The "real' stoloniferous T. clusiana

Rodger Whitlock
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 11:44:03 PDT
On 30 Mar 2015, at 9:25, penstemon wrote:

> This "pentaploid species" is a clone, and in that respect no more deserving
> of a distinct botanical name than any of the familiar garden tulips.

Many plants were first described (and named) from single clones. This is 
particularly true wrt Chinese plants, as many were first described from 
cultivated forms bought from Chinese nurserymen in the years before China was 
forced to let Europeans wander about the country.

Kerria japonica is an example. It was originally described from the common 
double flowered clone, even though its flowers are so doubled that no one could 
tell what plant family it belonged in. (Later discovery of the wild single-
flowered form showed it is in the Rosaceae.)

Indeed, the whole system of botanical names rests on the concept of type 
specimens, single specimens that are authoritative examples of their respective 
taxons. It doesn't care what the ploidy of those specimens is.

Mess ensues when the type specimen is unrepresentative of the taxon as a whole, 
but that's the way the system works.
Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Z. 7-8, cool Mediterranean climate

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