Where are all the plant lovers?

I am not plant-less, nor am I a botanist, but I can’t say I do a great job at keeping plants alive. I’m in love with the wild ones, though.

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Botanists are divided into two groups: those who can identify plants correctly and those who can grow plants. The two groups rarely overlap. I’m really good at identifying plants (some plants, some places).

Though I’m not quite plantless, I have learned through trial and error (mostly error) that the only house plants that can survive the alternation of flood prolonged drought I inflict upon them are members Araceae (arum family) and one epiphytic fern (Plebodium aureum). Tomatoes are tough and survive whatever I throw at them. Carrots do OK in the rare years when I plant them in a timely fashion.

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The only house plants I have are ones that can survive sitting outside all summer - aloe, jade, and paddle plant

Ha! I identify as a gardener, not a botanist, so that fits. Can’t grow carrots though, but I usually have enough arugula to feed the whole block.

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Maybe I’m cheating since some of my cultivated plants are weeds and can handle severe neglect:

Even with them in the mix, more than half of what I plant doesn’t sprout or dies so… I guess I’m both a gardener and identifier?

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There are resources like this that can help up your chances of an ID: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/presentation-how-to-photograph-plants-and-more-by-lena-struwe-and-peter-nitzsche/15143

On the other hand, you can go a long while with no IDs and suddenly get a flurry of attention and sometimes stuff you figure is going to take a while gets done immediately. I spent a couple of weeks on the south coast of Cuba and posted a bunch of plant observations that I expected to languish in the Needs ID pile. It turns out a Puerto Rican botanist is making an organized effort to ID Caribbean plant observations and quickly IDed many of them (and offered some explanation). Go figure.

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Say it ain’t so! Though as s professional horticulturist I’m struggling to think of enough of my friends to prove you wrong, so maybe…you’re not wrong. Definitely my local native plant club has two kinds of people, those who know what the plants are called and those don’t but who grow them with enthusiasm.

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Identify for others in your area, and they will likely reciprocate.

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Do I find them by going to the map and clicking on one of the pins, or is there another way?

On web, Identify · iNaturalist and filter by your location (county/province/state). Help with what you can and you can skip or mark the rest “as reviewed.”

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Under “Subscriptions” you can subscribe to a place or a taxon that you like and new observations will show on your dashboard.

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No plants here and zero interest in ever having any :slightly_smiling_face: I guess the reason is that my hate for invasive and non-native plants also extends to cultivated and cared for plants to some extent - so really the only kind of garden I would like would be 100% native, and ideally something left completely wild - but that’s hard to do with all the city codes and HOA rules.

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For plant observations, I think it is best to turn in three pictures.

  1. Entire plant
  2. Leafing or branching structure
  3. Floral structure
    It varies species by species, but this should cover everything that is needed for an ID. #2 is especially important.
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Pretty much only my many Moths that get fully ID’d quickly.

I have had poor response to plant observations in the summer but better response in Spring and Fall. Keep posting, please.

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I think one of the things that really helps get your (insert taxon here) identified is to actively identify other people’s observations of that same taxon. As you become more familiar to the other identifiers within that group they will start to tag you to help with IDs, but they will also reciprocate by identifying yours.

It also helps to ID taxa as far as you can (family, genus, etc). That way people with particular expertise/interest in that taxon are more likely to notice your record.

If you lack the expertise to ID plants very far, identify other people’s (whatever taxa you have expertise in). As you help others with ID, they are more likely to help you with yours. I’m good with herps and birds. I particularly like to identify recordings of frogs calling. There aren’t very many of us that do this so I often get people I’ve helped with those IDs reciprocating in groups I’m not good at (like plants!).

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Better yet 2 views of the flower. The bracts. Front facial and side profile of the flower

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As someone who is botanically challenged, I’ve posted plant photos with my own ID on them which might be correct, reasonably close, or way off. Some get IDed by a botanist fairly quickly whereas others have languished for years. I’m not concerned. Eventually a botanist may see them and provide a solid ID or I’ll revisit them and maybe refine my original ID if it was tentative. And in the mean time I try to get better at capturing the important characteristics in my new photos. For me it’s all a work in progress and requires patience and some extra thought and effort on my part.

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maybe try budging those up a taxon level or two? If it is not that species the specialists might not see it … until they do one of those mammoth checking ALL the obs of my Chosen taxon

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I’m a southern neighbor of yours - Yavapai County - and will try to help out, although having moved here from Maricopa Co, I’m having to learn desert plants all over again.

I volunteered under the Cactus Curator at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phx, I should try to get him on iNat - he’d be amazing!

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Many of my submissions end up added to Projects where real experts spend time.

Also, someone I know adds Thanks when an ID is confirmed or clarified. It becomes more social and may help in the long run.

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