Kathleen Basford in 1978 was the first to describe the types of Green Man. She listed just three with their sub types:
- Type 1 - The leaf mask, which she thought the earliest, where facial features emerge from the leaf or leaves, leaves growing out of and forming the brow, cheeks etc.
- Type 2 - a later type, considered the classic Green Man, where foliage emerge from the mouth, nose, ears, or eyes even, and grow to surround the whole head. Some authorities describe the ears, nose and eyes foliage as a separate or ‘sucker’ Type of Green Man.
- Type 3 - the most recent development encompassing several styles including a head crowned with flowers or fruit, or the face surrounded by foliage or fruit. Also included in type three is the Jack in the Green Type where the face or whole body emerges from a bush of vegetation. Again this latter type is considered by some as separate category.
There are also commonly Green Beasts, where the face is far from human - this may be a lion or lioness, a cat, a hare, or even a bat! Many are of no definite species, but are inhuman in their pointed ears set high on the head, and snout-like nose. They may have bulging eyes and the earlier ones often show no lower jaw - like the oriental Kirtti-mukkha.