Peony Chameleons - problem

Paul T.
Mon, 17 Mar 2008 16:32:22 PDT
At 09:23 AM 18/03/2008, you wrote:
>In my discussion of this issue, I made a proposal for what struck me as a
>reasonable solution to the problem of having two such similar names. That
>solution was to format the names properly.


I'll buy into this slightly.... as a non-paeony officionado (I very 
basically dabble, but I am no expert)..... you're saying that the 
home gardener should be expecting that the sellers of a plant will 
definitely have the correct "format" for the names and that the 
cultivar name isn't enough?  Given that so many suppliers can barely 
get the right thing under the right name isn't that a bit like 
expecting the cat to look after the mouse?  And I do have to make a 
quick point out re the different spelling of the cultivar being 
enough to differentiate...... I guess that means that the Americans 
all grow a different genus to the rest of the world given that you 
all grow Peonies while the rest of the world used to grow Paeonies 
(until the American "ease" of spelling was required to be taken up, 
as many Americans wouldn't accept the correct spelling I assume 
because it was too hard to remember?).  I'm not pointing this out to 
have a go at the Americans, but rather using it as an example of how 
dodgy expecting a spelling difference to help differentiate something 
is...... a single letter in a cultivar name spelling such as the a in 
your two different "cultivars" called Cham(a)eleon is just not enough 
differentiation, regardless of how you format them.  At this stage 
the original hybrid may be very rare but you just never know what 
will happen in the future with tissue culturing etc.

Then again, I guess this is no worse than importing new items into a 
country and giving them a new name..... thereby muddying the waters 
further and further as these plants are then interchanged with 
overseas people as "new" cultivars etc.  To me a cultivar name should 
be unique and clearly distinguishable from previous names...... and 
if it is not then the cultivar name should not be adopted.  I can't 
honestly see the sense in having to have the formatting of a name 
being the only definition between two different plants.  It's already 
bad enough when you have subspecies that have the names of other 
species (e.g Narcissus bulbocodium ssp serotinus etc) without an "x" 
differentiating between two Paeonia (x) Cham(a)eleons (brackets 
indicate optional items depending on which cultivar you're talking 
about <grin>)

As to a counterproposal..... given the naming has taken place and 
can't be reversed then I imagine there isn't really much of a 
counterproposal that could be put forward is there?  Other than not 
letting it happen like this again?


Paul T.
Canberra, Australia - USDA Zone Equivalent approx. 8/9

Growing an eclectic collection of plants from all over the world 
including Aroids, Crocus, Cyclamen, Erythroniums, Fritillarias, 
Galanthus, Irises, Trilliums (to name but a few) and just about 
anything else that doesn't move!! 

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