Yeah it’s strange for sure. Everyone comes to iNat with different intentions, priorities, objectives, attitudes. Some are happy to live and let live, some - well, not so much.
I mostly ID, and only NZ spiders and insects. It’s a relatively small population of iNatters here I think, so we probably don’t have as much drama to deal with just based on sheer lack of volume. Long may that continue!
I agree that kind of context is important for many of our identifier workflows here! Speaking of which, if I notice anybody’s ids, it’s usually the identifiers’. Like, oh lynnharper! in my most recent example. ;)
Ah thank you, i forgot about that function, if they continue to be annoyed I will recommend this.
(I never wanted to block, I just wanted to avoid upsetting them because it ain’t worth the hassle or confusion to me, so thank you for reminding me of the mute function)
Ok, my identifier companions, here’s a question for you.
I took myself to the Smith College greenhouses in Northampton, MA, USA, this morning, because it is gray January and I needed to see green plants. (Also an extraordinary array of blooming orchids, in case you’re interested.) In the ground or gravel under the greenhouse benches were quite a few small weeds - or what I would call weeds, at any rate. Clearly, they had seeded or spored themselves from the potted plants above. Would you mark them as cultivated in iNat observations, or do they count as wild for you?
I haven’t gotten around to posting the photos yet, by the way, and I don’t really care whether they get marked cultivated or wild. I was just curious what you all think about this.
I’ve seen a lot of fights over this. My opinion: if you’re following the letter of the law for iNat’s definition of cultivated, then they are wild, but a lot of people find that a tough pill to swallow when the setting is indoors (greenhouse or home.) I actually saw Kueda mark a weed in an indoor potted plant as cultivated, even though the observer stated it was growing unintentionally and she didn’t know how it got there. Hard to argue with the founder of iNat.
I am sure there are currently spiders in my heated house - maybe even deermice, despite my best efforts. I think we would all agree those are wild, since to my knowledge no one has ever intentionally brought spiders or mice into this house as pets.
But I do have a bunch of houseplants (clearly cultivated) and ferns have germinated themselves from my cultivated plants into a few other pots. Does the fact I let the ferns stay mean they are cultivated?
Also, I bet some of the “weeds” in the greenhouse are seedlings from outside plants that aren’t cultivated (the Oxalis, for example). Does that make a difference?
Pardon me while I play devil’s advocate again, but: Outside these greenhouses are rather nice systematic, perennial, and rock gardens, not to mention the entire campus is an arboretum. But here and there, there are actual weeds. A bit of Garlic Mustard under a labeled tree. Some seedlings I strongly suspect are Cardamine impatiens lurking in the rock garden, hoping to escape the ruthless eyes of the gardeners. Certainly Gray Squirrels scampering along the paths, trying hard to plant acorns in the manicured borders. It’s all “the gardening area.”
But as hard as it is to draw the line, I think I draw it on the side of Cultivated for the “weeds” in the greenhouses, if only because they are clearly tolerated, perhaps encouraged, under the benches. I’ll go mark these observations of mine as Not Wild. And think again on the separation of humans and the natural world.
But those aren’t the cultivated plants propagating themselves. A greenhouse plant propagating itself within the greenhouse is, in my mind, no different from a bedding plant propagating itself within the flower bed. The offspring are still depending on the cultivated conditions. It becomes wild when the offspring spread outside the greenhouse or flower bed.
Well, no. I have lots of weeds in my outdoor gardening area. So we can have weeds (wild plants) in our indoor gardening areas, too. Oxalis corniculatus, for example. And some weeds, like the liverwort Lunularia cruciata, are equally weedy inside and out, wherever the spores can go. Bottom line for me: Weeds in the greenhouse are wild, too.