Q. What pictures does NYBG need to see to identify a plant?
Plant identification is frequently based on experiential imprinting -- recognizing it because we've seen it before. Given the number of plant species globally and the even greater number of cultivars and hybrids in cultivation, it is impossible for anyone at NYBG to actually see or learn, let alone remember, everything. Fortunately, plant identification can also be based on diagnosis.
A few, well-shot photographs are usually our best resource for making an identification. Sometimes we need to ask for additional views of a surprising part of the plant to differentiate between similar species or cultivars. But a good start for getting the identification you are looking for is to send a few clear photographs of the most commonly telling parts of a plant.
Please refer to our guide Photographing Plants for Identification for information on the plant features you should consider photographing, help in getting the most useful image and additional information to include with your request.
Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service
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