The "real' stoloniferous T. clusiana

Nicholas plummer
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 10:26:16 PDT
It's an interesting conundrum, but I'm not sure that ranks such as
subspecies, varietas, and forma are necessarily inappropriate.  Asexually
reproducing populations may create problems for the biological species
concept, but that hasn't stopped numerous asexually reproducing organisms
being named at species rank (e.g. a wide variety of parthenogenetic lizard
species).  Evolution will invariably throw up edge cases and mismatches
whenever we try to shoehorn natural variation into human-devised

Clone may well be incorrect, too.  Even if all the pentaploid plants
originated in a single mutant seedling, subsequent somatic mutations will
eventually generate multiple populations if the wild plants are reasonably
numerous, and they might be undetectable without DNA analysis.


Jim McKenney wrote:

> Jim Waddick's question about what we should call the old stoloniferous
> clone of Tulipa clusiana opens another can of worms. The plant in question
> is a clone. Formal botanical nomenclature does not have a rank
> corresponding to clone (unless you accept Individuum as a formal
> rank). Ranks such as subspecies, varietas, forma are not suitable because
> they imply the existence of a sexually reproducing population. No such
> thing as Tulipa clusiana var. clusiana or Tulipa clusiana f. clusiana
> exists in nature. What exists in nature and cultivation is a single
> pentaploid seedling of ancient origin which now forms a multitudinous
> clone.
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