Identification of non-native plants?

Is it possible to get identification using this website of plants (with photos & location) which are not native? I would like to know whether some plants I have seen are Common Privet or some other privet, or even an Australian native. But I am not sure if I can post the observation here since the rules say iNat is primarily about observing wild organisms and not cultivated ones.
Forgive me if I’m asking a stupid question as I am new here and don’t know where else I can get help. Thanks.


You can definitely still use iNaturalist for this! If it’s something that’s intentionally planted, then just mark it as captive/cultivated. The observation will be considered “casual” but is very much allowed.

That being said, you might be less likely to have other users help identify it, as a lot of identifiers focus on observations that can potentially get to research grade.


“Wild” includes nonnative plants that are growing on their own (including invasive and naturalized plants).


Yes you can. If the privet is potentially invasive (as it is around Cape Town) then you will get identifiers on Invasive Patrol. Maybe there is a dedicated project for you to join?


Absolutely! The wild/cultivated distinction has nothing to do with whether a plant is native or introduced; it just refers to whether a specific individual plant was intentionally grown or planted by a human. Native and non-native species can all be cultivated, and native and non-native species can all grow wild.


The key word there is “primarily” wild organisms. Not “exclusively”! But yeah they kind of get hidden/overlooked if they’re cultivated.

I also suspect that a lot of people “forget” to mark things as captive/cultivated because they really want an ID. People can just flag it as not wild if they’re on the website.

132 votes, 109 comments. iNat has a problem we grapple with.

Design flaw. If Not Wild could be in its own Needs ID queue (with personal settings for those won’t do ‘Casual’) … we could start from this is Not Wild, what is it?

Thanks very much for the replies.
I suspect the ones I have seen were planted (ie. cultivated) but I am not entirely sure. I will try posting an observation and mark it as such. Cheers.

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You can but I recommend using different apps for identifying plants (PlantNET works well for me) since you can’t designate each photo as a certain plant part and some plants don’t have enough AI information to enhance suggestions. Although this is an easy to issue to avoid, iNaturalist’s AI seems to favourly bias animals which can be a bit annoying when trying to identify plants from small parts lol

You can enter “Plants” as an initial ID to target the CV model - all it’s suggestions will then be plants (or whatever other taxon you use).