HARDLY ANYBODY IS TAUGHT HOW TO IDENTIFY PLANTS THESE DAYS.  DESPITE STUDYING FOR A DEGREE IN BOTANY, Chris WASN’T! MOST PEOPLE, WITH A COMPLETELY ‘UN-TRAINED’ EYE, RESORT TO TRYING TO ‘MATCH’ THEIR SPECIMEN WITH JUST A SINGLE IMAGE IN A BOOK OR FOLLOW SIMPLISTICALLY A KEY.  OFTEN FAILING TO CHECK PROPERLY EVEN BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE PLANT THEY THINK THEY HAVE ‘IDENTIFIED’.
THEY SELDOM ‘CHECK’ DETAILS.  DOES THEIR IDENTIFICATION MAKE SENSE?  FEW PEOPLE KNOW WHICH PARTS OF THE PLANT ARE ESSENTIAL TO OBSERVE.  OFTEN, THE CRITICAL ‘DIAGNOSTIC’ FEATURES OF THE PLANT PHOTOGRAPHED ARE NOT VISIBLE,  MOST PHOTOGRAPHERS TRY TO OBTAIN ‘PRETTY’ PICTURES AND THOSE SELECTING THE IMAGES TO BE IN A BOOK, TEND TO GO FOR WHAT IS MOST APPEALING TO POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS, AS THEY NATURALLY WISH TO SELL THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF COPIES.  BUT THESE ‘PRETTY BITS’ OFTEN HAVE LITTLE OR NO VALUE IDENTIFICATION-WISE!
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF A SUPPOSED ‘GUIDE’ TO WILD OR GARDEN FLOWERS (AS OPPOSED TO A ‘COFFEE TABLE’ PUBLICATION WITH OTHER OBJECTIVES), NO MATTER HOW ‘LOVELY’  OR CLOLSE-UP THE PHOTOGRAPHS WITHIN IT ARE, IF THOSE USING IT AS AN ‘IDENTIFICATION AID’ END UP ‘MISIDENTIFYING’ THE PLANT – THIS HAPPENS A GREAT DEAL!.
USERS MUST BE TRAINED AS TO WHICH PARTS OF A PLANT NEED TO BE EXAMINED – OFTEN NOT THE OBVIOUS, ‘PRETTY’ BITS. AT PRESENT VERY FEW PEOPLE KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR, NOR HAVE THE NECESSSARY KNOWLEDGE NOR EXPERTISE TO RELIABLY NAME PLANTS! AND THAT NUMBER WITH THIS SKILL IS RAPIDLY DECREASING.