Since we are coming across plants from different parts of India and some even from outside, it is advisable that mails containing identified or plants meant for identification should have the place of photography in the subject line. For members sharing photographs of their identified plants, any additional information shared by the author (author citations, synonyms, local names, description or any other useful information) is a bonus. Let us not ask the person to provide additional information. If a person is sharing identified plants it is understood that he has checked with reliable sources. If any of us has any doubt, let us do our homework and spell out our doubts, and not insist upon the author to provide us this or that information. Frankly it can be irritating for a person who is sharing his valuable information with you. We should feel lucky to get it as a bonus.
As far as the plants meant for identification is concerned, the person uploading the photographs should provide a unique subject line consisting of unique code ddmmyyyy+your initials+your post number for the day. Supposing I upload my third plant for ID today from Delhi, the subject line would be "14102011GS3 a plant (or herb/shrub/tree/garden plant, etc) for ID from Delhi". This will ensure that threads don't get mixed up. The person should provide as much information as possible as per the prescribed format, but these things are essential: place, altitude if known, habitat (wild/cultivated/weed of fields/roadside/aquatic/wasteland), habit (herb/shrub/tree/climber), approximate size/height, size of leaves, diameter of flower and inflorescence, length of flower and inflorescence, colour of flower, fruit size.
Besides the Plant for identification should have at least three photographs for better identification: a photograph of twig so that leaves (especially position and type), flower/inflorescence are visible, a close up of side of flower from side so that bract (if present), pedicel (if present), calyx and corolla are visible, and a close up from top to see diameter, petals, stamens and carpels. A fruit photograph additionally should help a lot.
As we have seen recently, the most convenient way to keep a record of the size (flower, leaf, fruit, etc) is to keep it on your fingers and photograph. This will help a lot in future to compile information about sizes.
Dr. Gurcharan Singh
Retired Associate Professor
SGTB Khalsa College, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007
Res: 932 Anand Kunj, Vikas Puri, New Delhi-110018.
Phone: 011-25518297 Mob: 9810359089