Commons:WikiProject Plants

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This WikiProject aims primarily to document in photograph, sound and video all species of plantae. For this, we need a taxonomy. There is a project wikispecies, and I suggest we adhere to that taxonomy as much as possible.

There are about 300.000 species of plants, and it sounds impractical, but I suggest our aim is to describe them all.

This WikiProject descends from commons:WikiProject Tree of Life.

Of course we already added a large amount of photos and illustrations on plants, but this project might help to establish common quality wishes (what do we aim for?), and as a place to exchange ideas and suggestions.

Article titles and common names[edit]

The scientific name should be used wherever possible. Even if there are generally accepted english names, remember that this is an international project. Note that

  • Names of genera are always italicized and capitalized: Butia, Rosa, Santalum.
  • Species epithets are always italicized and preceded by the name of the genus Magnolia virginiana (the shorthand M. virginiana should preferably be avoided), and never plain virginiana, since such identifiers need not be unique. They are never capitalized.
  • Names of higher taxa are capitalized but not italicized: Fagaceae, Rosales, Plantae.


Major groups should be given their own categories. When possible, these should use the scientific name. In general, only articles about major subgroups should be added, and more specific articles should be included in subcategories. However, when there are only a few articles about members of the group, they can all go directly into the main category. Use your judgement on when to split, aiming for an approximate category size of 10-200 articles.

Note that in addition to taxa, categories may also contain informal subgroups. For instance :


Discussing strategies & organization. (and collecting stuff, of course)


Of the several types of media (photos, drawings, video and sound) photos and drawings are most apt for plantae.

Ideally, of every plant the plant in several stages of growth, the flower, calyx, petals and sepals, leaves, seedpods and seeds should be photograhped and drawn. For trees, the bark should be added.



  • Stock.xchng - thousands of photos (e.g. over 9,000 in category 'animals', over 7,600 in category 'plants'), mostly free use ({{PD}} {{Copyrightedfreeuse}} - only use {{PD}} if it is explicitly stated); many un-named, but a good source for those able to identify the pics
  • : Crowdsourced citizen science project. Offers free licensing as well. (compresses images)
  • : Freely licensed crowdsourced plant photos with identification. (compresses images too much)


Requests can be made and found at Commons:Picture requests#Plants

Sister WikiProjects[edit]

(not all exist already)


  • User:TeunSpaans Initiator. Contributing Plantae from the Netherlands and occasionally Germany and Belgium.
  • User:LinneausHoff on WikiSpecies
  • User:WayneRay Working on photo cleanups regarding duplicates, illustrations and new species articles. Also uploading Botanical photos from Windfield Photographic Collection and Archives.
  • Snottygobble Australian flora, especially Proteaceae, especially Banksia.
  • User:Ayacop has been doing old book pages uploads, and moving pics into articles with taxonomic info. Is now writing a bot to help with this.
  • MPF. Special expertise in conifers, trees and other plants more generally.
  • Stan Shebs Wilds of Western North America, also extensive "cheating" by walking through botanical gardens. (18,000 taxa at UCBG alone, they say...) And some roses, just for fun.
  • Giancarlo Dessì. I can contribute with cultivations, plants and environment of Sardinia (Italy), but I am not very expert.
  • secar one. just starting to build up fossil forest - fossil plant knowledge / palaeobotany.
  • User:Wsiegmund Contributing Plantae from British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California.
  • Juan de Vojníkov - I can help sorting. Interested in phytogeography, plant tissue culture (may take a pictures) and agriculture. Still not having own camera:(
  • SB_Johnny I go through the unidentified photos when I get a chance, and can delete/rename upon request.
  • Andrew massyn. South African Plants. Esp. Cape Floral Kingdom.
  • User:Marco Schmidt. mainly South and West African Plants
  • User:Lankiveil mainly plants growing in subtropical eastern Australia

Sample articles[edit]

None yet.


Structure of subcategories in categories of plants[edit]

Thanks to your participation! We have to store it somewhere, so, I place result of disscusion here:

after space

(leaves) (flowers) (fruit) (seeds) (buds) (roots) (rhizomes) (stem) (bark) (wood) (seedlings) (thorns) (decaying)

after * (asterisk)

Animals with X
(cultivars) (cultivated) (by country) (non native) (habitat) (diseases and disorders)

after . (dot)

Uses of X/X as food/X as dye/etc
(illustrations) (herbarium specimens) (in art)/(on stamps) (microscopic images) (maps) (low quality) 

In standard/short form (illustrations) not (botanical illustrations) and (maps) not (range maps) or sth else. The most influenced change concerns categories 'close ups of flowers', coz why not close ups of fruits, bark, etc. It can be described in short form, so it should be used in such form. And standardization for 'fruits' - as a botanical term it is plural noun. For further decision relationship of subcategories by country/non native. Kenraiz ([[User talk:|talk]]) 11:42, 27 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Where I find the discussion and decision for changing the existing structures of terms, links, categories and articles. Thanks. Orchi (talk) 11:31, 31 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Truth is, I don't understand what this is about. About sortkeys? Structure is not a clear word.
Regards Liné1 (talk) 12:07, 31 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Salicyna, Kenraiz, Liné1, and Orchi: - please note the word you want is 'fruit'; one fruit, two fruit, a bowl of fruit: there is no 's' in the plural in English. Thanks! - MPF (talk) 01:02, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Salicyna, Kenraiz, Liné1, and Orchi: - also subcategory structure: it is important to separate cultivated from wild first, ahead of any other subdivision by part of plant, so that wild specimens, and non-native / cultivated specimens, are never mixed together in the same category. Additionally, any subcategory including wild specimens should include the Taxonavigation box, while categories with non-native / cultivated specimens should not. This is so that external users (like Encyclopedia of Life) that harvest Commons images by the Taxonavigation do not lose access to the botanically important wild images. Thanks! - MPF (talk) 01:02, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@MPF, Liné1, and Orchi: – Fruit has no plural form when it means sweet and fleshy product of a tree which can be eaten; but as a botanical term it has plural form – fruits (see examples: [1]: leaves, flowers, roots and fruits). Kenraiz (talk) 09:15, 5 January 2018 (UTC) [edit: we (me and Salicyna) are not native English-speaking people, so we are open on suggestions..., we noteced also differences between Category:Fruit and Category:Fruits ]Reply[reply]
@Salicyna, Kenraiz, Liné1, and Orchi: - I am en-N ;-) and to me, "Category:Genus species (fruit)" is right, while "Category:Genus species (fruits)" just looks strange and quaint - not seriously wrong, but 'what one sees from people not fully immersed in the English language' (like "sheeps"!). 'Fruit' without an -s is also the standard in botanical textbooks, a typical species description will read: "twigs brown ..., buds acutely pointed, ..., leaves ovate ..., flowers yellow with 5 petals ..., fruit green ripening purple, ...": note '-s' for everything except fruit (and, obviously, bark). MPF (talk) 13:32, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@MPF: We have checked it again in books, on the Internet and have to agree with you. We were misled also coz (fruit as a botanical term has plural form 'fruits') – but it is not reliable source... Kenraiz (talk) 15:27, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@MPF, Liné1, and Orchi: – Categorization of morphology of plants: why do you think that cultivated and growing in wild plant of the same species (except cultivars) are different? If you want to find picture of flower, leaf or fruit of specific taxon it does not matter where it grows. Making two categories trees of morphological parts of plants (growing in wild and cultivated) has no sense. Morphological and geographical criteria are independent. The same problem is with taxonomical status of taxa. The species/subspecies/form/ are the same taxa both in wild and in cultivation. Kenraiz (talk) 09:15, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Salicyna, Kenraiz, Liné1, and Orchi: - Foliage, flowers, fruit, etc., are influenced by environmental factors as well as genetics; they can often be smaller, or larger, on cultivated plants than on plants in the wild, due to different growing conditions. Some odd things remain unexplained, e.g., why is the bark on all cultivated Araucaria araucana very different pattern (example) to that on all wild trees (example)? Also cultivated material (even in botanical collections) is surprisingly often mislabelled. And most importantly, it makes mapping results worthless, by contaminating the distribution generated with non-relevant locations from cultivated specimens. - MPF (talk) 13:32, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@MPF: Again I have to agree, that plants cultivated are somehow different from wild one – usually they are in better condition, more dense, greener, less damaged by animals and other factors. But the detailed pics of leaves, flowers, fruit still are representative for the taxa (often except cultivars and subtaxa, but their otherness always is within specific variability). Errors in the designation are often both in pics taken in wild and in gardens... Only the last reason seems to us important/logical, but still we think that utility of morphological categorization is more important. The solution of the problem should be independent morphological and geographical categorization. Now the latter is often a mess and there is no standards: (cultivated only or in general) by country/ non-native/ invasive (often in the same taxa). And most important: usage of pics from Commons to show distribution needs more caution and should not be done automatically. Pics from Commons very often have no geographical information or very general and often there is no information on status of plant (cultivated, introduced, native). Kenraiz (talk) 15:27, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Botanical illustrations/Illustrations or sth else?[edit]

@Josve05a: @Kenraiz: @Liné1: @Kersti Nebelsiek: @MPF: @Orchi: @Pigsonthewing: @Salicyna: @Themightyquill: (alphabetical)
I suggest to continue this discussion here: Commons:WikiProject Plants
with the following discussions also:

Orchi (talk) 18:14, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Strong support for form: "Taxon name (illustrations)" within Category:Botanical illustrations by taxon (this one preserved). Such solution would be: 1) compatible with similar categories in other part of Commons (for example Category:Branta bernicla (illustrations) and rest of animals); 2) shorter; 3) more compatible with content – sometime we have not only 'botanical' (in meaning – scientific) illustrations – we have quite lot illustrations made by users; 4) logical – in a different sense – all illustrations of plants are botanical... Kenraiz (talk) 18:34, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strong against “taxon name (illustrations)“. Among "botanical illustrations" until now are only pictures and tablets from scientific books such as e.g. first descriptions, etc. Pictures on stamps, caricatures, etc. are not yet represented here. Then produce instead of "botanical illustrations“ the more detailed form “taxon name (illustrations from scientific books)“ or similar.Orchi (talk) 19:04, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So, where we would collect such illustrations like File:Floral diagram -- Pyrus communis.svg? In case Category:Flower diagrams of orchids I see that none of these pictures is in taxon category... In consequence of your proposal we would need another category for others illustrations (illustrations not from scientific books/diagrams?). The change of names of categories ('botanical illustrations' → 'illustrations') would not have change their range/scope. There would be still mainly illustrations from scientific books, but very rarely we could put there also sth from another source. More general name in categorization is better than too much specific/detailed. Kenraiz (talk) 20:52, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Of course plants in arts (mainly on stamps) would be categorized as usually. Kenraiz (talk) 20:59, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
...the pictures of Category:Flower diagrams of orchids are in the taxon cats and an additional special cat. Orchi (talk) 21:17, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agree with Kenraiz, the simpler the better; include all illustrations in a single category Genus species (illustrations), until it is full (200 files) or nearly full, then subdivide further as need be. Note that the format "Genus species (illustrations)" has been around a lot longer than the format "Genus species - botanical illustrations", so has usage priority. - MPF (talk) 21:32, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For more general subcategorisation, I'll draw a flow chart to show my ideas for the ideal; might be 2 or 3 days till I can get it finished! - MPF (talk) 21:32, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, let's wait in such case. When it will be ready we should ping other active plant-photo-users. We both with Salicyna are interested and ready to spend lot of time (if needed) in inducting standard. Kenraiz (talk) 21:50, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]