and scent. The flowers can be small or large, showy or modest, and brilliantly colored and white.
Some common leafy indoor plants include anthurium, peace lily, arrowhead vine and Chinese evergreen. Anthurium has green, heart-shaped leaves and flowers ranging from red to salmon-colored. The arrowhead vine has variegated, downward-growing heart-shaped leaves. The Chinese evergreen plant is dentified by its long, lance-shaped variegated leaves.