I have just posted about a Cotoneaster specimen thought to be C.microphyllus posted by … from Nepal.  I explained that he MUST wait until I have sent these
images to J.Fryer for determination.  I am still (AS ANTICIPATED) waiting to hear from her as to comments about the images of other Cotoneasters I sent by CD.
It is REALLY IMPORTANT for members to accept, however frustrating it is, that AT TIMES it is NOT possible to RELIABLY identify (i.e. DETERMINE) a plant from the photos sent.  There can be a number of reasons for this.
In such circumstances the ONLY correct course of action is to thus put Cotoneaster sp., or Elaeagnus sp. or Clematis sp.
IF those attempting to identify said plants are CONFIDENT it is “Close to” or “Similar to”, there MIGHT be justification in putting AFF. and naming the species.
It is UNWISE and UNHELPFUL to SPECULATE (GUESS) TOO MUCH.  MANY reading these speculations, especially if SUGGESTED by a ‘senior’ person will ASSUME this is the actual species.  This CONTRIBUTES to confusion and muddles, as such guesses are OFTEN incorrect.
Sorry but I still have LOTS of the eFI data-base to go through (or come back to), so further UNCERTAINTIES and CORRECTIONS are INEVITABLE….
I repeat that IT IS NOT ALWAYS possible to NEATLY identify a plant to SPECIES level.  This is NOT a sign of INCOMPETENCE on my part (or that of others) but  realisation of the complexities of the variation involved.
There is in the UK (and it seems in India) a MISTAKEN belief that PLANT IDENTIFICATION is quick and easy with each plant READILY “PIGEON-HOLED” into a species. 
Oh, if ONLY things were that SIMPLE and QUICK!
And on occasion, one cannot even tell for sure which GENUS, even FAMILY, it belongs to.

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