Should I add photos of plant labels to an observation?

In many Queensland National Parks, some of the rainforest trees have some sort of label next to them. I tend to photograph the label, as well as the trunk and leaves as an aid to later identification. My question is whether I should include the photo of the label when I post the observation?
Related to this, I know that some of the iNat observations (not always at Research Grade) are added to Atlas of Living Australia. I don’t know if all the images of an observation are added to ALA but I wouldn’t want the photos of labels added to ALA.
Thanks for your comments, Pete


Only if the plant itself is on the photo too, you can just add a comment or description that the label was there.


welcome to the forum Pete :)

As Melodi mentioned, if you can get a chunk of the plant in the shot along with the label, that’s completely fine (I’ve done the same myself)

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In addition to the previous comments, I want to note that while a label is useful, there’s a small chance it is incorrect or is using an outdated/different name.
You can also type what’s on the label into the description field.

Most important is to include photos of diverse aspects of the plant from multiple angles. It can be hard to know what will be needed to confirm the plant’s ID.


I always try to get a picture of the label, if there is one, as a reference. If I post it, it’s usually as the final image in a series of pictures showing just the plant so it is less likely to get picked up by the computer vision algorithm.

And I second the comment about not all labels being correct. I’m volunteering for a local native plant garden and we’ve pulled and replaced quite a few labels that were outdated or just plain misidentified. Sometimes they migrate - I think stakes fall over during the winter and volunteers put them somewhere not knowing where the original location was and they end up marking the wrong plant. Labels in a botanical garden may be better curated and more accurate than labels in a community garden, but I’ve found even herbarium records that were misidentified/mislabeled. It’s always important to have good pictures of the plant itself to confirm ID.


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