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[aroid-l] Photography for IDs

  • Subject: [aroid-l] Photography for IDs
  • From: Ted.Held@hstna.com
  • Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 12:09:31 -0400

Just to add to Julius's remarks a few days back, it is always a good idea
to include a
small ruler in your photo for size reference. That way you can tell for
sure if that spadix is 2 cm or 20 cm high.

Keep in mind that plants are difficult to photograph if your intent is to
convey ID features. You usually need to
make several pictures to capture all the interesting points. First pick out
a representative specimen with a mature inflorescence. Then make a photo of
the whole plant, another of the complete inflorescence (best) after
removing it from the plant, and then one or more of the same inflorescence
dissected to show the various parts. Include the ruler in every picture, in
focus, near the feature of interest.

Once you have all these Julius (or the others mentioned) will be able to ID
it, if it is a known plant.

The main trouble I have had with field specimens is that they are not in a
mature flower state (or even without flowers) when I happen across them. A
lot are also in pretty shabby shape as they have suffered all the
tribulations of life in the wild. This can distort their growth and make
IDs difficult. Try to find the best, most representative plant for your

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