Plant Database forum: Flower size, inflorescence type data changes

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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Sep 22, 2017 8:02 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

After conferring with the plants admins, we have decided to make the following changes to the data details in the database:

1) "Flower Size" has been changed to "Bloom Size", and will reflect the size of the entire ornamental structure that is commonly called a "flower". So composites like sunflowers can now show the entire width of the bloom in that field.

2) The data checkboxes for inflorescence type has been simply removed from the database.
Name: Lauri
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lauribob
Sep 22, 2017 9:00 AM CST
Thanks Dave! Perfect solution for us gardeners who are not botanists and just want to know how big the flower is.

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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Sep 22, 2017 9:39 AM CST
Good resolution! The comment section may be a good spot to provide additional botanical information if a person is so inclined.
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Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

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plantladylin
Sep 22, 2017 9:47 AM CST
I will miss the data regarding inflorescence type. I wonder if submissions will be rejected if one puts 1" for flowers that appear in a large cluster of say 8 or 10 inches?
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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Deer Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
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Bonehead
Sep 22, 2017 9:51 AM CST
It sounds like it will, Lin. But why not simply add a comment that the bloom is made up of a cluster of 1" true flowers, which is an educational comment that I (personally) would be interested in. I've always been mystified by the choices of inflorescence types - but would certainly welcome information in the comments that might explain that as well.
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Name: Lauri
N Central Wash. - the dry side (Zone 5b)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Enjoys or suffers cold winters Greenhouse Foliage Fan Vegetable Grower Organic Gardener
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lauribob
Sep 22, 2017 10:04 AM CST
I was always unsure of the different inflorescence types and usually left it blank unless I found a definite answer in my searches while looking up a data proposal. I agree that the comments section is a great place for further information of any kind about the plant. I like the interactive nature of the comment section where a person can reply to ask for clarification or comment on another person's input.
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Sep 22, 2017 10:58 AM CST
So, while this may work for most of you, for many of us who grow plants with giant inflorescences like Agaves for example, but also yuccas, some Aloes and many other plants that do not have relatively simple 'blooms', not having an entry where details regarding the inflorescence can be provided is a pretty big deal as it is a significant part of what goes into plant identification.

Why did that have to go? Makes no sense, the composite flower issue was more or less solved with the change to bloom size?

And when it comes to completeness of plant information for many of us it might actually be important to know when a plant has a composite bloom - it is an important distinguishing feature. Seems like by trying to fix something that is an actual real life important part of a large family of plants the database took a huge number of steps back...

Just my 2 cents.
Name: Joshua
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Australis
Sep 22, 2017 5:26 PM CST

Plants Admin

We did have a discussion over the inflorescence field and there were a number of comments over it being particularly error-prone. Whilst loss of precision is not ideal, at the moment removing the field was the simplest solution. Someday we may reassess this, as it would certainly be nice to have that data.
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