Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Plants/Archive58

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Archive 55 Archive 56 Archive 57 Archive 58 Archive 59 Archive 60 Archive 65

Italicization of sub-generic ranks

I notice that the automatic taxobox system displays the name of a section in italics but not that of a series. Is this a policy or an error? Peter coxhead (talk) 22:57, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Looks like an omission in the template. Is {{Taxonomy}} the place that this is coded? If so, it's also missing subsectio and subseries. And I'm not sure why subspecies is listed, since the entire parameter should not be italicized automatically because of the inclusion of "subsp." for plants. Rkitko (talk) 00:54, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Yep. I just tested subspecies at Ulmus minor subsp. sarniensis and the auto italics for that parameter leads to less than intuitive italics wiki markup at Template:Taxonomy/Ulmus minor subsp. sarniensis: |link=Ulmus minor subsp. sarniensis|U. minor'' subsp. ''sarniensis. We should remove subspecies from autoitalicization, but that might mess up any animal automatic taxoboxen that rely on the auto italics for that parameter. Rkitko (talk) 01:21, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
It looks as though {{Taxonomy}} is the source of the difference. I suggest you add "subsectio", "series" and "subseries" (it needs an admin to do it or else I would). I don't think we should remove "subspecies" for the reason you gave: zoological names don't use a connecting term so are ok as they are. A better (?) approach would be to introduce an auxiliary template to do the italicization; this would look for the strings "subsp.", "var.", "subvar.", "f." (any more? not "ssp." because we should discourage this) and make these non-italicized. Somewhat connected but also an issue at higher ranks is the need to avoid automatically italicizing "×". Peter coxhead (talk) 12:23, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
subf. is occasionally used. (IIRC, it's in ICBN.) Also the notho forms, and non-standard things like proles. Lavateraguy (talk) 14:24, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
I added the terms subsectio, series, and subseries. We can discuss the other issues of subsp., var., subvar., f., and subf. at Template talk:Automatic taxobox#Acer nipponicum and sub genus ranks. Rkitko (talk) 15:39, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Name change for Crack Willow

Belyaeva (2009) confirmed an existing suspicion that the type specimen of S. fragilis (the Crack Willow) was actually a hybrid between the species and S. alba. She published the name S. euxina for the species, and S × fragilis becomes the name for the hybrid S. euxina × S. alba. (I haven't seen the source – Belyaeva, Irina (2009), "Nomenclature of Salix fragilis L. and a new species, S. euxina (Salicaceae)", Taxon, 58 (4): 1344–1348 – my institution stopped taking Taxon in 2003 – but I've seen the name changes happening in various places and there's a detailed account in a recent edition of the BSBI News.) So I was thinking of updating the Wikipedia article at Salix fragilis. However in searching around, I found that there was an earlier proposal to conserve the name S. fragilis (which would seem sensible) – Christensen, K.I.; Jonsell, B. (2005), "(1698) Proposal to conserve the name Salix fragilis with a conserved type (Salicaceae)" (PDF), Taxon, 54 (2): 555–556 Unknown parameter |lastauthoramp= ignored (|name-list-style= suggested) (help). This would have been decided here: Barrie, F.R. (2006), "Report of the general committee: 9", Taxon, 55 (3): 795–800, JSTOR 25065657. I assume the proposal must have failed, given that Belyaeva's paper is in Taxon later, but could someone with access to Barrie (2006) confirm this?

Proposals to converse and suppress, and the following committee reports are open access, and are available on Ingenta Connect. Barrie (2006) appears to not be the paper you want. What you want is Brummitt (2009) - Report of the Nomenclature Committee for Vascular Plants: 60, Taxon 58(1): 280-292 (2009). I interpret that to mean that Salix fragilis should be renamed Salix × fragilis Lavateraguy (talk) 18:24, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Ah, thanks. (My faith in Google Scholar is diminished!) The position appears to be that two taxa were previously called S. fragilis, although this wasn't originally known, a species and a hybrid. The species is now S. euxina, the hybrid is now S. × fragilis. Most of the plants naturalized in the British Isles and in cultivation everywhere thought to be the species are actually the hybrid. So most plants named S. fragilis should be re-named S. × fragilis; the species named named S. fragilis should be re-named S. euxina. The joys of taxonomy... Peter coxhead (talk) 10:21, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Google leads me to a corrigenda (changes made in the new printing) for the 3rd edition of Stace. It replaces Salix fragilis with Salix euxina, and Salix × rubens with Salix × fragilis. Lavateraguy (talk) 10:58, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that was how I picked up the change in the first place; I assumed Stace would be right but wanted to check once I found the conservation proposal. Peter coxhead (talk) 19:58, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Individual pages for Rose cultivars

I wonder how 'notable' individual rose cultivars are, that there should be individual pages for individual cultivars. I am a serious rosarian, active in the local and national rose societies, editing Wikipedia pages on rose subjects and rose species in general, but I really think the vast majority of rose cultivars are not notable and don't need their own page. A very few do rate as notable, but I see there are over 50 pages for individual cultivars, some of which consist merely of 'this rose exists, by this name, and it's this color and class'. Do we really need that on Wikipedia? There are other, more specialized web sources for that, specifically HelpMeFind Roses. Especially when you consider the tens of thousands of rose cultivars in existence, and how quickly many of them disappear from public consciousness, supplanted by similar looking newer hybrids, or dumped because they're novelties that didn't hold interest. I would say that 'Peace' deserves its own page, if any do, but certainly not 'Royal William', or 'Camp David', just as examples pulled out of a hat. And I grow and like 'Royal William', but really, it's nice but not notable. Please comment. Dog Walking Girl (talk) 18:39, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Why don't we have an article on Rose cultivars? We have List of rose cultivars named after people. --EncycloPetey (talk) 18:45, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I'd start with a list of page, much like List of Grevillea cultivars. From that, I'd go by standard notability guidelines - if a cultivar has been notable enough there will be a body of info on it somewhere. If not, then listify. If a cultivar has been discussed in detail in a couple of books, that'd be notable. Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:45, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
There's Garden roses, probably the one closest to the Grevillea example and can probably be adapted to have a similar format. -- Obsidin Soul 19:51, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
My concern is that there are literally tens of thousands of rose cultivars in existence, and any attempt to make a List would be both overwhelming and arbitrarily incomplete. (I had no idea there are so many cultivars of grevilleas! we only get a few here in the States, and only one or two are available where I live.) Even the list of just roses named after people is overwhelmingly long. I do like the idea of a single Notable Cultivars page, which could include a paragraph or two on and a photo of the most notable cultivars, such as 'Peace' and 'Knockout', both of which greatly broadened the appeal of roses with the general public, and hybridizing breakthroughs like 'Soleil d'Or' (introduced a true clear yellow color) and Rosa kordesii (extreme cold hardiness that could be introduced into other lines). Dog Walking Girl (talk) 17:35, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

The issue of notability of rose cultivars was discussed briefly at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Plants/Archive56#Cultivar names and trade designations. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 09:57, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

I think this is a broader issue than roses. We don't really have an overall strategy for how to deal with those genera which have large numbers of cultivars. Orchids, Hippeastrum, Hemerocallis, Hosta, Rhododendron, Geranium and Pelargonium are just a few which spring instantly to mind.
  1. Where does a general account of the cultivars go? Under the genus? In a separate article on "Cultivars of X"?
  2. Are we agreed that the target isn't one article per cultivar? When I raised this issue for species, it was clear that there wasn't a consensus on the creation of stubs. There are thousands of stub articles on plant species, with little prospect of most of them being completed with the next few hundred years (as I demonstrated some time ago by looking at the changes in the number of plant stubs over time). So why not do the same for cultivars?
Personally I think that "real stubs", those with no information beyond "X is a cultivar of Y", should be deleted. But I'd be surprised if there is a consensus on this. Peter coxhead (talk) 15:43, 19 December 2011 (UTC)


This posting is just to raise awareness of an issue relevant to the Project's archives and searches therein. I recently tried to locate a particular (and fairly recent) discussion in the archives, but found it not as easy as I might have, due to the archives being arranged alphabetically under section headings. When naming a new section heading on this page, I suggest trying to make the first word of the heading as closely relevant as possible to the topic it pertains to, thereby making subsequent searches in the archives easier. In particular, I suggest avoiding having section headings starting with generic terms such as 'a', 'the' etc., because otherwise these are the words under which the sections will be filed, which isn't very helpful. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 22:09, 21 December 2011 (UTC)


The new article on the monocot genus Corsia has been nominated for DYK (nom discussion here). However, as it is a little-known parasitic plant, and the text is pretty badly written, the article needs a lot of help. I can do a rewrite, but this would require a bit of research and writing work, and I'm trying to focus my efforts towards a different article that is taking all of my time right now. I'd rather not be distracted from that effort any more than necessary, so if there is someone here who can help, that would be wonderful. --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:07, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

The majority of the text is translated from a Featured article on German Wikipedia. It would be helpful if someone with a knowledge of that language could check the translation. Melburnian (talk) 05:17, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
"Stipules" is clearly a mistranslation of "Nebenblättern". I'm not sure what to replace it with though, perhaps "scale-like leaves" in some places, which are mentioned in a discussion of a related genus here. Nadiatalent (talk) 16:09, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, don't have time to work on that translation now. I'd say the English Corsia page is definitely not ready for prime time. Nadiatalent (talk) 16:19, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
According to Wikipedia DE nebenblatt does mean stipule. Lavateraguy (talk) 16:32, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Which makes sense: "neighbour leaf". Google translate, when clicked for alternative translations comes up with "scale leaf" and "bract", but Botanik online is clear that "stipule" is how the German word is used. So how many monocot stipules does one expect to find? It seems that perhaps the German page, already lauded, may have a problem, and google translate's statistical translation has a similar problem. I'd hesitate to translate "Nebenblatt" as "ligule" without an authoritative reference for this genus.
this wondrous old dictionary translates English "bracte" as Nebenblatt. Nadiatalent (talk) 17:18, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
My Langenscheidt English-German dictionary lists the translation of stipule as "Nebenblatt" (no umlaut on the 'a' - I think that's part of the plural). It doesn't list Nebenblatt (literally "near-leaf") in the German-English section, though interestingly it does have "Blattansatz" (literally "leaf-appendage" or "leaf-neck"), which (just to confuse things) it translates as "stipule". PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 17:22, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Goebel's Organography of Plants, of which I have only the English translation (Goebel, K.E.von (1905/1969). Organography of plants, especially of the Archegoniatae and Spermaphyta. translated by Isaac Bayley Balfour. New York: Hofner publishing company. Check date values in: |date= (help)), says in volume 2, page 359, "The expression stipule was used of by the older authors in no very sharply limited sense. They understood by it any small leaves or leaf-parts, as for example hypsophylls, or prophylls, or the intravaginal squamules in the axil of the leaf-base of many water-plants." (Now there's a mouthful to try to read rapidly.) Nadiatalent (talk) 17:36, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
I wonder if the article itself gives a clue on the correctness of the translation - at the moment it refers to "creeping stipules", which as a non-botanist I'm finding hard to imagine. Do such things exist? PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 18:02, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
There's a pic of Corsia ornata here, and it does appear to show leaves both on the horizontal rhizomes and the upright stems.-- Obsidin Soul 18:24, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
It looks almost sinister in pen and ink! But it does appear to be the rhizomes which do the actual creeping, and not the "stipules", which are just attached to the rhizomes. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 18:33, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Just a guess: perhaps "creeping" might have started out somewhere in a description as "lying flat" or "sessile" or some such thing? Nadiatalent (talk) 19:14, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Heh, I've removed it. Then there's the mystery of "broadly ovate". Those rhizomes look anything but ovate to me. Maybe in cross-section?-- Obsidin Soul 18:36, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Is it normal to apply such descriptions to how things appear in cross-section? Also, looking again at that sentence, I'm wondering how rhizomes can be "reduced" - reduced from what? PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 18:49, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps big chunks should be removed to the talk page of the article ... Nadiatalent (talk) 18:55, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
The description of the foliage of Corsia purpurata var. wiakabui from its original description in Sida 18 (IIRC, that's available on Botanicus) is "Leaves 1-5, spirally arranged, acroscopic, base sheathing; lamina linear-acuminate, conduplicate or with margins broadly revolute, chartaceous, 9-17 mm long, 4-6 mm wide, to 6-nerval, sometimes apiculate; venation visible as dark lines, not raised on either side". Lavateraguy (talk) 19:01, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

I think perhaps the translation from the German is a little bit loose; rather than "creeping stipules" it perhaps should be "sheathed stipules", as Scheide means sheath, so I guess scheidigen means sheathed. If no-one objects, I'll copy the above contributions over to the article talk page. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 19:14, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

sheathing, rather than sheathed, I think. But their very existence is uncertain. I wonder if someone has misinterpreted the flabellum as a leaf. Lavateraguy (talk) 19:26, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

I've copied all of the above discussion to the article's talk page. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 20:02, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Taxonomic Literature (TL-2) online

For those interested in reading about the contributions of particular botanists, Stafleu and Cowan's Taxonomic Literature II is coming online (with an occasional hiccup over the last couple of days). It is in the biodiversity heritage library main volumes and Suppl. and there is a new search interface at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries site that seems to be quite an improvement: Smithsonian announcement Nadiatalent (talk) 19:04, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Hmmm. I imagine this could be useful, but got only "no results" for all the names I searched for through the Smithsonian interface. --EncycloPetey (talk) 18:38, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the link! I've been finding the best stuff there lately at the BHL. EncycloPetey, I've found their search function is very hit-and-miss, usually miss. I think it's just not tied in with a good OCR, so I haven't been able to use their search much either. These volumes are all alphabetical, so you can search that way (e.g. start looking in the 4th volume for "Schultes") --Tom Hulse (talk) 19:01, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Holy... *__* I knew about the PAYING online edition, but this is just awesome. Circéus (talk) 21:01, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Tree and fruit categories

Some editors have raised concerns about my removal of species from the fruit and tree categories. See User_talk:Alan_Liefting#Category:_Fruit. I would like to see it discussed here. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 19:11, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

The first question is the scope of Category:Fruit - culinary fruits or botanical fruits. I can see a case for restricting it to culinary fruits (and tomatoes and cucurbits?), as nearly all 250,000 seed plants have fruits. Lavateraguy (talk) 19:26, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, you highlight the reason for the edits that I had not explained. I will define the category as one for culinary fruits only. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 20:16, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
From the point of view of the Food and Drink project what is of interest is culinary fruits. From the point of view of the Plants project what is of interest is botanical fruits - but we'd want the category to be mostly populated by subcategories (e.g. but, drupe, (botanical) berry, achene, etc), rather than by species articles. It is probably wise to seek consensus as how to handle this.
I suspect a lack of consensus on the scope of the Tree and Flower categories as well, but the different camps might to harder to identify. Lavateraguy (talk) 20:44, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps this is a matter for WikiProject Plants to lay down as a policy. The Trees category is tricky. It looks to me as if the recent changes are trying to subcategorize there too, so there is a category Conifers, which is a sub-category of Trees, and conifer shrubs are, of course, ill-served by such a system. Nadiatalent (talk) 22:11, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Some of the edits are trying to do that, but other edits simply depopulated the category without placing articles into any reasonable subcategory. Hence, information was lost. I noticed this when several fossil trees were removed and not placed into a subcategory. Neither is there a subcategory of Category:Trees into which I would expect these entries to be categorized, so until there is, they probably should remain in the main one. Were there an appropriate subcategory, and were the articles moved there, that would be fine by me. Simply removing useful category information does not seem like a good idea. --EncycloPetey (talk) 23:28, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

The problem is that editors are using the terms flower, tree, fruit, rose as a means of categorising and trying to shoehorn the more formal botanical names of plants into that system. There are two method in which organisms should be classified - common name and binomial, and there is enough flexibility for both. The hierarchy of the biological classification system fits in neatly with the WP categories. There are complications but I think they can be address.

Now have a look at Category:Flowers. Wall to wall Latin that will put off most readers (since they are not botanists). Now compare it to some recent changes that I have made. I created Category:Rosa to sort out all the species that were in Category:Roses. Once again it was a case of common name vs binomial name. There is now two categories that are easier to use. Category:Trees and Category:Fruit are now also easier to use - the remaining article in them are not buried in all the Latin.

At present there is no Category:Plantae (it is a redir to Category:Plants). That is where all the trees should be, but organised into division, class, order etc. It would be ludicrous to have all the articles about tree species in Category:Trees since it would contain 100s of 1000 of pages. It make it next to useless as a navigational aid. Category:Trees should be used for the collection it currently has (except for the fossil tree Lepidodendron EncycloPetey. Do we need a category for fossil trees?) -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 01:35, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

What you are proposing is a content fork. WP:PLANTS has a policy that the scientific name is usually preferred for article titles, since the common names are often uninformative, usually variable, and may be shared between several taxa, besides which many plants have no common name in English. Having a separate category for "Plantae" which means exactly the same thing as "Plants" would be silly. Your inability to cope with the Latin can be corrected through self-education, not through imposition of your world-view on the entire community.
Your persistance in refusing to listen to consensus, and continued unilateral action to make sweeping changes against the advice of the community will likely result in a block. --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:07, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
PLEASE refrain from person attacks.
I am having trouble keeping my anger under control here!! Ok, I will try and explain a little more. Creating separate but complementary categories is in NO WAY a content fork. Content forks are for article NOT categories. Based on how you seem to under stand it the categorisation system is full of "content forks". How about this one: Category:Categories named after countries]. Go away and have a think about it all.
I will answer the rest of your reply when I have calmed down. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 03:42, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Although WP:CFORK and WP:NPOV do not explicitly cover categories, what you are doing violates the spirit of both policies. Creating two sets of categories to cover the same sets of articles, differing only in name, is precisely the sort of thing WP:NPOV discourages. The WP:PLANTS community has tried to reason with you, but you continue to make your controversial edits despite these efforts. --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:59, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
I see to my sorrow that Alan Liefting has just retired. He was one of the 400 most active Wikipedians, a mighty categorizer, and I wish him well.
The category system is very different from the article system, and with other editors I find it a bit of a pons asinorum (guess we're allowed a bit of binomial Latin here on Plants ;-) and indeed in Categories). Like some other editors, I found it problematic when categories vanished from articles I was editing, without replacements being added; but AL was right in saying that the category system permits, even encourages overlap (and unlike in articles, this is not a WP:CFORK). Why? Because things can belong in different hierarchies: Nitrate Fertilizer, say, could rightfully be placed into a category like "Agriculture" as well as "Industrial Chemicals" - there is no conflict or forking involved. If you think about it, it's fine for an article to be in half-a-dozen categories, indeed it is normal. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:07, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
An update: Alan Liefting has unretired himself. Good wishes to him. Nadiatalent (talk) 14:48, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
That's not really a comparable case, I think. There's a big difference between putting, say, Allium ampeloprasum (Leek) into "Allium", "Leaf vegetables", "National symbols of Wales", etc. – which we all understand and agree with – and putting, say, Rosa gallica into "Rosa" and Rosa Peace into "Rose", which was the logic of some of Allan Liefting's changes as I understood them. I would need a lot of persuasion and explanation to accept separate categories for scientific names and common names ("Plants" vs. "Plantae" seemed to be another of his ideas). It's very unfortunate that he didn't stay around to discuss this. (A warning to us all – including me: long editing of Wikipedia seems to make people increasingly proprietorial. No-one is exempt from the need to build consensus.) Peter coxhead (talk) 16:00, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I have to agree, Plants vs Plantae etc is a bridge too far for me. But I'm sorry he was upset by it all. Chiswick Chap (talk) 16:04, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
The kind of overlap you are describing, CC, is the kind of overlap AL was saying shouldn't exist. His justification for removing Category:Trees from the Lepidodendron article was that is was in Category:Lycopodiophyta. [1] His edits were more about the aesthetics of category listings than about sorting content. While those sort of aesthetic issues are appropriate to consider for a list, a category's listings should not be governed by aesthetics of article names. As I understand it, his underlying reasoning was that the Lepidodendron article could not be categorized as a "Tree" because the article title was a scientific name. This makes no sense to me, as the categories exist to sort content in the articles, and not the kind of names given to the articles. --EncycloPetey (talk) 16:30, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
That was an unfortunate outcome, to lose an editor who was willing to put in an enormous amount of effort.
I'd have to say that I am not able to propose any really useful improvements to the categorization system, so I'll probably have to continue to more-or-less ignore it. The differences between different views surely means that there is a fundamental and difficult conceptual problem that hasn't been solved (that we know of). With potentially huge categories like "plants", I don't see how it is very useful to have them mirror the taxonomic classification that can be accessed from the taxoboxes. For some other potentially huge lists there are other projects outside wikipedia that would be at least as authoritative, and I don't see an advantage in reproducing their work in the particular form of categories. There are some vast lists that are useful, though, for example list of botanists by author abbreviation points to the name variant that is used for that person in wikipedia, and on several occasions I've been unable to guess what that name variant might be, and have been surprised to find that the person already has a page under some shortened form that wikipedia editors who like to shorten names have imposed.
For the "fruit" category, I've no idea how to restrict it in a useful way that would be consistent with the "common names only" approach: some extremely edible fruit are known in English by scientific names, or by recently invented rarely used "common" names. Nadiatalent (talk) 17:44, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

I have been watching this debate with interest, although its topic is not something I have previously formed a strong opinion on. Looking 'from the outside', it strikes me that there is confusion here about the nature of what is overlapping. Chiswick Chap rightfully points out that any individual article can sit within numerous different categories, and this is a kind of overlap - of category contents between different categories. However, it is wrong to use this type of overlap as a justification for creating new categories which increasingly overlap, which is what Alan Liefting seemed to be doing, in the pursuit (ironically) of actually having less overlap of category contents between categories. If I can illustrate with an example: Chiswick Chap highlights how the article 'Nitrate fertilizer' could fit into both the categories of 'Agriculture' and 'Industrial chemicals'. This is undoubtedly overlap of an article between different categories. However, the sort of re-categorisation which Alan Liefting seemed to be undertaking would be, in this fictitious example, to create a new category called 'Agricultural chemicals', and then remove 'Nitrate fertilizer' from 'Agriculture' and 'Industrial chemicals' and put it solely into 'Agricultural chemicals', as this seems (in this particular world view) to 'fit' better. If such a process is carried out across the board and to an extreme, potentially every article will only sit within one category, and the number of categories will have multipled enormously. The point of the categorisation system - at least as I see it - is to illustrate affiliation and belonging. It is not to separate articles out into very precise groupings which "suit them best". PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 19:17, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

It seems to me that adding any fruit or flower bearing plant to the fruit and flower categories is problematical; for a start that would make the Category:Fruit the same as Category:Spermatophyta and Category:Flowers the same as Category:Angiosperms. Narrower categories such as Culinary Fruits and Ornamental Flowers might be preferable (but even the latter would be unwieldy), restricting Fruits and Flowers to articles specifically about them, and excluding articles about plants.
Trees is potentially unwieldy, but it can't, as proposed, be passed off to the taxonomic categories, as trees (as are herbs and forbs and shrubs and subshrubs and ...) are massively polyphyletic. Instead they are more naturally treated in the same was as xerophytes, hydrophytes, epiphytes, mesophytes, etc. Lavateraguy (talk) 19:58, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
We don't add every single article on a fruiting plant to Category:Fruit, and no one has ever suggested that we should. (Note also that fruits come from flowering plants, not from other kinds of seed plants.) Rather, we include in that category (1) edible fruits, (2) botanical fruits, (3) botanical types of fruits, (3) articles about fruit anatomy, development, etc. Splitting out Culinary fruits as a category is itself problematic, as there is not agreement on several points. For example, a tomato is not a culinary fruit because it is not sweet. A watermelon is, but a cucumber (another type of pepo) is not. Now, this is not to say that some subcategorization scheme would not improve the utility of the category, but to exclude from "Fruit" anything that does not have a high sugar content would be weird. --EncycloPetey (talk) 20:10, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

I would be interested to know what evidence there is that readers actually find articles via the category system. I rather agree with Nadiatalent: more-or-less ignoring the category system seems to me a rational response. Peter coxhead (talk) 23:27, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

From thinking about what a possible solution might be, I wondered if the category system might be improvable by someone who knows how. For example, if the fruit category page could have entries "Strawberry myrtle (Ugni molinae)", "Chilean guava (Ugni molinae)", "Chilean guava (Psidium cattleianum)", perhaps that might be useful to such people as are said to want to see a list of common names on the fruit page. I've just tried to code a category to have it appear that way at Category:Fruit, but failed, it seems to be completely at odds with what that system is intended to do. Of course, List of culinary fruits has that type of entry (and suffers from the same problem that if any attempt were made to complete it it would be very large indeed). Can't help wondering if requesting deletion of Category: Fruit would have any chance of success ... Nadiatalent (talk) 00:13, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

You can add Category:Fruit to the redirects (eg Strawberry myrtle) if you want the common names to appear in the category. Melburnian (talk) 01:06, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

I think I kinda see Alan's point, though I could be mistaken. Seven individuals of Quercus petraea can be seen in the image on the right, but only one of them is a tree. The others are not, though they may end up being trees one day, if they don't end up as squirrel poo. Clearly an acorn is not a tree, so on what grounds do we include article Quercus petraea in our trees subcategory? One could argue that our "Trees" category should cover the morphology, anatomy, uses etc of tree, but not every single plant species some individuals of which take a tree form at some stage of their life-cycle.

The same tension has existed in the "Flowers" category for years: should it cover only flower anatomy, morphology, etc, or should it also include "kinds" of flowers; and, if the latter, wouldn't that require us to include every single angiosperm species in it? Hesperian 01:27, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

I think, having reflected for a day, that we have at least two issues here.

  • One is specifically about taxa (not only plants): there seems no point at all in duplicating the taxonomic hierarchy in the category system - the taxa are already navigable, and there is already free-text search, so having category lists that will never quite be up-to-date and matching the taxonomic hierarchy is worse than a waste of time, it will always be full of errors. Unless, I suppose, a bot fully automates the conversion.
  • Two is, how are categories to be applied? Alan was in favour of the smallest, most specific, most sharply-defined cats possible - to parody the style, "Canadian moral philosophers born in 1856". I think we can all see that applying this to plants is hopeless: "Wetland umbellifers with two-pinnate leaves" ain't gonna work. The opposite approach would be tagging: "umbellifers" (ok, I know the name's changed), "hairy", "leaves two-pinnate", "unspotted", ...

So perhaps we can now glimpse an answer to Hesperian: listing every angiosperm in "Flowers" has no point; as suggested above, interpreting or renaming "Flowers" to "Ornamental Flowers" would be better (smaller cat, and not competing with taxonomy) but still a huge list; and we can agree that informal cats like "Flowers" and "Trees" are never going to be botanically satisfactory, but that perhaps isn't the criterion - it's whether the categories are helpful to ordinary folk who may occasionally glance at them at the bottom of an article (or even search on them). Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:26, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

But that approach assumes the category is solely for organisms with flowers or that are themselves flowers. What about articles about flower development, floral arranging, floral evolution, etc? You can't make a decision without considering articles on both the taxa and the topics. Not all plants articles concern taxa. --EncycloPetey (talk) 15:46, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, that's a problem, a page on flower arranging doesn't belong in category:flowers. I think I'll take a hybrid approach: mostly ignore categories, but will consider setting up pages for List of conifer trees, and List of conifer shrubs, to parallel others that exist, such as List of coniferous plants of Montana. User:Waitak's efforts with List of culinary fruits are admirable and seem to solve some of the problems, but I think the structure of the page might be a bit inscrutable to whoever the "average wikipedia user" actually is. I'm sure that at some point I've encountered opposition to "list of" pages, but perhaps it was either an individual opinion, or an idea whose time has come and gone. Perhaps more use of them will bring any opposition that exists into the open for discussion. Nadiatalent (talk) 16:17, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
"List of .." articles are acceptable within reason, though they do provoke quite a lot of discussion at AfD; but they are independent of categories, and it is apparently fine for a term to be in a list and in a category. And no, flower arranging doesn't belong in "flowers", however defined. Chiswick Chap (talk) 16:57, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the kind introduction. List of culinary fruits is an interesting example. For me personally, it provided an opportunity to really think through why list articles and categories are there. Again, for me personally, the goals are very pragmatic: "Does this article meet the needs of the people who will use it?" For a list article, I imagine a user who either wants to know "what fruits are there from Africa?" or perhaps "what's that fruit that looks like a guava?" or whatever. The job of an editor is to help the reader find the information they're after. With List of culinary fruits, it was especially tricky, because there are many possible ways to organize the list - type of plant, hardiness zone, region of origin... - and they don't mesh nicely. Ultimately, I decided to list all of the edible fruits (or perhaps "fruits") that I could find in alphabetical order by common name (with cross-references for alternative names), and then to add at least the major other ways of classifying the fruits as sections. Within the article, multiple references to a given fruit point back via a "#link" to the "real" entry in the alphabetical list. As Nadiatalent graciously pointed out, this was a really complicated Wiki page, and, since finishing it, I've had to regularly go back in and patch up contributions from other editors who didn't fully understand the intricacies of how the page is put together (and honestly, there's no reason why they should have to). There may well have been a better solution, but I couldn't find one. So, without weighing in on a discussion in which I'm not qualified to participate, maybe I could encourage you to optimize the results for readers who know much, much less, but who'd like to learn from what you have to offer. That said, though, there's nothing wrong with optimizing for experts too, just not instead. Waitak (talk) 17:09, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Noting that Monstera deliciosa was removed from category fruits, whilst it is in List of culinary fruits, and know it to be such myself, seems to contradictory to Alan Liefting-(the remover)'s agreed definition for inclusion, near the begining of this section. The greater issue I'd like to raise is, by "culinary", should editors intend "commercially exploited" and hence familiar to most urban "editors", or "known to be eaten"? Trev M   22:09, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
I think that "commercially exploited" carries an inherent bias toward the developed world. There are many, many fruits that are treasured and enjoyed in all sorts of places, all over the world, without any significant commercial impact. My inclination is to find reliable sources that include discussions of fruits used as food, and just report what they include. That said, a mention of commercial importance, where present, certainly belongs in an encyclopledic treatment of a group of things, whether fruits or otherwise. Waitak (talk) 01:28, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

A proposal

Given that:

  • Category:Fruits belongs to two very different hierarchy (that of food/cuisine and that of plant morphology), resulting in a problematic mix of categories (i.e. Category:accessory fruit)
  • The decision as to which species belongs in a category about edible/culinary fruits is probably not in the remit of WP:PLANTS (it's too general)

I propose that instead of renaming Category:Fruits, we move the stuff that belongs in a subcat of category:Plant morphology out of it in a category like "botanical fruits" or even "fruits in botany" (to encompass accessory fruits), with cross-referencing. This way we also have to move less articles and can eliminate Category:accessory fruit, which becomes too small (or kep it as NOT a child of the new category?). There will probably be a need at some point to rename Category:Fruits, but I don't think that is something WP:PLANTS should have that much of a position on right now. Circéus (talk) 16:12, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

A subcategory is a definite possibility. Would "Fruit morphology" capture what you're proposing? If so, I think that name would be a more straightforward title, and would make it more obviously a natural subcat of Plant morphology (as opposed to Botany). --EncycloPetey (talk) 16:39, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
That's another possible name. more simply my idea is to "split" the category but leave alone the potential scope and name of what is left in Category:Fruits so we can move what is clearly part of this project to a separate category within category:Plant morphology. Circéus (talk) 17:57, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

This has been done, with Category:accessory fruit and Category:compound fruit emptied and nominated for deletion. Circéus (talk) 03:29, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Is there support also for renaming Compound fruit to Accessory fruit (and cleaning it up accordingly)? As I noted on the talk page, this term isn't used technically; I've checked Esau and also Hickey, M., and King, C. 2001. The Cambridge Illustrated Glossary of Botanical Terms. Cambridge University Press. The latter defines "aggregate fruit" and "multiple fruit (collective fruit)", but under "compound" there is only that single word, defined as "composed of two or more similar parts". Nadiatalent (talk) 17:47, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
There seems to be no support for renaming Compound fruit, so the alternative seems to be to make a real page for Accessory fruit, and explain on the Compound fruit page that a simple fruit can develop from a compound ovary, but does not thereby move into the compound fruit category. Perhaps wikipedia needs that sort of pedagogical content. (When I have more time.) Nadiatalent (talk) 16:23, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Foreign language common names

How to deal with common names of plants in languages other than English is an issue I'd like to see discussed:

  1. When is it appropriate to include common names of plants which are not used in English? Always? Only those used in the countries where the plant occurs? Almost never; perhaps only if the plant is very well known? Never? As we don't have any guidelines, what can happen is that speakers of different languages continually add to some articles common names in their language (including those in a different script), to the extent that I personally feel is inappropriate in the English Wikipedia. What do other editors think? Could we agree some guidelines?
  2. Words from other languages which have not been accepted into English are by default italicized. Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#Italics says "Use italics for phrases in other languages and for isolated foreign words that are not common in everyday English. Proper names (such as place names) in other languages, however, are not usually italicized." If I have included a non-English common name of a plant in an article I have assumed that it is similar to a "proper name" and so have not italicized it. One problem with italics for such common names is the potential for confusion with Latin names, particularly where the name is in a language which has the word order noun + adjective. What do others think?

One reason why (2) is relevant is that SMcCandlish has been introducing italics where they weren't present (e.g. in this edit). Peter coxhead (talk) 09:33, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

WP:MOSITALICS indicates that these should be italicized if they're simply common names in other languages, as those are not proper nouns, so they would be italicized (even if they contain references to proper names). This sort of thing comes up at WT:MOS pretty often; when MOS talks about proper names/nouns, that's what it means, not "proper names and stuff kinda like proper names". :-) If it's the generally recognized common name, world-wide, period, that would make it the English common name too, even if they happen to derive from or coincide with a non-English vernacular name, so no italics then. Like, various yucca sp. are not italicized, despite yucca being a loanword. But if some native language called a yucca plant a hijundanyi or whatever, that would be italicized (if it were included).
When to include them is more tricky. Vernacular names in languages of the plant's natural habitat, if the plant is culturally significant, seems reasonable; anyone reading travelogues and stuff will encounter such names and want to look them up. Plants native to the American Southwest, for example, should probably be given at least in Spanish as well as English, since Spanish is a major minority language and in many cases an official language in states in that area. But unless it's reliably sourceable as a notably culturally significant plant (i.e. English speakers likely to encounter the non-English name without having to be an outright student of the foreign language in question) then the addition would just be trivia. Confusion is best served with prose: "The Vulcan yucca (Vulcanus explodicus) of the plant Vulcan is a...[blah blah blah]. In Western Vulcania, where it is used ceremonially, the plant is referred to as the fnorda hijundanyi, and prized for its psychotropic properties." Hard to confuse with a scientific name. Hope that helps. PS: This might be better at WT:WikiProject Tree of Life since it really applies to animals, too. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 10:11, 6 January 2012 (UTC) PPS: As for my edits, like the "izote" bit, I'm simply following MOS and italicizing foreign words. That they happen to be plants (or, in the diff-linked case, the flower part of a plant) wasn't really material to the decision. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 10:13, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't accept that you should "simply follow MOS" regardless of the specifics of the case. Non-English common names of organisms are a particular type of foreign word which it may or may not be appropriate to treat in the default manner given in the MOS. Peter coxhead (talk) 21:14, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
About the general question of when should we include common names of plants that are not used in English, I think that we need to be fairly harsh with getting rid of them, because the interwiki should be fulfilling that need and because a block of them attracts more clutter (as for example here). However, if there's a good reason, such as a national flower, or unexpected meanings (bird nose, dog nose, etc. for Rosa canina), then those particular names should remain. Nadiatalent (talk) 14:21, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
A few quick points: (1) We don't have to rely on the existence of an interwiki to carry the common name, and cannot do so when the target page does not exist for the Wikipedia in that language. However, we can put translations of common names on the English Wiktionary, and can create an English entry there if one does not already exist. (2) Not all plants have common names in English, and the argument made by SMcCandlish about foreign names being the English by default is flawed. If a name exists only in Armenian, or Russian, or Mandarin, or Tamil, then it does not exist in Latin script, and any transcription of such names into Latin script is already one step removed from that foreign name. We cannot declare that a word is an English name merely because there is not a standard English name. (3) I agree with Nadia about taking a harsher stance against non-English names accumulating in articles. We do need some sort of objective criteria to start from, however, as I'm not sure I'd be able to state clearly my own current views without a long hard think first, and there are probably additional issues that others could point out. (4) Italics should only be used for foreign words in Latin script, not for Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew, etc. Italicizing Cyrillic makes strange things happen; I can read print Cyrillic characters, but get confused by their italicized counterparts because they do not look the same. For example, the Cyrillic letter that looks like Latin T, becomes an "M"-looking letter in italics. We should be careful about prescribing italics about foreign names. And should we italicize transcriptions of foreign names into the Latin characters, or are these to be treated differently? --EncycloPetey (talk) 15:59, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
The implication of MOS:Ety#Foreign_terms (the first two sentences taken together) is that transcriptions of foreign words should be italicized (later in the section it's made clear that non-Latin scripts should not be italicized).
I agree with both Nadiatalent and EncycloPetey that we should be harsh on lists of common names in languages other than English. The default should surely be to omit them; there must always be a reason for inclusion. The reasons are likely to be very varied, so are hard to list, but there must be a reason, not just a "me too" approach. I find it hard to see why in the English Wikipedia it would ever be right to include the common name of a plant in a non-Latin script; what use is this information to an English speaker? Peter coxhead (talk) 21:26, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Various comments:

  1. Common names only exist through usage. If a species lacks a common name in English, the presence of a common name in another language is not an automatic substitute.
  2. For many languages not written in the Latin script, a transliteration without a reference is original research, since there may be multiple transliteration schemes.
  3. The thing that bugs me the most about the accumulation of common names in other languages is that they are almost never referenced: "I call it glopsidoodle in my language, so I need to put that in en.wikipedia." However people feel about these otherwise, I hope we agree that only those should be included that can be referenced in reliable sources.
  4. I sometimes find common names in non-Latin scripts useful, especially Chinese, since, for example, ma huang without the tone marks could mean things other than "yellow hemp" (the article was improved beyond that point last time I looked). The interwiki would work for that, but the Chinese name is used in English, so there's more justification for including the non-Latin characters than there would be for, say, ചാമ്പ.
  5. I see the value of italicizing foreign Latin-alphabet words in English. That was the original reason for italicizing binomials. In my opinion the consistency trumps the possibility of confusion, ¿verdad?.
  6. If an English-speaker is likely to encounter a non-English common name in English text, it's probably worth referencing and including.

--Curtis Clark (talk) 02:57, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Controversy over reviews

On the Talkpage:Pomegranate and the Talkpage:Cranberry a discussion is taking place pertaining to 1) the health effects of the aforementioned fruit and berry, and 2) whether the reviews could belong to the ‘further reading’ – section? I am hoping for a larger community input. Do you have time to take a look? Thank you. Granateple (talk) 19:26, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Hi, the problem here as I see it is that some editors were very quick to reject the addition of a "further reading" section about the health effects of particular fruit, but that to properly integrate the references into the articles will require some careful analysis and therefore a serious time investment. A considerable portion of the spam that is added to wikipedia comes from people promoting the health benefits of particular fruit or herbs, and that needs to be combatted, but this is not in that category; the articles involved are recent authoritative reviews, and there is no problem with "original research". In the meantime, the citations are on the talk pages so that anyone with the time to read and analyze them has the references available, which I think is a good solution for now. Best wishes, Nadiatalent (talk) 13:29, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Hi Nadiatalent, thank you for your considerate response. Yes, many editors do a good job when they remove unwanted material. I think I must start preparing myself to integrate the content into the ‘health effects’ – section of each article. One problem, though, is that the research material is huge, and the ‘health effects’ – section ought to be proportional to the rest of the article content. That is perhaps one of the reasons why the ‘further reading’ – section came to my rescue, and although Wikipedia shouldn’t be a collection of external links, I regard one or two reviews in the “further section” as an asset rather than the opposite, and one will find different opinions in the community (input so far). Granateple (talk) 00:52, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
If there is a large body of literature and much to say about a given topic, then it is possible to spin out a new article on that topic and leave only a summary section in the main article. --EncycloPetey (talk) 02:45, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that is an option. I will keep it in mind. Thank you for your comment. Granateple (talk) 15:43, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Tasmanian alpine plant picture IDs

Please help me identify the plants in these pictures. All found in the Walls of Jerusalem national park in Tasmania. The first seven are found at about 1400m above sea level. The rest are at about 1150 meters. 8, 11, 12 are near the bases of rises in elevation, so are less exposed to the elements. JJ Harrison (talk) 09:13, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the uploads. 5 appears to be Senecio pectinatus with its little "pasta server" leaves.[2]. I'll check out the others a bit later.Melburnian (talk) 10:30, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
11: Leptecophylla juniperina var. parvifolia. Melburnian (talk) 10:42, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
7: Richea sprengelioides.[3] Melburnian (talk) 10:58, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
  • By the way, I did look and ask around for the King's Lomatia when I went to Melaleuca, as you requested ages ago, but I rather suspect that those responsible don't want it to be found. JJ Harrison (talk) 11:06, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh that was Cas. That indeed would be cool and thanks for checking it out. Looks like you have come across several new-to-Wiki species - nice work! Melburnian (talk) 11:16, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict)understandable - it is sensitive to Phytophthora, which would be a disaster if something happened to it. Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:17, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Opps, fair point from Cas too. JJ Harrison (talk) 21:15, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

I have a Tasmanian plant friend who I will ask re IDs. Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:19, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

6: Orites revolutus.[4] Melburnian (talk) 11:22, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

12: Leptospermum rupestre.[5]Melburnian (talk) 11:34, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

4: Euphrasia sp., 8: Richea sp. Melburnian (talk) 11:37, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

9, 10 (surrounds): Gleichenia alpina[6]. Melburnian (talk) 12:36, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Page citation help

I need help getting the proper page citation to two fairly obscure refs for List of Ericaceae genera. These fall in the situation of "monograph series treated as articles by scientists":

  • Oliver, E.G.H. (2000). Systematics of Ericeae (Ericaceae: Ericoideae): species with indehiscent and partially dehiscent fruits. "Contributions from the Bolus Herbarium", 9. Cape Town: Bolus Herbarium, University of Cape Town. ISBN 0-7992-2020-5.
  • Hultén, Eric (1971) The circumpolar plants. 2, Dicotyledons. Kungl. Svenska vetenskapsakademiens handlingar, 4(13).
    • I found a nice quote from FNA about Empetrum being a genus "where different authors rarely, if ever, arrive at the same conclusion". but missing the page. Do note that this periodical's name has a frustrating number of variants (both the first and the "vetenskapsakademiens" part have at least three variants).

Thanks in advance if anybody can help! Circéus (talk) 01:31, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

The Hultén reference is in the library here, in the second of two volumes, presumably republished. The catalogue gives Title: The circumpolar plants / by Eric Hultén. Publication info: Stockholm : Almqvist & Wiksell, 1962-1971. Series title: (Kungl. Svenska vetenskapsakademiens handlingar ; 4. ser., bd. 8, nr. 5). The volume and issue numbers are therefore a bit odd, but the page number is 86. A little more of the quote is as follows: "The Empetrum nigrum L. complex: A complicated complex, where different authors rarely, if ever, arrive at the same conclusion. Earlier the genus Empetrum was considered to comprise a single species E. nigrum, and it is questionable, whether this is not a sound view, if not the counterpart in the southern hemisphere is taken as a distinct species." On the rest of that page he dissects previous studies with comments like "divided it into no less than 7 species", "the colour of the fruit cannot be expected to be any very important distinguishing character" and "only a worldwide study of a large material can clear up the situation", then draws two maps, one for monoecious and one for dioecious taxa. Nadiatalent (talk) 22:58, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
You're right that I had a bit of a brainfart: I did not double check what I was pasting from Eric Hultén, and it _is_ series 4, not volume, though many references still quote a "13" somewhere in the reference, which is really confusing. I'll trust your first-hand account though. Thanks! Circéus (talk) 23:37, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

photo requests

There are over 16,000 requests for photographs in Category:Plant articles needing photos and over 2,400 on Wikipedia:WikiProject Tree of Life/Articles without images/Plants. This is obviously a big task no matter how you cut it but I think it would be useful to organise the requests a little differently. The category content is too large to run tools like Free Image Search Tool and I guess off putting for anyone to think of tackling it manually. With the page you cannot run Image checker over it and I would be surprised if people edit the page when adding an image to an article. I would like to propose splitting the category into sub-categories and would like to hear peoples views on this. The number of requests in a category should be less than 1,000 and probably more than 100 or 200; too many categories with only a few contents can also be a hindrance. Splitting by division would be an obvious first step and down to Class in many cases. But where is the mass of requests gong to be? Should some be split as far as Order or even Family? So do people think this would be useful? I am willing to do the re-editing work on the talk pages but only if people think it will help address the requests. Any other suggestions on the organisation of photo request sub-categories? --Traveler100 (talk) 10:23, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

In terms of contributors' ability to action requests, it makes much more sense to split by location. Hesperian 10:56, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
That would be useful, could actually do both, by classification and location. How far should location be taken. Continent or country, based on Category:Flora by distribution categories that follow the World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions --Traveler100 (talk) 11:34, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Continent would not be very helpful. There is little overlap between the flora of Guatemala and alaska, or between South Africa and Egypt. But "country" in the political sense is usually too finely divided. See Phytochorion for one possible solution system. --EncycloPetey (talk) 18:32, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
For plants, a family division is useful. The phytochoria seem too large. While countries/states may often be too fine-grained, there is a key advantage; many (most?) floras use political divisions to define their scope, and political divisions are often listed in WP articles, so the clever could use article content to generate request categorization. Some special-case ecological units are useful too - if there was a category of requested pictures for the Mojave desert, I could be out getting the shots tomorrow. Stan (talk) 23:25, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
I think the location categorisation should match the categories already in the articles (i.e. Flora of ...). I don't really see a need for categorisation by families from a photographer's point of view, the existing default alphabetical list effectively already sorts by genus, except for a small minority of articles with titles that are not in the Genus or Genus species format. Melburnian (talk) 04:52, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Country makes sense from the point of view of the photographer, basically the same plant will have to be in a number of request categories. I can see the point of the Phytochorion system but then the aim is not to classify the requests but to make it easier to get them addressed, subtle but important difference. The splitting of the main group is not because the alphabetic ordering is wrong but because the number of articles in it make is difficult to process. --Traveler100 (talk) 15:48, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Some numbers. Of the 16130 requests for images, 10472 belong to a location under the Flora by continent category. 1878 requests are in North America out of 10128 plants in that category, 231 requests for flora of Europe out of 4375 plants in that category. I think location will be valuable but cannot be the only method of organising photo requests. On the topic of organising by classification Category:Plant divisions does not appear complete to me. Is there a good top level category I can use for a few statistics runs? --Traveler100 (talk) 17:06, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Truculent editor

I'm having a difficult tine with Drphilharmonic (talk · contribs), who has been making war on adverbs and thereby altering the meaning of many articles. He is correcting some grammatical problems, but regularly introduces many new problems, which he refuses to discuss any longer. Among these problems are incorrect hyphenation, incorrect subject-verb agreement, and the aforementioned attempt to eradicate adverbs. Most recently, I've had issues with his changes to Brassicaceae, and have already gone through a 3RR regarding his edit-warring on Fungus. I know that Peter Coxhead here has had dealings with this editor before, and Drphilharmonic's talk page responses to postings are particularly enlightening. In short, he refuses to discuss anything with anyone because it's beneath him. Help? --EncycloPetey (talk) 23:09, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

An actual AN/I discussion might be in order (at least to attract more eyes: the user has been around for a while, I'm surprised no discussion seems to have ever occurred). It looks as if he does not dweel on individual articles too long, so havig a bit of patience might be enough (usually with this kind of editors, just letting the edit stand for a short bit before correcting will do the trick). Circéus (talk) 23:46, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Simply waiting would probably not work in this instance. The editor systematically seeks out and "corrects" certain items. All instances of "single-celled" were being converted to "single-cell" despite the protests of mutliple users. The same thing was happening for "X-shaped". Waiting and going back later would merely lengthen the cycle between changes, and not result in any overall success. --EncycloPetey (talk) 00:07, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
AN/I it is. THis editor clearly has problems wrapping his head around WP:CON and WP:DE (though it's not PoV disruptive, it otherwise fits the bill). Circéus (talk) 01:19, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Wow, at Brassicaceae, editor had changed

"It is one of eight plant family names that has an accepted alternative name that does not bear the suffix -aceae."


"Of the eight plant family names, it is the one that has an accepted alternative name and that does not bear the suffix aceae."

Hesperian 02:55, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Exactly. He doesn't consider the meaning of either the original or resulting text, but rather makes mechanical edits according to pre-determined bias. When confronted, he ignores / reverts. If forced to discuss, he'll act as if he had proposed some other wording than that which he actually used. You should see his talk page comments, I mean the ones that he's made to other editors. It's frustrating to deal with, and he's done this on quite a number of plant-related articles. (Note: He would argue against "plant-related" as a logical term because, to his mind, the "-ed" suffix implies action, and "plant-related" describes a state rather than an action.) --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:01, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
This user's talk page is highly illuminating, not in the way which the user obviously believes it to be, but rather from a psychological point of view.... PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 03:12, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I haven't been around recently (real world work to do!) but I can confirm that EncycloPetey is quite right in saying that I have had run-ins with this editor; I tried assuming good faith but just wasted a lot of my time to no real effect. So don't waste your time; there's clear evidence of his disruptive behaviour, regardless of whether it's meant or not. Peter coxhead (talk) 03:44, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
He's now reverted Brassicaceae for a fourth time, despite having been given a 3R warning by me. --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:58, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
He's now reverted a fifth time (as an anon) for which I've blocked him. --EncycloPetey (talk) 04:28, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Re the Brassicaceae article, now that he's blocked from this virtual world, maybe we can refocus this editor's energy and enthusiasm from eradicating adverbs to eradicating Brassica nigra from Southern California. PPdd (talk) 05:05, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Nom. inval. question

A question: has anyone noticed what authors are doing these days in synonym lists when they might previously have said "nom. inval."? The Vienna code says in the preface "The Code establishes (Art. 12.1) that only if validly published does a name have any status ... For this reason recent editions of the Code have replaced “name” by “designation” when the requirements for valid publication have not been met, and the Vienna Code has taken this further by avoiding such contradictory expressions as a name being validated, or being invalid. Given the very different meaning of “valid” and “invalid” applied to names in zoological nomenclature (equivalent to the botanical “correct” and “incorrect”), it is convenient that neither “valid name” nor “invalid name” need be used in botanical nomenclature: either a name is validly published or else it is not a validly published name, i.e. not a name under the Code."

It seems to me that in wikipedia (and elsewhere) it would be useful to indicate in some way that a "designation" has been used, but is not a "name". I'm tempted to put "non val." in the synonymy lists, since I see this as a rather cunning way to avoid using the term "nom". Nadiatalent (talk) 17:43, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Well, if the correct term for the valid designations is "name", then nom. inval. is still fine. Technically, the "nom." is short for Latin nomen, and not for "name". Unless and until the Code says that valid names are nomina, there isn't a problem inherent in the traditional system of abbreviations. Latin nomen has a broader meaning than the taxonomic sense of "name". A taxonomic name is a proper noun designating a taxon; a Latin nomen can be a proper name, nickname, appellation, or can mean "noun" in the grammatical sense. FWIW, the Kew checklists are still using nom. inval. --EncycloPetey (talk) 18:26, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm always a little wary of designations outside the code, even if they have historical usage. It seems there is more potentential for misunderstanding or misinterpretation. Wouldn't the terms in the Code, "illegitimate" or "synonym", cover about the same territory? --Tom Hulse (talk) 19:31, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
The abbreviations nom. illeg. and nom. inval. do not mean the same thing. A nomen invalidum has not met all the requirements of a valid name, but a nomen illeg. violates the Code in some way. --EncycloPetey (talk) 20:00, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Plus Wikipedia reflects common usage in the field, and if common usage amongst botanist is use of "nom. inval." to show that a name in use is not validly published, then I don't see why Wikipedia should attempt to be more catholic than the Pope. We don't try to "fix" current usage that is illegitimate, for example, cf. the illegitimate Gigaspermaceae (fungi) (Should be Gigaspermataceae) or Geogenanthus (should be Uleopsis). Circéus (talk) 20:55, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
An interesting point. There does seem to be quite a bit of correcting going on, but presumably mostly following the other big databases.Nadiatalent (talk) 21:30, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Gosh. Thanks for the replies. At the last IBC, one of the changes approved was to get rid of "nomen novum" throughout the code and replace it with "replacement name". This was because "nomen novum", which literally means "new name" was being used in a confusingly specialized way to mean "replacement name". The translation of name/nomen is far more fraught than I realized. So, on checking the Code further, Recommendation 50 is clearly very relevant: "nomen nudum" covers many of the actual cases, and "pro syn." covers cases that were invalid because they were merely cited in synonymy. However, the "designations" that look as if they were published, but were not accepted by the author (article 34) would be one hole in that system, and those published without a clear indication of rank (article 35), or without indication of the type (article 37). IPNI has a policy of removing anything that turns out to be invalid, but here where we have to deal with names that gardeners know, it is a problem, so nom. inval. will be very useful (though I'm fairly sure that someone has fought me about using it in wikipedia at some time).. Nadiatalent (talk) 21:30, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

EncycloPetey, to help me better understand, could you give me an example of a nom. inval. that is not an illegitimate name and is not a synonym? --Tom Hulse (talk) 23:06, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
First of all, are you familiar with the Code's definition of illegitimate name: "A validly published name that is not in accordance with one or more rules". So, by definition, a name cannot be illegitimate unless it is valid, and all illegitimate names are (again by definition) valid. A nomen invalidum is a "name" that was not validly published, such as one that lacked a type or Latin diagnosis at the time it was published. For example, the liverwort family "Treubiitaceae", published by R. M. Schuster in 1980 for the sole fossil genus Treubiites, is invalid and has no valid synonyms (at least it had none in 1983; I am uncertain whether this has since been rectified). --EncycloPetey (talk) 23:28, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
But it's relevant, I think, that you had to put quotes around "name". While Wikipedia needs to follow established usage rather than lead it, I agree with Nadia to the extent that the term "nom. inval." should be avoided where this is possible without distorting the source, because it is potentially misleading. Once you have to distinguish between the different meanings of "name", "nomen" and "name under the Code" it's best left to professional taxonomists. :-) Peter coxhead (talk) 01:24, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
I didn't have to put quotes around name, but I chose to for purposes of the current context, in order to make clear that I understood the distinction currently made in the Code. For most articles, the distinction will be irrelevant, as we have taxonomic names, common names, names in other languages, cultivar names, Classical names, obsolete names, etc. We should not worry unduly over precision of such terminology, except in paragraphs or sections specifically discussing the Code or its application to a particular taxon's nomenclature. --EncycloPetey (talk) 04:14, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you EncycloPetey for the example. :) Your explanation points to a reason the Code tells us not to use "invalid name" anymore. The definition of a botanical synonym is "A name considered to apply to the same taxon as the accepted name", so if names could be either valid or invalid, then Treubiitaceae would be a synonym of Treubiites, which you have explained it is not. This is only so since Treubiitaceae is not a name at all under the code, just a designation. Think hard about this: "invalid name" is an oxymoron, an impossible phrase. The newest code has dictated that we no longer use the phrase to fix a real problem causing confusion. Are we really trying to say that the same exact thing in Latin (yes it's the same, see below), is really somehow not causing the same confusion, or that they somehow intended for such a tortured loophole? Here's what the code says:

The Code establishes (Art. 12.1) that only if validly published does a name have any status; indeed, unless otherwise indicated, the word “name” in the Code means a name that has been validly published (Art. 6.3). For this reason recent editions of the Code have replaced “name” by “designation” when the requirements for valid publication have not been met, and the Vienna Code has taken this further by avoiding such contradictory expressions as a name being validated, or being invalid. Given the very different meaning of “valid” and “invalid” applied to names in zoological nomenclature (equivalent to the botanical “correct” and “incorrect”), it is convenient that neither “valid name” nor “invalid name” need be used in botanical nomenclature: either a name is validly published or else it is not a validly published name, i.e. not a name under the Code.

Circeus, I don't know how applicable your "more Catholic than the Pope" analogy is, since the Pope is not "common usage", but the Code itself. When we use fancy latin terms in a botanical sense like this, we are inferring a direct connection, not to common useage, but to the ICBN. The only real consensus here, among all in botany, is that if the Code changes, we all change. So if the Pope says all Catholics should turn right, then you have to turn right, or you're not a Catholic anymore. ;)
On the Latin interpretation of nomen invalidum, Kew defines it directly as "invalid name" (most of their data was entered before the 2004 Code change). The OED defines nomen as simply "name". Merriam Webster = "name". Even the Code itself, as part of definitions of 5 other "nomens", defines nomen as simply "name". In common useage, when anyone who is familiar with Taxonomy reads "nomen invalidum", they immediatly say in their head "invalid name" (everyone). So there is no alternate, ambiguous, or hyper-technical meaning for "nov. inval." except "invalid name".
It is also relevant that since "nomen invalidum" has been in common useage in the past, that the Code includes all the other nomens in glossary, but specifically left this one out, and directly addressed the reasons for not using it in the Preface (same reasons apply to both Latin & English translations). --Tom Hulse (talk) 02:17, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
What I mean is that we can't apply the rules more stringently then actual botanists do: it would violates current consensus amongst experts and turns into original research (for example, there have been no combination published in Uleopsis that we could use as article titles!). I think the code's problem is that they are trying hard to make it so that there are "names under the code" and "foobar not under the code", but there is NO word without connection to "name" that is readily usable to cover the foobar concept of "putative taxon name that was not actually validly published" (not to mention there is also "nom. prov." where "name/nomen" ALSO is not a "name" under the code!), and I have an inkling these efforts, as well-intended as they are, are doomed to fail. Circéus (talk) 03:43, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Re:Tom Hulse. Actually, no. Treubiitaceae cannot be a synonym of Treubiites because they are of different rank. Taxa of differing rank cannot be taxonomic synonyms. So, all of your argument that follows based on the assumption that they are synonyms does not apply. Taxa can only be synonyms when they have the same rank. Treubiites has no synonyms because there is no other family rank taxon based on Treubiites, and Treubiites does not belong to any modern family. There is thus no provision under the code for designating the class of "names" (which I place in quotes here solely because of the current context) that are not valid. If we don't can them nom. inval. (as taxonomists do), then we have no other way to designate them. Creating our own idiosyncratic terminology would be against WP:NOR. (EncycloPetey's contribution continues below)
In common(ish) usage taxa of infraspecific rank are not rarely given as synonyms of species - perhaps when an author has decided to recognise no subordinate taxa. I see to recall the same occurring with infrageneric taxa. Lavateraguy (talk) 09:52, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
When someone changes the rank, they will generally cite the original as a synonym. Nadiatalent (talk) 13:06, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
As for your discussion of the Latin meaning of nomen, you might try looking in a book about Latin, rather than dictionaries of the English language. You can see the Wiktionary entry for nōmen, if you do not have access to another Latin dictionary. But my point is that there is no alternative way used in Latin to say "invalid designation"; botanists use nomen invalidum for that, and Wikipedia does not set new taxonomic standards. We use what the publications use, and they use nomen invalidum. --EncycloPetey (talk) 04:10, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
So after reading all that, I continue to agree with EncycloPetey that we have to continue to say "nom. inval.", the alternative outside wikipedia might be "non val", or to translate "designation" into Latin in some other way ("hic designatus" means here designated, in the context of lectotypes), but in wikipedia such a novelty is inappropriate. As an aside to Tom Hulse: "fancy names" is a term used in the very first Code, the Lois de la Nomenclature Botanique (1867) for the non-Latin names, the names for cultivars (perhaps the ICNCP continues to use such a term), so we should try not to say "fancy Latin names".
The change in the Vienna code is really a clarification, not complete novelty, so perhaps the forthcoming code will work this over again and provide a bit more guidance (but I suspect that the editorial committee has plenty else to consider and is unlikely to get to this).
It's wonderful to get real gritty discussion here of what is usually called an arcane point! Nadiatalent (talk) 12:37, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
My conclusion is that we should (of course) use "nom. inval." if the source uses it, but if the source happens to use some other way of indicating "not validly published", then we shouldn't replace this by "nom. inval.", whereas such a replacement would be ok for the other non-problematic Latin phrases. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:23, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
EncycloPetey, I don't want to get bogged down in the aside of Treubiites (I'll stipulate whatever you say there is so), but it doesn't really matter, because you can look at the same arguments though in a more general sense, and they're still true. According to the Code, a "name" is valid, no exceptions. The Code I quoted carefully explained to you why "invalid name" is an impossible oxymoron and shouldn't be used.
Regarding finding a latin dictionary, I'm ok, thanks, lol. Since you recommended it though, take a look at Wiktionary, it also has just "name" for the primary definition of nomen. Remember that the ICBN changes are to avoid confusion, so the primary definition is the relevant one. Remember also that even Kew (which you cited) defines nom. inval. as just "invalid name", no alternates. ICBN too (!), nomen is just "name" in the glossary. Even here at Wikipedia, the Glossary of botanical terms, interprets nom. inval. as just "name that is not valid". This is plainly how everyone interprets nom. inval. If you were to tell us that you personally silently say to yoursef "invalid noun" or "invalid designation", instead of "invalid name" like everyone else, then you might be the only botanist in the world who does. ;)
If you want to say that there is an (alleged) consensus to use still use nom. inval., and agree that you are violating the Code, then fine; but please no silly story about how it is hyper-technically different than "invalid name" and so not against the Code, or that it won't cause the same confusion they so carefully explained.
On the consensus issue, your real consensus is dated & fading. Many of the examples using nom. inval. would be from before the Code took effect and the changes were more widely adopted. I don't know how you would go about demonstrating current consensus, since botanists who follow the Code simply don't use "nom. inval." or "invalid name" anymore, so how would you compare? Please see WP:RS/AC regarding your consensus claim. On the other hand, would you agree that there IS consensus that most all botanist are doing their best to try and follow the current code, and that violations and lagging behind current standards is usually unintentional? One more question, why do you have to use Latin for "invalid name"? Latin use of terms like nom. nud., and nom. rej. are prescribed by the Code, so why is it necessary to go beyond the Code and find Latin equivalents for things the Code has not deemed necessary to Latinize? Is this the real case of more Catholic than the Pope?
Peter, I agree that your solution is probably inevitable. --Tom Hulse (talk) 09:22, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
I would comment that Latin is historically the language of botany, not just the language of parts of the code; botanical Latin is a living language. Some of the participants in the recent IBC have been quoted as saying that they would "rather die than use English". We've only allowed English descriptions for 3.5 days so far, hardly enough time to gather what the consensus might be among academic botanists. I would also point out that the Code of nomenclature has a history of wrong turnings that then have to be corrected; you can see part of the story at International Botanical Congress, where I'm slowly adding a distillation of the most momentous changes with each edition of the code (because I really want to know why so many illegitimate names were made in the 1910–1930 interval). As a colleague is fond of saying "I told them that morphotaxa would be a disaster, and now I've been proven right". The total proscription on saying "invalid name" is, I think, causing a lot of problems, and unless some strategy has already been found that I don't know about, that proscription will have to be altered; perhaps the difficult cases (no type specified, etc.) can become illegitimate rather than invalid, or something of that sort. In the meantime, the best advice is EncyloPetey's to continue using "nom. inval." in wikipedia (though "nom. nud" will probably cover a lot of the ground). Nadiatalent (talk) 18:44, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, time will tell. However, in paleobotany, Latin descriptions have not been required for many years (not sure off-hand when this changed), and I've found none in the sources I've used for Silurian/Devonian plants. So I suspect that Latin will disappear quite quickly, particularly among botanists whose native language is not an Indo-European one. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:55, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Coming in a bit late, but I want to remind everyone that "name" has well-understood meanings in English that would probably include "invalid designations". Not only did the ICN not change the meaning of nomen, they can only legislate the meaning of "name" in a narrow context.--Curtis Clark (talk) 03:17, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Curtis, if you want to use "name" in a common English context outside of the ICBN rules, then you are not saying it could be used with respect to anything related to botanical nomenclature? No, the ICBN did not change the meaning of "nomen", but by international agreement, they do have a right to solidly dictate exactly the meaning of every word used in botanical nomenclature. They say nomen = name. I don't know if I would say their legislative context is really narrow; again by international agreement they are given the right to define terms for nearly anything relative to our discussion here.
Nadiatalent, it seems like you are trying to say there is a whole language of Botany outside the Code, there isn't. The Code is the very definition of the "language of botany", or botanical nomenclature. I didn't mean that you should have to write all your original descriptions in English, just that there is no need to include invalid designations with them or to call these designations a name, as the Code says. And there is certainly no need for Wikipedia editors to be using new instances of the prohibited "nom. inval." in an English encyclopedia, as long as a direct quote from an author is not required. It really looks like want vs. need to me. --Tom Hulse (talk) 21:51, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
No, they do not say that "nomen = name". The symbol "=" means something very specific in botanical nomencalture: It means that two things are taxonomically synonymous, and that the names are based on different types.
So, by your own reasoning, you cannot use the symbol "=" in your discussion because it has a strict taxonomic definition that is (presumably) not what you intended here. Now, if you believe that the Code states that nomen is 100% synonymous with "name", then you need to provide a citation for that. If, on the other hand the code translates "name" as nomen, and no strict one-to-one meaning is explicitly stated, then you are merely drawing an inference, and that constitutes original research.
And, Tom, whatever your opinon, there is indeed a whole language of botany outside of the code. The code only governs the publication of taxa and their names, and the formatting and usage of those taxonomic names once they have been published. It does nothing for all the other areas of botany, such as morphology, physiology, agronomy, thrematology, paleobotany, genetics, evolution, etc. To be blind to all this botany outside of taxonomy is unfortunate. --EncycloPetey (talk) 23:33, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
Really, you chose the equal sign to pick on, out of all the many solid points I gave you above? Could you still be arguing that the writers of the Code intended that everyone should still use "nom. inval.", and still cause the same confusion they warned of, only now it's in Latin, so it's OK, right? In any case, the Vienna Code Glossary (glossary is a "brief dictionary", OED) defines nom. cons., nom. nod., nom. nud., etc., as "names". It does not just translate them. So yes you are right, it is by inference that that "nomen" is defined as "name", but it is a simple, clear, and obvious inference. And for goodness sakes, that was the last of several unimpeachable references I gave you proving that nomen's primary definition is just "name".
On the other point, if you wish to interpret the Code/botanical-nomenclature as just another discipline separate from agronomy, and not a part of it, then how would that apply to our discussion here of "nom. inval."? In what instance would you be using Latin in agronomy or thremmatology, where it necessary to use "nom. inval." in a way that is not relevant to botanical nomenclature so the Code would have no jurisdiction? Never. Every time you use "nom. inval", unless perhaps it was part of a necessary quote from a prior author, it is going to be in a nomenclatural context that is controlled by the ICBN, with their authority coming from international agreement. --Tom Hulse (talk) 01:08, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
To have solid point, you need a solid premise on which it is based. I, and others here, have pointed out that the premises you are using to begin each argument are themselves faulty. A house of cards built on a trampoline does not make make for a solid argument. And yet, you keep dismissing the fact that your premises are faulty, and proceed to repeat the same argument. --EncycloPetey (talk) 02:07, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Hogwash! ;) I have proven 1) it is the intent of the Code that you not use "invalid name" and obviously for the same reasons (reasons I quoted from the Code) not use its translation as well. And I have proven 2) that "nomen invalidum" is a translation of "invalid name". You gave no real reason to refute either except that in an hypertechnical, irrelevant sense nomen can rarely have an expanded meaning (which NEVER though applies to it's use in botanical nomenclature). Specifically why was either point in error? --Tom Hulse (talk) 02:51, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
The second point, but not as you've worded it in your latest post. Yes, you have shown that 'a translation of nomen invalidum is "invalid name",' but that does not mean that the Latin cannot be translated any other way, nor does it mean that it cannot be a valid translation of something else, such as "invalid appellation" (which is in fact a valid translation).
And you have not proven that the Code intends to restrict use of translations the term in other languages, only that they restrict use of "invalid name". --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:31, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
And as mentioned above, Nomen Novum≠New Name (rather, it means Replacement Name); so we cannot assume that the "obvious" translation has exactly the same meaning as a technical term that happens to be Latin. Nadiatalent (talk) 14:19, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Iirc, Latin is not one of the official languages of the Code.
I personally would avoid nom. inval., and for years I taught that if it isn't validly published, it isn't a name (even before the Code was explicit about this). And I would certainly use "name" in the sense of the Code in a paragraph about nomenclature. But I see very little traction in Wikipedia or any other non-nomenclatural work for replacing nom. inval. with "invalid designation" or similar, especially if the latter is not glossed. ("nom. inval." has 904,000 ghits, and "invalid designation" only 20,400. And none of the hits on the first page of the latter involve taxonomy.)--Curtis Clark (talk) 05:17, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Curtis, your experience with databases is clearly an asset here. As you say, "nom inval." is a much safer choice than some translation or other Latin phrase that we could choose or find in a small part of the literature. (Yes, Latin is not one of the official languages; they were English, French, German, and Spanish, and as of the Berlin code of 1987, only English has survived as the language of the official version of the code.)
What I think might possibly come from this discussion is some guidelines about how synonym lists for plant articles should appear in wikipedia. There are very few such lists as yet, of course. I'll make a separate section below for some thoughts on this, but what worries me most is that, given the deep disagreement expressed above, it may be impossible to achieve consensus on even some partial guidelines. More to come below. Nadiatalent (talk) 14:19, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Please forgive me for the delay getting back. Pete, a phrase can have a definition separate from its individual parts. Please show me even one reference, reliable or not, that interprets "nom. inval.", in a botanical sense, as your "invalid appellation". All reliable sources interpret "nom. inval." as "invalid name", that should settle it. If you think it's ok, according to the Code, to use a translation of something they have prohibited in English, then perhaps you would tell me if you care about the reasons that the Code says not to use "invalid name". Do you care? The reasons for both English and Latin are the same, even if you could theoretically find a source that says "nom. inval." means anything other than invalid name.
Nadia, the real lesson we learn from "nomen novum" is that in every single instance, the Code interprets "nomen" specifically as only "name".
Curtis I'm glad to hear you also avoid the use of nom. inval. I wouldn't want to replace direct quotes when they are necessary, but my real point is that some here are just assuming it is necessary to list these names in taxbox list of synonyms where an abbreviated tag like nom. inval. would be useful; it's just not needed, nor desirable to have any fancy "designation" at all, nor to put them in a taxbox (which automatically implies compliance with a formal system of nomenclature). If it wasn't validly published, then we can just say so in plain English in the article (per the examples in the Code). It's not hard; simple as pie to follow the Code, plus it has the real benefit of removing the confusion they warned against. --Tom Hulse (talk) 05:36, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Butte potato for deletion

How are agricultural cultivars dealt with on Wikipedia? It does not seem to me that Butte potato has any chance of being deleted, as it's a research cultivar, but I don't know much about potatoes. Pseudofusulina (talk) 19:42, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

The page as it was seemed to be quite wrong. I've just added a citation about its release in 1977 that says nothing about it surviving the Irish Famine. Unless it improves considerably, I'd favour deletion. Nadiatalent (talk) 22:01, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Plant Divisions

Category:Plant divisions had very few references. I have added a number of articles and categories based on the lists at Plant#Diversity and Phylum#Plant divisions but it is a challenge to get a one to one. In particular the article Ginkgophyta redirects to a family of plants and I cannot find a good category grouping this division. Also the group Category:Green algae does not split into divisions. Could someone take a look at this and make corrections where required? --Traveler100 (talk) 10:46, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

A major problem is that there is no consensus at present on what Divisions plants should be divided into (or even what constitutes "plants"). So I'm not convinced that such a category is really useful. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:58, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Review needed

Hi, is it possible to get some reviews here - Wikipedia:Peer review/Bambusa vulgaris/archive1? Aditya(talkcontribs) 11:02, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

List of Ericaceae genera conversion finished

Well, 90% finished. I couldn't find reliable estimates for species and distribution in a couple genera, and I'm still missing a couple bibliographic details (in one case, I couldn't even figure out where the genus was properly published!). Any help reviewing the thing appreciated. Circéus (talk) 02:41, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Nice work. Just one thing -- "# of species" is not sorting properly.--Melburnian (talk) 04:14, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Fixed. The type of Pellegrinia is missing for some reason. --Stemonitis (talk) 07:29, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the sort fix. Melburnian (talk) 07:53, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Type added. Thanks for the nk fix. I never got the hand of sorting templates. Circéus (talk) 08:48, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Mist lifting off cedars by DJ Schulte

Ashe Juniper (popularly called Cedar) in 'Mist lifting off cedars' by DJ Schulte

Hi everyone, quick question, what kind of plants are shown in this image ? I'd love to know so I can discuss it with the artist, this is the image that came up in the media, Forbes for example. At the moment the picture can't be used on Wikipedia for reasons being discussed Here.(archive) It came up that they are not cedars at all, is that true ? Penyulap talk 20:20, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Just a guess based on zero knowledge of the "land, between Austin & Driftwood, TX", the evergreens in the image look to me like pines (with oaks in the background, perhaps). Nadiatalent (talk)
Perhaps there are some Mountain Cedars (Juniperus ashei)] lurking in the mist? Melburnian (talk) 00:00, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Agree that they're Juniperus and probably ashei, but could also possibly be one of several Junipers native to Texas, [here] is a nice list, look under Cedar. Nice photo. :) --Tom Hulse (talk) 06:18, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Here the author mentions that "Ashe Juniper (popularly called Cedar) is the most proliferous entity on our land". Melburnian (talk) 06:40, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
I popped it into the Juniperus article with the caption given here. Penyulap talk 17:38, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Horticulture and Soil Science Wiki

I have started a wiki that focuses on Horticulture, soil science, gardening and other topics. I have had it up for ten days. I could use more editors who have knowledge in this area to help. Thanks!

Bry Landry (talk) 03:33, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

South Indian Plants

Very close relative of the Hibiscus, Abelmoschus moschatus. Your photo would make a nice addition to the article. --Tom Hulse (talk) 19:35, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Agapanthus in New Zealand and similar articles

I was puzzled by the logic of the article Agapanthus in New Zealand, and asked the editor who created it to justify its separate existence. (See User_talk:Alan_Liefting#Agapanthus_in_New_Zealand.) I've copied the core of his reply here for reference:

It is a nice succinct article (in my opinion) that is sufficiently notable, as indicated by the number of references. If the contents were merged with Agapanthus it would give that article a geographical imbalance, and given how WP continues to grow, if you will excuse the unintended pun, it would have to be split out at some point in the future. Finally, a lesser issue is linking and categorisation. Having this standalone article allows for Category:Invasive plant species in New Zealand to be added and allows linking from Gardening in New Zealand. This lets a reader go directly to the topic of interest. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 18:20, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

I can see the logic of this argument, but consider Heracleum mantegazzianum (Giant Hogweed): this section suggests that at least six "Giant Hogweed in <country>" articles could be constructed. The balance between smaller, sharper articles and larger, broader ones is always a tricky one for me, but my feeling is not to multiply articles in this way. What do others think? -- Peter coxhead (talk) 22:19, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Since WP is not paper I see no issue with separate articles for any species that is invasive (within reason). If a topic is notable and verifiable it can have its own article. The different invasive species are problematic to varying degrees depending on the location and we can adjust the coverage in WP to suit. New Zealand, as with some other island nations such as Hawaii, have huge problems with weeds. I have created, or split out a number of articles about both plant and animal pests in New Zealand:
For the US I had split the lengthy Kudzu in the United States article out kudzu. I have also done a few for invertebrates. There is a possible progression that could and does happen: "Plant" -> section on "Invasiveness" is built up -> split out to separate "Plant by County" article -> split out to separate "Plant in County" articles as it expands. How much a plant proceeds along this continuum depends on WP editors and notability. With the likes of Agapanthus in New Zealand I merely skipped all the immediate steps and created the article from the word go. One of the many reasons in doing this is that splitting an article it a real painful process. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 22:38, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Once a country starts issuing laws/regulation and spending large money on dealing with an invasive, that seems like it should automatically rise to sufficient notability for an article, plus you have good source material then, in the form of government reports on how the effort is going. Conversely, mere appearance on a list of undesirables is not going to be enough to work with. Stan (talk) 20:15, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Peer review

Comments on the article Bambusa vulgaris are currently sought here Shyamal (talk) 05:42, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Article proposed for deletion

Abutilon × hybridum has been proposed for deletion. Comments welcome at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Abutilon × hybridum. Thanks. --Tom Hulse (talk) 10:08, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

This has brought to my attention that wikipedia doesn't have an article for patio plant. Lavateraguy (talk) 13:46, 29 January 2012 (UTC)


Are B. arundinacea and B. Vulgaris the same? (click for full text) Aditya(talkcontribs) 14:54, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Proposal for image guideline on plant articles

Is there any way that we can try to introduce a Project guideline for photos? That would be to try to at least have one photo in an article that includes other parts of the plants and not just the flowers? It just bothers me that most plant pictures used in articles are cropped so much to show only the flowers. See: Phragmipedium kovachii (If you look in Commons, there is a decent picture with the leaves included that could have been used). The human habit of focusing on just the flowers is not giving a NPOV of the plants anatomy. Leaves and overall plant structure may provide some value in research and also greatly help with identification for use on Wikipedia. It may required to observe more than just the flowers to correctly identify a plant, especially in the case of species within a certain genera or sub-genera (see Euphorbia or Aster). We don't want any mislabeled photographs here right? So, isn't it better to include leaves, stems, trunks, roots (when possible), too? I'm not saying every photograph should include all those. But when almost every picture is just a cropped view of the flowers, it leaves a lot ot be desired on teh portrayal of plant anatomy. -- (talk) 12:25, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

I think we all agree that a selection of photos to highlight different parts of the plant is good, but many plant articles are mere stubs. The standard/default if only one photo is available (such as in the taxobox) is often of a flower and some leaves, but we try to get habit, fruit etc. soon afterwards if we can fit. Casliber (talk · contribs) 13:35, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
The additional problems are that (1) not all important features can be visible at a single point in time, so that even a good photographer may not be able to photograph both flowering and fruiting, or both vegetative and reproductive stages in the life cycle. We also have very few germination and seedling photos, despite the phenomenon of juvenility in the leaf form. (2) The same criteria will not apply across all plants. The discussion above works as a starting point for flowering plants, but does not suffice for morphological oddballs like duckweed, grasses, or achlorophyllous parasites. Nor does it suffice for ferns, where the sori and gametophyte can be photographed. Nor will any set of vascular plant criteria work for mosses, for which microscopic features are needed to recognize many genera and species. We can create a short guideline, but anything we create with specifics will either be woefully incomplete or hopelessly complicated. The only general rule of thumb that might be reasonably simple is "Include pictures sufficient to illustrate the taxon and (if possible) to distinguish it from other taxa." --EncycloPetey (talk) 15:25, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Another difficulty is introduced by featured pictures, which may be botanically unhelpful, but woe to the foolhardy who tries to replace the pretty face-on photo of an asteracean with the not-so-pretty closeup of the diagnostic phyllaries! :-) We haven't been plagued much with the picture-haters that try to delete galleries, but it would probably be prudent to include a reminder that even short plant articles will likely need multiple pictures in order to adequately document the taxon. Stan (talk) 20:02, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Actually, there have been (minor) disputes over galleries. I'm in favour of a gallery of images that illustrate different parts/aspects of a plant, at least until the article gets expanded sufficiently to be able to move the images inline. However, not everyone is. (Galleries with lots of images of the same part of the plant clearly should be removed.) Peter coxhead (talk) 15:47, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I've been struggling with this issue too. Peter (and others), do you think an article like Brugmansia could reach GA status with its gallery? Also I've wanted to add the photo above from the previous post to the Abelmoschus moschatus article, because it is a very attractive picture, but I don't want to usurp the less-attractive-but-more-complete image that is there now; and the stub seems too small to have 2 images. Any thoughts as to what you all would do there? --Tom Hulse (talk) 16:22, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm also in favor of galleries in short articles or in articles where they can't be shown without cluttering the page. There really is no other way of retaining the pictures, and removing them would mean the loss of important information. I think a gallery is justifiable in those cases. We even have a policy for it, WP:Galleries:
"However, the use of a gallery section may be appropriate in some Wikipedia articles if a collection of images can illustrate aspects of a subject that cannot be easily or adequately described by text or individual images. The images in the gallery collectively must have encyclopedic value and add to the reader's understanding of the subject."
But yes, I agree, purely aesthetic variants of pictures that show the same thing should be culled.-- Obsidin Soul 04:03, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Tom, I don't think the gallery at Brugmansia is justified. It doesn't contain images which are all designed to show aspects of the genus such as the form of growth or the detailed flower structure; it largely shows the flowers of different species/cultivars without making a point. You could have a gallery which is explicitly designed to show e.g. the variation in flower colour or shape within the genus, but this one doesn't appear to have any such clear purpose. I think that it falls within Obsidian Soul's description of "purely aesthetic variants of pictures that show the same thing", even though they are of different species. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:50, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
It's well-known that I don't like galleries, so I thought I'd chime in here. Galleries are almost never used properly and mostly serve to cram additional images into the article. While some take the quote Obsidian Soul noted above to mean that any collection of unique images of the organism can be shoved into a gallery, the whole of WP:IG seems to discourage that. Galleries are not a container for images that aren't related beyond the fact that they all belong to that organism. Galleries are meant to present order or allow easy comparison. Galleries are appropriate if you want to present all the life stages of an organism in order, or if there are, say, five main different floral arrangements in a genus and you want to allow for an easy side-by-side comparison. In my opinion, presenting the different morphological features (leaves, flower, roots, wood, etc.) in a gallery isn't very useful. Eventually you want several paragraphs on the morphology and the images will stagger nicely. Queue the excess images on the talk page until the article is expanded. Rkitko (talk) 21:26, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for info! That's about what I thought might be the case, but the image galleries tend to be the sacred cow of previous editors, so I was a little reluctant to move it on my own. Since you guys peeked at Brugmansia, do you think I'm ways off still before I should put this up for GA review? --Tom Hulse (talk) 21:37, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Speaking of articles with a surplus of images...

At the birds wikiproject many moons ago, I stuck in a working section on the project page for Wikipedia:WikiProject Birds#Standing_list_of_articles_with_several_images_but_little_text for articles with a surplus of images. Somewhere on the plants wikiproject where we can lodge and make a changeable standing list of plant articles in a similar state would be a great place for harvesting DYK articles. Editors might stumble over something that they think someone else has the time or inclination to expand. Thus we might prioritise expanding some more notable or photogenic plants.....for instance, the garden plant Abelmoschus moschatus is a sitter for a 5x DYK expansion...but I find it hard to get excited by Malvaceae unless they are members of Brachychiton :) Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:13, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Is this worth any excitement? Lavateraguy (talk) 11:23, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Har har, it's got Brachychiton acerifolius which helps :) Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:36, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

PS: I've been bold and created Wikipedia:WikiProject_Plants/Collaboration#Standing_list_of_plant_articles_with_a_surplus_of_photos_and_relatively_little_text, so add all those you can think of. Go for it!Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:19, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Style for trade designations/selling names

We've discussed how to typeset selling names (a.k.a. marketing names, trade designations, etc.) on a number of occasions, but never reached a consensus, so nothing got added to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (flora). I think it is useful to have something there, even if it just records the lack of consensus and lists alternatives. So I've created a new section Wikipedia:Naming conventions (flora)#Selling names. I don't think I've said anything which is contentious, but please check and edit/revert/disagree if I have. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:32, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Taxonomy vs. phylogeny

A nice little example for those interested in taxonomy: a 2011 molecular phylogeny makes it clear that Meconopsis cambrica is not related to the rest of the genus (which geographical distribution already suggested), but is nested within Papaver, so that it should revert to Linnaeus' name Papaver cambricum. However, it's the type species of the genus Meconopsis, so a move would leave all the Sino-Himalayan blue poppies either without a name or as something other than Meconopsis. So pending a possible name conservation proposal, it seems it has to be left where it is. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:23, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

That result seems to actually simplify things. That Meconopsis cambrica is (arguably) not congeneric with the Himalayan species is an old result mentioned in the 2000 edition of Grey-Wilsons "Poppies". Lavateraguy (talk) 12:09, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Sure, it simplifies and clarifies our understanding of the botany involved, in line with many previous intuitions, and makes perfect sense biogeographically. But it messes up the taxonomy because unless the name Meconopsis is conserved, all the Sino-Himalayan species should be re-named. So to me it's a nice illustration of the problems of the "type species" approach to naming genera. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:45, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Technically there's nothing against recognising Meconopsis sin M. cambrica with the assumption that a conservation proposal is pending, but yeah usually the practice is to not make the full changes yet. However this is nomenclature adding influence to the thing (i.e. by "preventing" the move of M. cambrica). Circéus (talk) 19:21, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Same result, regarding M. cambrica, as this 2006 molecular study: of Papaver and Related Genera, and another one, Phylogeny of Papaver s.l. (Papaveraceae): polyphyly or monophyly?. I thought it was interesting, from all three studies, that Meconopsis cambrica is only monophyletic with Papaver if you also sink the two genera Roemeria and Stylomecon into it, or else M. cambrica would have to be it's own genus. So IF a "splitter" happened to do the next monograph on Papaver, and split out M. cambrica into it's own genus, then Meconopsis Vig. would be reserved for the Welsh poppy, making conservation of the name for the Himalayan species unlikely. Do any of you know anything about Cathcartia Hook., if it might be a legitimate name for the Himilayan species? --Tom Hulse (talk) 21:31, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Actually in Kadereit et al. (2011), M. cambrica is well-embedded in a Papaver/Stylomecon clade, so even a splitter would have a problem extracting it. The simplest solution is to put them all into Papaver, but then I'm instinctively a lumper. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:50, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
I realize I meant to respond to your point about Cathcartia. The type species appears to be C. villosa = Meconopsis villosa, which falls outside the main Meconopsis clade. The cladogram in Kadereit et al. (2011) implies something like the following unless they are all to be lumped into Papaver:

Cathcartia (M. villosa, M. chelidonifolia, M. smithiana)

Papaver s.s. (inc. Stylomecon and M. cambrica)

Roemeria (inc. Papaver pavonium, P. argemone, etc.)

new genus for Papaver sect. Meconella (apparently no generic name available – someone could formally raise Meconella)

Mecononopsis s.s.

Peter coxhead (talk) 15:26, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Vandalism at artichoke

I have just semi-protected the article artichoke, after an exceptional bout of vandalism there. A large number of IPs, most of whom have never edited any other article, were making unconstructive edits faster than ClueBot NG could keep up. The protection is only set to last a few days, so it would be good if some people could add it to their watchlists. Hopefully, the kids will get bored of waiting before then and find something else to do instead. Also, if anyone can suggest a more general forum where I can note the occurrence, that would be useful; it looks our existing tools are rather slow to deal with this kind of thing. --Stemonitis (talk) 18:22, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Yes, quite a concerted attack - I suspect it was planned in advance. Maybe they thought a mass bombardment of edits would somehow ensure at least some remained, though of course simply retrieving the most recent page prior to the vandalism gets round that problem (assuming there are no valid edits inbetween of course). Of course, their finding something else to do might involve turning to other articles instead, but if the results of their efforts are always quietly removed, I think these types soon realise the pointlessness of their actions. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 18:43, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Geez. Good catch. Found this: "So at totalbiscuit has people posting statements about artichokes from wiki in a youtube video about kittens to win a copy of reckoning" - that user has 600k followers on youtube, which would explain the number of edits. You missed the dab page by the way. SmartSE (talk) 18:52, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
This diff, I think, helps confirm SmartSE's suspicion. Watching both artichokes. Hamamelis (talk) 20:15, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Sapindales genera

It has now become a lot more convenient for me to get to the Botanical library, and with volume 10 of Kubitzki's work at hand, I'll probably work a list of genera modeled on List of Agaricales genera, starting right now with work on List of Sapindaceae genera. You can can keep an eye on my sandbox to keep updated of progress and snags. Circéus (talk) 23:38, 7 February 2012 (UTC)


I generated list of articles about plants, without image in infobox on enwiki, but with image on plwiki and similar list but with range maps (note: sometimes there are also animals, mushrooms) - maybe somebody will be interested Bulwersator (talk) 09:08, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for doing this; I've added images to all of the fungus articles on this list. Sasata (talk) 15:10, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Scientific names

Is it standard (and sane) on to use scientific names for plants? Pinus leiophylla is at one of its common names, capitalized, but I get red error message when I try to move it. Pseudofusulina (talk) 23:17, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Yes. Only a small percentage have common names and many have lots of names. I'll take a look. Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:22, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
I see you moved it--thank you. Some of the other pines are under common names. Will I get the red error message every time? I move South Asian articles without any errors. Pseudofusulina (talk) 23:32, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Several of the pine articles were moved from the sci name to the common name a few months ago. I reverted several of them, but left the ones that had only a single common name that was more prevalent than the sci name in Google Scholar and Books searches. Check out WP:FLORA for more on article naming and advice on sci name vs. common name. You will often get an error that you do not have the proper permissions to move an article because the target that you're trying to move it to has more than one edit. In that case, the target page must be deleted to make way for the moved article, a process that requires admin tools. There are a number of plant editors that are admins that can help, but you could also request assistance at WP:RM. Rkitko (talk) 01:16, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
I added another common name for Pinus leiophylla per GRIN, so this one should always stay at its scientific name title. Hamamelis (talk) 05:40, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
"Scientific names are to be used as article titles in all cases except when a plant has an agricultural, horticultural, economic or cultural use that makes it more prominent in some other field than in botany; e.g. Rose, Coffee, Rice. These exceptions are determined on a case-by-case basis through discussion towards consensus."
These do not seem to fit the exceptions here. The Hainan White Pine, (uncapitalized, though), for example, is a name concocted of its locale for the English language. The US federal government produces these names for environmental impact and other federal reports--they're column fillers, and for use in the reports. They're based on the Latinized scientific names or the locale, or both as in the case of this plant. There's no source indicating this is the most "commonly used" common name. The plant is not native to an English-speaking country.
I won't move any plant articles, as I thought the policy was one thing, scientific names, but it turns out to be just random, like so much else on that makes editing impossible. Pseudofusulina (talk) 06:27, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
I doubt you would get much disagreement here with your position. But it isn't random, just sometimes difficult because of more than one edit being made to the target (as RKitko said above). Submit the desired moves that didn't work to a WP:Plants member who is also an admin (I think here would probably do for that), or to WP:RM, and you probably can accomplish what you set out to do. My position is probably exactly that of yours, but I'm not an admin so cannot do those kinds of moves.
By the way, I wasn't referring to a WP:Flora policy when I wrote 'so this one should always stay at its scientific name title'; it is just easier to have a double rationale (1. no single common name; and 2. what you cited above from WP:Flora) when moving/preventing a move. Hamamelis (talk) 07:17, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
I moved it. Casliber (talk · contribs) 07:31, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Jute and Corchorus

I recently removed a culinary uses section from our article on Jute (whose lead clearly defines the scope as being limited only to the fiber - which isn't the edible part obviously) and transferred it to the actual article on the plants - Corchorus. User:Extra999 reverted me for the reasons below. I won't do any further actions in this, so if anyone agrees or disagrees please comment and revert/keep/clean/clarify if necessary.-- OBSIDIANSOUL 03:55, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Copied from my talk page:
I have reverted the edit you made in Jute that cleared the Food section. Because:
  • This page is not only about jute fibres, it is about jute (plants, uses) in general. Given that jute fiber is and should be the most important occupaton.
  • Nobody coming to jute could go to specialized topics such as Corchorus, we have to add jute related-.. to jute
  • Corchorus is a genus of around 50 species and either it has a subsection in Corchorus#food as jute, so editors will find a tough job as well as readers will hardly be coming here.
  • Food is an important part in some cultures, and hence is neededas a subtopic.
Cheers,--Extra999 (talk) 03:34, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
OED & Merriam Webster both give the fiber, by itself, the primary definition of jute, but both also allow, secondarily, as jute applying to the plants. The Jute article seems a bit confused in first applying the definition to the fiber, but later in the text seemingly applying it the plants. Ideally I would like to see separate articles for the individual species names instead of the current redirects, with much of the plant-specific info moved there; and retain only the fiber-specific info at the jute article, since that is its primary definition by far. Also there is not any one genus or any one species that specifically covers "jute" (part, but not all of Corchorus), which is another reason to stick with the main definition of only fiber at the jute article. Much of the non-fiber, plant-specific info on jute applies to more than one species in a general way, and so perhaps should be mainly covered in the Corchorus genus article.
In a nutshell, if it's going to be about the plant, then by WP standards it needs a taxobox and to specifically cover one taxon, otherwise jute needs to be treated as fiber, not whole plants. It's going to take some major work to separate out the two ideas from the articles. --Tom Hulse (talk) 06:51, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
That was my attempt to separate the two. It seems in South Asia at least, they do refer to the entire plant as "Jute", including the edible leaves. In the meantime, only two species are used for fiber (the white jute, C. capsularis and the tossa jute, C. olitorius). All of the members of Corchorus are also edible, but again, only the latter two are predominantly used for food. Maybe if we move Jute to Jute fiber, and redirect the former to Corchorus?-- OBSIDIANSOUL 23:39, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
I like Jute where it is, as this is English WP, and the sources are very clear about the primary meaning. An analogous situation may be Cotton, for the fiber product, and its corresponding genus article, Gossypium. They do make a few small mistakes at cotton, but for the most part keep the article about the fibrous product of the plant, and not the plant itself. Jute is mainly fiber in English speaking countries, so if people are eating mainly jute fiber for culinary uses, then the cooking tips belong here, but if they are not mainly speaking about the jute fiber, then the culinary info belongs at the species articles, or at the genus article until those get fleshed out later.
One way to separate them is to mentally add either the word "fiber" or "plants" every single time we see "jute" in the article. So if it makes more sense as "jute fiber" then it belongs here; but if it makes more sense as "jute plants" (e.g. the Genome Project section), then it belongs at one of the botanical articles (genus level for now). --Tom Hulse (talk) 01:21, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Alright. I've removed them yet again. I've created the redirects Jute plant and Jute (plant), and added hatnotes to the relevant articles. Possibly contributing to the confusion is the fact that the articles for this are scattered - there's Corchorus, Mulukhiyah, Jute, and Jute cultivation.-- OBSIDIANSOUL 17:34, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Flora of Romania

I wonder if some folks in your project would be interested to contribute to the Flora of Romania article. It is currently proposed for deletion since in the current form it is just full of species. But I think it should be rewritten to focus on plant life and ecological zones in Romania instead. A good example is Flora of Ireland. Maybe some content can be taken from Romania#Natural environment and Protected areas of Romania to start with. But there is plenty of stuff to write about Romania's flora for sure. Romania is certainly lucky to have more diversity than many other countries. Thanks. --Codrin.B (talk) 16:46, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Acacia reficiens

Hi all, I just moved Acacia reficiens to main space, it is a contribution of one of my students. Unfortunately I'm not teaching biology. Can somebody please adapt the infobox so that it matches the info given in the supplied online ref? Somehow infobox and ref have different classification terms, and I fear it is currently not correct. Thanks, --Pgallert (talk) 10:17, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

I have standardised the taxobox by copying one from a different species of Acacia. I have also added tha authority from IPNI. --Stemonitis (talk) 10:37, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Acacia from SA and not Oz? Blasphemy!! Sure, I can see a DYK in this XD Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:16, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Stemonitis, there is a 1927 reference, Journal of botany, British and foreign: Volume 65, that lists "The necessary corrections are as follows : — Acacia reficiens Wawra, non Wawra & Peyr.". I wonder if this is why GRIN, Tropicos, & Kew's Plant List all list the authority as just Acacia reficiens Wawra? Also, the same for most other sources after then; while most of the 1800's sources still included Peyr.
Pgallert, I'm curious what course this is part of? Would you perhaps consider also helping your students get started with inline references? There is a nice how-to page at WP:INCITE. Without the inline sources, our pages are unfinished, and near the level of opinions. We need to say where we got it. Also, here are some examples of ideal Featured Articles for you to see how inline references are usually used. Thanks for the article! :)
--Tom Hulse (talk) 11:33, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Course info here. Melburnian (talk) 11:56, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Regarding authorship I have found the following (Bothalia: Volume 12 1976): "The authorship of A. reficiens Wawra has been expanded to include Peyr."[7]--Melburnian (talk) 23:43, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Do you think that agrees with the majority of modern reliable sources? Do you think, since your source is pre-internet, that they could have seen the original publication but missed the correction I mentioned above? Do you know if your source specifically mentions the correction, and why it would be invalid? --Tom Hulse (talk) 19:51, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
The link shows (what I assume to be) continued conjecture on authorship but, as I do not have access to this journal, I can only speculate. With regard to online reliable sources, The Plant List (which needs to be used judiciously) links to ILDIS which is a a peer reviewed taxonomic database. I would tend to follow that as a reference (they give Wawra as the author[8]), with the proviso that it has not been updated since 2005.[9]--Melburnian (talk) 01:05, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Could this article qualify for a DYK? Or be made to? Pseudofusulina (talk) 18:23, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Yes, it qualifies, because it was only moved into the article namespace yesterday, and is plenty long enough. You just need to find an engaging hook. Give it a go! --Stemonitis (talk) 18:24, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
I can't; I work full time, so 5 days will be gone. Pseudofusulina (talk) 02:16, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Already came up with one - see Template:Did you know nominations/Acacia reficiens - it is in nominations list already. Casliber (talk · contribs) 12:26, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I hope it works. Pseudofusulina (talk) 19:03, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Article request

In connection with the query above, if anyone has access to this paper [10] I'd be grateful for a copy (my institution doesn't provide access to Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden unfortunately). It has a section headed "A brief history of Cactus taxonomy" which might be of value. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:01, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

I have a copy. Send me a Wikipedia email with your email address, and I'll send it over. --Stemonitis (talk) 17:07, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
The Annals are on Botanicus up to 2008. Circéus (talk) 17:08, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
They're also at the Biodiversity Heritage Library. --Tom Hulse (talk) 20:53, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks to all of you. I have a terrible feeling that I've been told before about the Biodiversity Heritage Library and had forgotten – both sources bookmarked now! Google Scholar doesn't seem to find either of them, only the JSTOR version. Peter coxhead (talk) 21:38, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Yes, both the BDL, and (especially) Missouri have very poor indexing and search features. Frustrating.
The BDL also has [The Cactaceae] (Britton & Rose) online now in fulll color if you are interested. I thought some of the color plates, like this one, might be a foundation for anyone interested in starting new Wikipedia cactus articles. Let me know if anyone wants help getting the full size images downloaded from their site. --Tom Hulse (talk) 22:27, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
The plates are a great resource; they appear to be out of copyright now. The names attached to them and the book itself are a different matter; cactus taxonomy is muddled as it is (see the previous section) without people starting articles based on Britton & Rose's names, which are (a) outside the Botanical Code; (b) created by "splitters"; (c) very out-of-date. Peter coxhead (talk) 23:06, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that's exactly in the spirit I meant it. One way to use this resource might be to scan left column of the BDL at [The Cactaceae], and look for each of the "Plates" mixed in with the page numbers. Scanning through the amazing art work, if you see one you like, a quick trip to Tropicos GRIN, and/or The Plant List will verify a current name. Many of these will be red links for valid taxa here at Wikipedia, in need of an article. Here is the Cactus stub to get started. Although... the article you requested Peter, while mindful of their mistakes, was awfully complimentary towards Britton & Rose, calling their work "the cornerstone of cactus systematics", so while they're obviously not a reliable modern reference, I don't know if it would be fair to dismiss them as just "splitters". ;) --Tom Hulse (talk) 23:53, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Tom, I didn't say that they were "just" splitters. And the article itself is old because I'm trying to understand the history of name changes; WP articles should be based on the International Cactaceae Systematics Group classification, at least as a starting point (see Cactus#Taxonomy and classification). However, recent phylogenetic studies show that the whole classification of Cactaceae needs major changes; most of the genera (61% in one study of one subfamily) are not monophyletic, although not always seriously so. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:57, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
I have now uploaded Plate III from Volume 1 to Commons (after some Photoshop editing). (I note that two of the three names on the plate are now incorrect.) I've also extracted the middle image and used it at Cactus#Growth habit. A great resource; thanks for alerting me to it. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:22, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

General point: I found the Biodiversity Heritage Library a better source than Botanicus. If you download a PDF from Botanicus, you get the whole volume at very low resolution. The BHL allows you to choose pages and so get a much higher resolution PDF of a single article. Peter coxhead (talk) 23:06, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

My preference for Botanicus is because for some reason on my shitty laptop, BDL would eat up the memory like a rabid Pacman XD. Circéus (talk) 23:25, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
BDL can be a real slug sometimes when I'm trying to scan through a journal. I also can't find if they have a full-page-viewing option, which I really like about Missouri. So they each have their benefits. --Tom Hulse (talk) 23:53, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. Botanicus is better for viewing online; however it's poorer for downloading. Good resources though. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:57, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
There is also as an adjunct to BHL, which has (some) papers extracted from journals and packaged as PDFs.
(For more sources see [11] ::::Lavateraguy (talk) 09:32, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
As far as I can make out, if you select pages from BDHL to download an article and specify the name of the article, etc. then that extract is stored for future use. So the number of papers available individually should grow. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:59, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Just to complete the comparison of sources, I do now have the PDF from JSTOR (thanks to Stemonitis). It is of much better quality than either of BDHL or Botanicus, including the OCR'd text. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:22, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Britton & Rose I've since discovered that this is online in a much better form here. The plates have been cleaned up beautifully. The illustrations are available via Commons category:The Cactaceae. Peter coxhead (talk) 12:09, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Bot task for species articles

There is a discussion about having a bot adding {{EOL}} to species articles at Wikipedia:Bot requests/Archive 45#Adding template to species articles. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 20:06, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

That's a discussion about the feasibility of doing it. We need a discussion (e.g. at WT:TOL) about the reasons for doing it. I'm not at all clear about these. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:32, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree. In many cases, the EOL page contains nothing that isn't already in the article, and thus fails WP:EL. The decision to include it or not must be made manually. For instance, our article on Nicrophorus vespillo is a fairly uninspiring sub-stub, but even there the EOL page contains nothing that our page doesn't already cover. --Stemonitis (talk) 11:04, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I also agree that a bot should not be adding external links. It will result in thousands and thousands of articles with dead or irrelevant links (error message "no results found"). Also, the EOL is IMO a very poor source. There articles are almost all far weaker than ours, with vastly less quantity of relevant articles, and most I've looked at are both unreferenced and uncurated by an authority.
Perhaps a bigger question might be if we should perhaps generally discourge the EOL people from even manually adding these links to most articles. For instance from WP:EL#Links normally to be avoided: "Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article". EOL fails this 99.9% of the time. --Tom Hulse (talk) 11:45, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
The EOL articles that I have randomly browsed through just now have less information than our own articles or are our own articles, making them unsatisfactory candidates as external links. Melburnian (talk) 12:40, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Agree with preceding about negligible extras and hence negligible benefit, so EL not useful. Casliber (talk · contribs) 12:54, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
It's a problem if they are our articles because the project describes their connection to highly reputable academic organizations. The EOL link coming back to a poorly sourced wikipedia article could increase the article's credibility to the reader. This concerns me, that they are our articles, and I would hesitate to include the link when this is the case. Maybe after some time whe EOL is more verified this would be appropriate. Pseudofusulina (talk) 15:20, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Entirely agree, EOL is only very rarely justifiable as a link, and definitely should not be added by a bot. Even in a year or two if they accumulate far more good material not taken from wikipedia, I'd very much expect that only manual addition could be justified. Nadiatalent (talk) 16:42, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Marijuana articles

There are a lot of marijuana strain articles being created by a single user.[12] If I look these over for references, what sort of criteria should I use? Many seem sourced solely to blogs, but others have a crooked relationship to their sources. Pseudofusulina (talk) 23:15, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

I've been following Davidbentenglund's activity, and its pretty clear to me that he is a pro-cannabis activist. His edits, to me at least, seem to be solely for the purpose of highlighting cannabis' use as medicine and its relative safety compared to alcohol. Keep this in mind. yonnie (talk) 02:29, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
At least one of his articles, Difference between Indica and Sativa seems entirely unsuitable as a separate article. I've proposed its deletion. Comments welcome. Peter coxhead (talk) 14:50, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

What is a synonym? (again)

I know we've discussed this topic before, but I'm not sure of the answers to the following.

  • The facts The species now called Melocactus caroli-linnaei N.P.Taylor was originally named Cactus melocactus by Linnaeus in 1753 (but he probably meant it for all melocacti then known rather than just this species). Later Cactus was split and the pre-Linnaean genus name Melocactus was formally used by Link & Otto in 1827 for the melocacti. In 1905 the Vienna congress rejected the name Cactus, and conserved Melocactus. However, in spite of this, Britton & Rose in their massive work on cacti (1919-1923) used Cactus, but only for the melocacti. Since "Melocactus melocactus" is forbidden by the ICN, Nigel Taylor in 1991 re-named Cactus melocactus L. as Melocactus caroli-linnaei.
  • First query Is Cactus melocactus L. a synonym (in the strict sense) of Melocactus caroli-linnaei N.P.Taylor? Does pro parte apply here? Does it matter that Cactus is now a rejected name?
  • Second query Is Cactus melocactus Britton & Rose a synonym (in the strict sense) of Melocactus caroli-linnaei N.P.Taylor? The names do apply to the same species concept, but Cactus had already been rejected when they used it.

I'm not sure that it really matters for the article, since the general sense of synonym will suffice, but I'm interested in the "legal" answer under the Code. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:53, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm a bit confused by why M. carolilinnaei was created when M. communis Link et Otto is the listed type of Melocactus Link & Otto, with the same type as Cactus melocactus L., i.e. it wasn't just the name that was conserved, but also the type. Is it possible that M. carolilinnaei is a pro parte synonym, i.e., its type is not the same as that of M. communis?
Putting that possibility aside, Britton & Rose seem to have goofed as so many people did in that time period, presumably because Britton had his own code of nomenclature then, the Rochester (American) code. Apart from the pro parte possibility, I think that M. carolilinnaei would be illegitimate because superfluous, but it was validly published, and therefore would fit the criteria for being a homotypic synonym of M. communis. C. melocactus is rejected, and all of Cactus is rejected in favour of Mammillaria Haw.. What a mess! (It seems that the type of Mammillaria has at best an illegitimate name.) Because all of Cactus is rejected, Cactus melocactus L. must be rejected, but it was validly published and is a (homotypic) synonym in the strict sense, of Melocactus communis ... I think ... Nadiatalent (talk) 14:32, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm glad (in a way) you're confused! One problem is that, like many of the species described in Species Plantarum, it's not clear that there is a sensible type for Cactus melocactus L. Anyway, some more information:
  • Melocactus communis (Aiton) Link & Otto (1827) was a raising to species level of Cactus melocactus communis Aiton (1789) according to all the sources I've found, which also say that it's a synonym of Melocactus intortus (Mill.) Urb. (1919). Why exactly the later name M. intortus has priority over M. communis, I don't know, unless the "clock is reset" by the 1905 Vienna decision to reject Cactus. However, it's clear that Aiton's Cactus melocactus communis is not now regarded as having the same type as Linnaeus' Cactus melocactus, although Link & Otto may have thought it did (but their name is prior to the 1905 decision).
  • I don't think you can exactly say that Cactus was rejected in favour of Mammillaria Haw. It was accepted, as I understand it, that Linnaeus' Cactus was actually more like a family (or had become so by 1905), so Cactaceae is a conserved name more-or-less equivalent to Linnaeus' concept of Cactus. Then Mammillaria and Melocactus are two of the genera into which Linnaeus' 22 species can be considered to be divided. The type genus of Cactaceae is Mammillaria.
The difficulty I have is in understanding all the consequences of rejecting Cactus altogether. I'm hoping there's some paper in Taxon somewhere which explains it all, but I haven't found it yet! Peter coxhead (talk) 16:06, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, one important thing I can confirm for you (I ran into it before too!) is that although the code does not explicitly state this, the validity and legitimacy of species name and the genus they are combined under (except for nomina generico-specifica) are independent of each others. "Cactus melocactus" is incorrect but neither invalid nor illegitimate just because the genus is. Circéus (talk) 16:15, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Ah, right. Then it would seem that the answer to my first query above is that given that Cactus melocactus L. is now considered either to equate to or to include Melocactus caroli-linnaei N.P.Taylor, and given that the first name is ok, they are synonyms. (Incidentally, I notice that Nadia omitted the hyphen, but Article 60.9 of the Vienna Code says that the hyphen is ok when the epithet is formed of words that usually stand independently, which "Carolus" and "Linnaeus" do.) Peter coxhead (talk) 16:28, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, I should have used the hyphen. Have a look at the entries in appendix III E3 for Melocactus and Mammillaria: Melocactus Boehm. same type as Cactus L. (nom. rej. sub Mammillaria), and Melocactus Link & Otto is typified on M. communis (W. T. Aiton) Link & Otto (Cactus melocactus var. communis W. T. Aiton). Is Melocactus Boehm. sneaking into the mix sometimes, perhaps. That should provide you with amusement for a while! Nadiatalent (talk) 22:59, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I'd seen this stuff in the Vienna Code. The problem seems to be that since this material was last revised, the status of M. communis has been changed by reliable sources other than the Code. Possibly the source in which Nigel Taylor published Melocactus caroli-linnaei would clarify it; I haven't seen it yet. However, I think I've written enough in the Cactus article for now; it's clear that cactus taxonomy is a subject for someone with a lot of spare time!! Thanks for your comments. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:11, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Looking through Acevedo's Catalogue of Seed Plants of the West Indies (p. 198)I think I have solved the mystery. Mill.'s Cactus intortis was published in 1768, giving it priority over Link & Otto's 1827 publication of Melocactus communis. Guettarda (talk) 19:14, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Transitional Fossil peer-review

It is a very important subject, and I wish to take it to GA/FA status in the future. Fossil plant Runcaria is cited as an example and has a subheading. Input from members of this wikiproject would be highly valued. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 00:22, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

"Botanical terminology" or "botany terminology"?

Being discussed here in the wake of a page move. Obviously I have an opinion, but that doesn't mean I'm right :) Guettarda (talk) 18:29, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

International Association of Bryologists

Can anyone find some better sources for International Association of Bryologists which has been proposed for deletion? It seems likely that they are notable, but I couldn't find any detailed sources after a quick search. SmartSE (talk) 15:16, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Category:Invasive plant species in Australia and Category:Flora naturalised in Australia merge?

Does anyone disagree with the idea of merging Category:Invasive plant species in Australia and Category:Flora naturalised in Australia? I just stumbled over the two cats.... Casliber (talk · contribs) 02:24, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

I've thought for a long time that the irregular specificity of our distribution categories is a problem, but how to go about to solve it is a can of worms I'm personally not willing to touch. Circéus (talk) 02:27, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm guessing that it's probable that not all plants which have naturalised in Australia, have done so to such an extent that they are called 'invasive'? If that's the case, and if no-one objects to such a merger, it might be helpful to somehow highlight taxa within the combined list which are indeed considered invasive (i.e. problematic)? PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 20:50, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
On first thought the invasive category could become a subcategory of the naturalised category - but there are such things as native invasive plants (e.g. bracken and rosebay in Britain). Lavateraguy (talk) 20:57, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, Acacia baileyana and Pittosporum undulatum are examples in Australia. There is overlap between the categories, but they are two different concepts. --Melburnian (talk) 21:10, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
And some highly invasive species have been rigorously cleared before they've had a chance to take hold I guess. Hmmm......Casliber (talk · contribs) 21:15, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Hell I disagree! (talk) 04:29, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Marattiidae, etc.

Just noticed these contributions from Nonenmac (talk · contribs): Marattiidae, Anthocerotidae, Equisetopsida sensu lato, Lycopodiidae, Equisetidae, Ophioglossidae, Polypodiidae (fern), Cycadidae, Ginkgoidae, Gnetidae, and Pinidae. Based on the Chase and Reveal supplement to the APG III system, these taxa take the place of the -ophyta and -opsida. At the moment, most of these are still stubs and as far as I understand it, the Chase and Reveal paper was a proposal that isn't yet widely followed. What should we do with these articles, given that it now sets up a competing classification hierarchy? Should the articles have taxoboxes? Rkitko (talk) 16:39, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

At a minimum they should link to the "standard" classification. My inclination would be to write an article detailing Chase and Reveal's system, merge these articles into that, at least for the time being, and add links between that article and the more "standard" usage. Guettarda (talk) 16:48, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
That sounds like a good idea. I don't know many people who would be willing to adopt the Chase & Reveal system at this time, although someone will have to propose something adoptable at some point. The bryophyte portion of their classification is completely at odds with current systems used for those groups. --EncycloPetey (talk) 00:35, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Bot created articles - missing source information

There are 1000s of articles on Wikipedia created by PolBot.[13] These articles should state what database the bot used to create the article. (talk) 16:58, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

The species articles usually do (IUCN Red list, mostly). The genus articles were generally created to go with the species articles, under the presumption (I suppose) that if a species is valid, then by definition so is its genus. Guettarda (talk) 17:21, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
Then the bot should reference the IUCN, also, for the genus articles. It's a coding issue, but bots should not be providing any unsourced text to wikipedia. (talk) 17:46, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, this was a significant issue with Polbot's run. You will notice that the article you linked to, Oncosperma, is marked with {{unreferenced}}. Please tag any similar article you come across (whether created by Polbot or not, actually) with a similar tag. I encountered real resistance from certain projects to my attempts to mark articles written by Polbot which claimed monotypy simply because there were no other species on the Red List at the time, but this shouldn't be as contentious. If it's a big enough issue, it might be possible to make a bot request to tag them all; the best way to show that that would be necessary is probably to try and make a start, and get some idea from that of the scale of the problem. --Stemonitis (talk) 17:53, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
The bot should not be basing monotypy on a database scrub. Few databases on-line are exhaustive of species, and almost every one I've worked with includes a disclaimer stating this.
Is the bot still creating articles? It created some 100,000 articles. I try to tag unreferenced articles as I see them, but there are so many. The bot could and should be programmed to add an unreferenced tag to any article it creates without references. I hope that's standard for article creating bots.
Thanks. (talk) 18:00, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
The bot's own page states that it was taken out of service by its operator, User:Quadell. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 18:07, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
[ec] You are right that it was a poor decision, although all the claims of monotypy should have been dealt with by now. That doesn't help all the other unsourced articles on genera, of course. Fortunately, Polbot stopped that run some years ago, although the consequences are still being felt, and there is still cleanup work to be done. Standards have tightened in the meanwhile, and I doubt that any bot would be approved to create unreferenced articles, even if they were tagged as such. --Stemonitis (talk) 18:09, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
It is good to know that the unreferenced text article creating bot is not currently operating and would not likely be approved. Thanks. (talk) 18:16, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Plant editors in general

I always get the impression, when interacting with plant editors, that a large number of you are very competent with writing articles, working with each other, dealing with correct attributions, identifying organisms correctly, and getting the taxonomy correct and sourced, and with correcting errors made in this area. As usual, thank you. (talk) 02:15, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Thank you! Compliments are helpful for oiling the machinery that helps us work so well together ... Nadiatalent (talk) 17:24, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Echinopsis eyriesii and Echinopsis oxygona

Regarding this cfd:

Echinopsis eyriesii and Echinopsis oxygona - synonyms or two species in the genus Echinopsis?

-- Common Good (talk) 18:12, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Two different issues:
  • Are these synonyms? The literature is confused. As just one example Anderson (2010), p. 265 [full ref. in Cactus article] gives the English names of E. eyriesii as Pink Easter Lily Cactus, Red Easter Lily Cactus, but then says that the flowers are white, whereas for E. oxygona (p. 275) he says that the flowers are pale red to lavender. My experience in the UK is that plants sold as E. eyriesii generally have pinkish flowers, as per the English name but not as per Anderson's description, so based on his description should be E. oxygona. I'm not sure where the Wikispecies synonyms come from. Of the listed refs, Anderson maintains them as separate and Kielsing uses E. eyriesii as the correct name, so neither recent reference supports the synonyms given.
  • Should the category be deleted? I don't think that you can really say at present. Cactus taxonomy is hopelessly confused; some of the latest work suggests that the majority of "genera" are not monophyletic (see Cactus#Taxonomy).
Personally I would remove the cfd template for now. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:37, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

André Joseph Guillaume Henri Kostermans

The original text of this article was a close copy of the obituary in the cited ASPT Newsletter. Lavateraguy (talk) 17:21, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Do you mean "was"? Peter coxhead (talk) 19:58, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
It has diverged a little, and has had additional material added, but it does still seem too close for comfort. Lavateraguy (talk) 20:18, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

P. F. Stevens

I just stumbled across the article on Peter F. Stevens (one of the central figures in the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group). It includes a list of "species first described by Peter F. Stevens", of which many of the entries are things like "Bonnetia ahogadoi (Steyerm.) A.L.Weitzman & P.F.Stevens", which were obviously first described by other people (in this case, Julian Alfred Steyermark), not Stevens. I figured that the talk page of that article might not be seen much, so I thought I'd ask the question here. What should we do? Should we separate the new species from other taxonomic acts, such as changes of genus? Should we remove the species not originally described by Stevens? Should we change the title of the list to cover all these cases? Is there another solution I haven't thought of? I welcome any opinions. --Stemonitis (talk) 08:54, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Another solution is to remove the list. Lavateraguy (talk) 09:14, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree; remove the list. Are we going to have a list of all the taxa described by that person in every biography of a biologist who named taxa? What would be the point? Some key taxa, yes, all, no. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:59, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough. It's gone. --Stemonitis (talk) 13:00, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

question at Reference Desk

I have made a request at Rd to identify a tre,e If anybody can help. see -- (talk) 06:35, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

It really strongly triggers my Myristicaceae search-image, but the flowers are completely wrong, AFAIK. Guettarda (talk) 17:52, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
Although it has a "very tropical" look to it, I have a feeling that something similar might be cultivated in more temperate parts of Australia, but, lamentably, I'm not there now. Opposite leaf-arrangement, apparently. Nadiatalent (talk) 19:35, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
It's not something that I've seen down south here. I must say I'm stumped on this one, despite the good selection of pictures that has been presented.--Melburnian (talk) 00:28, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
The closest thing I've found so far is Mesua ferrea. --Melburnian (talk) 02:42, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
Good call! Nadiatalent (talk) 03:25, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
+1! Peter coxhead (talk) 10:39, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
Mesua ferrea is a common enough tree of Southern India, with evergreen, pinately compound leaves, and when it goes to fruit this is what it looks like. The seeds are strung to make jewelry, like necklaces common in the US from Polynesia. Will you upload pictures of the flower going to fruit and the seeds to use in the article? (talk) 01:02, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Malayalam Wikipedia articlehas images of the flower buds identical with the ones in the images I posted. (Malayalam is the language of Kerala the southernmost state of India. I am the OP and I am native to this place). The En and ML WP articles say that flowers are fragrant. I haven't felt that about this particular tree I photographed. There is a very very vague hint of fragrance, though. Since, now it is almost sure that it is local to this place I will look for more information. Thanks to every one who helped identify the tree. (talk) 02:39, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

I have uploaded a few images on commons. See. Not very familiar with the way they are inserted in the article. Somebody please choose and insert the right images from them. --Earlysalad (talk) 03:02, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for that, we'll need to expand the article to create some additional space for photos. Melburnian (talk) 07:01, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Hybrid Tea: requested move and renaming

A request has been made to rename and move the Hybrid Tea page. So far I've been the only contributor making any comments, but I don't have a clear position on the proposal, so any other contributions would be welcome. The discussion is taking place here. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 21:25, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Hohenbergia itamarajuensis

Hohenbergia itamarajuensis, a plant stub, is at AfD. -- (talk) 02:07, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

I think we really should start making a notability guideline for taxon articles at WP:TOL. AfD's like this keep cropping up time and time again.-- OBSIDIANSOUL 02:34, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
They're fairly infrequent and usually end in WP:SNOW closures with very few (if any) delete votes. An obscure guideline on a project page would hardly be noticed, so it probably wouldn't reduce the incidence of taxon stubs brought to AfD. Reason usually prevails in the end and nominators sometimes withdraw, seeing that notability is present. I'm not sure it's worth the effort to craft a special notability guideline. Rkitko (talk) 03:05, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
True enough I guess. Though it does help to have something to point out to like we do for WP:TAXONORPHAN.-- OBSIDIANSOUL 04:03, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
I think it would be nice for the outclub, to be able to go to Wikipedia:notability, and find a link to notability guidelines for organisms. There's a category of notability guidelines, for people, places, etc., but not for organisms. Why not make it easy for people to find? Pseudofusulina (talk) 04:42, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia:WikiProject Plants#Scope and goals is quite clear that the aim is to describe all species of plant, which seems to me to make it clear that any species is sufficiently notable. This could be cross-referenced elsewhere, I guess. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:53, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
And after half an hour of searching I a)zeroed right in on that page or b) never once came across it. Pseudofusulina (talk) 16:54, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • If these articles are almost always kept, why not add it to WP:OUTCOMES at least? As a non-expert, it was not exactly clear that all species are considered notable, as there are no guidelines saying that. Quasihuman | Talk 12:37, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
It's really common sense. Again all species meet GNG, whether or not you can find online sources of them, simply because of the rules of zoological and botanical nomenclature. Each species when named is described in detail and published in a highly reliable source. That is the only way they can be considered correct (or valid in zoology's case). Thus conversely, if a species is considered correct/valid by other reliable sources, you can be assured that it does have supporting literature and thus can be kept as a stub per our guidelines on it ("capable of expansion"). And it's not like taxon articles can be accused of being promotional anyway, as the most important basic rank in taxonomy specifically and biology in general, they are all encyclopedic.
Dunno how WP:OUTCOMES work (not sure if it helps prevent this anyway), but if you can add this there, it'd be appreciated.-- OBSIDIANSOUL 13:27, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Well it would have prevented this specific AfD, because I looked at it before nominating to see if there was any long-standing consensus against deleting articles about species. You see WP:OUTCOMES being used in AfD all the time, and I think people would tend not to nominate a certain kind of article, because they know that articles like that have been consistently kept. I don't know how one would add a topic either, I presume that you would turn up at the talk page with evidence that these articles are commonly kept, and propose that a certain wording be added. I don't have such evidence, I mentioned WP:OUTCOMES because Rkitko said that these AfDs normally end in snow keeps. Quasihuman | Talk 15:05, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
I think that Quasihuman's point is a good one — non-experts can't be expected to know that all species are inherently notable. A new Species section at WP:OUTCOMES can be added by anyone using WP:BOLD, though I think it should be written by someone with expertise who can explain it in the most bulletproof manner. I've seen a few of these AfDs, and they all caused unnecessary hassle, and sometimes embarrassment, to the nominator. First Light (talk) 15:21, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree, there are too many species nominations, and they waste time. When a good editor who's been around a while cannot find the relevant policy, it needs to be more visible. Pseudofusulina (talk) 16:58, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm shooting in the dark here, probably using blanks, and with poor aim, but I'll suggest the following as a starting point to add to a Species section at WP:OUTCOMES. Experts, feel free to directly edit what I wrote, if you like:
Plant and animal species that are a correct name (botany) or valid name (zoology) are inherently notable, because they must be published in a reliable academic publication to be recognized as correct or valid.
First Light (talk) 19:44, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
As I said, I'm not an expert, but I have had a brief look some species AfDs I could find, and I can verify that these are almost always kept, except where there are hoax concerns. the wording seems good to me, but can we add something brief to the effect that these are normally kept. Doing so would follow the pattern of the other entries in WP:OUTCOMES. If people are interested, the following is a list of 10 species AfDs I looked at, which I think meet First Light's criteria. All 10 were kept.
Thanks, Quasihuman | Talk 21:46, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Haven't been following this issue very much, but would it be worth mentioning that such articles may have few links to them, and that a link only from the genus page is normal and acceptable? (Perhaps that would complicate the writing too much.) Nadiatalent (talk) 22:18, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
I think it's a good idea, because that may be one of the red flags that causes many of these to be put up at AfD in the first place. First Light (talk) 22:29, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Thing is, many decent sources are only available offline or via university fulltext access, so it is up to folks who can get access to try and expand these articles when they come up at AfD. Luckily most have been kept. Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:49, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
On the flip side, we've had what appear to be legitimate species articles turning out not to be so:1,2,3, 4. We don't want to be in a situation where supposed "species" articles avoid scrutiny.--Melburnian (talk) 00:18, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
I think hoaxes or otherwise invalid names are caught pretty quickly. I keep an eye on all new fungal taxon articles to check their veracity, and I'm sure people are doing similar here at WP:PLANTS and all of the other TOL branches. Personally, I add at the minimum a link to Index Fungorum or MycoBank to every fungal taxon article I create to "validate" its existence. Sasata (talk) 04:14, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

The suggested sentence would need a small change since species have names rather than being names: Plant and animal species that have a correct or valid name are inherently notable, because their names must be published in a reliable academic publication to be recognized as correct or valid. However, note the requirement in WP:OUTCOMES that the article topic should be "the subject of multiple instances of non-trivial coverage in trustworthy independent sources". It's not clear that all species automatically meet this requirement, so perhaps more accurate would be something like: All species that have a correct or valid name are likely to be inherently notable. Their names and at least a brief description must have been published in a reliable academic publication to be recognized as correct or valid. Peter coxhead (talk) 15:00, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

I had the same concern about the multiple-secondary-sources requirement still being confused. What do you think of taking it one step further, to make it really clear, and removing the "are likely to be", and add a clear statement about Wikipedia's intent to work towards full coverage of all species? Something like:
All species that have a correct name (botany) or valid name (zoology) are inherently notable. Their names and at least a brief description must have been published in a reliable academic publication to be recognized as correct or valid. It is the goal of Wikipedia to eventually include a separate article for each of these species.
Personally, I would also like to see such a policy include what we should not keep, e.g. that "species" without correct name (botany) or valid name (zoology), if notable in literature, would get coverage on the genus article (where we normally treat notable synonyms), but not their own separate article. I feel that Wikipedia is adding to the confusion by giving them a formal separate article. However from this discussion it appears I would probably be overruled. :)
--Tom Hulse (talk) 18:07, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
I like the suggested changes by Peter coxhead and Tom Hulse from my original post. The only part I wouldn't add is the "It is the goal of Wikipedia....", since that really isn't Wikipedia's goal, so much as the hope of many plant article editors. I have a feeling that many Wikipedia editors would disagree, and there is no real need for that sentence anyway. (my editing time in the next several days will be limited - I still believe that a simple, short, and clear statement should be added to WP:OUTCOMES, and support any of the versions above.) First Light (talk) 17:59, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I think that First Light is right about there not being a consensus on the goal of one article per species. I believe that a change to Wikipedia:WikiProject Plants#Scope and goals to say this was discussed but didn't have consensus; the current wording says "notable clades (particularly [...] species", without clarifying "notable". Personally, I would like to be able to say It is the goal of WP:PLANTS to have a separate article on every plant species, but the project page would need to say this first. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:14, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
I thought it did say that, in so many words. I guess I'm interpreting it too loosely. Goal 1 includes to: Describe all... species". Goal 2:"For species... describe botanical properties, distribution, multiplication, usage (medicine, food, etc.), botanical history, cultivation information, and common names". With the obvious exception of monospecific genera, whose policy is separate, I'm curious how could anyone possibly read those two goals not to specifically say that every plant species gets an article?
In any event, I'm sure a shorter blurb would work fine too, as long as you leave out the "are likely to be", since that opens the door for discussion and weakens the policy's power as a tool for afd editors to use speedy deletion.
--Tom Hulse (talk) 11:17, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
I've added a "Species" section at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Common outcomes#Species, using the first two sentences of the latest version above. I'm not opposed to further tweaking there, including the section title. First Light (talk) 15:40, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for doing this. I don't think there is any way to get the wording good enough to predict all possible misuses, but I think this is simple and can be used to prevent and quickly close AfDs. Pseudofusulina (talk) 17:40, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, that will be useful. Nadiatalent (talk) 20:42, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Looks like the WP:OUTCOMES text has gotten its first usage and swiftly (under an hour!) closed an AfD: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Carex petasata. Glad to see it's useful to have there. Thanks for putting that together. Rkitko (talk) 20:03, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Cucurbita argyrosperma (Cucurbita mixta)

This may belong better in the Agriculture or Botany project, I don't know, but I ask here first:

There is a request for translation from French (at Category:Articles needing translation from French Wikipedia) for Cucurbita mixta, a squash. However the Interwiki link is for fr:Cucurbita argyrosperma, which links back to C. mixta, where C. argyrosperma is mentioned only as a synonym in the Infobox. I suspect that the two may be different things. Could someone confirm or deny this before I try to incorporate the French content?

I'm no expert in botany but I think the translated sections desired are not particularly scientific and I can always mark them for cleanup after translating, if need be. In the alternate, perhaps the mark for needing translation (added 11 August 2011 same date as the synonym) is out of date?

In the alternate, I can translate C. argyrosperma as a draft in user space, and then ask for help with making sure the botanical terms are correctly translated.


Si Trew (talk) 08:56, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

FWIW, Plant List gives Cucurbita mixta as a synonym of Curcurbita argyrosperma. Lavateraguy (talk) 09:08, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
However, it gives it as a synonym of Curcurbita argyrosperma Huber (1867) and there is an earlier Curcurbita argyrosperma K. Koch (1866), so things aren't clear cut. Tropicos is not in accordance with The Plant List, having the latter as legitimate, and the forner as illegitimate. The paper Merrick, Laura C., & David M. Bates, Classification and nomenclature of Cucurbita argyrosperma, Baileya 23: 94-102 (1989) may shed light on the matter, but it doesn't seem to be online. Lavateraguy (talk) 09:22, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't know if this is relevant, but Mabberley (1985: Taxon 34: 448–456, JSTOR 1221212) states "Cucurbita argyrosperma Huber (see W 9 (1866) 81), Cat. Graines 1867: 8 (1867); W 10 (1867) 95; Bull, I.c. As C. argyrosperma 'Hort. ex L. H. Bailey', this has been made a synonym of C. mixta Pang. (1930), the name of one of the pumpkins. Hubers' plant came from Mexican sources and had white edible seeds, greyish green at the edges. Although the description is meagre, the name is validly published and must replace C. mixta, an opinion shared by Mr C. Jeffrey, who has incorporated my findings in his account of Cicurbitaceae in Flora de Nicaragua." IPNI states that Koch's "C. argyrosperma" is nom. inval. --Stemonitis (talk) 12:24, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
It is also listed as nom. subnud., and this is explained in this TDWG document. I'm not familiar with this terminology, but wonder if this is an old Kew-derived system, and the name is no longer invalidate by having a short description, so I suspect that Tropicos may be correct. (I'll send email to the IPNI editors to ask.) Nadiatalent (talk) 13:10, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
The IPNI editors were not able to help. Nadiatalent (talk) 17:39, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Anyone knowledgeable about global ecosystems?

The discussion at Talk:Montane forest#Merging and/or renaming could do with some input from someone knowledgeable about global ecosystems, if there is any such editor around. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:00, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

I'll have a look. Guettarda (talk) 15:32, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Companion Planting

The companion planting information on Wikipedia seems poor, there is this page , but would it be better to include this information in a new infobox on every appropriate plant page? — Preceding unsigned comment added by ChrisBaines (talkcontribs) 13:26, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not supposed to be a "how-to manual", and I think that such a proposal veers rather too much into that territory. As well as the list article which you highlight, companion planting does also have an article of its own. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 21:28, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree entirely. What's more, it seem to me that most of "companion planting" is Fringe science at best. The only scientific paper in the sources at Companion planting explicitly rejects companion planting in the sense of using specific companion plants, concluding that recommended companion plants were no more disruptive to pests than any others and that "From a practical point of view, therefore, growers could use any non-host plant to prevent insects from finding their crop plants." The Companion planting article needs serious work; at present it makes a lot of claims not supported by reliable sources. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:09, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
We also have intercropping which should probably be merged. I agree about the articles, but systems like three sisters, push-pull technology and banana-coffee show that intercropping can have benefits. If there are good references discussing the benefits of doing so, then there is no reason why they should not be included in the relevant plant articles. SmartSE (talk) 12:22, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
"Intercropping" is not exactly the same as "companion planting". At least in the UK, I interpret the latter to mean using specific combinations of plants which include non-crop plants alongside crops, whereas the former is, as I understand it, only about mixing crops. Thus a (non-reliable) source used in the Companion planting article says "Nasturtium [sic] are well-known to attract caterpillars, therefore, planting them around vegetables such as lettuce or cabbage protects them from damage, as egg-laying insects will tend to prefer the nasturtium." This isn't what I would call "intercropping". (And I'd like to see evidence that this works: you could equally well argue that nasturtiums would attract yet more caterpillars to the vegetables; it's contradicted by a more reliable source used in the article.) There are useful parts of Companion planting which could be moved to Intercropping; whether what would be left can be reliably sourced is then in question. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:14, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Peter regarding the difference between intercropping and companion planting. Also, I think that specific quote about the nasturtiums should be removed; are nasturtiums (I assume it means Tropaeolum?) really "well-known" to attract caterpillars? I've never had any problems with caterpillars - the main pest here in the UK is blackfly. And why is it assumed that caterpillars are not host-specific (which is the only situation such a policy would work) in many if not most cases? PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 13:31, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
As the RHS confirms (right hand margin), lepidoptera whose larvae feed on crucifers (particularly Pieris brassicae and Pieris rapae) and hence which attack cabbages will also feed on at least the common Tropaeolum species which seem to produce similar chemical signals although not related. But (a) as I noted above there needs to be evidence that this actually reduces attacks on cabbages (b) this wouldn't protect lettuces, as the source claims, since these are in a different family and are not attacked by the same lepidoptera. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:53, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

New fern initiative

I'm working to revive Wikipedia:WikiProject Pteridophytes by adding a new initiative focused on ferns native to northeastern and mid-Atlantic North America. If you're interested in helping describe one of these species, take a look; even suggestions for article improvement on individual article talk pages are appreciated. I've also added a resource page for collecting useful books and articles on pteridophytes. Choess (talk) 07:03, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

GA/FA process/progress

Well, Xerochrysum bracteatum is now featured, and another plant I've tried to grow (as a bonsai) I've listed - Ficus we have a couple of other article templates.....FWIW. Casliber (talk · contribs) 09:48, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Biodiversity of New Caledonia, paleobotany forgotten

Hello, could someone to work on this article Biodiversity of New Caledonia. It is very important in Paleobotany and evolution. Could you to work on this article, please?. It is a very important archaic species group in Paleobotany and evolution.Curritocurrito (talk) 17:40, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Orchid wars

Weird mass-reverting SPA and obvious sock orchid editor with a mysterious grudge is back again - User:Revertorium. Needs an admin to look into it. What's the story behind that anyway? -- OBSIDIANSOUL 17:46, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

He claims most of the edits are by "banned editor Jeff Merkey". I'm starting to see what people mean when they say people will argue about anything on wikipedia.512bits (talk) 18:01, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
I say revert and Block. It seems a very strange claim given that Merkey, a quick search suggest, got in trouble over editing related to Cherokee articles and his own bio. He has been happy to hurl sockpuppeting accusation whenever evading his permanent ban, though. It feels like there is some REALLY weird fighting going on between relatively recent SPAs and/or IPs in these articles... This AN/I discussion mentions edits by Merkey to botany pages, which probably account for this edit warring. Circéus (talk) 18:59, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Very weird indeed. I've yet to see how it's even related to orchids... unless the fight has ballooned into epic proportions and the parties involved are now busy obliterating each other's edits for no reason at all. And yep block and mass revert at the very least.-- OBSIDIANSOUL 20:26, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
I'd consider you more qualified that I to decide whether the edits in question are good ones, but I'm a little worried that they are so voluminous that perhaps there has been some copying from The Orchids, Natural History and Classification, by Robert L. Dressler. ISBN 0674875265. (I have access only to the 1981 edition, and not until later in the week). Nonetheless, the attack is bad in itself. We could call in an admin by using Twinkle on Revertorium's talk page, in fact, I'll go and add a message or two right now. Nadiatalent (talk) 21:10, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm actually just as clueless as everyone else on why this is happening. Anyway that did enter my mind as well, especially since the edits in question are a bit too "instruction manual"-ish on the cultivation side. I don't have the book at all and have virtually no interest in orchids. Revertorium's edit summaries (and that of previous incarnations, whoever they may be) also do not state that as the reason for his/her reverts.-- OBSIDIANSOUL 22:11, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
This thread at ANI is more recent, but doesn't really shed any light on what's going on.... SmartSE (talk) 23:59, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
They started edit warring again so I have blocked them both for 24 hours and started another ANI to see if anyone there knows what it is all about. SmartSE (talk) 00:25, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
The ANI is now here. Nadiatalent (talk) 19:34, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

One question to be asked is why User:Revertorium doesn't reveal their previous identity (they must have one, to be familiar with the history in the way that they are). This suggests that either they have been blocked before, and have created this account to evade the block, or they are (as OBSIDIANSOUL states at the top), a sock. Either position is surely grounds for a permanent block, regardless of any arguments they put forward? PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 00:59, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Ah, it seems an indefinite block has indeed been applied. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 01:14, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
The IP range 69.171.160.* had been WP:RANGEBLOCKed, which expired on the 25th. No wonder the orchid editing resumed immediately. I do wonder if Revertorium's accusations that the IP range is disruptively adding copyrighted content are true. I couldn't find anything on google, but perhaps he chooses the book source carefully so that it's not yet indexed by google. I have access to Dressler's book cited in this article diff and will check it tomorrow against the edit there. All the orchid edits concerns me, even if on their face they look like reasonable, constructive edits. Devious socks are devious. The multiple revolving IP accounts all in the 69.171.160.* range are really a giveaway that this activity is meant to amass small numbers of quick edits over a large number of IP accounts. I counted at least a dozen last time. Just keep your eyes on this editor's favorite orchid articles. Rkitko (talk) 01:28, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
I own only the 1981 edition of Dressler. In the Stanhopea article, I found just one paragraph that looked as if it paraphrased the terse description from Dressler's book. The remaining information does not seem to have come from Dressler's 1981 book, FWIW. The writing, however, looks very artificial and formal, and strongly suggests to me that some unidentified source was paraphrased. The fact that no sources were cited for any of the added information bothers me. --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:51, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi. Sorry for the wierd trolling that went on. Someone must have been very bored to go after orchid articles. I wrote this content, it's from several sources, all of which are quoted, though I may have not done so as thoroughly as I like. I write a lot for a living and I wrote this content and spent many long hours researching these materials. Please feel free to post questions about the content here. A lot of it comes from various encyclopedias. Thanks. (talk)
I also grow all of these species of orchids and have for years. I have a very large collection. I also write about orchids a lot. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:39, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
Hello IP Welcome to Wikipedia Project Plants. Would you perhaps consider registering a regular account and participating here at the project? I think you would enjoy it much more than the drama of being mixed up with a banned user. Also, right now we can all see your IP addresses and run traces on them; but if you are a registered user your IP is hidden... so it actually offers you more privacy since you don't have to use your personal name for a user name. Also, you seem like a nice person, and it would sure be great if we had some kind of user name to call you besides an impersonal number! :)
I do notice that many of your edits do not carry inline references with them. It is great you have personal experience with these orchids, but Wikipedia is really only about what we can verify from third-party references, not about what we we may personally know to be true. Please read WP:NOR and WP:V; also WP:RS on how to use sources. Here is an example of what your articles should look like as you add inline sources for almost every claim you add to an article: Banksia marginata, and also other featured plant articles. Happy editing! --Tom Hulse (talk) 07:56, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
Will do. I will also go back and correct references from reliable sources properly. (talk) 16:57, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

OK, I am not sure I understand how to get the 'a b c d' reference to show up. It looks convoluted with some 'cite web' expansion something. Can someone show me or point me to an example of how to just put in 'a b c d' in a group of references. Thanks in advance for any help. (talk) 17:03, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Here's another reason to set up an account for yourself: we could centralize messages for you. The referencing that you want to use is a named reference, instead of "<ref>{{cite" ..., you give it a name. For example, see Garlic; the second reference uses "<ref name="AN">, and then subsequent uses of that same reference just involve <ref name="AN"/> without the {{cite ... details. Note the slash at the end of the name when you reuse the reference. Nadiatalent (talk) 19:00, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Guys, please don't fall for the "I'm new around here schtick from Jeff Merkey who is operating behind the 69.171.160.* IP range. Just do a wikipedia search for "Merkey(jeff or jeffrey) with everything included and look at the sheer amount of damage, sockpuppets, trolling, legal threats, harassment, copyright violations that have been accrued over the years. The guy is BANNED and for good reason. It pains me to see people on wikipedia, who are not familiar with his history, embrace this guy as if he has ever made positive contributions to anything. Good luck, you're going to need it. It'sJeffMerkeyYouFools (talk) 18:49, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

That looks like an insulting user name to me. Nadiatalent (talk) 19:00, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
*sigh* You'll discover, to the detriment of this portion of the project, just how combative and difficult Jeff Merkey can be. Look at the history. Decide whether that's the guy you want warring in your articles. It'sJeffMerkeyYouFools (talk) 19:03, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

I did, Revertorium, before I welcomed him. I looked at many of the IP's that this user has recently used and also many of those previously used by Merkey. They are floating IP's that are assigned to multiple individuals. I looked at over a thousand edits and found a clear separation in the dates, style of editing, and type of articles edited. Of course I could be wrong, but you just saying the IP range is overlapping is a childish accusation without merit. Do you have any real evidence that they are the same or even have the same interests? Hurry quick, lol, before you are permanently banned again for your latest sockpuppet. --Tom Hulse (talk) 19:09, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

I suggest that It'sJeffMerkeyYouFools (talk) also provides a complete list of all his/her own previous usernames and accounts, to better enable editors to evaluate the history of this situation. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 19:18, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Merkey (which IS blocked indefinitely after exhausting the community's patience, originally over legal threats), has been known to edit from the 69.171.160.* range. This probably account for why whoever is behind the Revertorium account (assuming it's not him himself, as vaguely suggested in the AN/I thread) recognized him. The rangeblock recently expired, and I restored it for six months. Circéus (talk) 20:18, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Circéus, does that rangeblock you renewed also block the orchid editor above, If so, do you have any evidence that he should be blocked?
Btw, user contribution logs show that Revertorium is definately just a continuation of the sockpuppet Bisexual Orchid (which was claimed to be User:Pfagerburg, but I don't know if this is true). --Tom Hulse (talk) 21:29, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
Is it not the case that if the IP orchid editor creates a genuine account, as Tom Hulse suggested, then they wouldn't be included in the block anyway? PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 21:43, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
If I did the rangeblock correctly, it should stop him fine, and I disabled account creation. Regarding Pfagerburg, the Checkuser done on Revertorium would logically have caught him, and every single return of Merkey has involved sockpupetry accusation against the Pfagerburg account in disregard for the fact that Pfagerburg actually edits under a different account known to checkusers and ArbCom. Circéus (talk) 22:17, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
Could I trouble you to answer if you have any evidence that the orchid editor above,, deserves to be caught up in your rangeblock, or evidence that he is in fact Merkey? Thanks. --Tom Hulse (talk) 22:45, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

If you look at the contributions of, and read what they posted at ANI, it becomes apparent that they know far more about the workings of Wikipedia than their proclaimed stance as an ignorant new editor should permit. It took me about a year to realise what ANI is, yet this poor little thing seems to have worked it all out within a day (as well as instantly becoming very familiar with the history of another editor). Somewhat suspicious, to say the least. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 23:15, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, anyone with a familiarity to the case considers that a 69.171.160.x that edits anywhere near were Merkey is known to have edited is a case closed. Plus he seems to be monitoring when the blocks end, and the accusations against Pfagerburg make no sense coming from a random newcomer. Circéus (talk) 23:26, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
While there is clearly a lot of absurdity coming from both sides (if indeed they are different people), I have previously come across a very diligent editor who was blocked because the public library that he/she was editing from was also the source of vandalism. It could make one long for the idyllic non-technological world that Denis Diderot had to contend with while building his encyclopedia. Nadiatalent (talk) 23:38, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
Circéus, that's fine that "everyone" thinks that entire range belongs exclusively only to Merkey, but can you show me the evidence (either that is is true or the "everyone" thinks so)? Can I ask where he made a claim about Pfagerburg? This orchid editor has really added a huge amount of material to those articles, and might have been about to fill it all back in with references, which would be a lot of work for the rest of us if you mistakenly ban him too. It's important enough to at least verify. Can I assume you understand dynamic IP's, and that they can be assigned for completely unrelated individuals? Have you really looked close yourself at the user contributions for the various IP's from this orchid editor? Can you see there, like me, that there is clear evidence of completely different people using the exact same IP? Telling me your opinion, from that link you posted, that this quacks like a duck is far different than showing me some evidence that it quacks like a duck. Show me the duck! ;) --Tom Hulse (talk) 00:14, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
I've surveyed several discussions discussions that cover back to early 2010 on An/I. That the problematic editing and accusations predictably resume every time the range block ends is telling by itself regardless of whether the user is Merkey or not. The only thing new (at first glance) to this particular dispute is the opposing user also turns out to be a sockpuppeteer, but Merkey has been know too recruit meatpuppets to vandalize and spam in the past. I'm still confident enough in my block. Circéus (talk) 04:00, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) In this matter I trust Circéus. Ever since the Bisexual Orchid (talk · contribs) edit war with the IP range a couple weeks ago, I noticed dozens of IP addresses editing orchid articles. Even if a single editor was operating on computers with a dynamic IP, it's extremely unlikely that they would end up using that many in such short of a time. Here's just a short list of all the accounts the IP has had since the rangeblocks expired: (talk · contribs), (talk · contribs), (talk · contribs), (talk · contribs), (talk · contribs), (talk · contribs), (talk · contribs), (talk · contribs), (talk · contribs), (talk · contribs), etc. And that's just from the history of one of the user's favorite articles, Eulophia petersii with more IP addresses going back to December 18, 2011. That's suspicious enough for me to believe the user is trying to evade detection by amassing small numbers of edits in the history of many IP addresses. And Tom, to answer your question, the IP accused Pfagerburg in this edit. Rkitko (talk) 04:07, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Rkitko, if he knows how/why to tag a talk page as a sockpuppet; and how to find out in the first place that the user would possibly be a puppet, then it's pretty hard to imagine he doesn't know how a,b,c inline refs are made. I'd say that quacks like a duck, lol. --Tom Hulse (talk) 04:29, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Speaking of E. petersii, it's mentioned by blocked user Justamanhere (talk · contribs), who NEVER edited it under that username. The account was blocked for virulent anti-mormon editing, another signature of Merkey. The user's confirmed sockpuppets fall in the same range. (Disclaimer: this particular connection was pointed to me privately). Circéus (talk) 04:31, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

User:CanadianLinuxUser, a login that has been around since 2008, has taken over from Revertorium/Pfagerburg, e.g., on Catasetum, Bumblebee Orchid, Cycnoches, and others. I'm inclined to think that we who know something about plants would be justified in combatting this. Nadiatalent (talk) 19:34, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure if the pattern is the same this time Nadia - if you look at the contributions of User:CanadianLinuxUser, the orchid reverts are a small element of a fairly varied anti-vandalism focus, whereas previously the reverting was obsessively against the banned user. But I think these new edits should be scrutinised - the multiple reverting at Bumblebee Orchid has resulted in the reinstatement of some excessively colourful prose, I think.. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 20:33, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it is a different pattern. On the other edits this user seems to revert without an explanation rather too often, reverting what might be good-faith additions. I've edited Bumblebee Orchid now, hopefully for the better, at least the page no longer starts with "The Bumblebee Orchid ... is a typical example.". I wonder if this user is someone who has come in with an old list of pages on which to make reversions, and is making them without checking the quality of their edits. "Meat puppet" is a horrible term, but perhaps it fits. I've left them a warning of sorts. Nadiatalent (talk) 21:33, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

I've had a productive discussion with the editor on their talk page, and apologize for the suspicions about them above. Mea culpa!.

I think it is alleged that the "attacks" from this IP range have broken out at intervals and on Orchid pages in particular. An imaginary scenario that could explain this would be that the 69.171.160... range includes an educational institution, and that a professor there has more than once set an assignment that involves adding to the orchid pages on wikipedia (something like is described at Talk:Polylepis). I think it is very plausible that the voluminous, earnest, but not high-quality edits could be the product of a class assignment.

It therefore could be appropriate to block that IP range for the long term, more than a year, so that if the imaginary professor sets the same assignment again it would be immediately evident that the students need proper signons. I'll suggest that to the admin who installed the latest block on the 18th March. Nadiatalent (talk) 18:41, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

The edits in the IP range don't suggest a class assignment. It suggests an editor going out of his/her way to make trouble. The edits from the different IPs have a similar style and different IPs return to the same articles. Further, as far as I can tell, no two IPs overlap in time, suggesting a single user switching from IP to IP. Just my thoughts. Normally the whois info on the IP range would tell us the name of the educational institution they are associated with. None of these do so. Rkitko (talk) 23:59, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, perhaps the styles are similar, though I think that the changes to Gastrodia elata are rather different from those on Laelia speciosa. The whois info just indicates Cricket Wireless, so that's no help. I tried to see if the edits overlap in time and they don't, but that could be just because they are occur over a long time interval, January and February, and from not a very large number of IPs, i.e., with the student project hypothesis, no two students happened to be editing at the same time. Nadiatalent (talk) 18:52, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
Don't forget that an IP in that range pops up and makes accusations that Pfagerbug is a sockpuppet. It's pretty clear trolling activity. New editors to Wikipedia for class projects tend to make clumsy and forgivable mistakes. The editor in this range knows Wiki markup and citation templates. Not the sign of newbie students. Rkitko (talk) 23:11, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. There are no similar edits from other IP ranges or individuals in that time interval. Some of the early edits were attacked by ClueBot, false positives, just not very good material. The IP range belongs to a very widespread wireless network service. With the possible exception of one edit to Gastrodia elata they appear to have all been made by one person, adding long-winded how-to-grow material to a set of orchid pages that were not good to start with. In my opinion, attacking them as the work of a banned user is quite unjustified, but some of those deleted did not appear to be worth restoring. Nadiatalent (talk) 12:58, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Pagoda Dogwood Page Title Needs to be Changed

It seems to me that the Wikipedia article about the Pagoda Dogwood( should have its title changed to the scientific name of the species (Cornus alternifolia) instead of the common name now being used. This would make it consistent with other Wikipedia article about plant species which use the scientific name as the title. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:32, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

The move is done. That common name seems to be quite rare, attached either to the plant in Florida (according to USDA PLANTS) or to the variegated form 'Argentea'. Perhaps there could be a page about the variegated form under the name Pagoda dogwood if that is where the name came from, but for now the "what links here" links need to be updated to Cornus alternifolia. Perhaps I'll get to that in time, or if you want to jump in, feel free. Nadiatalent (talk) 21:17, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Suggestions about policy on synonyms

As mentioned above, I wonder if we might be able to create some, necessarily partial, guidelines for synonym lists in Wikipedia that could help to keep them short, easy to understand, but very useful. There is clearly quite a lot of strong feeling about the matter of nomina invalida discussed above, so I'll only make this a very tentative and roughly drafted proposal to initially sound out whether there seems to be a possibility of achieving consensus. (I'm not 100% sure of these examples, but I think they are probably correct based on some quite searches.)

Synonym lists:

  • Would always be accompanied by one or more citations to the sources of the synonymy, formatted like this (blah, blah, blah).
  • Would include nomenclatural (homotypic) synonyms of the same rank as the taxon to which the page applies, whether they are well known or not, for example, Crataegus douglasii subsp. suksdorfii need not be listed as a synonym of Crataegus gaylussacia, but Crataegus suksdorfii should be listed.
  • Would include nomina rejicienda (and the accepted name of the taxon will include the note nom. cons. if appropriate).
  • Would include invalid designations and illegitimate names that are synonyms if these were, or had the chance to become, well known.
    • The term nom. inval. should be avoided as far as possible, but in a few rare cases may be necessary. For example Pinus pseudostrobus Lindley var. oaxacana Martínez, nom. inval., sine lat. was effectively published in 1945 without a Latin description, and is therefore invalid.
    • The term nom. nud. covers many cases, particularly garden plants that became well known from plant catalogues but were never formally described under that name, for example C. stipulacea Lodd. nom. nud.
    • When a name was later validated, it is desirable to shorten the synonym list by omitting the earlier invalid designation, for example Crataegus macracatha Lodd. ex Loudon is sufficient, without Crataegus macracatha Lodd. nom. nud.

The listed synonyms would be associated with a redirect page.

(Holding my breath to see whether that is torn to shreds .... Nadiatalent (talk) 15:09, 9 January 2012 (UTC))

Unclear on some of this.
  1. A nomen nudum is an invalid designation, and if we're avoiding nomen one place, we should avoid it the other. We often won't know whether an invalid designation is "wholly nude" or merely lacks one of the requirements for valid publication.
  2. Iirc, a nomen rejiciendum is thus illegitimate, so it would be a subset. I think they're clearer to distinguish, since there are list of nomina rejicienda.
  3. I don't understand the point of excluding heterotypic synonyms while including nomina nuda, which don't even have types.
  4. A list of homotypic synonyms is not original research, even if it is incomplete, because those synonyms are literally objective. But including any other synonyms makes for OR lists the moment you combine the synonymies from any two reliable sources. All this makes me wonder what's the purpose of lists. Wikipedia is not a nomenclator. If a specific synonymy is notable, a reference to it can be cited and it can be dealt with in paragraph form, be it homotypic, heterotypic, or atypic. Reproducing a list from a reliable source might be worthwhile. But we should think twice about amalgamating lists from multiple sources and only include them when (1) they improve the article, and (2) they are adequately referenced.
--Curtis Clark (talk) 03:17, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Oops, I didn't intend to exclude heterotypic synonyms (as long as there is a citation for them).
So to simplify the "nom. inval." and "nom. nud." situation, since we rarely know the difference, the above is too complicated. I would like to see a statement on the project page that we consider these expressions to be necessary in wikipedia. I think that the reason that the writers of the code don't care very much about nomina nuda is that they expect them to disappear from use, but dagnabbit, they are all through the classic gardening books that don't yet have recent substitutes.
"WIkipedia is not a nomenclator" ... I think the difference is just that the taxon coverage is far from complete. Galeopsis galeobdolon L. is a notable synonym of Lamium galeobdolon, but I don't see that a paragraph is appropriate for it, it was simply transferred. Would you put that sort of thing on the two genus pages instead?
About having more than one source for synonyms, I was thinking of the situation when we have a list from an older, more general work, and then a new revision comes out that covers only part of the taxon, for example, a section of a genus, or the Malesian representatives only. I see quite a lot of recent revisions that are limited in this way, but are quite massive syntheses of lots of data. Nadiatalent (talk) 14:12, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree than nomina nuda will always be with us.
I never meant to imply that homotypic synonyms need paragraph text; 99+% of them are uncontroversial, and IPNI and other nomenclators are reliable sources for them even when not cited. As I think about it, perhaps homotypic synonyms should be by preference listed, and others dealt with as best fits the sources (a list if there is a single recent revision, other approaches if it is more problematic or multiply sourced).
And I also agree that homotypic synonyms, heterotypic synonyms, illegitimate names, and invalid designations need to be fully disambiguated.--Curtis Clark (talk) 15:30, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Curtis, I think that we are basically in agreement. Therefore, here's another attempt at a draft for the project page.

"Synonyms" of scientific names

In Wikipedia it is desirable to discuss and fully disambiguate many of the names found in botanical or gardening reference works that appear to be scientific names of plants, whether or not these satisfy the technical definition of synonym under the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants. A synonym list in the taxobox can be used, or in some complex situations it may be preferable to use paragraphs in the main part of the page. Such names could include:

  • Invalid designations and illegitimate names. It may be desirable to list these with, if possible, one of the traditional indicators of their status such as nom. nud., nom. inval., etc. For example:
    • "Lycopersicon lycopersicum (L.) H. Karst., nom. inval." could be listed as a synonym of Lycopersicon esculentum Mill..
    • "Pinus pseudostrobus Lindley var. oaxacana Martínez, nom. inval., sine lat." may be appropriate if a citation is found that lists this as a synonym.
  • Homotypic synonyms that are legitimate names may need very little discussion, and so could simply be listed. For example, if a subspecies classsification is being used within the species Cedrus libani, then Cedrus libani var. stenocoma (O. Schwarz) Frankis could be simply listed as a synonym of Cedrus libani subsp. stenocoma (O. Schwarz) P.H. Davis.
  • Heterotypic synonyms should be fully disambiguated with full citations as far as possible, but because they represent a taxonomic opinion, the situation may be more complex. They would be dealt with as best fits the sources: with a list if there is a single recent revision, or with other approaches if it is more problematic or multiple sources are necessary.
  • Misidentifications would not appear in a synonym list, and often would not require mention. For example, Crataegus pubescens Steud. nom. illeg. and Crataegus gracilior J.B.Phipps are very commonly misapplied to Crataegus mexicana DC., but if that situation is rectified it may no longer warrant discussion.
  • Misspellings (orthographic variants, corrected forms) would not generally need to be mentioned, but a redirect should be included. For example, Amomum tsao-ko would redirect to Amomum tsaoko; Nepenthes × sarawakensis would redirect to Nepenthes × sarawakiensis.
Nadiatalent (talk) 17:01, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Nadia, I really like your idea of a policy here, and the general direction, but I couldn't agree with calling something a synonym, in the context of a taxonomy box, when it is not a botanical synonym. It almost seems like making up our own new little rules of nomenclature, and seems a path to confusion to buck the Code here. I don't think it is desirable or necessary to disambiguate invalid designations IN the taxonomy box. If it is so important to have it, then it is no problem at all to just put one sentence in a the Taxonomy section (not the taxbox). If we do have this situation where there is a non-synonym or common name that is so important that we want to include it, then we have passed the threshold where it is time to add the standard Taxonomy section that all good plant articles should have per Wikipedia:WikiProject Plants/Template. --Tom Hulse (talk) 06:03, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Sorry that I haven't had a chance to reply earlier (and am still too busy to probably be able to think about this enough). I think that if the term "synonym" can't be used in the taxobox, then it is also a problem if used in the text of the page. It would be good if we could find another term. Tropicos uses "other combinations", which covers some of these situations (e.g., here), and authors sometimes use "associated names" (e.g., Sanders, R. W. 2006. Taxonomy of Lantana sect. Lantana (Verbenaceae): I. Correct application of Lantana camara and associated names. Sida 22(1): 381– 421.). At this exact moment I think "associated names" might be the perfect term to use (even though it includes that problematic word "name"). Of course, we'd have to define it somewhere. Nadiatalent (talk) 15:39, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

I think it's useful to step back and look at this from a Wikipedia standpoint. I hope we agree that, ideally, no name (in the vernacular sense) should be included in an article unless its notability can be established through reliable sources: there's a general expectation, for example, that we not include even a homotypic synonym unless we can establish modern use (I would certainly never include all the E.L. Greene heterotypic synonyms in California poppy). And this goes for common names as well, be they vernacular English or latinate garden names. So we always start out with a reduced list.

Of those names, some are names in the ICN sense; the rest, including nomina nuda and other invalid designations, are not. It seems obvious to me that all the necessary distinctions could be included in paragraph text, so it would seem that the real question is whether and what we should include in the taxobox or other compact format.

I've argued in the past for a tabular form for vernacular names, giving the name, its regional or specialist use, and a reference. This could easily accommodate garden names and other names masquerading as valid binomials. And it would be used only where the number of names, or the complexity of their usage, exceeded the ability of paragraph text to convey.

That leaves ICN names. I think I'm agreeing with Tom that a list of synonyms in the taxobox should only include those, since nothing else is a synonym in the taxobox sense (many zoologists follow the ICZN in insisting that it not even include the bulk of what we call homotypic synonyms, since they aren't technically synonyms under the ICZN).

Does this narrow the issue and make it more tractable?--Curtis Clark (talk) 15:50, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Nadia do you really think we need a separate term for invalid designations? For instance if it was not validly published, then we could just say so in plain English in the text without a special label. If you wanted a bulleted list in the text, what do you think of having a structure similar to Schlumbergera#Taxonomy#Synonymy, where it has a list of synonyms, but a section of text underneath where we could include necessary invalid designations in text instead of list format. This might help to separate synonyms from those which are not.
If you absolutely needed a separate special term for invalid designations, then I would shy away from "associated names", since this is all appearing in a "Taxonomy" section, and in taxonomy the word "name" has a special meaning.
Curtis, regarding a tabular form for vernacular names, are you referring to in the text or in the Taxobox?
Nadia one more note regarding your overall guidelines for synonyms, perhaps you might include a note that they should always only be cited with author citations, so we can avoid the kind of misunderstanding that just happened at Talk:Bambusa vulgaris#Are B. arundinacea and B. Vulgaris the same?. I also like the way Peter used *Epiphyllum Pfeiff. but not Epiphyllum Haw.. Adding that extra "but not..." entry also would have helped save all the B. vulgaris confusion. --Tom Hulse (talk) 18:15, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I'll say it again: Does this information really fit well in the context of Wikipedia, or would this be better treated on Wikispecies, which is first and foremost a database for taxonomic nomenclature? --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:21, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Tom, in the text, not in the taxobox. EncycloPetey, that's my point about notability. If a nonspecialist reader would never encounter an alternate name, and if its presence doesn't elucidate anything about the biology, history, or use of the taxon, it's hard to justify adding it to the article.--Curtis Clark (talk) 05:29, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
An update: I haven't dropped this issue, but am not finding much time to work on it. The tiny bits of text that I'm assembling are requiring quite a bit of fixing in the pages that describe basic nomenclatural concepts, so it will be a while before I have another draft. Some weekends hence, perhaps. Nadiatalent (talk) 22:21, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Pete & Curtis, I do think synonyms are often an important part of a Taxonomy section, but for articles I am writing, I personally tend to think they don't reach notability until they are notable enough to discuss in the text. If they would only warrant a quick appearance on a bulleted list, then I tend to think of them more as clutter, not really adding to the article. Some species you could have whole page of irrelevant synomyms! --Tom Hulse (talk) 18:59, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Finally, I've tried to rewrite this. The result of the discussion above I now find very convincing, that it would be best to have the taxobox almost empty, and for many situations there would instead be explanations in ordinary language in a text section of the page. A draft is on this article page: edit it as you wish ... Sorry about the bias towards living Spermatophytes, and sorry about the length. After a while I decided to just cut it short as an incomplete list, pending what y'all might think.

A comment related to the discussion above: the wikipedias in other languages quite often use different taxonomies from the English one; some excellent standard taxonomies in German or Russian have been installed that tend to be at odds with the molecular phylogenies that are sometimes used in the English pages. Making the wikipedias in different languages mutually understandable is, I think, one of the principal reasons to list synonyms and use lots of redirects, and (labour-force permitting) to explain why names have changed. Another principal reason is to match up with the old gardening books that people really use because they are affordable and are such useful resources for cultural information. Nadiatalent (talk) 21:18, 5 April 2012 (UTC)