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40th Anniversary, CUHK
Flower talks
Polyclaves are devices that allow an identifier to select, without a preset sequence of choices, the characteristics for use in identifying a specimen. In other words, they allow multiple entry in the identification process. A polyclave for the local Euphorbiaceae plants is presented here.
There are two possible designs for polyclaves:
  a) through choices and a series of elimination process until reaching a tentative identification, and
  b) through choices and accumulation of several differences that form a pattern or matrix set for best matching with an authentic sample.
The threshold depends on the variability of plants, but toleration of just one or two differences allows improvement in the identification success.
The advantage of a polyclave is that it allows multiple entry by using available characteristics.
The disadvantage is that it is much slower.

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