There are a fair number of "What is this plant?" questions.

e.g: What is this itch-inducing twig I found in my cilantro? ; What is the name of this plant and how to make it grow horizontal branches? ; What is the name of this plant, is it edible, and how can I care for it?

Would these questions be more useful if their titles provided a summary description of the nature of the plant to be identified?


tl;dr I agree; they are all poor titles and could stand to be improved. However, everyone can suggest (or make, with enough rep) an edit to those posts, and I, for one, will happily approve an edit that makes these questions better.

They are all poor titles, and the questions could be improved greatly by adding some more detail, both in the titles and the question bodies themselves. The aim of a Stack Exchange site is to build a compendium of knowledge that future visitors (not just the OP) will find helpful. If you think about how these questions appear in a Google search that those future visitors might make, the difference is striking:

What is this plant?

I have a plant but I don't know what it's called. It's in a pot in the front window of my house. My Mum has one too. Lots of other irrelevant details...


What is this plant with red polka-dotted leaves and jet black flowers?

It's about 8 feet tall, has 6 inch long oval leaves with red polka-dots. The flowers are black as coal. More description of the plant...

Someone with this hypothetical plant will immediately find the second version when they search for their plant's distinguishing characteristics. The first one? Good luck with that!

One more thing: you'll notice that they all have the tag. Some time ago, I asked How can we improve quality in the [identification] tag?, and most of the respondents said that editing the posts to add detail was a good idea. We get a lot of these questions from new users that stumble across the site, ask a question, and frequently don't ever return to see if they have any answers or to address comments. They aren't interested in question (or answer) quality; they just want their curiosity satisfied.

So, if you see these posts, and would like to help make the site better and more useful to everyone, please make an edit to improve them if it's possible to do so.

  • Yes, I noticed some kind of favorite phrases "I got it from my Mum", "my Mum loves it", "It matches with my Mum's hair color", or many similar... But none of these are helpful or relevant... <sigh>
    – VividD
    Dec 19 '17 at 20:00

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