Plant Database forum: Something amiss in the Land of National Gardening Association

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central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plant Database Moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Garden Ideas: Level 2 Photo Contest Winner: 2017
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jmorth
Sep 19, 2017 12:49 AM CST
I submitted a data proposal adjustment for a wildflower last week.
Said plant being Compass Plant (Silphium laciniatum). Databank has it listed as a 1 to 2 inch flower, I checked box for 2 - 3 inch a/o 4 -5 inch flower because most compass plants I've seen were bigger than 1 to 2" across. Submittal was rejected so I supplied that moderator with a couple of references stating compass plants can attain up to 4 to 5 inch size. The submittal reference's were a quote from a book Illinois Wildflowers and a link to
http://www.illinoiswildflowers....
No response.

I thought I also supplied other references, like Mobot (Missouri Botanical Gardens)
http://www.missouribotanicalga...

https://www.minnesotawildflowe...

https://www.plants.usda.gov/fa...

https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/e...

https://arboretum.wisc.edu/con...

My t-mail box only has the book and the first link above as having been sent.
Seems to me that should have been enough to allow larger size flower boxes to be checked and I really thought I sent those other references listed above too.
But, my memory could be mistaken...

I'd like to see the original rejection withdrawn and the database sheet amended to allow the next two flower size boxes to be checked.
Is this possible?
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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dave
Sep 19, 2017 7:04 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Paging @KentPfeiffer Smiling
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Irises Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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KentPfeiffer
Sep 19, 2017 7:12 AM CST

Plants Admin

It's a common misconception that this:

Thumb of 2017-09-19/KentPfeiffer/c2cc3c

is a Silphium flower. It's not. It is, in fact, an inflorescence, i.e. a collection of many flowers.

This:

Thumb of 2017-09-19/KentPfeiffer/8a6bc9

is a Silphium flower (actually two). None of which get anywhere near 3 to 4 inches in size.

Name: Deb
PNW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Fruit Growers Ferns Dragonflies
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Bonehead
Sep 19, 2017 7:15 AM CST
Oh my. The top photo is a flower and the bottom are petals in my world. I presume Kent is correct, but sheesh...
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
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Baja_Costero
Sep 19, 2017 8:18 AM CST
Yes, I would have thought a response to the original T mail would have been appropriate. Apparently it is optional to communicate with members why changes are made or rejected. Another example here.

The thread "Aloe humilis x needs a name change (couple of issues)" in Plant Database forum

Speaking as a user, this kind of treatment is quite off-putting, for what I would hope are obvious reasons.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Sep 19, 2017 8:44 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1550898 (5)
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Sep 19, 2017 8:24 AM CST
Pretty sure when the bride orders flowers for her bouquet, she is not going to be happy with #2. Hilarious!
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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dave
Sep 19, 2017 10:31 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

The admins are a very, very small group of people who have a huge amount of area to cover. They administer the entire database and they do it very well, taking their work seriously and being cautious with changes made. I have advised them to spend their time where it makes the most sense, and to not feel obligated to respond to every direct request.

So, if someone doesn't get a response to a tree mail they send to a specific admin, well, that's something that will happen from time to time.

Posting questions to this forum, on the other hand, pretty much guarantee a response of one kind or another. That's the action I always recommend; in fact I never recommend anyone tree mail an admin directly.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
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Baja_Costero
Sep 19, 2017 10:47 AM CST
For the record, I posted on the forums (see thread above) and never got a response from the admin who made the change. So no, the forums do not guarantee a response. In general the admins have been incredibly helpful and communicative. In this case the answer is no and the attitude seems to be that admin time is more valuable than user time. That is where the danger lies in my opinion. If that's the case, I'll just move along. That was precisely the problem with another plant web site I used to visit. So with full respect, and with my commentary relating to one admin only, radio silence is not really helpful when the request is straightforward and the answer is as simple as the one above.

Do you need more admins? I would volunteer.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Sep 19, 2017 11:55 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1551011 (8)
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plant Database Moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Garden Ideas: Level 2 Photo Contest Winner: 2017
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jmorth
Sep 19, 2017 10:56 AM CST
Our Mission
NGA promotes gardening by helping home gardeners succeed, growing in health, knowledge...
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plant Database Moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Garden Ideas: Level 2 Photo Contest Winner: 2017
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jmorth
Sep 19, 2017 2:09 PM CST
Respectfully...
Point above being how's one to increase knowledge if you're not informed (ie - why the rejection?)

and, I wonder who should inform all those sites listed above that they are so wrong?

It boils down to Is this site for home gardeners or only for professional botanists?

How'd this get in there? Apparently not all admins on the same page? regarding flower size definitions?
Sedum SunSparkler® Dazzleberry

Maybe I'm just a little too perturbed; I'll get over it. I personally spend a lot of time and research on bettering and increasing the site and the no response option was like a slap in the face.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Lin
East Central Florida (Zone 9b)

Region: United States of America Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Procrastinator
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plantladylin
Sep 20, 2017 3:54 PM CST
jmorth said: How'd this get in there? Apparently not all admins on the same page? regarding flower size definitions?
Sedum SunSparkler® Dazzleberry

Flower size 5"-6"? The entire cluster maybe but the blooms sure don't appear to be very large.

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Janine
NE Connecticut (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Seed Starter Herbs Plant and/or Seed Trader
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janinilulu
Sep 20, 2017 4:07 PM CST
Just looking around out of curiousity...haven't found anything stating that what I think are petals are actually flowers (yet).

http://www.illinoiswildflowers...

This particular site states: "The inflorescence is very tall and elongated, with yellow composite flowers about 3-4" across."
Name: Lin
East Central Florida (Zone 9b)

Region: United States of America 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 Houseplants
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plantladylin
Sep 20, 2017 4:13 PM CST
jmorth said:Maybe I'm just a little too perturbed; I'll get over it. I personally spend a lot of time and research on bettering and increasing the site and the no response option was like a slap in the face.

J, it took me awhile to get over having entire submissions rejected just because I entered a single item incorrectly (for instance, I'd enter tap root when the plant had a fibrous root system.) For a long time I felt like I was wasting a lot of my time researching and looking up information just to have it rejected because of the single incorrect item. I do realize that our administrators are trying to keep the database as accurate as possible but it was daunting to have an entire submission rejected because of one small error.

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Lin
East Central Florida (Zone 9b)

Region: United States of America 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 Houseplants
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plantladylin
Sep 20, 2017 4:56 PM CST
janinilulu said:Just looking around out of curiousity...haven't found anything stating that what I think are petals are actually flowers (yet). http://www.illinoiswildflowers... This particular site states: "The inflorescence is very tall and elongated, with yellow composite flowers about 3-4" across."


Regarding Silphium laciniatum; this site states "Scattered along the top half of the stout, sticky stem are 2 - 5 inch wide, yellow, radiate flowers. https://www.wildflower.org/pla...

MOBOT http://www.missouribotanicalga... states "Sunflower like flowers (to 5" wide) with yellow rays and yellow center disks."
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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joannakat
Sep 20, 2017 4:56 PM CST
I feel you jmorth. I recently, I think, had a post either be removed or moved. I only found out when I went to update it with promised information and couldn't find it. I wrote in to ask what happened and why, but have only received silence. It would be helpful to know if it was removed and why, or if it was moved and why--then I can avoid making the same mistake in the future. As it stands, I probably will because of the silence.

I'm newer to the site (2016), but feel the same way.
AKA Joey.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
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Australis
Sep 20, 2017 5:30 PM CST

Plants Admin

janinilulu said:Just looking around out of curiousity...haven't found anything stating that what I think are petals are actually flowers (yet).

http://www.illinoiswildflowers...

This particular site states: "The inflorescence is very tall and elongated, with yellow composite flowers about 3-4" across."


plantladylin said:Regarding Silphium laciniatum; this site states "Scattered along the top half of the stout, sticky stem are 2 - 5 inch wide, yellow, radiate flowers. https://www.wildflower.org/pla...

MOBOT http://www.missouribotanicalga... states "Sunflower like flowers (to 5" wide) with yellow rays and yellow center disks."


As Kent implied, Silphium flowers are composite flowers (same as Sunflowers). They are also known as false flowers or pseudanthiums and are made up of many tiny flowers/florets. Kent is correct in calling them a form of an inflorescence.

The pseudanthium itself can be quite large (i.e. think Sunflowers) but the individual florets themselves are quite small. The "petals" of a composite flower are typically also individual flowers, just a different form to those in the centre of the disc.

Hopefully I've helped to clear it up a bit.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars & Hybrids) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Reference Documents: Orchid Genera HTML PDF --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF XLSX --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Lilium 'Tiger Babies'.
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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joannakat
Sep 20, 2017 5:41 PM CST
Australis said:



As Kent implied, Silphium flowers are composite flowers (same as Sunflowers). They are also known as false flowers or pseudanthiums and are made up of many tiny flowers/florets. Kent is correct in calling them a form of an inflorescence.

The pseudanthium itself can be quite large (i.e. think Sunflowers) but the individual florets themselves are quite small. The "petals" of a composite flower are typically also individual flowers, just a different form to those in the centre of the disc.

Hopefully I've helped to clear it up a bit.


Interesting, I never knew that. I'm wondering how the flower size in this database description relates? Sunflower (Helianthus annuus 'American Giant')
AKA Joey.
Name: Deb
PNW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Fruit Growers Ferns Dragonflies
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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Bonehead
Sep 20, 2017 5:50 PM CST
This all seems a bit technical to me. From the perspective of an average home gardener, I am interested in how large the bloom will be - no matter if it is the actual flower or a group of inflorescences/florets. Maybe it could be clarified somewhere in the database whether the bloom is one or the other, and still let us common folk know how big the actual flowering part will be.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Sep 20, 2017 5:53 PM CST
Shouldn't this then apply to all such flowers in the database? For example Leucanthemum 'Becky' is shown in the database as having flowers 3-4", which is the size generally given (Mobot as an example) for the size of the "flower head"?
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
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Australis
Sep 20, 2017 6:12 PM CST

Plants Admin

There does seem to be some inconsistency in the database. Seems that there is room for improvement there - we certainly can't have some composite flowers measured based on the "flowerhead" and others based on the individual florets. Thanks for pointing it out. I'll raise this with Dave and the other admins.

I have also raised the "radio silence" issue internally with the admin group, as we certainly don't want to discourage members from contributing or make them feel that the admins are unapproachable. Some thought may be required to work out how best to balance the need for clear communication with the admins' workload.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars & Hybrids) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Reference Documents: Orchid Genera HTML PDF --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF XLSX --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Lilium 'Tiger Babies'.

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