New mystery bulb

Rodger Whitlock
Thu, 07 Jul 2005 10:43:12 PDT
On  6 Jul 05 at 18:29, boutin wrote:

> ...Should molecular evidence trump floral form?

Give that man a prize for enunciating the $64,000 question. The 
whole point of taxonomy is to identify plants. If you can't 
make the identification without carrying DNA analysis equipment 
in your backpack, somehow it seems rather counterproductive.

At issue is the opinion of some (many?) botanists that the 
taxonomic hierarchy should match the evolutionary hierarchy. 
However, this position leads to stupid anomalies when both a 
parent (ancestral) species and one of it's children (descendant 
species) are still with us, no matter how distinctive they may 

The thing to keep in mind is that taxonomic naming is 
*opinion*, that as long as a name was validly published, you 
are free to reject later shufflings and keep on using it.

In this case, it sounds like it might not be a bad idea to keep 
using drimiopsis as well as ledebouria, with footnotes 
reminding the unwary that *some* botanists think the one should 
be submerged into the other.

I wonder if it wouldn't be a more useful strategy in cases like 
this to leave the establish genera alone and erect a 

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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