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Regarding this question: Help identifying the following plants, it seems like we should set a meta precedent for dealing with such posts should they arise in the future.

Update

The question was moved to gardening where it gained no new responses and little activity. Perhaps we should re-evaluate our stance?

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  • $\begingroup$ Species identification doesn't really work with the stackexchange format at all as all of the questions are the same title, with different images/descriptions. It is impossible to search for duplicates of your own question before asking, nor can anyone google into a QA to help future people with the same question... $\endgroup$ – Troyseph Jun 14 '16 at 13:30
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I agree they aren't a good fit for our site, but they are a worse fit for gardening.SE. The gardening FAQ states:

If your question is about:

  • general care and feeding of plants
  • identification, diagnosis or management of plant diseases, pests, or weeds

The question was nothing to do with plant diseases, pests or weeds. It was about wild plants, which are (within botany) the opposite of gardening. The only really good fit among SE would be the proposed Botany.SE, whose stated purpose is identification of wild plants.

I propose that we close wild species identification questions as off-topic to avoid diluting the question pool. If a better option becomes available later, we can reassess. If questions are genuinely suited for gardening (i.e. involve identifying cultivated species, pests or weeds), then by all means send them across, but we are harming their site by sending them off-topic questions.

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I think it would be better to make a SE proposal for species identification only, and for now allow this kind of questions. Species identification is also part of biology so it isn't offtopic and by now we can't complain about too many questions on this site.

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    $\begingroup$ I agree with this. Taxonomy is a very well established field in Biology. If plant taxonomy is off-topic, where does animal taxonomy go? etc. $\endgroup$ – S. Albano Oct 11 '12 at 7:00
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    $\begingroup$ Was this proposal ever made? I was recently added to a facebook group that specializes in plant identification but I happen to hate facebook and I love SE. $\endgroup$ – billynoah Aug 15 '16 at 1:17
  • $\begingroup$ Please visit this one: meta.biology.stackexchange.com/questions/3475/… $\endgroup$ – Always Confused Sep 18 '16 at 15:26
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After discussing that particular question with the Gardening mods, they agreed to take it from our hands. I think we did a really good job in answering it, however I don't believe that it is a good fit for our site. More specifically, I believe it is a much better fit for gardening.

Frequently Asked Questions: What kind of questions can I ask here?

This site is for professional and amateur gardeners and landscapers to ask questions about the care and maintenance of gardens and landscapes.

If your question is about:

  • general care and feeding of plants
  • identification, diagnosis or management of plant diseases, pests, or weeds
  • plant recommendations
  • garden or landscape planning and layout

Though the moderators were a little cautious about professing to be able to identify obscure non-garden plants, I still feel it is more in the spirit of their site than ours.

Assuming that it doesn't get bounced back to us with no further answers, I propose that all future plant identification questions are better suited to Gardening.SE and are off-topic voted here.

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I have thought about this, and here are my conclusions.

The problem with the question was not that it is off-topic. It was both overly broad with the list of plants, and there was not enough information to answer the question confidently. It should have been closed as "Not a Real Question", and the OP should perhaps have been prompted to break it up into individual questions, and to provide additional information to allow a taxonomist to identify the plants.

Plant identification, and species identification questions fall clearly under taxonomy, so until there is a site dedicated to taxonomy they should not be migrated, as stated by Marta Cz-C.

Unless they are directly related to gardening (pests, weeds, etc.) it should not be migrated there. I agree with Richard Smith that sending questions to gardening that are off-topic for them (or worse) is harmful to their site.

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