It has been seen that several members, especially the new ones, do not provide any information accompanying the photographs for ID. It as such becomes very difficult for identify the plants, because in a country like India with diverse climatic conditions, the distribution of plants is often specific in different places. We may have to consider just 500-1000 plants when we know the place but with no details, we may have to sort from no less than 20,000 plants of Indian Flora. The things can become even more difficult (as Satish Phadke ji has pointed out) when friends upload plants from other parts of the world (we have seen many plants from California, Muscat, Oman, Germany,etc. in the recent months) and we have to consider all plus 2,60,000 plants.
Some members have often complained that they find format complicated, because they are non-botanists. I hope every member, botanist or non-botanist can provide this simple but useful information without any problem.
1. Place of photography (town, city, state)
2. Approximate altitude (we should always have information about the place from net, mile posts, display boards, etc.), as it helps a lot in understanding plant
3. Habit: Herb (plant soft, broken easily), Shrub (plant woody, no trunk), Tree (woody, with distinct trunk), climber, etc.
4. Habitat: Growing wild or cultivated, growing on land, marshes, water, roadsides, wastelands, etc.
5. Height of plant
6. Size of leaves, especially basal and middle leaves
7. Size of flower (length, diameter).
Although other details are also important (type of leaves and their phyllotaxy, presence or absence of bracts, length of pedicel (flower stalk), calyx characters, petal length, number of stamens and carpels, type and size of fruit), but these can be made out by the experts if the photographs are properly taken:
1. Photograph of twig from side so that leaves and flowers are clearly visible.
2. close up of the flower from side to that its insertion on the axis is clearly visible (expert would know about the bract, pedicel, calyx, calyx-corolla relation, etc. from this)
3. close up of flower from top so that petals, stamens and carpels are clearly visible (expert may be able to make out about stamens and carpels)
PLEASE INCLUDE THE NAME OF PLACE IN SUBJECT LINE FOR BOTH IDENTIFIED PLANTS AND FOR PLANTS FOR ID
Digital photography has an inherent problem that when we have photographs with different magnications we may tend to forget the exact size of plant parts. A scale may not always be handy in the field and often cumbersome to use, I have found a new convenient way to keep record of size. I photograph some of these keeping on my fingers, palm, nail. This always helps me to to judge size later on. We may not upload these photographs but these can always be used for taking notes of sizes of plant parts. Here are a few sample photographs.
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