Policy on naming off plants on the wiki

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Wed, 16 Jan 2013 11:54:51 PST

As I am sure you can all imagine, we struggle all of the time about 
what to call the plants that are illustrated or described on the PBS 
wiki. This is made difficult by the lack of agreement by taxonomists 
and data bases. Our purpose on the wiki is to allow our members to 
add photos of plants they grow or see. We want to be using names that 
most people are using so that people looking for information about 
plants they are acquiring can find it. So we don't want to change the 
names the first time someone decides to change them but instead wait 
until the proposed names are widely accepted. And we do not want to 
get in the middle of taxonomical debates since we do not have the 
expertise to know who is correct. Most of our members I expect are 
gardeners and are growing plants they purchased or grew from seed 
without knowing the origin of either. Once you start growing from 
seed that has been collected from someone growing several species of 
the same genus that flower at the same time you can no long assume it 
is pure anyway unless the grower has made sure there is no way that 
pollinators can visit both species. I suspect a lot of us who love 
bulbs are growing hybrids so that makes naming the plants even more 
of a challenge.

Our wiki team has discussed this matter in some detail and this is 
what I am now going to add to our Photographs and Information page. 
The PBS wiki is not an official publication for plant naming. We use 
the best judgment of our members when listing plant names. The names 
we use reflect the usage of our members and our best effort to 
reflect the most widely accepted names and therefore may not reflect 
recent name changes. An effort will be made to list previous names as 
synonyms when we adopt name changes of plants that are widely grown 
and sold under different names.

Mary Sue

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