Updating taxon

Lisa and Al Flaum osthill@htc.net
Thu, 15 Aug 2002 07:08:09 PDT
Hi Joyce,

I actually do write in books, though usually in pencil.  Most of my books are tools, and have dirst smudges and the occasional cracker crumb, as well as pencil marks. Beside, in older books, the names don't mean a whole lot.  I recently aquired a reprint copy of one of Canon Ellecombe's books.  This is a collection of essays written in the late 1800's.  When I figure out what plant he's talking about, I write in the name.  Mind you this is a reprint.  If I were handed a first edition in good condition, I would treat it

I have also tried to maintain an updated database of my plants.  I update the name, then put the old one in a "notes" field. When I know of other aliases, those go under notes, too.  If a search in the name field doesn't yield
anything, I search "notes" .  There are some plants I don't bother to change.
I have never seen "Autumn Joy" sold as anything but a sedum, so the new genus
is just a mental note.  

That is actually, for me, the toughest question.  Gardeners, readers and buyers need the old name as much as the new one.  While the taxonomists give
us new names, vendors don't often change.  The new name may tell you a lot about family relationships, but the old name is more likely to net a long-searched-for plant. Besides, many good gardeners I know are not that concerned with taxonomy.  (or trademark names, for that matter)  I've
watched eyes glaze over when I start speaking latin, especially when it concerns new names for old favorites.

A database of synonyms would sure be great.  Bryan's Bulbs 2nd ed.  lists a number of synonyms after each genus and is a nice feature.


Joyce Miller wrote:
> Dear All,
>          Recent studies in taxon are giving us many, many reclassifications
> of old plants.  I am amassing a number of the changes on paper, but there
> are in no easily retrievable form. How do you handle the updates? Special
> computer file of New names, old names, write in your favorite books, God
> forbid.

Lisa Flaum	
Waterloo, SW Illinois, USA
Min -10F Max 105F (-24C to 40C)
Wet winter, dry summer punctuated by gully washers,
high humidity, unreliable snow cover, clay soil

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