ID tool for Faboideae, South West WA (Australia)

Recently, the Kings Park Herbarium staff (Kevin Thiele, C. Hollister) have added a lot of new scientific descriptions to Florabase.

I have a protected bush block near Wandering. Potentially we have around 100 or more pea flower species in our bush, plus lots of acacias and a host of tiny plants that are really difficult to identify. iNats does not really help either.

Until now I have found identifying many of the species really difficult because the Florabase and iNats photos are generally insufficient in providing enough detail.

I have also noticed incorrect IDs in iNats because there has been limited information to help us amateur botanists.

While the scientific descriptions are a valuable addition to Florabase, it is still hard to use them for IDs.

I have compiled a spreadsheet for the Faboideae we may have in our bush, and this might be useful for others too.

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/gcnt26hbuy00c9n664uz1/Faboides-ID-Table-240131.xlsx?rlkey=xr12a4z9mmjrvq56v5igb0o3q&dl=0

It is much faster to work through dozens of potential matches. For example, working just with the pedical length and whether it is hairy or not can eliminate many potential matches. I am working on another sheet for Goodenaceae too.

There are columns to distinguish species by leaf morphology, size and aspect ratio (from broad leaves to very thin leaves).

Let me know if you think it might be useful, and how it could be improved. Apparently there used to be a web-based ID tool at the national herbarium (https://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/program/ha/ha-CD-key-peas.html), but it has been decommissioned.

A relatively simple and portable tool like this might help iNats users get used to the idea of photographing more parts of the plants they observe and recording measurements and other details.

Bruce Maslin has set up a comprehensive tool to help identify Acacias. World Wide Wattle : http://worldwidewattle.com/ - there is an identification tool there. Next, look at https://apps.lucidcentral.org/wattle/.

James Trevelyan

@margl

@bushmonger

2 Likes

Hi James, and welcome to the forum

The Faboideae spreadsheet you’ve compiled certainly looks like a very valuable resource for IDing WA peas, I’ll definitely have a go at using it myself to try ID some of my observations.

Can I suggest that you write a journal post on iNat itself (use this link: https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/jamesptrevelyan/new), and then tag relevant WA users there. Only a small proportion of iNat users use the forum, and that % is even smaller when considering WA users who would find this most useful, so writing a journal post would maximise your reach.

Also letting you know that re

this key is still active, you can access it here: https://keys.lucidcentral.org/search/the-pea-key/

2 Likes

I added “(Australia)” to the topic’s title because “WA” is also a common place abbreviation in the US.

Many thanks for that clarification

1 Like

Thank you, Thomas.
Great suggestions. I will improve the tool and work on a post as you suggested.
I managed to access the “Pey Key” tool - somehow my last attempt failed. I will include that info in the post.
Regards
James T

2 Likes