New mystery bulb

John Bryan
Fri, 08 Jul 2005 16:29:36 PDT
Dear Rodger;

You got me! I do not know Veriolitsis and thus neither of the species.
What is this genus? It is not listed in the new RHS Dictionary, or Grays
Manual of Botany but I must admit I did not check any other of my books.
I would be interested to know. What "chemistry-maddened" botanist, your
expression and an expression that deserves wider distribution,
identified it, if it is a plant? Such identification, i.e. only by
molecular characteristics, might well come into play with many "known"
plants if we desert morphology, perish the thought. Cheers, John E.

Rodger Whitlock wrote:
> On  7 Jul 05 at 9:14, John Bryan wrote:
> > For what it is worth, my opinion is that molecular differences
> > should NOT trump floral form.
> On further reflection:
> The real problem occurs if two species, say /Veriolitsis
> glomulama/ and /V. sphćrioideastrum/ can only be distinguished
> via molecular characteristics. It then becomes impossible for
> anyone outside a properly equipped laboratory to distinguish
> these species.
> Rearranging the taxonomic hierarchy on the basis of molecular
> evidence does not present the same problem as long as some
> chemistry-maddened botanist doesn't write a key that depends on
> the chemistry. It would still be possible to slot a given plant
> into the hierarchy on the basis of macroscopic features, since
> keys don't necessarily follow the taxonomic hierarchy.
> On yet more reflection: already chemistry must be used to
> identify some plants. Fungi present an example. The famous
> book on hallucinogenic and poisonous mushrooms makes certain
> distinctions on the basis of chemistry, though it's simple
> chemistry that can be done in the field if you carry along a
> few reagents -- color reaction stuff.
> --
> Rodger Whitlock
> Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
> Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate
> on beautiful Vancouver Island
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