Iain Brodie of Falsyde
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:33:53 PDT
Picking up on Mary Sue's struggle and concerns about the changes, it seems ever ending, on the taxonomy front while I fully agree and appreciate the difficulties we really all would be in massive difficulties without the basics and adhering to the International   Rules of Nomenclature, which rules are regularly reviewed and revised.

For those who need to do a regular check up or research on names doing as Mary Sue does by going to IPNI via Google,             or whoever, is by far the best way to discover the correct taxonomic status as currently accepted. HOWEVER be aware that    even there the records are not necessarily up to date as is apparent e.g. in relation to Lilium and by grounds of probability     other    genera too. The IPNI system is a joint venture between the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London and Grays in / at          [I think] Arnold in the USA. It is the generally accepted international resource on nomenclature and used without reservation        by China Japan etc however not entirely  as I am finding with the same equanimity by Russia.

Mary Sue raised issues about confusion over naming and name usage which I am increasingly learning to appreciate e.g. in relation to my research for my monograph on Lilium etc. To illustrate, in round numbers approximately for the present there        are some 140 botanical species and subspecies of Lilium, plus so far an uncalculated number of botanical varieties, never        mind cultivars of which the Int. Lily Registrar lists around 10,000. Ignoring the Cultivars / Hybrids and the varieties for the 140      taxa number, I have therefore so far discovered in researches to date some 550 Synonyms . That might seem bad enough but   most species lilies do not have any synonyms, or perhaps just one or two, but clearly several have legions of synonyms and it       is proving a nightmare working through it all because the correct name for any species of plant, or organism, is required to be     known by the first recorded validly published name, by date. As a consequence some familiar names are set to bite the dust      and now is that ever going to make me popular!

Apologies for the length of this contribution but it seems the generality of contributors on this forum are of the more serious plantaholic type with a higher level of scientific appreciation than can be found on several other sites I no longer visit.

Happy summer gardening and keep the bugs off the flowers.   Iain

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