Plant Database forum: Proposal for plant descriptions - "evergreen", semi-evergreen", "deciduous"

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Name: Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Plant Identifier
Feb 17, 2014 7:29 PM CST
Apparently, it's not appropriate at this site to check "Deciduous" for a plant that dies back to the ground in winter, because this site reserves the term "deciduous" for plants that maintain some sort of above-ground structure, but drop their leaves at certain times of the year (winter in temperate climates, dry season in the tropics, etc.)... in other words, for woody plants or tropical plants.

Assuming this is so, I would like to propose that the use of this term be allowed for non-woody plants, as well. It is used widely in this context in species descriptions, and so its usage is certainly valid and accepted. It would add useful information here, as well, particularly since this site is aimed at providing information that is useful to the gardener (as opposed to those who are observing and cataloguing characteristics of a plant in the wild but not necessarily growing the plant).

At present, it seems it is allowed (I think?) to check "evergreen" or "semi-evergreen" to describe how a non-woody plant behaves in winter, but apparently it is not okay to check the obvious other alternative, "deciduous". This rule potentially leaves a gap in the information, as follows... If none of these 3 options is checked, a user can't tell whether the record is simply incomplete (is no one here growing it?) or whether the plant actually dies down in winter ( i.e. that it is deciduous, and therefore NOT checked... by the rules of the site). Confusing... !!

It is very useful information to know if a non-woody plant is deciduous or evergreen, for example, for people who have not grown it before and want some indication as to whether it's made it through the winter or not.

For your consideration...


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