I was not allowed to ask this question with the title: "What kind of lily is this?" as a similar question exists. There are hundreds if not thousands of lily species so this seems a bit restrictive. I could ask the question what kind of lily/clematis/tulip/tree is this a hundred times and the answer would be a different one each time.

Even fiddling with the title to change it to: What kind of native lily/ What kind of North American Lily were too close.

Should the restrictions be loosened as a nod to the fact that plant species are quite different than programming languages?

Edit: Thank you for that link Niall

But, my point is that this site is not Stack Overflow and gardening is not similar to programming languages in many ways. If I ask how do I reverse a string in C# I agree that one good answer is enough.

However with identification questions I can ask "What is this?" and be asking a different question every time. There are, depending on who you ask, at least 17,000 genus and 400,000 plant species. Are we going to allow one ID question per plant genus?

As this is most likely a hard coded feature courtesy of the Stack Exchange application maybe I should take this to Meta.

  • See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/104914/… for the reason this block exists. I've just edited your question title to add "native North American" and it went through OK; I'm checking to see if that's because of moderator super-powers though.
    – Niall C. Mod
    Jul 13, 2014 at 12:58

1 Answer 1


I think that most people can use a longer and more descriptive title than comes naturally to them. I think this is especially important on identification questions, so we get less 'Help Identify this Plant' type titles.

I try to add more to some titles while editing, like, instead of 'What is this small tree?', 'What is this small tree with smooth gray bark and opposite ovate leaves?' or, depending on the body of the question, 'What is this small tree found in the wild in Nebraska? (examples are not from a real question). There are still many possibilities, but it narrows it down a lot.

And I agree that there are some big differences between GL and the programming sites, and some rules that apply in those sites should not apply here, such as the title restrictions mentioned in the question. Generalizing isn't always a good idea, but I feel like we will probably be able to customize more when we come out of beta.

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