Mints of the Continental US and Canada's Journal

January 21, 2021

Identification Stats and Targets for Improvement

As of today (Jan. 21, 2021) there are 345,955 mint observations in Continental US and Canada with 71.93% at research grade. That's pretty good!

Only 97,123 observations left to ID! That number may seem daunting, but it is truly manageable. Let's break down those observations into categories.

2.96% at family level
0.62% at subfamily level
1.69% at tribe/subtribe level
35.38% at genus level
59.35% at subgenus or lower

An undetermined percentage of these are as good as they can get, and they will be marked accordingly in due time. Many of these observations, however, just haven't been seen by IDers or perhaps the experts that have the necessary knowledge to bump observations down from genus to species or lower. Over the next year, I will be adding helpful URLs for taxa that need attention along with information necessary for IDers to make informed judgments about IDs. And once the Flora of North America publishes the Lamiaceae volume, we can make some serious progress.

In the meantime, if you're feeling ambitious and want to help out, here are a few things you can sink some time into:

  1. Mark cultivated plants as such to move them to "casual grade". Some commonly cultivated taxa are Salvia yangii, Nepeta spp (excluding Nepeta cataria), Plectranthus spp., Stachys byzantina, and a few others.
  2. ID some super common mints rapid fire. These include Prunella vulgaris, Lamium amplexicaule, Lamium purpureum, Glechoma hederacea, Clinopodium vulgare, Monarda fistulosa, Salvia lyrata", and *Marrubium vulgare. People tend to have a hard time with Prunella vulgaris, Lamium amplexicaule, Lamium purpureum, and Glechoma hederacea, so I will post a new key for those soon!
  3. Correct misidentifications associated with common name confusion. Main example: lamb's ear is the common name people tend to use for both Stachys byzantina and Verbascum thapsus.
  4. Expert IDs. If you're an expert with any mint taxa, iNat needs your help! Particularly with Stachys, Scutellaria, California Salvia, Monarda, Florida scrub mints, and Synandreae (especially in Texas). Ajugoideae in general needs a fair amount of work too.

Anyway, I hope you're excited about the prospect of iNat's community data. And I hope you're excited about North American mints! Or at least easily persuaded to be excited about a beautiful family of plants.

Posted on January 21, 2021 21:19 by alex_abair alex_abair | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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