Where to store plant variety information?

Is there a best practice to add plant varieties? I am adding observations of heirloom fruit trees varieties. I think it is an important “biodiversity information” to be recorded and I am wondering which is the best place to store it within an observation. Normally they are common local names such as “Grossa Piacentina”.
Thank you!

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There are a few “observation fields” already related to variety. You can access that feature in the lower right area of the observation page. Just type in “var” at first and it should pop up some choices. Pick one you like and then in future entries the popup will prioritize your choice for later entries on other observations. Very handy!

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There’s also “cultivar” (exclusive to named plant breeds) if “variety” isn’t giving you good results.

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I have a somewhat related question. I am trying to record pollinator visits to plant cultivars (mostly to one specific cultivar in my garden, which is covered in diverse pollinators every day) but cannot get the plant cultivar to pop up under “Interaction --> Visited flower of:” I have been entering the genus, Agastache, but cannot get farther than that, because this named cultivar (Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’) is a hybrid of A. foeniculum and A. rugosum.

Does iNaturalist allow plant cultivars to be entered into its system? I have not made a separate observation for this one plant itself (as I routinely don’t for things I’ve planted) but would that help?

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my understanding is that people are reluctant to add them to the database formally. It’s hard, i am not aware of any source that tracks all of them, and there are so many. I do think it would be valuable if we could figure it out… for instance with pollinators - some of these do not create nectar, etc.

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No, iNat excludes cultivars.

That is disappointing. I know some researchers are actively looking at cultivars and how their pollinator value compares to “straight species” plants - and there is no one blanket answer because it seems to vary from cultivar to cultivar. This effort has really only been going on for a few years - there is a LOT more data to be gathered if we are to get good answers about which plant choices are best for supporting pollinators. I’m sure “opportunistic” observations would help the overall effort… It’s a shame if iNaturalist doesn’t care to play a part in that.

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I don’t think it’s about caring… that is a little unneccesarily emotive… it’s more about the size of the can of worms it opens up. Saying iNat doesn’t care would be like saying researchers don’t care because they don’t go through and add hybridisation fields to all the existing observations. Fields are one way that hybridisation can be recorded, and it is a fairly niche area of research to be building specific functionality into the site for. To me that would almost be “over-caring”.

But… I believe iNat does have examples of stable hybrid taxa. Check PoWO to see if they are accepted there. iNat follows that authority as a basis, with deviations where reason and support exists. If they are stable hybrids that occur at range overlaps, then there is a high likelihood that they have been described and consequently accepted by PoWO.

I’m an iNat user, not staff or dev… so these are just my own views/opinions…

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