Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Help using our Lucid interactive keys

The interactive Lucid keys developed by the Plant systematics staff at Landcare Research and our co-authors are powerful and simple to use plant identification tools.

Most people can run them with little difficulty but these pages contains help for those needing assistance.

How to use our Lucid keys

Once the basics are understood, Lucid keys are very easy and fun to use.

General layout

Lucid keys have an intuitive interface divided into four panes. The left-hand panes are features (characters and character states used in the key) and the right-hand panes are the entities (all taxa included in the key such as species and subspecies).


Once the key is fully loaded, the top left-hand pane displays a complete list of ‘Features Available’ and the top right-hand pane shows all the entities in the key. Features in particular are organised in a file directory structure that you can open and close individually (or all at once).

As you start using the key, the character states that you choose (by ticking score boxes in the top left-hand directory) appear in the ‘Features Chosen’ (bottom left) pane and the taxa that lack these features appear in the ‘Entities Discarded’ (bottom right) pane. The heading of the pane that you are in is highlighted in blue and all four panes are resizable.

Thumbnailimagemedia_16 and web page htmlmedia_16 media icons on the left-hand side illustrate and describe features; those on the right-hand side illustrate the entities and link to related web pages. Use single mouse clicks, not double! The online keys run through your web browser, which is always single click of your mouse.