Plant ID

If you have a cactus plant and need help identifying it, this is the place to post it.
Posts: 1198
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 2:57 pm
Location: Leeds, England

Plant ID

Post by templegatejohn »

Hi Everybody,

Just a few suggestions for those who like to put up their plants on the CactiForum for what will hopefully be correct indentification by other members.

1. Obviously a photograph is essential, two if possible. One from a side angle and one from overhead. Take the photograph as close as possible to the plant, but ensure all of the plant is in the picture.

2. Not always possible I know, but a picture of the flower will sometimes make all the difference to whether your plant can be identified or not. I appreciate that sometimes it will be the wrong time of the year, or the plant has not yet flowered for you.

3. Try to give an indication of the size of the plant. This does not have to be done with a micrometer, even a guess (about 5in. diameter, 4 in. high) is better than nothing.

4. Please be patient. Although nothing may appear on the Forum for a while, there are probably several members beavering away in the background, attempting to come up with an answer for you.

5. Why are there sometimes several different answers for the same plant? Well members will always give it their best shot as to the ID of the plant, but many cacti closely resemble one another. If there are two or three different opinions, more than likely one of those will be correct, and it is then down to the owner of the plant to sift through the options given using the appropriate material, (the web, books, or any other information available to them) to come up with their own conclusions as to an ID. After all they have the major advantage of having the plant in front of them.

6. We have earned a good reputation as a helpful, knowledgeable and courteous group of enthusiasts (something that is not true about all websites) Let's keep it that way and continue to share our knowledge and enthusiasm.
Site Admin
Posts: 23627
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Long Prairie, MN

Post by daiv »

Recently there was some discussion about members guessing at identification. I want to clarify some things for future posts...

I've been giving this some thought and have come to the conclusion that we don't want to do anything to discourage attempts at identification.


I've read every post over the 3 years that this forum has been operating. What I've observed is that "tossing up" an ID has been invariably been more helpful than not. This is because it promotes discussion as well as keeping the post active and it also provides leads to the person requesting the ID. **Everyone who gets an ID here should go on to verify the suggestions offered. After all, they have the whole plant to look at and not just pictures.

So I want to encourage everyone to continue taking a stab at identifications here and don't hold back because you aren't 100% or even 50% positive on the ID. Typically we get the genus right and it is the species that we struggle with. Time has proven that we don't have anyone looking at a ball-shaped cactus saying, "It looks like an Opuntia to me!" And even if we did, someone would correct them immediately.

Lastly, remember it often helps to state what something isn't. If you see fuzzy buds on some little cactus that otherwise looks very much like a Gymnocalycium, it can be helpful to say -"That is not a Gymnocalycium for sure because it has fuzzy buds."
All Cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are Cacti