Timothy, more of a mystery than you might think

I've been checking identifications of Timothy Grass (Phleum pratense) since mid-2019. The level of misidentification on iNaturalist is . . . interesting. My list is below. If the plant is not a grass, its family name is added in parentheses. Sorry about providing only scientific names.

Although I'm sure humans often misidentified Meadow Foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis) without computer assistance, I think many of these names originated as suggestions by the CV (computer vision program), which seemed to consider anything with a more or less cylindrical inflorescence made up of many little bits to be Timothy. Given the state of identifications for Timothy, this was understandable; the computer is trained on iNaturalist photos and if many of them are misidentified, errors result. I hope that recent corrections help the latest CV version to recognize Timothy more precisely. Of course, even if CV improves, we humans have to choose from among the CV suggestions and are also entirely capable of misidentifying Timothy independently.

Plants identified as Phleum pratense. The first four species listed are very commonly misidentified as Phleum pratense on iNaturalist, and I've seen the others at least once.

Alopecurus pratensis
Alopecurus arundinaceus
Plantago lanceolata (Plantaginaceae)
Phalaris aquatica
Agastache sp. (Lamiaceae)
Agropyron cristatum
Alopecurus aequalis
Ambrosia sp., probaby A. artemsiifolia (Asteraceae)
Anemone cylindrica (Ranunculaceae)
Anthoxanthum odoratum
Apera interrupta
Holcus lanatus, immature
Baptisia sp., immature (Fabaceae)
Betula sp., catkin (Betulaceae)
Carex acutiformis (Cyperaceae)
Carex barbarae (Cyperaceae)
Carex kelloggii (Cyperaceae)
Carex obnupta (Cyperaceae)
Carex pendula (Cyperaceae)
Carex sect. Racemosae (Cyperaceae)
Carex sp. (Cyperaceae)
Celosia spicata (Amaranthaceae)
Chamaelirium luteum (Melanthiaceae)
Cynosurus cristatus
Dalea candida (Fabaceae)
Dactylis glomerata, immature
Eleusine indica
Elymus sp.
Gastridium phleoides
Hordeum brachyantherum
Hordeum sp.
Hypochaeris radicata, in bud (Asteraceae)
Itea virginiana (Iteaceae, formerly Saxifragaceae)
Lepidoptera (a moth caterpillar on a grass stem)
Liatris spp. (Asteraceae)
Muhlenbergia sp.
Pennisetum glaucum
Pennisetum setacea
Phalaris arundinacea
Phalaris caroliniana
Phleum alpinum
Phleum arenarium
Phleum sp.
Plantago coronopus (Plantaginaceae)
Plantago patagonica (Plantaginaceae)
Poa arachnoidea
Polypogon monspeliensis
Populus tremula, catkin (Salicaceae)
Salix sp., catkin (Salicaceae)
Secale cereale
Setaria faberi
Setaria pumila
Setaria viridis
Triticum aestivum (club wheat, T. a. compactum)
Verbascum thapsus (Scrophulariaceae)
a blond middle school boy with freckles (likely correct, in one sense)

These have been misidentied as Phleum alpinum (in the broad sense):
Carex breweri (Cyperaceae)
Carex scopulorum scopulorum (Cyperaceae)
Carex spectabilis (Cyperaceae)
Carex section Ovales (Cyperaceae)
Cynosurus echinatus
Phyteuma nigrum (Campanulaceae)
Trifolium pratense in fruit (Fabaceae)

On the other hand, these names have been applied to what was actually Phleum pratense:
Acorus calamus (Acoraceae)
Agastache sp. (Lamiaceae)
Alopecurus pratensis
Ammophila breviligulata
Carex sp.
Koeleria macrantha
Phalaris canariensis
Phalaris aquatica
Toxicoscordion venenosa, in fruit (Melaniaceae, formerly Liliaceae)

Publicado por sedgequeen sedgequeen, 09 de agosto de 2021

Comentarios

Wow!

Publicado por bit hace 2 meses (Marca)

It is impressive, in a negative way, isn't it!

Publicado por sedgequeen hace 2 meses (Marca)

have you tried to see what the app thinks plantago and some of the others are? In otherwords, I wonder how many of the bad ids are App suggestions.

Publicado por bit hace 2 meses (Marca)

Bit: Thinking back on this project, I think the computer contributed to many, but not all, of the identifications.

Publicado por sedgequeen hace 2 meses (Marca)

The APP can be helpful, but in ignarant hands it can be disastrous. That is why we are still needed and why people still need to learn something about id in shcool and not just rely on APPS.

Publicado por bit hace 2 meses (Marca)

I agree.

Publicado por sedgequeen hace alrededor de 2 meses (Marca)

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