Flora of North America

aaron floden aaron_floden@yahoo.com
Sat, 27 Mar 2010 05:12:16 PDT
 The project was started with the intention of only including the US and Canada, thus the title of the project, THE FLORA OF NORTH AMERICA NORTH OF MEXICO. As said before including Mexico would have increased the number of species and likely doubled the number of volumes to 60. The number of pteridophytes alone was 1008 when Mickel and Smith published the Pteridophytes of Mexico. The Moss flora was published by Sharp et al. and was two volumes by itself. There are already many regional floras of Mexico. AND I correct my previous misstatement - Mexico has an estimated flora comprising 20-30,000 species.

 The taxonomy is another matter. For something like the Lilialaes volume there have already been numerous species described and so many changes due to the increase in molecular work, but that is the nature of a flora. They are outdated quickly, but still very useful in the long run. The change from Talinum to Phemeranthus (it is a Rafinesque name, but the post WWII lumpers liked recognizing lots of variation) is not a recent one and neither was Smilacina to Maianthemum. The horticultural world only caught on to the latter nearly 20 years after it was published. 


--- On Sat, 3/27/10, Mark McDonough <antennaria@charter.net> wrote:

From: Mark McDonough <antennaria@charter.net>
Subject: [pbs]  Flora of North America
To: pbs@lists.ibiblio.org
Date: Saturday, March 27, 2010, 11:09 AM

From: aaron floden <aaron_floden@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [pbs] Flora of North America


Hi Aaron,

I believe the omission of Mexico in the Flora of North America to be a paramount problem... is not Mexico in North America?  The very name of the project is a misnomer.

The regionalism of botanical floras serves little purpose where land areas are contiguous, exacerbating the botanical understanding of many genera that bridge both regions.  I know this to be true with the genus Allium as it pertains to Mexico.

With that said, the Flora of [partial] North America is taking a long time, and showing itself to arrive at some peculiar conclusions.  Example, most Talinum are now Phemeranthus... not a problem in itself, I can buy into that, reserving true Talinum to be the subtropical woody species that are mostly south of the US border, but making comments that species like sediforme (syn. Talinum okanoganense) and spinescens (T. spinescens) might be conspecific... such absurdity!  Are the authors drunken sailors???  How could two utterly different plants be considered the same species?  Everytime I look at the online Flora of North America, I find disappointments and surprises, and apparent omissions.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border, USDA Zone 5


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