Updating taxon

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Wed, 14 Aug 2002 09:07:24 PDT
Dear Joyce,

This is an interesting question. I hope a lot of people will share what 
they do. It is such a challenge to keep up to date. Fortunately a couple 
groups I belong to like the Australian Bulb Society and the Indigenous Bulb 
Growers of South Africa list name changes in their journals. I have a data 
base of bulbs I am growing that has a field for old names so I transfer the 
name I knew it by in the space for the old name and add the new name. Since 
I continue to add items to my data base as they flower and I have 
determined to the best of my ability that they are indeed what they are 
supposed to be, I may still miss changes for new items. Seed from exchanges 
is a real challenge.

Being a dedicated recycler I was pleased to learn that old blinds make good 
plant tags. So when the blinds in my husband's office could not be 
repaired, I had a whole supply. I have cut them up and thanks to being 
introduced to a labeling machine by Cathy make labels for my pots once I am 
sure of the survivors. Before that I just write on plastic tags with a 
pencil. The blinds are wide and so I have room for the old name and the new 
and space on the back for the source (Robinett, Telos Rare Bulbs, Jim 
Duggan, Bill Dijk, Sil Seeds, NARGS seeds, BX-Sherk, etc.--credit intended, 
but there is no space to list everyone). The tags are a bit heavier and 
therefore harder for the birds to pull out of my pots than the plastic 
ones. I just redid the Nothoscordum beauties from Bill Dijk last night 
after Alberto's helpful information. These tags are not as good in the 
ground as when the soil dries out they tend to jump out and fall on the ground.

As for writing in my books, "God forbid", I have done it in field guides 
that I use all the time, but haven't quite brought myself to do it in books 
I have paid a lot for. But I suppose if I think about it, I am the one who 
is getting the most use and joy out of my books so maybe keeping them up to 
date makes sense.

It is frustrating to see different names and not be able to remember which 
one is correct. Joyce's suggestion of a separate computer list is an 
intriguing one. You'd have to include the dates of the changes to be sure 
with some of them that have changed so often. If only there was more time.

Anyone else?

Mary Sue

More information about the pbs mailing list