I am a third year BSc. Student studying at St.Josephs College in Bangalore. When I was in my first year, I started experimenting and trying out different things while in college to see what I would be interested in. One of my professors inspired me to start looking at algae. While searching for algae around Bangalore’s lakes and ponds, at the same time I tried studying fungi and bacteria under the guidance of my teachers. While working in the lab, I met a researcher who started talking to me and eventually got me an internship at FRLHT where I finally discovered that plants were what really interested me. A friend took me to a forest in Bangalore and I found that I had difficulty identifying plants and this is where EFI came into the picture for me and ever since then, I have not had to look elsewhere for help in identifying plants. Some members, especially, take such deep interest in working out the identity of plants and also at the same time have provided me with so much extra knowledge that I often end up learning about the difference between species of genera along with the one being discussed in that post!
I find that this e-group is very different from the others I am a part of mainly because the ambiguity of identification in the case of obviously known plants is avoided leaving the group members free to discuss about the truly attention-requiring posts. I would owe the credit for the amount of knowledge I have accumulated in the short time that I have been looking for and identifying plants to EFI. This group has very often provided me the direction to move in while studying plants on my own. In the absence of the group members’ guidance, I would just be a person with a lot of books and monographs and no idea about how to assimilate and digest all of it.
I would certainly expect the group to grow in the same way it has so far in the time that I have been a part of it. I would also request the learned members to provide a simple key which they used to identify the plant in the photos or at the very least the salient features of the photographed plant that led them to identifying it without a doubt as belonging to a particular species. This would help all those reading to learn even more rather than just knowing the plant.