Family classification

Jane McGary
Wed, 28 Apr 2010 10:32:01 PDT
Mary Sue wrote,
At 08:59 PM 4/27/2010, you wrote:
>To quote Wikipedia, "A modern system of plant taxonomy, the APG II
>system of plant classification was published in April of 2003 by the
>Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, APG. It was a revision of the first APG
>system, published in 1998, and was superseded in 2009 by a further
>revision, the APG III system."
>In APG II Alliaceae optionally included Agapanthaceae and
>Amaryllidaceae.  So you could choose to include these or to keep them
>separate. Most of us didn't choose to include them.

  What does this user
>community prefer to do? Are we doing away with Alliaceae,
>Agapanthaceae, Agavaceae, Anthericaceae, Asphodelaceae,
>Convallariaceae, Eriospermaceae, Hemerocallidaceae, Hyacinthaceae,
>Themidaceae, and Trilliaceae to name a few of the families that would
>be history ?

I would much rather see the wiki stick with the "split" version of 
the classification. It makes sense to the gardener and amateur 
botanist because it relies to a great extent on visually observable 
characteristics, whereas the "lumped" version presumably relies more 
on molecular and evolutionary studies to which many users of the wiki 
do not have access. I was relieved when the Liliaceae got split up, 
even though my usual preference is for lumping when possible -- 
possibly because I think it should be done more with languages (if 
political considerations could be set aside). I am annoyed by 
gardeners who have a knee-jerk response of complaining about every 
name change made by botanists -- I just got a catalog that's still 
using names like "Cyclamen neapolitanum," which must have been 
renamed at least 40 years ago -- but the relentless submerging of 
familiar genera can stimulate even me to react that way (see 
Iridaceae for examples). It's very handy to have, for example, a 
family Themidaceae, because you can then speak of "themids" just as 
you do "irids," instead of listing all the similar genera you want to discuss.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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