Plant and insect samples may be brought in for identification or diagnosis to the University of Idaho Extension/Nez Perce County office. Accurate identification, diagnosis, or control measures depend on a great many factors; the more information you can provide about your sample will aid in answering your question. Below are forms that you may download and fill out as best you can to accompany your sample. You can fill them out and save them on your computer then print and bring in with the sample or attach to an email with pictures and send to us.
Sample Submission Forms
Just Click, Fill, Print & Send.
Weed or Plant Identification
Guidelines for Submitting Digital Plant Images for Identification or Diagnosis
You can help us by following these guidelines:
- Download and fill out the diagnostic form as completely as possible and send or bring in to the office. The more information the diagnostician has, the more reliable the diagnosis will be. Or include the information from the form in an email to us and attach your photos to the email message.
- Please look at the photo images before sending them. If they look out of focus to you or if you can't see the problem in your picture, they will not be helpful to us.
- When possible, please include size reference such as a ruler or a coin.
- Please include a whole plant image as well as close-ups of the plant parts. Try to include as many diagnostic features (flowers, leaves, bark, individual structures) as possible. Ideally, send images of the entire plant, the stem where it enters the soils, the roots, and a close view of the specimen, disorder or problem. Try to fill the frame of the image with the problem in question.
- When taking digital images, use the flash on your camera in daylight photos to fill in detail and contrast. Also, use the macro function (plant picture button) that is on almost every digital camera when taking close shots so that they can be in focus. With the exception of some smart phones, images taken from cell phone cameras are often not of high enough quality and if the lens is scratched not clear enough for diagnosis.
- Sometimes, subsequent examination of actual specimens is necessary to make an actual diagnosis. A digital image can give a suggestion of the cause of a problem, verify a possible diagnosis, or support the thinking that goes into making a diagnosis.
Below is a list of important plant features for identification:
- Entire plant to give the diagnostician a general overview of the plant.
- Leaf arrangement on the plant stem (alternate, opposite, whorled).
- Leaf attachment to the plant stem (sessile or petiole).
- Leaf blade shape (simple, compound, hear-shaped, etc.) Multiple leaf shapes may be found on the same plant.
- Leaf margin (dissected, toothed, or entire)
- Root system (rhizomes, taproot, fibrous, etc.)
- Inflorescence (solitary or cluster of heads)
- Special characteristics of some species (leaves, sheathing stipules, spines or thorns, milky juice, etc.)