Help and manuals

Rules for the design of descriptions for plant and lichen photos

online plant identification guide
Photos of plants and lichens

Each image of a plant uploaded to the "Plantarium" must be accompanied by a caption that

  • informs users about the shown object and, if necessary, focuses on important details;
  • helps search engines index pages with images, which increases the likelihood of photos being found by interested people.

All project participants can edit the original author's descriptions for photos so that they better describe the depicted objects, meet the standards of the literary Russian language and comply with the rules set out below.

What should contain the description for picture of plant or lichen

The description have to answer three basic questions: what, where and when was photographed and provides information in the following order:

[object description] [shooting place, habitat] [shooting time]

Object description ("What is photographed?")

When illustrating some taxon most often we are dealing with three types of plots representing

  • whole plants or lichens,
  • their parts or organs,
  • landscapes or plant communities with significant participation of individuals of that species.

If the photo shows the whole plant, then its phenological, age or vital state should be noted. For example:

  • Flowering plant. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • Plant finishing flowering. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • Plant with fruits. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • Plant with sporangiums. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • Young sprout. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • Plant grown in full shade. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].

The fragment of a plant/lichen shown in the photo should be correctly described (note: "a branch with flowers" and "a flowering plant" are not the same thing at all!). For example:

  • Part of the stem. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • The shoot with inflorescences. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • The branch with flowers. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • Flower. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].

The special condition of the individula and the feeding animals also deserve a mention in the description. For example:

  • Flower in dew drops. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • The shoot with gall. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • Inflorescence damaged by smut fungus. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • Leaves damaged by phytophages. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • Flower with a feeding butterfly. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • Inflorescence with hunting flower spider. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].

It is also possible to indicate features specific to the species. For example:

  • Fruit; specific for the species stamens remaining with fruits are visible. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • Stem leaves (specific form of leaf blade margin is visible). [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].

If the whole plant/lichen is visible, then you can indicate in which habitat or plant community it was photographed. For example:

  • Plant in broad-leaf forest. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • Flowering plant in the steppe. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • A fruiting plant in a crevice of a limestone rock. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • Plant with sporangiums on mossy deadwood. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].

Please note that if the photo shows only part of the plant, it is better to characterize the habitat after geographic information as part of the description of the shooting location (see below). A phrase like "Fruits in the steppe" can be interpreted as "fruits lying in the steppe", and not as "fruits on a plant growing in the steppe".

If the photo shows a landscape or plant community dominated by a species, then it is desirable to name it. It is also possible to indicate the special state of the community. For example:

  • Feather grass steppe. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • Mixed forest with dominance of goutweed. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • Shrub-sphagnum pine forest with fruit-bearing cottongrass aspect. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].
  • Young pine forest. [shooting place, habitat]. [shooting time].

The shooting place ("Where is photographed?")

For photographs with images of plants and lichens, information about the area where the photograph was taken (including its geographical location and the characteristics of the environment), is essential. This data also extremely important for indentification of photograped taxon.

So description have to include information on

  1. geographic location and
  2. habitat (landscape, vegetation, soil conditions etc.).

The shooting location should be described from general to specific, starting from the geographical location (administrative or physical-geographical region) and ending with the characteristics of the habitat (forest, meadow, seashore, etc.); such order allows viewers to quickly orient yourself.

Description elements should form a chain starting with a high-level region and including subordinate regions. If the photo was taken in Russia, the description of the administrative position should begin with the region, territory or republic. If the photo was taken outside of Russia, the description of the shooting location should begin with the name of the state.

Parts of the description of the shooting location have to be separated with commas (similar to how it is done when describing a postal address): this makes it easier to read and understand the information. For example:

  • [object description]. Leningrad region, Gatchina district, grassy swamp on limestone. [shooting time].
  • [object description]. Belarus, Vitebsk region, Gorodok district, near Surmino village, dry shrub-lichen pine forest. [shooting time].
  • [object description]. Altai, eastern slope of Mount Belukha, rocky alpine meadow. [shooting time].

If the plant is artificially grown, add "in cultivation" to the end of the location description. For example:

  • [object description]. St. Petersburg, Botanical Garden of Komarov Botanical Institute, in cultivation. [shooting time].

If the plant (seeds, bulbs, etc.) is taken from nature, then it is worth indicating the place where the sample was collected. For example:

  • [object description]. St. Petersburg, Botanical Garden of Komarov Botanical Institute, in cultivation; origin: Kola Peninsula, Khibiny, Mount Kukisvumchorr, tundra belt. [shooting time].
  • [object description]. Kazakhstan, South Kazakhstan region, introduction nursery; origin: Southern Altai, west. spurs of the Kurchum ridge. [shooting time].

In the description, generally accepted abbreviations should be used (see list). Try to formulate the description of the place so that the sentence does not begin with an abbreviation. Avoid using rare abbreviations used only in a narrow professional circle!

It is undesirable to alternate administrative and physical-geographical objects in the description: this makes it difficult to perceive information, forcing you to switch between different zoning systems. However, you can reference both types of objects by grouping them into two parts separated by a semicolon (";"). For example:

  • [object description]. Murmansk region, Kirovsky district; Kola Peninsula, Khibiny, west. slope of the Kukisvumchorr massif, rubble scree. [shooting time].
  • [object description]. Leningrad region, Volosovsky district; Izhora plateau, floodplain of the Oredezh river, damp sedge meadow. [shooting time].

If the photo clearly shows the landscape or plant community surrounding the plant, or the subject of the image is the appearance of the community with the dominance of plants of this species, then it is better to move the characteristic of the habitat from the description of the shooting location to the first part of the description. For example:

  • A young plant in a sphagnum bog. Karelia, Petrozavodsk district. [shooting time].
  • Thickets on a forb meadow in a high floodplain. Leningrad region, Luga district, valley of the Luga river. [shooting time].
  • Aspect of flowering plants in a fresh upland oak forest. Belgorod region, near Borisovka settlement, "Forest on Vorskla" reserve. [shooting time].

The shooting time ("When was the photo taken?")

The description of photo have to be finished with information about the time of shooting. It can be useful both for those who want to see this plant in a certain (for example, flowering) state, and for scientists who study the characteristics of the species.

Use one of the two commonly used formats used in Russia ("DD.MM.YYYY" and "DD month YYYY") to indicate the date the photo was taken. For example:

  • [object description]. [shooting place, habitat]. 28.08.2008.
  • [object description]. [shooting place, habitat]. 28 August 2008.

If you do not know the exact date of the survey or do not want to give it, you can use the terms "beginning", "middle" and "end" of the month (corresponding to the first, second and third decades). In extreme cases, you can limit yourself to indicating the month (but this is extremely scarce information) and even omit the year. For example:

  • [object description]. [shooting place, habitat]. End of August 2008.
  • [object description]. [shooting place, habitat]. Third decade of August 2008.
  • [object description]. [shooting place, habitat]. August of 2008.
  • [object description]. [shooting place, habitat]. August.

It is advisable to indicate the shooting time as a separate sentence, be sure to end it with a dot. However, if the location information is very brief, you can combine geographic information and the date into one sentence. For example:

  • [object description]. Neighborhood of St. Petersburg, July.
  • [object description]. Leningrad region, end of August.

What have not to be included in description of plant/lichen photos

It is not recommended to include the following information in descriptions:

  • No need to mention the name of taxon in the text, because it will be added to the caption of page automatically. The exception is when the meaning of the phrase requires it.
  • Do not specify the size of organs that are not visible in the photo. Also, do not describe features that are not in the image. General information about the features of the plant/lichen taxon, essential for its identification in the field, should be placed in the "Distinctive features" section.
  • Do not include information in the description that is not required by these rules. All additional information that is not directly related to the plot of the picture, but may be useful for identifying an unidentified plant/lichen, should be written on the forum, opening the discussion of the uploaded photo.

Examples of descriptions for photos of plants/lichens

  • Branch with fruits. Leningrad region, Luga district, valley of the Luga river, floodplain elm forest with ostrich fern. 30.08.2008.
  • Flowering plant. St. Petersburg, Botanical Garden of Komarov Botanical Institute, in cultivation. 23 August of 2014.
  • Fruiting plant in steppe. Belgorod region, near Borisovka settlement, gulch Ostrasyev Yar. Beginning of July 2007.
  • Shoot with inflorescence. Murmansk region, Kirovsky district, near Kirovsk; Khibiny, Mount Kukisvumchorr, scree. 20.06.2008.
  • Mountain meadow steppe with the aspect of flowering plants. Crimea, the lower plateau of Chatyrdag. July of 2008.

You can also see the descriptions for the already uploaded photos of plants and lichens (click next to the "preview"). Usually they have already been checked and comply with the above rules.

Top.Mail.Ru Feedback To the top