Family Information

Jane McGary
Wed, 19 Nov 2008 15:42:08 PST
Nhu wrote,
"For certain questions, it's important to have a higher
>classification, but for the end user (gardeners and non-taxonomists alike),
>the species unit is the least artificial.

I was asking about Merendera/Colchicum not so much as a gardener, but 
as an editor with a responsibility to provide readers with the "most 
valid" names for the plants people write about. I sometimes have 
drawn a line in the sand -- you will not find "Cistanthe tweedyi" in 
the Rock Garden Quarterly -- but I do try to offer synonyms where 
there is controversy, and where I know about it. I have also thrown 
up my hands in despair on certain issues, such as the genus 
Narcissus, and just go with whatever name an author wants, perhaps 
with a disclaimer where it is not too tactless.

And this is why I don't think the web will replace print publication 
too soon: believe it or not, editors do a lot of work for you, and if 
they are any good, they are constantly trying to anticipate the needs 
of the audience.

Jane McGary

More information about the pbs mailing list