Template talk:Plant common name/doc

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Regarding format for these pages, what about including some distinguishing qualities, such as distribution or leaf shape, so that a reader with a certain plant in mind could identify which link to pursue? ENeville (talk) 16:34, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

That's an idea. Unfortunately, distribution of the plant is likely to be misleading. Do you mean distribution of the common name? That requires reliable sources, often not available, and certainly not usual in a dab or set index page. Characters are better, but which ones? Flowers? What if the reader does not have a specimen in flower? Leaf shape? Leaf shape is almost useless, especially for herbaceous plants. Very technical characters are so unfamiliar that many readers will have difficulty recognizing them, or even seeing them. On the whole I think the reader who wants to identify a plant is better off examining each entry on the page. --Una Smith (talk) 19:32, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Doesn't the scientific name give the reader enough information to decide which entry they want? --Una Smith (talk) 19:33, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Something like "a tropical tree", "a widely cultivated plant", "a plant in the family XXX", etc, could generally be helpful. This is basically in accord with "The description associated with a link should be kept to a minimum, just sufficient to allow the reader to find the correct link." at Wikipedia:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages). Kingdon (talk) 00:55, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
That's what I was thinking. For instance, Irish moss, wherein a reader might have reasonable knowledge of a plant through direct experience (nature, commerce, etc.) but the binomial is opaque as an isolated attribute. And the barest description would facilitate access to the desired article. ENeville (talk) 16:32, 18 July 2009 (UTC)