Scilla and Taxonomic changes

John Bryan
Wed, 12 Jan 2005 11:38:54 PST
Harold, one word, AMEN! Cheers John E. Bryan

Harold Koopowitz wrote:
> I want to echo what Lee says. For gardeners, names are for convenience. We
> can use whatever names we want - no one will fine or jail a person for
> using the old names. Only time will tell if these new names will stand up
> to scrutiny, in the meantime, use names that you are comfortable with. I
> find it amusing that 20 years ago I used to get frustrated by Goldblatt
> splitting genera into smaller genera. Now he is doing just the opposite. I
> remember a fish taxonomist from Stanford, Rolfe Bolin, once saying that
> when he was young he did fine work but when he got older he decided not to
> do any more fish taxonomy because he was scared he might mess up his
> earlier good work. So he switched to orchid taxonomy because that was so
> screwed up he knew he could not damage it any further....
> Names are forAt 10:29 AM 1/12/2005 -0800, you wrote:
> >As much as I admire the work done by people like Manning, Goldblatt,
> >and other experts in this area (such as Alan Meerow), even though I'm
> >no expert nor do I have college course training in this field, I think
> >they've pushed the definition of what a species or genus is or is not,
> >according to DNA analysis, too far. Who decides the cut-off point in
> >DNA similarity beyond which we will say two different plants are
> >different species, or different genera? How did these researchers
> >decide on their metric? Since there isn't any hard and fast definition
> >about what a Genus is or isn't, but there is this sense that
> >growers/hobbyists have, analogous to the U.S. Supreme Court justice's
> >statement about how to determine if something was obscene or not: "I
> >know it when I see it." (See
> ><… obscenity.htm>),
> >it seems that that kind of thing should also be
> >included in deciding whether a group of plants ought to be given their
> >own genus name or not. Let us know that they are very closely related
> >and that we could try hybridizing them. That would be great
> >information. But I see no reason why they can't remain separate genera
> >in name, since this is a descriptive term as well as an indication of
> >some natural relationship. Maybe these DNA researchers ought to
> >increase the importance of a Supergenus or Subfamily name so that we
> >all begin to use that category as well as Family, Genus, and Species.
> >
> >I've already stated on some previous occasion my objections to the
> >lumping of Homeria, Gynandriris, (and others?) into Moraea and how
> >every single site that sells these always puts the original genus name
> >in parentheses next to it because people who grow them still separate
> >them into different genuses. I do.
> >
> >With respect to lumping Polyxena into Lachenalia, I grow quite a few
> >species of Lachenalia and around 5 species of Polyxena. I never confuse
> >the two and I never get them mixed up. It's great to hear that they are
> >so closely related and belong to the same supergenus. Maybe there will
> >be people who try hybridizing the two together. But I would never
> >consider any Polyxena just another Lachenalia. They're different enough
> >to not need to be put into the same genus in my opinion.
> >
> >I'm even more amazed that these experts now consider Albuca, Dipcadi
> >and Ornithogalum all the same. Why? Once again it's great to hear that
> >they're all part of the same supergenus and again maybe some
> >interesting hybrids might appear in the future. But I see no reason why
> >I should just "lump" all my Albuca species' pots mixed in with all my
> >Ornithogalum species' pots as if they were all permutations of the same
> >general genus. I think even my 2-year-old would be able to separate
> >those two groups from each other when in bloom.
> >
> >Given the fact that research on the human genome is showing that there
> >isn't a one-to-one correspondence between a gene on the DNA strand and
> >a single trait in a human, and that even some of the non-gene parts of
> >DNA may play important parts in determining the growth and
> >differentiation of traits in any given organism, it seems a little too
> >rushed to say that you can do a DNA analysis of only certain
> >chromosomes or parts of chromosomes of a set of plants and based solely
> >on the differences in those parts of the DNA be able to adequately
> >determine quantitatively when two species ought to be classed in the
> >same genus or not.
> >
> >If I have to, I'll do the reverse of what the nurseries do and put the
> >lumped genus name in parentheses on my plant labels next to the
> >original, and IMHO better, genus name...    ;-)
> >All my opinion, of course.
> >--Lee Poulsen
> >Pasadena area, California, USDA Zone 9-10
> >
> >
> >On Jan 12, 2005, at 8:09 AM, Mary Sue Ittner wrote:
> >>Julian and I have been communicating privately about Polyxena as I had
> >>a plant (grown as sp. #2) that bloomed and I wanted confirmation for
> >>what I thought it might be. I hadn't shared this with the group as I
> >>intended to do something with the Polyxena wiki page first and haven't
> >>found the time or decided exactly what. Polyxena has been transferred
> >>to Lachenalia by Manning, Goldblatt and Fay. Here is the resource:
> >>  J.C. Manning, P. Goldblatt & M.F. Fay, "A revised generic synopsis of
> >>Hyacinthaceae in sub-Saharan Africa, including new combinations and
> >>the new tribe Pseudoprospereae", Edinburgh Journal of Botany 60(3):
> >>533-568 (2004).
> >>
> >>Julian wrote to me:
> >>  "The article discusses an unpublished DNA study by the same authors,
> >>and their results suggest a giant taxonomic upheaval for most of the
> >>family, and they made the necessary numerous new combinations. Apart
> >>from the sinking of Polyxena into Lachenalia: Drimiopsis and Resnova
> >>were sunk into Ledebouria; Albuca, Dipcadi, Galtonia, Neopatersonia,
> >>and Pseudogaltonia were sunk into Ornithogalum; Litanthus,
> >>Rhadamanthus, Rhodocodon, Schizobasis, Tenicroa, Thuranthos, and
> >>Urginea were sunk into Drimia; and Whiteheadia sunk into Massonia. At
> >>the same time, they recognise the splitting of Scilla, but only for
> >>the southern African species; no comment was made on the Eurasian
> >>species. I've also noticed a dozen or so taxonomic errors; for
> >>example, Dipcadi glaucum was renamed Ornithogalum magnum, which is a
> >>name already used for an different species of Ornithogalum. All the
> >>new combinations can be found doing an IPNI search
> >><>
> >>query_ipni.html, making sure that both IK and GCI extended options are
> >>selected."
> >>
> >>I don't know if  South African bulb enthusiasts are going along with
> >>all these changes. I suppose I'll need to write a note on some of our
> >>wiki pages explaining the proposed changes . Sigh. It is hard to keep
> >>up with all of this.
> >
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