Site Talk forum: Plant location for plant ID forum

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Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
May 29, 2017 6:55 PM CST
Concerning Plant ID and Ask a Question forums: I'm sure this info is in here somewhere, but like many, I don't take time to read through the whole thing. Could there be some instruction to newbys about letting us know where THE PLANT is located ? I know internet privacy is a major problem these days, but there could be some instruction regarding NOT putting addresses, etc., but say where the plant in question is located. People go traveling and have plant questions about what they saw. Maybe some instruction at the top of these two forums would help a bit?
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator
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Australis
May 29, 2017 10:11 PM CST

Plants Admin

I agree. At the moment the info box for the Plant ID forum says this:

Post a picture and write a description of your mystery plant, and we'll let you know what the plant is!

Attention: start a new thread for each plant that you need identified!

Hey - want to add a photo to the database but you're still not exactly sure what it is? Add it here: The bin of unidentified photos (Holding_space)


I think it would be worth updating this to include stating that the person asking the question should include the general climate and location of the plant (i.e. state and country is a great start and zone would be preferable).

Additionally, whilst I think of it, it would also be handy to specifically mention the Plant ID forum in the "Ask A Question" forum info box - many plant ID questions end up in "Ask a Question". Currently it just states:

"This is a special forum where people can ask direct questions and Garden.org members can answer them. Have fun!"
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The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
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dave
May 30, 2017 9:09 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Australis said:I think it would be worth updating this to include stating that the person asking the question should include the general climate and location of the plant


We are already doing that. The problem is that they do not read it or they ignore it, or choose to not do it. This is a fact of life that can't be worked around.

The better solution is probably to make it mandatory that they indicate their location. It's not like we're asking for their street address. Simply their region ("East Texas") would even suffice.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
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plantmanager
May 30, 2017 9:13 AM CST
I've noticed that with so many people on mobile devices, they do not scroll around a lot and read everything. Here it just creates a nuisance, but on selling venues it's a mess now creating a lot of returns.
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
Beekeeper Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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dave
May 30, 2017 3:30 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I have updated the Ask a Question area to make the location mandatory.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
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greene
May 30, 2017 4:33 PM CST
Okay, that solves the problem for the 'Ask a Question' forum but it is the Plant ID forum where we most often need to know the location of the plant.

As has been mentioned, people take photos while they are away from home, or on vacation, or ask for an ID for a friend who lives elsewhere, and sometimes they copy/paste a photo they found on the internet...so please can we update the instructions for the Plant ID forum?

If people choose to read the instructions: "Attention: start a new thread for each plant that you need identified!"... I can clearly see what that means but my reading comprehension may be different from others. Many folks include 2, 3, up to ???# plants to be identified in one thread and it gets mighty confusing. In my humble opinion, it might be better if it were worded as "only ONE plant per thread". (Others may not agree and I'm okay with that. Thumbs up )

The instructions also say:
"Post a picture and write a description of your mystery plant, and we'll let you know what the plant is!" That's a bit iffy. If they provide good clear photos, a good description, if they provide a location...then maybe, yes, we will let them know what their plant is. But it is also important to let folks know that they should stand by and be ready to answer follow-up questions, to provide more information as needed, etc.- does the plant have square stem? does it have a smell? etc.

Okay, that's all I have. Thumbs up

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
May 30, 2017 4:52 PM CST
It's sad that we live in such an impatient world today. I read many entries in these forums before ever posting in one, so I had an idea what was required, but apparently many don't.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator
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Australis
May 30, 2017 7:34 PM CST

Plants Admin

dave said:We are already doing that. The problem is that they do not read it or they ignore it, or choose to not do it. This is a fact of life that can't be worked around.

The better solution is probably to make it mandatory that they indicate their location. It's not like we're asking for their street address. Simply their region ("East Texas") would even suffice.


Please forgive the potentially dumb question, but where is it stated that it is mandatory? I've had another look at the Ask a Question and Plant ID forums and the new question box and I can't seem to find any mention of including a location at all.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
Beekeeper Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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dave
May 30, 2017 7:44 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

If you don't have your location filled out, it will tell you that you must do so before you can submit it. The "Finished" button will not appear until your location is entered in. Green Grin!
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
May 30, 2017 8:19 PM CST
Oh oh ! That might scare some off the site due to the privacy issues.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator
Image
Australis
May 30, 2017 8:50 PM CST

Plants Admin

Thanks Dave. That makes a bit more sense now.

Carol, to be honest, putting your state or city in the location field is not as much information as people regularly give out online (social media, etc.). Many websites even trace your IP address to work out roughly where you are. People don't seem to realise how much information they share, especially when many sites make it opt-out (i.e. if you're signed into Google/Gmail and haven't changed the default preferences, Google records all your web searches).
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
Image
ctcarol
May 30, 2017 9:12 PM CST
I understand this Joshua, but when I am searching for something on the net, I back out of anything that requires a log in...if for no other reason, just to avoid more junk mail. This site has always be easy to access without giving up your history. It's free, but doesn't require all your info, which makes it popular. Yes we know it doesn't live on love alone, but I'm sure there are lots of folks out there that just won't fill in all the blanks. That's why I suggested "where the plant is located".. That won't work in the Ask a question forum when someone is asking about their garden, but again, they can compromise. Making it mandatory will likely scare some people off. Just my opinion.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator
Image
Australis
May 30, 2017 10:27 PM CST

Plants Admin

Fair enough, Carol. I can certainly understand the junk mail issue. I applaude Dave for making it opt-in and clear that the user has to add the location. At least then it's up to the user as to whether they wish to post a question or not.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
May 31, 2017 7:14 PM CST
Many people are concerned with privacy which is understandable so I usually ask a new poster if they can give us a general idea of where the plant is growing, telling them that they don't have to give a city but that a state or country will help narrow down the identification.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
Image
ctcarol
May 31, 2017 7:32 PM CST
I see that on many requests, and think it's a good idea, but it would save a lot of typing if it were an instruction at the top of the page. Something to the effect of "This is an international site so in order to answer your question, we need to know where this plant is located, Country, state, climate zone if known". Or in the instruction at the bottom of a post that tell you not to add a new question here.
You folks work so hard researching these plants, and to have to type in that request every time must be discouraging.
[Last edited by ctcarol - May 31, 2017 7:35 PM (+)]
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Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
May 31, 2017 7:36 PM CST
But then again, many don't read the directions so it will help that they can't complete their post without giving location.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


N. Ohio (Zone 5b)
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Tisha
Jun 1, 2017 3:26 PM CST
Oops! Think I `cross-posted` (?). D'Oh!
I asked basically the same question `bout location being requested.
Sorry.
Good to know great minds think alike Hilarious!
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
Deer Bookworm Keeper of Poultry Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia
Plant Identifier Rabbit Keeper Composter Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
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greene
Jun 1, 2017 4:46 PM CST
When 'we' start with the assumption that new people will not read the directions, we belittle/demean them when we don't yet know them.

Having a system in place where the folks need (are forced) to fill in the blanks would give us (the ones who are doing the identifying and answering the questions) the information we need as to the location of the plant/climate/city/state/country/region. We won't have to start by constantly saying... Sighing! "can you please tell us the location of the plant". Sighing!

With the exception of the charter members, the rest of us were at one time newbies. Let's give the new newbies some credit and help them to give us the information we need. :thumbsup:
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
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Bonehead
Jun 1, 2017 5:48 PM CST
Sometimes the location is key, other times not so much. I don't find it difficult to ask for a plant location if that is helpful to a positive ID, and seems like that question itself is kind of a 'natural lesson' especially for new folks. A bit of an aha-moment. I would rather see it as a helpful instruction rather than a do-or-die requirement, but that's just me. I also liked someone's suggestion to include in the opening directions that more photos can be helpful for an accurate ID - whole plant, leaf, stem, etc. I forget if that was on this thread or another one. As Dave notes, however, no matter how many instructions are included, some folks will follow them, others not. Kind of the bottom line then becomes: they either get their plant identified, or not. I don't lose sleep over it.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Jun 1, 2017 6:26 PM CST
Deb, I would agree with you IF all of us were careful of the wording when asking for that info. Some of us are not politically correct at all times, and sometimes offend the OP. Of course some people are just overly sensitive too, but I think much of that would be less of a problem if it were a basic instruction. Just my thoughts.

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