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Mary Sue Ittner
Wed, 19 Nov 2008 07:55:44 PST
Nhu asked about why Sternbergia was included in Alliaceae in the article 
Jim noted about Sternbergia. That is because the Angiospermy Phylogeny 
Group (2003) proposed sinking Amaryllidaceae and Agapanthaceae  into 
Alliaceae. You will note if you check the Kew monocot world check list for 
family listings that this list uses the suggested alternatives so all the 
genera that were once in Amaryllidaceae are now listed in Alliaceae. 
Another example is the alternative placement by APG  (2003) in Asparagaceae 
of Agavaceae, Anthericaceae, Hyacinthaceae, and Themidaceae. If you look up 
any genus in the Kew list that used to be in one of those families you now 
find them listed in Asparagaceae. This makes for some giant families. It's 
hard for me to think how Brodiaea, Lachenalia, Pasithea, Agave and 
Asparagus are alike enough to all be in the same family. For those of us 
who consider ourselves gardeners, not botanists, it means that there is no 
real advantage in learning the different families and which genera are now 
included in them since those definitions have become so broad.

Mary Sue

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