Cypella of many names

Mary Sue Ittner
Thu, 06 Mar 2003 09:54:50 PST
Dear All,

Many years ago (4/14/99) on the IBS list Eric Walton wrote about the many 
names possible for what I think Lee has donated under still another new 
name (6. Cypella platea platensis or Dell's correction of Cypella plumbea 
'Placensis'). Eric had given me permission in the past to repeat his post. 
I renamed this plant on all my tags Cypella coelestis. Perhaps Alberto can 
tell us what most people call it in South America. I suspect a lot of 
people grow this under different names.

Mary Sue

Regarding the correct name of Phalocallis coelestis.  It depends on
who you follow and whether he/she is a lumper or a splitter.  I think
we gardening morals would like to believe in taxonomic concensus
and finality, but there is also what I call the 'snapshot in time'
aspect, i.e. what people think/believe today may not be the same
as tomorrow. To me is more important to have the plant correctly
identified and then you can apply whatever name is in vogue.  So, if
you are a splitter and recognise Phalocallis as a valid genus, the
plant is Phalocallis coelestis, if you are a lumper and submerge
Phalocallis into Cypella, the plant is Cypella coelestis.  If your
nomenclature is slightly older you might know the plant as
Phalocallis plumbea or Cypella plumbea.  If you live in New Zealand
(and perhaps other places?) you might know the plant as Herbertia
platensis (definitely the wrong genus).  And, in a recent(ish) book
published in New Zealand the name Alophia platensis was
suggested due to the muddling/confusion between Alophia and
Herbertia.  Take your pick, but please err to the top of the list
rather the bottom!  Other South American irids with interesting
"taxonomic histories" are Herbertia lahue and Alophia drummondii.
Hope this helps at least a little.......


Eric Walton
New Zealand 

More information about the pbs mailing list