naming of plants

Jim McKenney
Tue, 12 Jan 2016 09:30:06 PST
OK, Bob, we're pretty much in agreement here.

 In the middle section of my original post, material from Stearn's Botanical Latin was quoted. Why? To disabuse people whose language is English of the notion that genus names are somehow case in stone, immutable. To point out that genus names can be declined, that in declension their spelling can change; and although I did not give an example, that declension (if not taxonomic practice) includes the plural forms. So we apparently differ only this: that as words they can have plurals, and the Latin system of declension provides for that. 

 Imagine a discussion written in Latin in which the issue of the recent proposals for reorganizing the genus Iris are examined. One can easily imagine (in English) this train of thought: "well, so-and-so's definition of the genus Iris is very different from that other guy's definition of the genus. These two senses of the genus iris, these two disparate Irides (Irides, as a plural of Iris) are not much alike." 

Grammar, if not day to day taxonomic practice, provides the plural form : use it! 

Jim McKenneyMontgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where I'm having Latin and Greek roots and stems for breakfast.   
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