pbs Digest, Vol 47, Issue 10

Joe Shaw jshaw@opuntiads.com
Thu, 07 Dec 2006 17:50:37 PST
John lumped Galtonia, Albuca and various other genera into Ornithogalum, but 
now he has changed his mind and will probably be taking Albuca out again. 
So look out for more name changes!!
Hi Gang,

I loved this note from Rachel S.  It seems to truly capture the wonderful, 
quixotic-seeming, sometimes mystifying, aspects of taxonomy.  John Manning 
gets all the credit for doing a wonderful job, and if names change it is 
because he's an honorable and diligent worker.

Taxonomy, like many human endeavors, is not a final judgment or absolute 
authority.  Taxonomic decisions seem only to improve over time, as with the 
rules of the ICBN (yes, they change over time too).  The result seems to be 
an overall enlargement of our mountain of knowledge, pebble by pebble.

Yet, the back-and-forth of it all is truly amazing and perhaps disorienting, 
and certainly doesn't relate to much of my plant growing.  I have such a 
wonderful time interacting with friends and neighbors who are just happy to 
grow "that red hurricane lily," or "the big river oak."  Taxonomy never 
interferes with out discussions and we're all able to understand each other.

Disorienting or not, occult or not, I do need taxonomy when I correspond by 
email or when I purchase plants long distance.  Imagine if I got "that big 
river oak" from central California instead of the one from southeast Texas!

So, I loved the note by Rachel because it made me think of my duality.  I 
need taxonomy, but I ignore it when it suits me to do so.  I have romatic 
visions that Phylocode will resolve the confusion, but probably my visions 
are clouded by wishful thinking.



Conroe TX

Mild frost is forecast for tonight.  The tropical Crinum have already been 
nipped back a bit by an earlier frost.  The grass aloes seem impervious to 
the cold thus far.

LINK:  Cladistics (Wikipedia)


LINK:  Phylocode (Wikipedia)


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