Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Plants/Archive63

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Berberis vs Mahonia

I encountered a problem that I do not know how to handle. There is a group of plants in the family Berberidaceae that some people regard as one genus, Berberis. Other botanists split this into two genera, Berberis and Mahonia. This disagreement has been going on for well over a century, with a long list of species going by two names, a Mahonia name and a Berberis name. Me? I am firmly in the lumping camp on this, based on genetic and cladistic studies. Problem on wikipedia is that there are some pages doing it one way, some doing it the other way. With some species, clicking on a Berberis link will get you redirected to a page calling the thing Mahonia. For other species, exactly the opposite will happen. I think we need to pick one or the other and be consistent about it. As for the logistics of this, I know how to create a redirect, but I have no idea how to unredirect, if you understand what I mean.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 23:28, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

When you call up the name that is a redirect, it takes you to the target name. The name that is a redirect will be in small blue letters under the target article name. Click on the blue name--that will take you to the redirect but not send you back to the target. Click on edit as you would any article and you can change the redirect to whatever you need. HalfGig talk 02:19, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
That is how to edit a redirect. However what he may be wanting to do is "move over redirect", which requires assistance from an administrator.
On the broader issue of how the taxa should be organised WP:NPOV comes into play. Lavateraguy (talk) 10:48, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
I agree we should standardize on one taxa system but I don't know enough about those genera to make a sound opinion on this. The article(s) should mention the other system too. HalfGig talk 12:03, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
It looks as if Mahonia is paraphyletic with respect to Berberis. The alternative to merging the genera would be to chop Mahonia into pieces, but no seems to have proposed that, and the topology may not be clear (I found a Ph.D. thesis from Edinburgh, but the recent papers on the subject are paywalled). Berberis sensu strictu is monophyletic. Asian Mahonia is monophlyetic. Which leaves American Mahonia as the problem. Lavateraguy (talk) 13:06, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Certainly any article using one name must mention the other name, preferably with an explanation of the problem. Problem is with what the page is called, which essentially gives endorsement to one viewpoint or the other. Very certainly Mahonia is paraphyletic. The question of whether Berberis sensu stricto is monophyletic or polyphyletic is moot. Lumping the two genera solves the problem either way. The goal of subdividing the group into monophyletic taxa can be done at the section level, something only taxonomists pay much attention to. Most people just want to know what to call the thing. Incidentally, Flora of North America contains the statement "Mahonia is often recognized in horticultural works, but it is seldom recognized by botanists."Joseph Laferriere (talk) 13:45, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Clearly we need to follow one source consistently for the article names and taxonomic hierarchy, while acknowledging other views in the text of articles. The Plant List relies on Tropicos and WCSP (in review), both of which seem to recognize the two genera, although not entirely consistently, which isn't very helpful. However, I don't see a better secondary source at present than TPL. Um... Peter coxhead (talk) 14:19, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
With regards to the claim that botanists seldom recognise Mahonia, the USDA Plants database does, New Flora of the British Isles (2010) does, Flora of China (2011) does. Lavateraguy (talk) 14:29, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

I just spent a few minutes poking around on TLP. You (Peter coxhead) are correct that it is inconsistent, thus illustrating my dilemma. I did not make a complete survey, but the dozen or so that I looked at seemed to reflect a pattern: Mahonia for the Old World species, Berberis for the New World ones. Whether reflects differences in biology or human tradition, I am not sure.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 14:48, 1 February 2014 (UTC) Ooooh, and another wrinkle: the type species for Mahonia is the American species M. aquifolium, the Oregon-grape. So if the New World species go into one genus and the Old World species in another, the Old World group gets a new name. As Alice in Wonderland said, "Curiouser and curiouser."Joseph Laferriere (talk) 14:54, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

TPL mostly follows Tropicos for Mahonia. Tropicos follows FoC for (most?) Asian Mahonia (retaining Mahonia) and I guess FNA for American (north of Mexico) Mahonia (sunk in Berberis). I found an exception to the Old/New World split. TPL follows Tropicos is accepting Mahonia chiapensis (from Mexico). I wouldn't be surprised if all the Mesoamerican species are still in Mahonia in TPL. This is why I prefer a good and recent monograph - it may be not right, but at least it's consistent, while the databases mix data from sources that are often inconsistent.
So the cause here is human tradition. But there is coincidentally a fairly close correspondence with biology. The Asian Mahonias probably form a clade (depending on whether Mahonia nervosa is sister to that group, or embedded within it), while the remaining American Mahonia form a paraphyletic grade with respect to both Berberis and Asian Mahonia. Lavateraguy (talk) 15:56, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia is supposed to reflect, rather than anticipate, the consensus. Given that a botanical consensus does not exist, and horticultural usage is pretty much unanimous in retaining Mahonia, it is likely that an attempt to adopt Berberis sensu lato in Wikipedia would meet some resistance from outside WP:PLANTS. Lavateraguy (talk) 15:56, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Taking either side in the debate will engender resistance from the other side. I certainly agree that what is needed is a monograph covering the entire group, but considering that there are several hundred species involved, over a wide swath of the planet, this is not likely any time soon. I am simply looking for something that will not confuse the bejeebers out of the people using Wikipedia.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 16:25, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

If valid names exist in both genera, but there's no overall consensus on which circumscription of Berberis to use, then our choice of circumscription is an internal point of style (since we have to choose one for naming and taxoboxes). In that case, we're entitled to use whichever we please, but equally obliged to tell readers of our articles that other well-accepted taxonomic schemes exist. So if we consolidated Mahonia into Berberis, we should discuss Landrum's work and the changes in circumscription in the Berberis article, and include a sentence or two to that effect in the article on each taxon. (e.g., "Formerly known as Mahonia x, the species was transferred into Berberis by — in — after a molecular phylogenetic study. The older name is still frequently used.")
In general, I think this "pick one, but acknowledge all" approach obviates a lot of the recent worries about primary versus secondary sourcing. I don't see anything really wrong with including an uncontroversial synonymy from a primary source, rather than waiting twenty years for Flora of a Remote Unstably-Governed Country or A Monograph on a Large, Difficult Genus. The trouble usually starts when the taxonomy in question is controversial, or at least not universally accepted, and that isn't acknowledged when writing it up. Choess (talk) 19:24, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

I see. My initial quandry was which name to use in the title of the species pages, and which name to use in the taxoboxes. Consensus as I understand it is that Wikipedia rules prohibit us from reaching a consensus on these questions. Choice is up to the person creating the particular page, provided that on each page we mention the alternatives and the lack of consensus. Okay. So we create a large number of redirect pages. I suppose that's inevitable, unless we are allowed to use both names in the name of a species page. Incidentally, I point out that some of US and Mexican species with compound leaves do not have validly published Mahonia names.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 20:45, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

And some of the Chinese species with compound leaves do not have validly published Berberis names (or at least FoC doesn't state them). I hadn't realised that there was a problem of lack of combinations in both directions. Fortunately none of those newly described Chinese species have Wikipedia articles. Lavateraguy (talk) 00:13, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

But some of the Mexican Berberis species do.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 10:53, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

BSBI name change

The Botanical Society of the British Isles has updated its name to become the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. I'd appreciate editors' views on whether we should carry out a blanket search and replace, or use the former name when talking about the society in the past, and just use the new name for current and future references. SP-KP (talk) 17:59, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

The reason for the change is explained here. Basically, they've become a company and are legally required to have a different name from the old non-company charity. A key point in the change was that the abbreviation should stay the same, as most people just say "BSBI". When introducing it in an article I'd be inclined to write something like "BSBI (formerly the Botanical Society of the British Isles, now the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland)". It's important, I think, to be aware that the new name is somewhat misleading, since the society covers Britain, Ireland, the Channel Isles and the Isle of Man, not just Britain and Ireland and their off-shore islands. I see no reason to make retrospective changes. Peter coxhead (talk) 14:12, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for that, Peter. The suggestion that we should use both names sounds awfully cumbersome though: do we do anything similar elsewhere for other name changes? SP-KP (talk) 18:53, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Here are some examples of references to the old name, to help inform our decision:

  • The Vice-county Census Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Great Britain (ISBN 0-901158-30-5) is an A5 softback book produced in 2003 by the Botanical Society of the British Isles.
  • Malcolm Ogilvie is a past regional representative for the British Trust for Ornithology, and the vice-county plant recorder for South Ebudes[1] for the Botanical Society of the British Isles.
  • From Libby Houston: "Houston's Whitebeam was one of fourteen new whitebeam trees officially named in the February 2009 issue of Watsonia, the journal of the Botanical Society of the British Isles"
  • Tom Tutin was President of the Botanical Society of the British Isles from 1957 to 1961
  • From Bromus interruptus: "In 1979 at a Botanical Society of the British Isles conference..."
The second is the only one that should be changed - "the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland and formerly for its predecessor the Botanical Society of the British Isles" (or just write "BSBI" and wikilink it). Lavateraguy (talk) 11:27, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

SP-KP (talk) 19:00, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

I recently reverted someone changing a reference to a book, in the form "published 1998, Botanical Society of the British Isles" to the new name. Such changes should not be made. Similarly statements in the form "Smith was president of the Botanical Society of the British Isles in 2001" should remain as written. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 09:56, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the input. I've been through all the pages which a search for the BSBI's old name returned, and updated to the new name only where the reference wasn't like my examples 1, 3, 4, 5 or Andy's examples. If anyone disagrees with any of the specific changes I've made, please raise that here for further discussion. Thanks. SP-KP (talk) 19:55, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

AfC submission

What do you think of this submission. In my opinion it would be a nice expansion for Branch. FoCuSandLeArN (talk) 13:34, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

2 articles on Centrosema pubescens need merging

Thought I'd bring this to your attention. see Centrosema pubescens and Centrosema pubescens Benth. --Animalparty-- (talk) 09:15, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Needs a bit of work to achieve the merger. The mention of the misapplication of the name could then be brought to the top, in a hatnote. It is also mentioned here. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 16:36, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

I'll do it! Give me a few minutesJoseph Laferriere (talk) 18:51, 5 February 2014 (UTC) Okay. First draft of the merged pages is done. The task was complicated by the fact that one or both of the original authors was clearly not a native speaker of English. Claro que su inglés está mejor que mi español, pero no está perfecto. The page still needs editing, as there is duplicate information and also info seemingly tossed in at random. And the citations are a mess; I have no way of telling where this information came from.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 19:29, 5 February 2014 (UTC) I was busy with other things yesterday, but today I am in the process of reformatting the combined page so that it makes more sense, de-randomizing the information, as it were. As for the question of whether the correct name should be C. pubescens or C. molle, I did some investigating. Tangled web for sure. Bentham coined both names on page 55 of the same 1837 publication. So unless the top half of page 55 was published before the bottom half, neither one should have priority. Tropicos and The Plant List both accept Centrosema pubescens Benth. as the correct name. The link provided by Sminthopsis84 above does not say that "Centrosema pubescens Benth." is a synonym of C. molle Benth. It says that "Centrosema pubescens auct. non Benth." is a synonym of C. molle. Subtle difference. The "auct. non" means "author(s) not", i.e, someone referred to a plant as "Centrosema pubescens Benth." but it was in fact misidentified. It is as I were to say "This pine tree has the scientific name Zea mays L." If you were later giving a complete list of all the names ever applied to this pine tree, you would include "Zea mays auct. non L." So according to TPL, someone used the name Centrosema pubescens Benth to refer to a particular plant, one that someone else later decided was actually C. molle misidentified. But then on another TPL page, C. molle is regarded as a heterotypic synonym of C. pubescens. So C. pubescens is the correct name after all. I suggest rereading this paragraph. It does make sense, sort of. I think we should leave this explanation off the Wikipedia page entirely lest we confuse the readers over an esoteric technical issue that does not make a lot of difference anyway. Joseph Laferriere (talk) 16:02, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

Vernonia cinerea?

Vernonia cinerea or Cyanthillium cinereum?

Ref: [1], [2]

Jee 13:12, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Any comments? Any reason we prefer the name Vernonia cinerea over Cyanthillium cinereum? Jee 13:45, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Well, The Plant List takes information from The Global Composite Checklist, which is confused: it has the autonymous variety as an accepted name within Vernonia, though the species is listed as a synonym of Cyanthillium cinereum. However, since GRIN agrees, and doesn't have those aargh-not-another-aggregate-database-built-on-mud problems, I think it is time to move the page. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 19:44, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Moved. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 20:03, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Sminthopsis84. Jee 07:33, 11 February 2014 (UTC)


Please see the proposal at Talk:Greasewood#Disambiguation page to common name page. Thank you. SchreiberBike talk 01:07, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

About Reinier Cornelis Bakhuizen van den Brink as binomial authority

Hello WikiProject Plants people!
At present there are about 30 links to "Reinier Cornelis Bakhuizen van den Brink" as a binomial authority or similar.

There are 3 notable people of this name:

I'm going to attempt a little tidy-up, but would most appreciate your expert help and guidance with this.

Pete AU aka --Shirt58 (talk) 11:08, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Look up the species at IPNI. They should be listed as either Bakh. or Bakh.f. You can use the publication dates as sanity checks, in case one of IPNI's sources has got the wrong Bakhuizen, or in the worse case track down the original papers. If there are any which aren't clear come back here. Lavateraguy (talk) 13:17, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I now see that they're all undisambiguated links from Bakh. Assuming that the authority attributions are correct (and they look as if they should be), Bakh. should be piped to the (born 1881) article. Lavateraguy (talk) 14:03, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I've now dealt with all of them. Lavateraguy (talk) 20:06, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
I'll put my hand up to say I was the main offender here. Most of these were for Diospyros species and I added some more erroneous links for Bakh. after 24 January. I've now DABed these later ones. Thanks for the previous cleanup. Declan Declangi (talk) 04:26, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

The "f." is an abbreviation for "filius," Latin for "son." Similar is "bis," literally "second," loose translation "junior."Joseph Laferriere (talk) 22:02, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

RfD for Birdsfoot trefoil

I've started an RfD discussion for Birdsfoot trefoil and its variants; I think they should point to the species most commonly known by this name, rather than the genus. Your input there would be appreciated. --BDD (talk) 23:09, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Popular pages tool update

As of January, the popular pages tool has moved from the Toolserver to Wikimedia Tool Labs. The code has changed significantly from the Toolserver version, but users should notice few differences. Please take a moment to look over your project's list for any anomalies, such as pages that you expect to see that are missing or pages that seem to have more views than expected. Note that unlike other tools, this tool aggregates all views from redirects, which means it will typically have higher numbers. (For January 2014 specifically, 35 hours of data is missing from the WMF data, which was approximated from other dates. For most articles, this should yield a more accurate number. However, a few articles, like ones featured on the Main Page, may be off).

Web tools, to replace the ones at tools:~alexz/pop, will become available over the next few weeks at toollabs:popularpages. All of the historical data (back to July 2009 for some projects) has been copied over. The tool to view historical data is currently partially available (assessment data and a few projects may not be available at the moment). The tool to add new projects to the bot's list is also available now (editing the configuration of current projects coming soon). Unlike the previous tool, all changes will be effective immediately. OAuth is used to authenticate users, allowing only regular users to make changes to prevent abuse. A visible history of configuration additions and changes is coming soon. Once tools become fully available, their toolserver versions will redirect to Labs.

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Aconitella, Aconitopsis, Aconitum, Delphinium

Last week I made a few edits on Aconitum, Delphinium, and I created Aconitella and Aconitopsis, both redirects, based on some recent literature. I did not think through all the implications, so now I regret I made these edits. One implication being that D. staphisagria was reassigned to the new genus Staphisagria, but no new combination was proposed and indentical generic and species names are not permitted in botany as far as I am aware. The authors synonymize Consolida (and Aconitella) with Delphinium, but also note that about a dozen epithets are identical for Consolida and Delphinium, creating the need for the assignment of new epithets, but they did not propose any.

The following tasks are still open, but before executing them, I thought I'd better ask for advice.

  • Specify subgenera in the box of Delphinium, and just putting the species D. anthriscifolium where no proposal was made to name this monotypical subgenus.
  • Merge Consolida into Delphinium.
  • In the Taxonomy section of Delphinium, specify the species within each of the subgenera.
  • Same for Aconitum.
  • Create a substantive article on Staphisagria, now a (wrong) redirect to Delphinium staphisagria, as D. pictum and D. requienii are also assigned to the genus (or when not accepted subgenus).
  • Create Gymnaconitum
  • Move Delphinium staphisagria, but where, because S. staphisagria is not a valid combiniation.

Thank you in advance. Dwergenpaartje (talk) 23:56, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

I would urge rather strongly that you not coin your own names on Wikipedia that have not been officially validated by formal publication. That would create a massive amount of confusion. If you want to coin new names yourself, you have as much right to do so as anyone else, but you need to do it correctly before hitting Wikipedia with it. I point out that the botanical rules have been changed so that beginning in 2012, names published on-line in properly archived PDF files with ISBNs are validly published, so it no longer has to be on paper. That is probably the fastest way to get names validated, but check the Code for the details. But even then, slow down a bit. I have been informed (and I invite others to correct me if I misunderstand) that Wikipedia policy is to follow secondary sources such as Tropicos and The Plant List (TPL) rather than on the latest literature. People propose new names and publish new studies all the time, and not all the proposals become widely accepted. Such things need to be assessed and absorbed by the botanical community. So my advice is to check The Plant List and use whatever names are accepted there. Changes can wait a bit. Having said that, I also must say that I have seen outright mistakes on TPL, e.g. TPL accepting misspelled epithets and such. And some people here on this list have described TPL as "authoritative" despite the fact that the people who create TPL make no such claims. Note that each listing has a column called "confidence level" in which they say outright that they are not certain about acceptability in many cases. But, hey, whatever. I still recommend sticking to TPL.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 03:45, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

OK, thanks. Wiki is an encyclopedia, so no original research, including coining of names. So much has always been clear. Having said that, I do think an encyclopedia may synthesize information from published data, e.g. spell out the size of something based on a published photo with a dime, even if the publication does not give that size in the text. But this is not about the fashion in names, but about the relationships between plants, and the names are just a way to communicate such relationships. I did not know about the TPL, but now I do. TPL does not know Gymnaconitum. As the type species A. gymnandrum has its own entry, I will put that it has been proposed to erect a new genus for this species. No moves or renaming wanted at this moment in time. The other issue of concern, Staphisagria, is mentioned by TPL, with 6 combinations. It says Staphisagria macrosperma Spach may be synonymous with Delphinium staphisagria. The status however is unresolved and the confidence is low. Personally I do not doubt the correctness of both publications. Do you have specific recommendations for Staphisagria? Any further specific advice on the tasks I though were called for?

Strangely enough, the citations were not reproduced by the Reflist-template, so I give them again:

  • Florian Jabbour and Susanne S. Renner (2012). A phylogeny of Delphinieae (Ranunculaceae) shows that Aconitum is nested within Delphinium and that Late Miocene transition to long life cycles in the Himalayas and Southwest China coincide with bursts in diversification. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 62:928-942. DOI 10.1016/j.ympwv.2011.12.005
  • Wei Wang, Yang Liu, Sheng-Xiang Yu, Tian-Gang Gai, Zhi-Duan Chen (2013). Gymnaconitum, a new genus of Ranunculaceae endemic to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Taxon 62(4):713-722.

-. Dwergenpaartje (talk) 10:01, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Absolutely! By all means cite the recent research and say "Recent authors have suggested transferring this species to the genus (fill in the blank)." But do it in a way that will not confuse the bejeebers out of people. People need all the bejeebers they can get. And remember that the people who already know about the proposed changes are not the ones who will be searching for information on Wikipedia. Joseph Laferriere (talk) 14:17, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

AfD notice

Notice of AfD of Eisenhower Tree. -- GreenC 02:12, 19 February 2014 (UTC) I read the page. The tree was not given the name "Eisenhower Tree" in honor of Ike. He hated the tree because he kept hitting it with his golf swings. Inasmuch as the poor, maligned tree is now (decades later), dead and gone, I think it deserves to disappear into obscurity.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 14:27, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

WikiProject Plants/Template: Taxonomy

Note the talk page from WikiProject_Plants/Template is now being conducted here.

It has been suggested that the Taxonomy section be amended to encourage the creation of daughter pages for complex taxonomies such as Liliaceae, for example Taxonomy of Banksia or Taxonomy of the Orchidaceae). I will have a go. --Michael Goodyear (talk) 19:10, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

That's not anything specific with the article template. It's basic summary style across the ecyclopedia. Circéus (talk) 19:28, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
True - but people writing taxon pages with GA in mind will find it helpful to have that spelled out explicitly and see examples. Obviously there are other examples such as long species lists --Michael Goodyear (talk) 14:58, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Descriptions (GA) - Need for guidance

Can we have some discussion on the use of terminology in descriptions (my apologies if this has already been covered elsewhere)? Every time I put up a taxon page for GA, someone says the description is too technical or jargon. The most recent example is Liliaceae. I cannot find a guideline on this specifically. The nature of botanical writing is very technical in that it uses a lot of very specific terms for morphological entities, and specific and defined descriptions of their nature, such as 'globose'. If every page contained detailed explanations of each of these short hand terms, they would be very cumbersome.

As a result I have adopted two strategies, to expand the Glossary pages, e.g. Glossary of botanical terms where applicable, and to link every term to its appropriate page, and to rewrite those pages to ensure they contain explanations of those terms, most recently Seed. However that has not been without criticism either from those preferring to leave all descriptive terms in the glossary, for instance see Talk on Tepal.

It would be helpful to build a guideline on these points into the GA template page, so it is not a repetitive discussion on multiple taxon pages.--Michael Goodyear (talk) 14:29, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

The major issue I have with the article are organization and the description section is one we'd find in a technical flora, but we want a description that is (at least that's how I try to write them) at least 80% readable without requiring visiting other articles. For an example of a rewrite I did of a similar description, see this edit. I would also put the floral formula in a sidebox next to the flower description paragraph.
Actually I rather liked the way the original edit was divided into sections - this in turn invites a discussion as to whether the organisation of Description should be formalised along the lines of major flora - which is what I tried to do in Liliaceae. --Michael Goodyear (talk) 13:17, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
The other issue raised here is whether Floral Formulae should be added to the taxobox. --Michael Goodyear (talk) 13:17, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
Have submitted request --Michael Goodyear (talk) 16:47, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
I've implemented what I wanted to do with the floral formula. It wasn't anything to do with the infobox. As for the format, I don't mind the ordering of paragraphs at all! My issue is with the "Flowers: " format, and I feel the prose could really use a good licking overall. I repeat myself, but I am VERY willing to revise the entire article personally! I just have another project I wanna do first (and given GA's usually slow nature, that souldn't be too big a problem). Circéus (talk) 18:24, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes I saw that, thank you, but I still feel it would be a lot neater if included in taxobox options, and raised it there. Having dealt with the taxonomy I will turn my attention to the terminology. For clarification - are you saying you don't like dividing the description into sections? --Michael Goodyear (talk) 15:16, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
Me, I'm a big proponent of using nontechnical term and then wikilink the technical between parentheses, but other prefer to go the other way. In any case, I've said I'll come and do a rewrite myself as soon as I'm done with other projects. Circéus (talk) 17:21, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

I sympathize, as I've had the same problem. I am trained in formal botany but have had to tone down my writing style to fit Wikipedia, which is aimed at a general audience. Many times, there is a synonym readily available. For example, say "spherical" instead of "globose," or "arrowhead-shaped" instead of "hastate." Then throw in a reference (or, better, a link) to a more formal description for the pro who needs one. Remember that a professional plant taxonomist who already is trained in botanical terminology is not going to be relying exclusively on Wikipedia for information.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 12:09, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

I think there are a range of target audiences we need to consider. --Michael Goodyear (talk) 13:17, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
Certainly a range of audiences, both lay people looking for general info, and pros looking for links to more technical writings. It is very possible to accomodate both.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 13:35, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes it is a straightforward algorithm - use a plain English word unless meaning is lost. In which case link or explain...(nice template BTW) cheers, Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:59, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
We should provide some guidance on the template page. --Michael Goodyear (talk) 15:16, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/Fuscospora gunnii

Dear plant experts: Is this a different plant from Nothofagus gunnii, and if not, what should be done with this new Afc submission? Has the classification been changed? —Anne Delong (talk) 10:58, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

It is the same plant as Nothofagus gunnii. This is a reclassfication made in the Phytotaxa paper referenced in the AFC (and already mentioned at Nothofagus). Wikipedia is supposed to reflect the consensus of taxonomic opinion, so it would be premature to adopt this split. So I would suggest that the AFC be merged into Nothofagus gunnii, rather than vice versa. (OTOH, Wikispecies has already adopted the new classification.) Lavateraguy (talk) 12:38, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
I have (1) created a redirect Fuscospora gunnii to Nothofagus gunnii, (2) Declined the new Afc submission and requested that the editor add any relevant material to Nothofagus gunnii instead, and (3) suggested that he/she open a dialogue on the talk page about the reclassification and possible name change of the article (or someone here may want to do that). Thanks for your input. —Anne Delong (talk) 14:03, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

The Plant List Version 1.1

Version 1 of The Plant List has been superseded, the current version is 1.1. Given that we have a Template:ThePlantList that is set up for version 1, it seems that the existing template either needs to be modified to accommodate both versions or an additional template created for version 1.1.--Melburnian (talk) 00:28, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Took me a while to get to it, but I've gone through all the articles using the template and made sure anything cited to TPL was correctly reflected in TPL 1.1. I've updated the template so it links to TPL 1.1. It is now hardcoded for TPL 1.1. I could possibly add a parameter so that the TPL version is softcoded, but as few people aside from me have been using the template (and I created it), I'm not sure if I should bother developing it further. TPL is pretty widely cited in plant articles, but most people are using more general reference templates to cite it. While checking usage of the template, I noticed that TPL record IDs are not stable between version 1.0 and 1.1 (some names that previously had a record using a "tro-" (Tropicos) ID are now using a "kew-" (WCSP) ID.Plantdrew (talk) 07:28, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Invasive flora by state CfD

Hi, folks. I just noticed this CfD that takes on the issue of categories such as Category:Invasive plant species in Arizona. If any of you are also interested in work on fauna, there's another CfD on country-level categories for spiders. I've added my rambling thoughts at each; opinions may differ but wider engagement is always helpful. Cheers, Rkitko (talk) 15:40, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

The decision was made to listify and delete all the nominated categories. I just created a List of invasive plant species in West Virginia (named in keeping with the existing NJ article), and included both the invasive plant species and the naturalized tree species. I know there are different definitions of "invasive species", so I'm not sure if this project has a position on whether it's appropriate to consider a naturalized tree species as invasive plant species. I did not verify the classification information as factual, or provide citations for the entries in the list; that would be an extensive task, as very few plant species articles make the claims other than in the categorizations, and don't provide citations to verify the claims. I did include two references listed in the tree category page, and some general resources in the External Links section.
Categories to be removed:
Lists that need to be created (assuming the tree categories can be included the plant lists); update with check when done:
Agyle (talk) 08:17, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
It turns out there was an existing List of trees naturalized in West Virginia article. Any opinions on whether to include trees in separate lists from plants, and if so, what to name such lists (e.g., List of naturalized trees of West Virginia, or List of trees naturalized in West Virginia)? Agyle (talk) 08:25, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
I listified all of them, didn't take as long as I thought it would. At least a couple of the lists seemed to include genera in addition to species; I didn't edit the category lists at all, but if someone wants to be a stickler, they could all use a once-over for questionable things like that. Agyle (talk) 09:18, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

AfC submission - 12/03

Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/Lilian Snelling. FoCuSandLeArN (talk) 23:51, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

The proposed article has changed quite a bit now. Is someone available to review it (having contributed to it, I'm ineligible)? Sminthopsis84 (talk) 19:06, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Done.--Melburnian (talk) 00:55, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
If you want a more concise citation list you can use this Lavateraguy (talk)
Looks good to me. I have long admired the beautiful and informative artwork in that journal, and glad to see one of the artists being recognized for her work. I hate to get picky, but aren't Wikipedia articles supposed to use American spelling and grammar rather than British? Nothing wrong with Her Majesty's English, mind you, I say as an avid BBCophile, but we've had long discussions here about standardizing style and format, and I thought Wikipedia style required American English. American style would say "honor" instead of "honour" and put the period before the close quotation marks rather than after. I personally would support leaving the spelling as in the original in the case of a direct quote or the name of an institution (e.g. The Labour Party).Joseph Laferriere (talk) 11:51, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
Good query Joseph! Thankfully, Wikipedia honours real–world diversity more on that question, respecting various well recognised English language varieties (correctly: dialects), including British, American, some of ours here Australian English and so on. See the Manual of Style: National varieties of English —a to–the–point quotation: "The English Wikipedia prefers no major national variety of the language over any other." --Macropneuma 12:01, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
A view is held by some editors that British English orthography should be used in the case of articles about British topics. Lavateraguy (talk) 12:28, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
Actually, it's part of the official guidelines: "An article on a topic that has strong ties to a particular English-speaking nation should use the English of that nation." Therefore, when I'm editing articles about plants of the Pacific Northwest, I will change, e.g., "metres" to "meters" if its range is restricted to the US, but leave it alone (per MOS:RETAIN) if the range crosses over into Canada. Tdslk (talk) 17:56, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
Suppose you have something that goes back and forth. "The American team kicked the soccer ball to the British team, and then the British team kicked the football back to the Americans" or perhaps "Sir Winston, we wish to honor you with this award." "Why thank you, Mr. President, it is indeed quite an honour." or "The population of Plantus hypotheticus straddled the international border, from 100 metres on the Manitoba side to 100 feet on the Minnesota side."Joseph Laferriere (talk) 19:38, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
Ah, yes. That is covered under another clause of the guidelines: "within a given article the conventions of one particular variety should be followed consistently." In the case of Plantus hypotheticus, that means I would maintain the variety of English it was written in. If there was no clear winner (that is, roughly an even split and not just one exception to the rule), I would edit it to be consistently American, because that's what I know best. Tdslk (talk) 20:09, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
MOS:RETAIN discusses how to decide the difficult cases. The ENGVAR used in the first non-stub version of the article is retained. And as a passing comment, there are more varieties of English than just British and Americanese. WP:Article titles discussed some further issues. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 21:01, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for the clarification. Makes sense. Americans sometimes act as if we invented the English language, which is obviously not the case. I used to work with a Brit who took serious offense when a computer spell-check program offered the choice of either "English" or "British English." I would caution, though, that people need to be aware that there are certain words such as "corn" and "football" which have different meanings on opposite sides of "The Pond." This could be confusing. But, then, there are words such as "berry" which have one meaning inside the herbarium and another in the market.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 14:46, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

If anyone wants to see a discussion (not plant-orientated, but I think principles are the same) about a fairly difficult ENGVAR case in which the subject did go "back and forth", see the sections entitled "British spelling?" and "Discussion moved from Chrisrus's talk page" at Talk:Buff (colour). (I made an input near the beginning, but quickly bowed out because, well, I think I had more pressing things to attend to elsewhere...) PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 21:39, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Very good. I consider the choice of "honor" vs "honour" a trivial matter. Using "corn" to mean Zea or Triticum or Hordeum or Centaurea is more seriousJoseph Laferriere (talk) 22:02, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Does anyone use corn for Centaurea? (There are a number of arable weeds that have corn as an adjective in their name - apart from cornflower, there's corn poppy, corn marigold, corncockle and cornsalad.) Lavateraguy (talk) 11:11, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Some species of Centaurea are referred to as "cornflower." I was just looking for a joke to toss into my list.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 12:22, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

AfC submission - 24/03

Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/Root Microbiome. FoCuSandLeArN (talk) 02:41, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Invitation to Participate in a User Study - Final Reminder

Would you be interested in participating in a user study of a new tool to support editor involvement in WikiProjects? We are a team at the University of Washington studying methods for finding collaborators within WikiProjects, and we are looking for volunteers to evaluate a new visual exploration tool for Wikipedia. Given your interest in this Wikiproject, we would welcome your participation in our study. To participate, you will be given access to our new visualization tool and will interact with us via Google Hangout so that we can solicit your thoughts about the tool. To use Google Hangout, you will need a laptop/desktop, a web camera, and a speaker for video communication during the study. We will provide you with an Amazon gift card in appreciation of your time and participation. For more information about this study, please visit our wiki page ( If you would like to participate in our user study, please send me a message at Wkmaster (talk) 00:59, 27 March 2014 (UTC).

Bringing the flora categories into agreement with the WGSRPD

Hi, all. I think User:Hesperian was one of the first to start working on bringing the flora categories into agreement with the World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions back in 2006. It has the advantage of largely sticking with political boundaries while organized into a geographic hierarchy (e.g. the Flora of Greenland is under the flora of subarctic America instead of Denmark). This worked to our advantage when the fauna by European country categories were brought to CfD in 2007. In more recent CfD cases, newer fauna by country categories were deleted (spiders by European country and a current discussion on moths by European country) and invasive plant species by state were deleted with rationales and support votes noting that "species distributions don't stop at political boundaries" and citing WP:DEFINING in a manner that suggests the nominator just doesn't like the scale to which the geographic categories have been split to allow diffusion of the major continent categories (e.g. Moths of Europe is fine and apparently defining, but Moths of Germany is not).

Anyway, with all this in mind, I thought we should do our best to make sure our flora categories are following the WGSRPD, it being a reliable, published scheme in use elsewhere for categorizing plant articles by distribution. In recent years, a few editors have forced the category hierarchy out of agreement with the WGSRPD (though it never fully was implemented) by adding unnecessary categories or reshaping the category structure to suit political hierarchy instead of geographic. This will help us defend against the above rationales. I suppose most of all, the nominators and supporters of deletion are appalled at the serious category clutter that has been created. See the categories on Acalypha rhomboidea and the article's history for an example of an article that uses many finest scale categories instead of regional ones that closely match the distribution.

I have outlined the WGSRPD and added what I think are reasonable criteria for determining which categories should be chosen for an article at WP:PLANTS/WGSRPD. I have compared our current category hierarchy to what the WGSRPD would require for Europe and recommended some changes -- rearrangements, upmerges, deletions. I thought I'd notify everyone here before I go too far with the remaining continents. At the very least, I'd like to reaffirm consensus that we want to (roughly) follow the WGSRPD. Some changes may be necessary, but we can discuss individual cases -- I've already noted a few. Cheers, Rkitko (talk) 02:28, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for continuing with this, Rkitko; I think it's important. As you would have noticed, I have had a tendency to start big important project, make substantial inroads, and then lapse away from them without finishing up. Hesperian 02:39, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Looks like a good idea. I'd be curious to read the old discussion that led to consensus, for different perspectives, but didn't find it after a bit of archive searching.
I think most "non-defining" delete arguments in the "invasive plants in state" CfD discussion took issue with any geographic level of invasive plants being defining, not with the state-level categories being too small. Another common argument was simply that the categories added "clutter". While the WGSRPD proposal looks good, my guess is that it would not have mattered in that discussion.
I have a suggestion for the Wikipedia:PLANTS/WGSRPD guidance at the top of the page: clarify how closely the smaller units have to match up with a larger unit before you should use the larger unit. For example Flora of the Northcentral US is comprised of ten states. If a plant grows in 5 states, should you use 5 state categories, or the Northcentral US category? Percentage and/or quantity guidance would remove the arbitrary/subjective decision-making of what categories to use. Right now WGSRPD is ambiguous, and Wikipedia:WikiProject Plants/Template#Categories simply says to use common sense, and provides the single example that if a plant grows in 47 of 50 states, it should use the US category. Agyle (talk) 05:38, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments. I'm open to ideas on the clarification you noted would help, but I'm afraid the level of precision you're looking for in the outline of the category hierarchy wouldn't be realistic. Each case is different and I'd rather avoid making suggestions that, for example, say "70% of the regional range should be covered before it can be included in the regional category" because the subcategories are not all equal. There are 13 categories in the Northeast US region, so if you find a plant that is not recorded as being from three of them, it matters whether it is the three smallest (Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey) or the three largest (Michigan, New York, Pennyslvania). There's no easy answer. Wouldn't an attempt to generate more specific guidance when no simple and natural description fits be instruction creep? Rkitko (talk) 12:06, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
"Each case is different" seems like a good reason to provide guidance applicable to all of them. There are obvious cases where common sense is clear, but many cases where correct categories aren't clear. WP:CREEP suggests instructions strike a balance between being "as clear as possible" and being so complex they "will seldom be read and understood". The proposed guidance, in my view, is not clear enough. For example, your reply is the first time I've read geographic area (size) should be considered in choosing categories; area isn't mentioned in WP:PLANTS/WGSRPD, WP:WikiProject_Plants/Template#Categories, or WP:PLANTS/Categorization. Agyle (talk) 13:51, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

I have no objection to trying to standardize our messy flora category hierarchy, and WGSRPD is a good standard to follow. I do wonder what function and what users the flora categories are intended to serve. As I see it, there are two major functions: 1) Navigating between articles on plant taxa, categories give the range of each taxon. 2) Navigating the category tree, categories list the flora of a particular region. There are three groups of users: A) Readers B) Editors C) Machines. Readers are the most important users, but I'm not sure the categories help them much. For range of individual taxa (1), readers are probably best served by a range map. Prose descriptions of range can also helpful to readers. Categories at the bottom of the page don't help readers much. Building regional floras (2) on Wikipedia for readers is problematic (existing attempts are massively incomplete). Using lists for regional floras is likely better than using categories. If WGSRPD's hierarchical distribution categories are used correctly, plants occurring in Texas will show up in three different levels in the distribution hierarchy, and Category:Flora of Texas will necessarily be an incomplete list of Texas plants. For flora categories to be complete lists, every plant article would have to be categorized with every appropriate lowest rank in the WGSRPD hierarchy (with a resulting ridiculous level of category clutter).

At present, the categorization scheme is most useful to editors (B), and standardizing to WGSRPD really serves editors more than readers (A) or machines (C).

Machines (C) ultimately serve readers (A). Maybe there should be a distribution scheme on Wikidata? Or a hideously complicated template with |yes/|no parameters for every WGSRPD single entity on Wikipedia that editors here can implement and Wikidata can parse?

I'm not sure who the categories serve, or what functions they should accomplish. Would some functions or needs of particular users be best fulfilled by something besides distribution categores? Plantdrew (talk) 04:46, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Well said. The split of level 4 flora between three or four levels of categories, both in the current and proposed system, precludes many practical uses, and so would having state categories with 2,000 species spread over ten pages if they weren't split. :-) Personally I've never found broad categories (e.g., "flora of X" or "fauna of X") useful as either a reader or editor. I have found narrower categories useful, for example some similar to Category:Critically endangered flora of California, but when variations on "flora of X" like that make the categories small enough to be useful, they're deleted as non-defining. Lower taxa categories like "orchids of X") have better survival rates.
Wikipedia doesn't handle relational database sorts of uses well, but a template may be of some use. The syntax could be simple enough, like
  • {{wgsrpd | edition=2 | binomial=Examplia specifica | level4=Cuba,Florida,Alabama | level3-all=South-central United States | level3-partial=Mexico}}
It could accept both WGSRPD codes like TEX or common names like Texas. You could enter nothing but level 4 designations, and it could figure out the appropriate categories to add (this would require specific guidelines on categorization groupings, discussed above.) If you didn't know the level 4 detail, but knew level 3 detail, you could enter just the higher level categories. And if a species filled every level 4 area in a level 3 or 2 designation, you could just add the higher level category if you know the name. I'm doubtful that another project would find this useful, because Wikipedia's information is notoriously unreliable, and more comprehensive databases exist, but it is technically possible.
Regarding the usefulness of a map or prose description, a referenced indication of range is already a prerequisite for proper categorization. Most plant articles probably ignore the guidelines, but WP:CAT says "Categorization of articles must be verifiable. It should be clear from verifiable information in the article why it was placed in each of its categories. Use the {{Category unsourced}} template if you find an article in a category that is not shown by sources to be appropriate of if the article gives no clear indication for inclusion in a category."
Was there a consensus on what names to use for the WGSRPD regions, or are the ones in Wikipedia:PLANTS/WGSRPD just a proposal? I noticed lots of little differences. Expanding/renaming abbreviations used by WGSRPD seems in keeping with WP's style guidelines, but renaming Northern and Southern America to North and South America seems likely to confuse casual readers or editors who may mistakenly think they refer to the traditional geographic continents. It's also a bit inconsistent, if Northern Europe isn't similarly renamed North Europe.
As a general suggestion, it may be informative to include a sentence at the top of level 1-3 categories, explaining that it's a WGSRPD category, and listing the area or subdivisions it includes (and perhaps even areas it may unexpectedly exclude in a few cases), or at least do so when it's not obvious from its name (e.g. Mexico is obvious, Northern America or South-central United States are not. Agyle (talk) 18:32, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
I like the idea of the template, but it might take a while for duplicate edits adding [[Category:Flora of X]] to stop or for those editors to switch to the template. I suppose that's not unique to this situation.
Any differences from the WGSRPD are my work alone and are either mistakes in transferring names or were updated to our standards -- like you noted, changing St. to Saint, Is. to Islands, adding "the" in a few cases as it seemed like the norm ("the Southeastern United States" and "Flora of the Cook Islands"). Some small and inconsequential changes were made to reflect current categories we have. Other choices, such as Northern Europe, were mine alone and can be returned to the WGSRPD title if folks think it necessary; I just thought it sounded better and still had the same regional meaning. Yes, WP:PLANTS/WGSRPD is very much a proposal and so far only my work -- this notice was a way of letting other PLANTS members that I've completed the list and everyone is welcome to edit it into a formal draft. I was also looking for feedback, and as I noted, a reaffirmation that we want to follow the WGSRPD for the flora categorization. A hatnote explaining the scheme in each category is part of the plan, see Category:Flora of Australia for an example of a good description, including the category's scope.
I also have no objection to splitting the categories by taxon and geography, e.g. Category:Orchids of Papua New Guinea and Category:Grasses of India, though only the largest taxa should be split this way into the hierarchy: Flora of X → Angiosperms of X → Monocots of X → Orchids of X. A step too far might be breaking Orchids of X down by subfamily, tribe, or genus. Rkitko (talk) 01:57, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Category:Flora_of_Australia opening is nice. It says it includes only native flora taxa; Wikipedia:WikiProject_Plants/Template#Categories and WP:PLANTS/WGSRPD don't say that – maybe clarify? Same with genus-or-higher taxa needing to be being endemic to the category's region.
WP:PLANTS/WGSRPD has several changes to WGSRPD's hierarchy, where level 3 & level 4 divisions share the same name (e.g., France). If the proposed hierarchy doesn't follow WGSRPD, that seems to undercut one of the purposes mentioned (i.e. that using WGSRPD would defend against people who wanted to deviate from WGSRPD). Agyle (talk) 07:58, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Here's an example of where the proposal deviates from WGSRPD. I've included an alternative "renamed WGSRPD" approach in the middle.
WGSRPD unmodified Renamed WGSRPD approach Current WP:PLANTS/WGSRPD approach
Agyle (talk) 14:42, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Thunbergia laurifolia and T. grandiflora

Does anyone have familiarity with both of these species that could help to sort out the images in Commons, here and here? There is some discussion at Talk:Thunbergia laurifolia. Images with perhaps questionable identification include this, this, and this. Thanks, Sminthopsis84 (talk) 17:14, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Is this a notable journal?

Please take a look at Wikipedia_talk:Articles for creation/Plant Science Today and comment on it's notability. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 11:38, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

@Dodger67: I'm not sure where you wanted comments, but I noticed that that draft is written by the editor (WP:COI) and from this it looks as if only one paper has been published in it. So at the moment it's highly doubtful that it is a notable journal. SmartSE (talk) 12:17, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
@Smartse: Declined as not notable - the journal's archive page contains only two editions, so WP:TOOSOON also applies. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 14:49, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

old geography

One problem I have encountered in plant names is the use of old geographic names in older literature. 18th- and 19th-Century publications are of course still relevant in botanical nomenclature, and many of these older writings are now available on-line. Three problems concerning plant biogeography: 1. Many early descriptions were based on plants grown in gardens in Europe, not collected in their native locales. So someone in England might call something "Tulipa amsterdamensis," the "Dutch tulip" because he got the bulb from a colleague in Amsterdam. Never mind that the thing is actually native to Nepal. 2. Political boundaries have changed. So a publication from 1839 saying "collected in Mexico" might actually mean Utah, as that was Mexican territory until 1848. "In Russia" might mean Alaska, "in Austria" might mean Croatia, etc. 3. Many plants of that era were collected on exploratory expeditions (either by land or sea) by people in unfamiliar lands and with no GPS units. So of necessity they used vague geographic names that can be misinterpreted. I have seen publications saying "in Terris Australis" misinterpreted by modern botanists as Australia or Antarctica, when in fact it meant "somewhere way down south where the map says 'here there be sea monsters.'"Joseph Laferriere (talk) 15:04, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure how much of an issue this is for Wikipedia. Distributions given here should come from modern sources. Type localities are probably more relevant to Wikispecies than Wikipedia. If type localities are added to Wikipedia articles, the locality can be directly quoted as it appears in the protologue and/or appropriate secondary sources can be cited to clear up any errors (the "amsterdamensis" example) in the protologue's locality or changing national boundaries. TROPICOS often adds current national boundaries to type localities based on historic regions when the current nation can be ascertained (e.g., adding Vietnam to a type locality in Annam). Plantdrew (talk) 16:41, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

McIntosh (apple)

Apples on tree 2011 G1 cropped.jpg

Sorry to post here for this but, does anyone have, right now in their home, a McIntosh apple and a camera? We really need a good pic.

  • Media related to McIntosh at Wikimedia Commons

Cheers! Anna Frodesiak (talk) 12:02, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

 Done Anna Frodesiak (talk) 11:12, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Latin translations

Editing pages written by other people is much more difficult than creating a page from scratch. Very often, existing pages are chaotically written or contain misinformation. One suggestion that might be useful in catching mistakes might be to make sure anyone reviewing plant species pages knows enough Latin to recognize its misuse by page authors. It is not necessary to be fluent in Botanical Latin, but a wee bit of knowledge can help spot errors. And I have seen some boners. I saw the statement concerning Yucca baccata: "The "baccata" part of the name refers to the fact that the fruits resemble bananas." "Baccata" in fact, means "berry" and has nothing to do with bananas, except to the extent that bananas are also berries (as are tomatoes). The worst I have seen was for Fritillaria imperialis, common names "Crown imperial or Kaiser's crown." The plant has large golden flowers arranged in a circle, similar to an emperor's crown. It was very popular at the imperial botanical garden in Vienna back in the day. Author of the wiki page said "It has the scientific name 'imperialis' because 'imperialis' means 'showy.'" Showy? Really? I thought it meant 'imperial,' ultimately from the Latin "imperator" meaning "he who gives orders."Joseph Laferriere (talk) 11:50, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

That's just bad research. Editors should be fluent in Google. :-) No knowledge of Latin is needed, if a person relies on reliable sources for etymology and translations. Though I am a bit uncertain about an edit I made to Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot) recently, as different "reliable" sources gave different information. It could use a second opinion if you're interested; Talk:Tussilago has my reasoning. Agyle (talk) 07:05, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

AgyleCertainly you are correct about needing to knowing how to look up things you don't know. What I meant was that a little knowledge of Latin is helpful in recognizing these sorts of errors. The "imperialis = showy" example was a bone-headed error that anyone familiar with the English world "imperial" should recognize something was wrong. The "baccata = banana" was less obvious and I wonder how many people would have thought to look up to see whether this was correct. As for your Tussilago comments, they seem reasonable to me.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 23:44, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Tephrosia apollinea

I just noticed an extremely quick pass for a GA candidate on this plant species. Does anyone else agree that this should not have been promoted in its current state (I'm not a botanist, so would appreciate other opinions)? Sasata (talk) 16:48, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Upon trying to add the basic data, synonyms and authority, I find myself stumped. IPNI and Tropicos have very different ideas about who published the species name from what appears in ILDIS and The Plant List. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 17:16, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Tropicos records for this were apparently pulled from Index Kewensis/IPNI, and haven't been checked further (though I'm not sure how Tropicos ended up with T. apollinae Link; maybe IPNI fixed the spelling after the data was exported to Tropicos). Tropicos does have Galega apollinea as a synonym (but not explicitly as the basionym) of T. apollinea "Klotzsch". Go with ILDIS/TPL, Tropicos/IPNI are messed up.Plantdrew (talk) 18:09, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
(A typo in USDA GRIN has been corrected, and it now shows Tephrosia apollinea (Delile) Link. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 18:36, 4 April 2014 (UTC))
That should not have been promoted to GA. I think the reviewer may have an agenda (they apparently have a history of problematic articles, and previous interactions with the person who submitted it for GA review). I don't expect GA reviewers to necessarily be versed in botany, but from a botany perspective, the article was missing some basic stuff; binomial authority, basionym, and the text ought to mention the date of description instead of saying "documented at least before 1836" (the plant was mentioned in a general work published in 1836). And yeah, as Sminthopsis found, getting this information is a little tricky. Another possible problem; toxicity to goats cites "Toxic Plants of North America"; this is not a North American plant, and the citation in TPNA is actually the citation of another work in the bibliography of TPNA; that work should have been cited directly. Reviewer said "for a plant it is as comprehensive as it can possibly be", which I don't think is true at all. I'd rate this article C class, maybe (although we've got Starts that are longer than this). Plantdrew (talk) 18:05, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
I agree that it is quite poor, even in need of basic polishing. Tephrosia needs work too, "Tephrosia is also one of the many beneficial legume trees" -- wonder which species that is. Is there any "properly placed in context" criterion for GA status? Sminthopsis84 (talk) 18:30, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Good article criteria and more briefly Wikipedia:WikiProject_Plants/Assessment#Quality_scale. Would it be worth discussing the quality scale any? I don't really want to get into FA/GAs, but I've been doing a lot of assessment, following my sense of what seems to be existing practice. And existing practice is perhaps overly conservative (tending to rate quality fairly low). Corylus johnsonii is rated Start class, but probably really is getting close to "as comprehensive as it can possibly be" (it's a fossil plant described 9 years ago; I doubt there are any further publications that mention it). I'm leaning towards considering articles on fossil species of similar length to be C or even B quality. Our critera for Start class is "Provides some meaningful content, but most readers will need more.". I don't think most readers will need any more than what's already in C. johnsonii. Some of User:Joseph Laferriere's recent output, although pretty minimal by comparison with other Start articles seems to me like it provides all the content some readers will need (and maybe even "most readers"). Yucca madrensis answers the basic questions about range, habitat, taxonomic affinities, and salient morphological features. I'd lean towards calling an article on par with Y. madrensis Start class, as long as it's got a photo (class criteria are generally about text, not photos, but a photo of a plant is far more useful to the lay reader than a technical morphological description, and plants are different than subjects of other Wikipedia articles; a photo in an article about a town or an episode of a TV show doesn't provide much useful information). Given that most plant species are pretty obscure subjects, with the sum total of available information about them represented in a handful of monographs or floras, maybe some of our more extensive stubs (on the more obscure species) should really be Start? Plantdrew (talk) 20:16, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
With regards to Corylus johnstonii, a grammar fix is needed for the first sentence of the second paragraph. Lavateraguy (talk) 20:38, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Plantdrew Thanx for the mention and for the kind words. I'm glad to see someone is paying attention to what I have been doing. Yucca madrensis is actually one of the first pages I did months ago. It is one on which I have some personal fieldwork experience. The more recent pages I've been doing I realize are minimal and need work, but I view my contribution as being a beginning, a framework with essential information that others can add to. I try to include some info on range, basic nomenclature, and a brief description. People can add what they want to that. I see pages by other people lacking that sort of information. For example, they will discuss a weed growing in Iowa and give a whole page of info on the plant in Iowa, with a statement buried in the text saying "this plant is native to Europe or maybe Asia or someplace like that." Sheesh. At least tell me what part of Europe or Asia. That info is indeed on-line and can be found easily enough. As for photos, I always try to find photos, but have a hard time finding any non-copyrighted photos. Wikicommons has some, but not nearly enough, and I don't trust the ids on half the ones they do have.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 20:41, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
You've been the most prolific contributor of new plant articles over the last few months. They are all excellent beginnings/frameworks. Some of them, while still pretty minimal, seem to me like they provide all the information that a layperson is most likely to be interested in (which is where I'm wanting to tag them with a higher "Start" class than the basic "Stub"). On the other hand, an article with two lengthy paragraphs on control of an invasive weed in Iowa and no mention of the native range doesn't give all the basic information a layperson might be interested (and would be a Stub). Plantdrew (talk) 00:03, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
I've revised the description of the distribution, based on Flora of Pakistan. However AFPD treats it as a subspecies of Tephrosia purpurea, and has it additionally present in Chad. AFPD also has Tephrosia apollinea auct. as a synonym of Tephrosia villosa subsp. ehrenbergia, and only has the latter present in Ethiopia and Somalia (and in Kenya, Lower Guinea and South Africa). So both the taxonomy and distribution are a little confused. Lavateraguy (talk) 10:56, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
The paper that sinks it into Tephrosia purpurea is here. This has the species present in Ethiopia and Somalia (and Djibouti) (Eritrea as well?). Lavateraguy (talk) 11:08, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Who has a history of problematic articles? I can see why you think that it's problematic because Jaguar passed it quickly but its hugely insulting to myself that you think I'd nominate something for GA which I didn't think was good enough. I ransacked the web and google books to make it as comprehensive as I could and it seemed about as good as I could make it. If you research this you'll find it's not bad at all and covers the basics of what is covered in existing sources. I agree it could be longer and more "polished" but I think it's adequate for GA. You're welcome to continue to improve it. But it's hardly surprising that you have so many stubs and few people bother expanding them if they get this sort of snobby reception. You have to assess every article differently. When I look at a GA I look at "does it have a basic grasp of the topic" and "how could it be further improved?" As far as I can see it does have an adequate basic coverage of the topic and is comprehensive in relation to what is accessible on the web. It's difficult to write polished prose on an obscure plant which barely has a few snippets available for it. Show me the abundance of sources and missing content and I'll add it.♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:18, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

You weren't said to have a history of problematic articles; the reviewer was.
However, the article was missing some basic nomenclatural information, the distribution was (and still is - specifying selected sites is undue weight) badly presented, the taxonomic status is questionable, and description has leaflets containing seeds (a faux pas that a reviewer should have caught). I'm not particularly keen on documenting arbitrary examples of phytochemicals either (the Phytochemical Dictionary of the Leguminosae gives several more compounds known from this species; so does a 2013 review in Phytochemistry). Lavateraguy (talk) 18:09, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, wouldn't it be better to improve it then instead of complaining about how bad it is? As I say, if you can point out decent sources which can be further used I'll be glad to use them.♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:15, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
It's not "bad", and I and others have done some work improving it. Thank you for your work on it, it's easily in the top 5% of article on plants in terms of information provided (and less than 5% of plant articles are C class or better). I'm just not sure that it is in the top 0.1% of plant articles (which is about how many we have at GA). Other GA plant articles are longer than this (e.g. Zombia), so I don't agree with the reviewer's remark that it is "comprehensive as can be". I commented above about considering cases where shorter articles might be worth nominating for GA. You've done good work improving the Tephrosia article, but I think further work is needed for it to be GA. Maybe GA standards are too conservative though. Plantdrew (talk) 19:02, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, I scouted for as much info as I can find. My articles like Ben Hur (1959 film) and Emma Thompson passed GA the other day, so it's not as if I'm in a habit of not researching articles properly. Obviously you can't compare length given the topic. Given its length, I'd never have nominated it for GA otherwise if I wasn't convinced it couldn't be expanded much further. Obviously if I was researching the article on the genus I'd find a mass of material. On this specific species? I couldn't find anything else of note. Look in google books etc if you don't believe me. You might have access to journals which I don't though so surprise me. I'm sure I could pick a less obscure plant genus or something and write you a 60 kb article. I'd have done the same on this if I could find the sources. If the article lacks polish that's a reflection of the random snippets I could find on it. You can't possibly write a truly good article if you haven't an abundance of material. Maybe you're right that such short articles can't be considered "good" and shouldn't be nominated, admittedly I've failed some short minor roads myself based on length. But to me it seemed about as good as the article is going to get based on what I could find so I thought it was worth it. It actually has 6 more sources than your Zombia article but a lot less content. What does that tell you? ♦ Dr. Blofeld 19:21, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

I was going to come to this conversation earlier but I have just come back from London. I took up this review as requested by Dr. Blofeld and he had done an impeccable job of building the article up to a GA standard - I was well impressed by the content it had for just a species of plant and the number of sources it had. It surprises me so much that people are questioning this legitimacy for GA. This is the first and only quick-pass I have ever done because the WHOLE article met the GA criteria. In all of my GA reviews I focus on copy editing issues and I can say that this article was flawless in the way it was written. I check the references too and for the length of the article it contained the above average. I don't know much about flora, so if it's content people are worried about they are more than welcome to submit the article for a reassessment. Jaguar 21:21, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

You missed the flaw wherein it describes the leaflets as containing seeds. It looks as something has been lost from the middle of two sentences. Lavateraguy (talk) 22:29, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Would someone like to check that claim that it is cultivated. Having gone to the cited reference I find a statement that it grows in cultivated fields, which is not the same thing (black nightshade grows in maize fields). Lavateraguy (talk) 14:51, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
I've moved the information which included this statement to a Distribution and habitat section, as per the WP:PLANTS template. Since the source given does not say that it is cultivated, I've re-written the text to correctly reflect the source, namely that it's a contaminant in senna and grows in cultivated fields. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:32, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
That's good to hear! With at least one other Tephrosia species cultivated for nitrogenous mulch, the possibilities for cultivating this poisonous plant because of confusion were rather alarming. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 20:35, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
The species that Tephrosia says is used for this purpose (and misdescribes as a tree) is poisonous. If you go to the species article you'll find a mention of use as a cover crop/green manure. I've added a citation needed rather than being bold and deleting the statement, but if it can be fixed quickly I think it ought to go. Lavateraguy (talk) 08:15, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
The citation on the Tephrosia vogelii page says small tree 4 metres tall; roots poisonous, leaves not. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 18:34, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
On the topic of toxicity an alternative view can be found here here. Elsewhere it is said that rotenoids are found primarily above ground, and especially in the leaflets. But I haven't convinced myself that rotenoids are the only agent of toxicity in mammals.
I may have jumped the gun on whether it is a tree; sources give various description from woody herb to shrub to small tree. Lavateraguy (talk) 19:06, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
ILDIS describes Tephrosia apollinea as a shrub, not a forb, so I went to the reference given for it being a forb. This is a Google Books entry, which for me provides no preview. Using the search facility it seems that the description is on page 44, but I haven't been able to persuade Google to show me "leguminous desert forb" and "Tephrosia apollinea" together. (You can see the bottom 10-20% of the former with the latter.) Do folks in (e.g.) the US get a better view? Lavateraguy (talk) 10:33, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Entering "forb Tephrosia apollinea" in Google Books gives the following as the single listing in the results view:
"...vegetation of the area is very sparse, but of the plants that do occur the most abundant species in the ground flora are the leguminous desert forb Tephrosia apollinea and the stoloniferous grass Eleusine compressa. Occasional trees and ..."--Melburnian (talk) 13:24, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Seems to be a browser issue, as for me the text is cut off at "forb". Thanks for confirming that it says what I thought it did. Lavateraguy (talk) 13:45, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

And why do I have 'problematic' articles? Since when? Nobody has said anything about that in the past. I review articles and if they meet the GA criteria it is logical to pass them! Jaguar 21:23, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Hi Jaguar, I have no idea about your articles, but I do have to agree with all the others that this should not be a GA. I want to thank Dr. Blofeld for his hard work (keep it up!), but it wouldn't be fair if this article gets a different standard than other plant articles about what is "Broad in coverage" ("snobby" is really unfair). I understand the difference between "broad" (GA) and "comprehensive" (FA), but the stub that was passed as GA didn't even make an attempt at following the Wikipedia:Plants/Template, despite the info being easily available. It still needs an ecology section (easily available info). Also a "Uses" section, since it is ubiquitously mentioned in books as a medicinal plant, yet the article does not even mention the plant is used that way, let alone have a full section. It uses weasel-word phrases in the "Toxicity" section. I see that the guys are making huge advances to the article in the last few days, and it's looking great; but still quite a ways from a GA. --Tom Hulse (talk) 07:10, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
I got round to looking at the criteria, and the article now seems to be squarely in the C-class. At the time of review it would have been between start- and C-class. In any case, more than a stub.
It has been asked what other sources are available. There are the taxonomic databases (TPL, IPNI, Tropicos, APD, ILDIS), floras (efloras Pakistan for a start, but there are several floras of parts of the Middle East that could be checked), Biodiversity Heritage Library,, Google Scholar, and even a general Google Web search. Lavateraguy (talk) 11:14, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Length isn't important. It covers what has been covered in sources currently accessible on the web. You can't possibly compare it to another GA article on a better known genus or something. It has a comparable number of sources to articles on far better known genus GAs anyway - more than one you cited. Stubs don't have 22 sources and have the basics covered. It looks stubbier now actually that you've split into all of those sections when the info doesn't exist to fill them out. Those databases are unlikely going to contain anything of substance. Show me proper sources. "The name has also been misapplied to other species of Tephrosia." - completely unsourced. That's an improvement? ♦ Dr. Blofeld 16:08, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Maybe you looked at the article during editing, because it has a source now.
No, I hadn't added citations to the sources mentioned on the talk page. What you saw was a similar statement he added (after removing mine). I've removed it, because it wasn't supported by the source. Lavateraguy (talk) 20:48, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
It's not a plant stub now, but something like a plant C. A plant GA needs most of the sections in the WP:PLANTS template to be completed, so at C level you'd expect the sections to be there but not complete – or at least that's how this project seems to use the class. I think we're a bit more conservative with our grading than Wikipedia generally.
The key problem with this article remains one of botanical nomenclature. It's still not clear that all the sources used are actually about the same plant, because the name has clearly been differently applied by different writers. Peter coxhead (talk) 18:41, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

As far as I can see virtually all of those sections in your plants template have been filled out. And you could argue on a lot of articles writers might be confusing species with others. Proof? With due respect Peter, I don't think your project really has much experience of GA or FA with 42 articles at GA out of tens of thousands, and most of those appear to be on topics which have masses of material available for them. Proportionally you're what, 98% short stubs? It's very rare for somebody to take such an obscure species to GA. You can't possibly compare it to your article on Cactus. Currently it has four times as many sources as your GA on Drosera anglica, which might I add at first glance appears to be missing most of your template criteria.♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:51, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

I've managed to access my old JSTOR account which I thought had run out at the time of article creation and have managed to find some new content and sources. The article in my opinion generally looks perfectly acceptable for GA as it is now, I know of FA articles which are shorter.♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:59, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

The quantity of references shouldn't matter; material should be verifiable, whether it takes 1 or 100 sources. The length of an article similarly shouldn't matter; the quality scale encourages completeness, not length. Being an obscure topic should not be a substitute for completeness; some topics just can't be covered adequately due to lack of sources. (All comments meant generally, in response to User:Dr. Blofeld's remarks, not in reference to Tephrosia apollinea specifically). Agyle (talk) 23:41, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Dr B., we don't use "what's available on the web" as the measure of broad coverage. I also don't believe that's part of the WP GA criteria. For plants in general, books, not web, is your best source, and yes it can take more time. I would respectfully disagree that it covered, or even covers now, what is easily available on the web regarding this plant. I also agree that source count is not so important, otherwise it could be graded after source-puffing like you did with [[3]], which is just a link to a glossary mentioning the exact same article you used for a separate source.
  • Vernacular names section belongs inside Taxonomy
  • Description should be a separate section
  • First part of Ecology section belongs in a "Distribution and habitat" section (it's not ecology).
  • Toxicity needs rework to avoid weasel-worded phrases.
  • Toxicity also needs rework to remove medical claims as if they came from Wikipedia, or are even true (see MOS:MED).
  • Phytochemistry section needs to say why the info is relevant, if it is, and then rolled into another section based on that relevance; not a separate section. It looks just too obvious that the article writer has no clue what any of that means; poorly written.
  • Words like antiproliferative, pseudosemiglabrin, leguminous, etc. need to be linked, redlinked, Wiktionary linked, explained, or removed. They can't stay like that.
This article obviously needs lots of work. It really isn't yet a good article by ANY measure. --Tom Hulse (talk) 06:32, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

LOL, you're lecturing me on wikipedia practice? Combined I've reviewed and contributed to over 250 GAs, by now you'd think I'd know what is required. Every article should be assessed differently based on the information that exists and the importance of the topic. More sources indicates that the topic has been more widely researched, even if it doesn't always equate to the quality of information. By web I mean in google books, journals, the whole works. Expecting this article to be like Cactus or something is sort of like expecting Abuwtiyuw to be as long and comprehensive as King Tut. This article provides a decent general grasp of the plant, flawed or not. The lack of solid extensive "scientific" writing is a reflection of the lack of detailed sources which exist on the topic. How is it possible to write the sort of article you envisage without sources? And it wasn't me who created the ecology section but one of your group. If you have problems with the article fixing what you see as problematic yourself would be more beneficial to the project than moaning about how bad it is. Still nobody here has proved it is inadequate and found an abundance of sources to improve it.♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:33, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

How exactly is Carex binervis any better? I at least cover the main aspects. How exactly does that article meet the criteria of your plant template? At least mine documents toxicity and uses even if the information is brief.♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:21, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Dr. Blofeld, regarding your question of how a GA article can be written when adequate sources don't exist, in my opinion it's not always possible, though that's not specifically addressed in the quality scale. Perhaps your view is different; I'm inexperienced with article reviews.
Regarding the suggestion of others fixing the article, at least in my case I don't have convenient access to many of the referenced sources, so I left some suggestions without making actual changes. Agyle (talk) 21:49, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

I think if there is an adequate basic overview of a topic then GA is OK but you're unlikely to get it to FA. But then again we have FAs which are shorter like 2005 Azores subtropical storm. That one didn't get rejected because it didn't have the sources and content of something like Hurricane Katrina. Obviously the FA reviewers thought given the sources available it was adequate. As I say, it is important to assess each article differently in relation to what sources exist and its status/importance.♦ Dr. Blofeld 22:02, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Dr B., I agree with Agyle that it may not always be possible to get a GA if the info available is too sparse; but here, your contention of a lack of detailed sources is just plain false. Follow the suggestions above, there is gobs more source material out there. Instead of addressing the specific bullet points, you raise an irrelevant straw man argument about the Cactus article; you do not need the size of that article to get a GA. Your somewhat arrogant reference to your experience is certainly tempered by the methods you employ, such as requesting rubber-stamp reviews from friends instead of waiting for impartial reviewers in the normal GA process.
I would be glad to work on the article at your request when I get more time, but for the moment I care less about the plant and more about the precedent you would be setting of vastly moving the bar downhill for all good plant articles, and for changing the meaning of "broad coverage" in this context. I care that someone in the future will be using the exact same ridiculous argument, arguing their poor article is nearly as good as this GA of yours, in a cycle that moves the bar down, down, down.--Tom Hulse (talk) 04:41, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

I've never had a GA or FA article delisted Tom. If these "rubber stamp reviews from friends" as you call it weren't legitimate reviews and the content actually wasn't anywhere near GA I'd have had many delisted by now. It is insulting to people (and featured article contributors) like Krimuk90 and Tim riley and others who regularly review my articles that you think they give them a quick rubber stamp simply because they're a friend. Jaguar is quite capable of performing a decent review, see The Dorchester for instance. Most of my regular GA reviewers bring up some valuable points during GAN and if they weren't capable of decent reviews I wouldn't ask them. What experience do you have in writing quality articles on wikipedia? I have a lot of experience reviewing myself and not for "friends" both at GAN and FAC and am quite capable of assessing if an article in the ball park.You state "Your contention of a lack of detailed sources is just plain false. Follow the suggestions above, there is gobs more source material out there." yet still haven't showed me the abundance of material I quite possibly may have overlooked. If you did so the article might improve further. I'm just sick of "pseudo-experts" on wikipedia trashing the work of others when they do little work themselves and have little or no experience in what is really required. At least some of the others here have made an effort to improve it, but if somebody here actually linked me some detailed sources documenting Tephrosia apollinea I'd be more than happy to further improve it.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:10, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

I take great exception to the suggestion that I rubberstamp anybody's GA nominations when I am the reviewer, and I hope T Hulse will withdraw that slur. I have reviewed and been reviewed at FAC and GAN, and I believe I can fairly claim to have a good knowledge of applying the criteria at each level. It is in some ways harder to keep one's judgments in strict line with the criteria when one is reviewing an article in one's own specialist area: the conceit that one knows what the author should have said if only he or she had been as clever as oneself is a temptation and a snare. And certainly, throwing one's weight about and making offensive personal allegations is not the way to go about GAN or anything else. Tim riley (talk) 11:14, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
"requesting rubber-stamp reviews from friends". Tom, that is an uncivil and unfounded accusation with nothing to back it up. I strongly suggest you withdraw it straight away. - SchroCat (talk) 21:48, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Is Pentachaeta bellidiflora really a superior article? I don't think so. Just browsing through the good article list I see some radical differences in length and quality which seems to reflect the importance of the topic which is to be expected. And this article in no way stands out from the rest and fits in well with the others. Every article is different. Technically, actually, I could identify problems with a GA listing in a good number I've looked at, mainly on sourcing and major aspects. The solution would be to improve them, not sit around moaning about them.♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:45, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

"Rubber stamping from friends"? My time on here is very limited I'm afraid as I'm busy over this holiday. But I have to stress again (as mentioned on my talk page), Tephrosia apollinea is the first and ONLY quick-pass I have ever done, and because this is coming under so much scrutiny for some reason I am worried people might think all my reviews are like this - but that's not the point. The point is Tephrosia apollinea met the GA criteria, I'm not a flora expert so I didn't know if the content (from a botanist's point of view) was extensive but for an article in what, 500 words, was extensive as it could be! Dr Blofeld put in many amazing references, I was impressed of that for such a small article and passed it because it MET THE CRITERIA. See my other reviews, Dorset and Greece - they are very extensive.

When I review articles, I only pass them if they meet the criteria and if the prose is excellent. If they do not meet the criteria, I put them on hold for seven days until my issues have been addressed. If they have been addressed and they meet the criteria, I pass them. If they do not then I fail them. I give people second chances because I believe that the overall quality of Wikipedia needs to be improved, and in doing so I review GAs to make sure they live up to their standards.

This plant WikiProject has 42 GAs out of tens of thousands. In particular it would be good for people like Dr. Blofeld to improve the articles that lay under this project, I don't understand why Tephrosia apollinea is being under so much scrutiny. Is it because of my review? The fact that I said "world's fastest review" was out of line - sometimes I have these outbursts of wit. I had no idea this would come under so much attention, if I would have known I wouldn't have said that. If people here think Tephrosia apollinea needs a reassessment, then they are more than welcome to submit one. Jaguar 19:35, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Jaguar, I'm trying to help with the article a bit, but my admittedly amateur view is that it's lacking in some basics. Speaking just for myself, my opinion of its sub-GA quality is in no way due to discrimination against you or Dr. Blofield. The descriptive details seem weak/questionable, the distribution section seems disorganized and includes trivia like Harry Philby finding a specimen in Al-Raiyan, Yemen in 1936, and the medical claims seem dubious. Nothing that can't be improved upon, but it falls short of what I'd call a GA. A minor difference in Pentachaeta bellidiflora, which you asked about, is its description begins with a simple summary "Pentachaeta bellidiflora is a small annual wildflower...", while Tephrosia apollinea's description just calls it a plant; it is described as a legume in the lede, but it could additionally (and usefully) be described as a perennial (or short-lived perennial), and as a shrub or shrublet; several details like that are simply missing. Agyle (talk) 21:16, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Schrocat, not unfounded at all; it's a very fair description of what actually happened here by their own words. A short "few minutes" review was requested of a friend who regularly does his reviews, and the "world's fastest GA review" was then granted, with the reviewer acknowledging it is "one of Wikipedia's shortest GA's". Apparently, someone admittedly without knowledge of the field can verify GA criteria #3, "Broad coverage", that fast for a plant article? No, if "rubber stamp" doesn't apply to this one then we're just playing with words.
Jaguar, I actually do like you; and I beg you to forgive me for what seems like coming down hard on you; but I hope you can understand that this is policy we're talking about. This will set the precedent for plant GA's in the future because others will do just as Dr B. has done and try to point out flaws of the lowest articles to justify their poor article. Your review failed mostly on criteria #3, but also on #1b "words to watch" (weasel phrases). Also #1a, the Sultan Qaboos sentence in Toxicity was not clear at all. Honestly it was poorly written. It also fails GA criteria #2c on OR: I know you're busy, but if you took just a couple quick minutes to actually check the sources you would see things like the 2nd sentence in Toxicity is not supported by the ref, and that the Burrows source for "toxic to goats" wasn't as source at all but just a biblio reference to a study already cited separately, and others. A GA review means you have to actually check that it truly meets the criteria, not just appears on the surface to do so. You can't do that by just quickly reading the article. --Tom Hulse (talk) 06:24, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Nonsense, and you have dishonestly created a lie from misquoting others. Please provide a request from Dr Blofeld to Jaguar that backs up your claim of "requesting rubber-stamp reviews from friends". You have quoted where Blofeld has requested a review: there is nothing there about a rubber stamp and no question that an easy rise was ever requested. You may have issues with the review process (I do as well, actually), but that is an entirely separate issue, and in no way backed up by the smear that Blofeld was "requesting rubber-stamp reviews from friends". Again, either provide proof (real proof, not twisted out-of-context quotations) or withdraw. - SchroCat (talk) 10:11, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

No, it doesn't fail the GA criteria. You barely edit wikipedia, what would you know about policy? Jaguar doesn't regularly do my reviews, in fact I think he's reviewed less than half a dozen out of nearly 140. There might be some light in what Agyle says about some of he content, but he's more than welcome to fix what he sees as problematic himself and demonstrate sources to back his claims. If he could find a detailed description and sources about it though I would be most surprised.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:03, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Dr. Blofeld, you've been given many very specific points from several people that cause this to fall short of GA. Bluster about experience or number of edits won't answer those a bit. During the last month, your friend Jaguar has reviewed, or you have asked him to review seven of your nominations. One you even discussed with him holding off the nomination until best hour for him to get to it first. That doesn't raise an eyebrow about the "impartial reviewer" process?
Schrocat, I know you want to defend your friend, but you have to do it in a civil way, as you've asked of me. I have hard facts for exactly what I've said, but I'll take it to your talk page per relevance request of Sminthopsis. --Tom Hulse (talk) 23:33, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
I see no point in extending the thread here. If the article is still felt to be sub-GA quality, a reassessment should be opened or fixes made.Choess (talk) 23:34, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Seven? I count 4 in the last month anyway. Ben Hur, Wings, Culture of the Cook islands and Tephrosia, and out of those he reviewed two. And he knew for a long time I was working on one of the articles and had earlier expressed interest in reviewing it, that was why. You've identified why you think it fails GA, yes, without backing up your claims with the reliable sources which proves it is inadequate. Anybody can say "the scientific claims are dubious" or "the description is poor", but unless you can provide sources which can improve it and prove your claims then it's pretty pointless and comes across to me as malicious rather than constructive. If you'd all changed your approach from the outset with "here's a detailed description about it" which you missed, please use this source to improve it. Some more information here on toxicity link, link, I'd have been perfectly accepting of it and thanked you for it, because it's constructive. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:10, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Common or scientific name in taxobox name field?

I was wondering whether to put the scientific or common name in the "name=" field in a taxobox. Taxobox guidelines (WP:TX) cover the "name=" field, with one exception, saying "for plants, see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (flora)", but the flora naming convention article doesn't say which to use. Two plant articles rated "FA", Banksia brownii and Banksia integrifolia, use scientific names for the titles, but common names in the taxobox name field, but I don't want to read too much into that; neither article follows current capitalization rules for common names. Agyle (talk) 04:33, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Using the scientific name is redundant, as it is also at the bottom of the box.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 10:09, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
That makes sense, and follows WP:TX#Name (i.e. "the most common vernacular name when one is in widespread use"). I'm going to remove the exception for plants, created in 2006. Maybe it had to do with then-disputed capitalization rules. Feel free to revert it if I'm overlooking something. Agyle (talk) 17:20, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
I've just had a look at that guideline and noted that the example Nettle taxobox shown there is substantially different from the current Urtica taxobox.--Melburnian (talk) 01:21, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/Solanum phureja

Dear plant experts: Is this old Afc submission about a notable plant, and if so are the references appropriate? The page will soon be deleted as a stale draft unless someone takes an interest in it. —Anne Delong (talk) 20:20, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

The rule adopted is that all plant species are notable; however as a crop species, and as a species within the secondary genetic pool of the world's 4th most important crop, it is definitely notable.
The references look as if they ought to be appropriate, but needs someone with access to a suitable library to definitely confirm this. It should be possible to find alternate references online. Lavateraguy (talk) 20:55, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
PS: it needs a taxobox Lavateraguy (talk) 20:58, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for taking time to check this out. I've postponed its deletion for six months. Let me know when you think it is ready for mainspace, or move it yourself if you decide that's best. —Anne Delong (talk) 04:24, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
ITIS lists "Solanum phureja Juz. & Bukasov" as an invalid synonym of Solanum tuberosum (the potato). USDA's GRIN more specifically lists it as a synonym of "Solanum tuberosum L. subsp. andigenum (Juz. & Bukasov) Hawkes".
On the other hand, Encyclopedia of Life, which reports a number of sources, shows that the NCBI lists this as a separate species. The USDA PLANTS database lists it as as as a species. Tropicos lists 20 references to the species from a 1929 description by Juz. & Bukasov to 1990.
One of the pros here will be able to make more sense of this info than I can, so I'll leave interpretation to them. Agyle (talk) 04:55, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
TPL and Tropicos accept it. Tropicos cites a 2011 Flora (checklist) of Antiquoia. Lavateraguy (talk) 06:02, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
This 2013 paper in the American Journal of Potato Research says Phureja (and Andigena) is a group of S. tuberosum. This calls them sub-species. Page 264 of this notes that there is "general acceptance" that the species ranks given by Hawkes should be classified as groups. Regardless though, the information in the draft looks fine to me, and although it might need renaming, if the IP editor had access to those sources, I think it's safe to say that other than the classification, the information is correct. SmartSE (talk) 13:33, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
It seems that the rank is disputed. My opinion is that the null hypothesis is that diploid and tetraploid populations belong to separate species. If one applies this then phureja (diploid) is distinct from tuberosum (tetraploid), but whether it is distinct from other diploid potatoes is not addressed by that rule of thumb. I guess we have to plump for one or the other and document the lack of consensus. Lavateraguy (talk) 20:32, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Lavateraguy Botanists have been arguing over the definition of the word "species" for many years, with no conclusion in sight. Most botanists I know (including me) would not assign different binomial names unless there is 1) some sort of barrier to hybridization AND 2) consistent morphological differences. Hybridization barrier can be genetic (e.g. different ploidy levels) or it can be something else (e.g. different pollinators, one blooming in the morning the other in the evening, or something, some reason the things are not likely to form natural hybrids. The second part stems from the fact is that it is inconvenient to try to count chromosomes on a herbarium specimen. Remember that so-called "scientific" names reflect the human need to categorize things and to have some way that we can communicate to each other about them. It is preferable for us if names reflect some sort of real differences in nature, but sometimes that is impossibleJoseph Laferriere (talk) 01:36, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm no expert in biology, but it seems to me that we are building a general interest encyclopedia rathan a taxonomy catalogue, so the question is, is anything interesting about this plant that would lead to enough being written about it to warrant its own article? Irish Terrier has its own article, and it's not a separate species (to the best of my knowledge). —Anne Delong (talk) 03:04, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Anne Delong: "General interest" means useful to many different sorts of people. Different people will be interested in different plants, for various reasons. Gardeners want to know about plants they can grow in their gardens, which sometimes includes wildflowers. Farmers and ag extension agents need information about weeds. Conservationists need to know about rare and endangered species. Crop breeders need information about the relatives of their crops (often sources for useful genes for pest resistance or whatever). Hikers want information about the plants they see on their treks. And there are hobbyists around, very often in "native plant societies," who go out in search of various species, taking joy in seeing something they have never seen before. So we just provide information and leave it to the various readers to decide which parts of the info are useful to them.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 10:22, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Agreed, Joseph Laferriere; the basic question remains: is the above draft ready to be moved to the encyclopedia, or is it inappropriate for some reason? —Anne Delong (talk) 10:29, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Anne Delong: Sorry I misunderstood. I went back and reread the comments above. It appears to me that the problem is that Solanum phureja is listed in the ITIS database as a synonym of S. tuberosum. Some plants have long lists of dozens of synonyms, most of which show up only in long lists of synonyms but nowhere else. However, I just looked up Solanum phureja in The Plant List, and yes, it is accepted as a distinct species. Given that this is from Bolivia, the area where potatoes were first domesticated, it would not surprise me at all if more than one species were being grown there. That is how things frequently work in the domestication process. So I an unclear as to what the problem is in accepting your page.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 10:51, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) It definitely needs work still, but it's ok as it is. It should be moved to Solanum tuberosum Group Phureja though. I just remembered that the potato (S. tuberosum) genome sequence is from a Phuerja clone: [4]. I think it's safe to say that the authors of that know how it is classified. SmartSE (talk) 10:55, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Okay, I have moved it. I will leave the categories to someone who knows about plants. —Anne Delong (talk) 00:59, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

I converted the first paragraph to treat it as a cultivar-group instead of a species (at Solanum tuberosum Group Phureja), and added description and taxonomy sections. I'm plenty uncertain with it, so please be bold with edits if you're proofing; no need to double-check anything with me. If we're being sticklers about no-original-research sourcing, I think there will be little to write about the phureja group, since so much past research was written about the phureja species. The 2002 reclassification said "our proposed classification does not provide synonymy of the many species names to these cultivar-groups", so it would only be an assumption that the old S. phureja should be considered part of the cultivar-group. Agyle (talk) 04:40, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Re-copyediting needed

An anonymous IP has been making extensive "copyedits" to plant articles that are, to say the least, rough. I don't have time to rework all of them; I've just gone over Canna (plant) and Rosaceae and would appreciate help with the others. There is an extensive history of mostly non-plant edits going back to 30 November 2012. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 14:32, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

I've run into his or her edits before. 3000 or so edits over the past two years, regularly editing throughout an article. Often catches really really bad writing, but in specialized topics (e.g., botany) is prone to occasional mistakes involving specialized terminology. Agyle (talk) 04:04, 13 April 2014 (UTC) changes every genus-or-higher topic that begins with a scientific name from "Exampleae is a (genus/family/order)" to "The Exampleae are a (genus/family/order)". I prefer "is", but I guess either is correct, and in the absence of MOS guidance it's left to whomever is most adamant in imposing their style. Agyle (talk) 21:53, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
This (family is/are) was discussed quite a bit a while ago - it's in the archives somewhere - but no consensus was reached. Does the IP editor change everything, or just names which sound a bit like English language plurals? PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 21:59, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Every one (Arctiidae, Cobitidae, Urticaceae), but I just noticed he/she doesn't modify genera that way (Lophotus, Mentha, Pilea), and leaves higher taxa alone if they sidestep the issue with "The order Cetacea includes..." Agyle (talk) 23:42, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
PaleCloudedWhite and Agyle: "The family is" is standard American usage. "The family are" is standard British. Oh, and generic names are Latin singular nouns, while family names are Latin pural.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 00:50, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
That's interesting. I can't recall anyone making that point in the previous discussion. Rather like the situation with band names - "Pink Floyd is..." (AmEng) vs. "Pink Floyd are..." (BrEng). PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 01:00, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Indeed. Watch the tv/telly. On BBC: "The team won their game." On ABC: "The team won its game." Joseph Laferriere (talk) 01:23, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

PaleCloudedWhite and Agyle:So the question then becomes how to mix two languages (English and Botanical Latin) into one sentence. "Quercus rubra" translates literally as "a red oak," singular. "A red oak is a big tree" is how I as an American would say this, hence "Quercus rubra is a big tree" in our mixed language sentence. But, "The Fagaceae are trees and shrubs" because the family name is plural. How does this play in England?Joseph Laferriere (talk) 01:59, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Joseph Laferriere, not to be flippant, but I don't see it as a resolvable question. Both approaches are common in scientific publications, so there is no "correct answer", regardless of a logical analysis. WP:MOS and other Wikipedia guidelines have no preference. If you consider it an issue of national varieties of English (MOS:ENGVAR, MOS:PLURALS), MOS still has no preference, it just advises consistency within an article. Agyle (talk) 02:50, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Agyle. Indeed. That was my point, actually.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 10:12, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Stevia train-wreck

Could people used to wrestling with page-title problems please take a look at Stevia? It is ostensibly a genus page and has a species list, but doubles as a species page for S. rebaudiana, and also has a lot of material about legality for food use, safety, and mechanism of action as a sweetener. There is another page Steviol glycoside which looks to me like a good way to discuss the group of chemicals, and should not, I think, have the production, safety, and mechanism of action material dumped into it. I *think* that the commercial products (Stevia extracts, Rebaudioside A, Steviol) are more-or-less informally known as "Stevia" and are always produced from S. rebaudiana. So, should we have two new pages, Stevia (genus) and Stevia rebaudiana, and strip down Stevia so it is no longer a plant article but about a product (like Coffee)? Stevia (plant) would be somewhat inappropriate as a name for the genus article because in common parlance that apparently means S. rebaudiana rather than the genus. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 17:18, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

I brought this up some time ago at Talk:Stevia/Archive 3#Stevia (genus) split, and the major contributor to the article supported the idea of a split. It's something I've been meaning to get back to, but haven't done so yet. And you've got the same idea for page titles I had. "Stevia" is a commercial product, and "Stevia (plant)" is ambiguous with the widely used species and the genus. So Stevia for the product, Stevia (genus) and Stevia rebaudiana. This follows how we've got Vanilla, Vanilla (genus) and Vanilla planifolia. Plantdrew (talk) 18:08, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, it helps a lot to have a model to follow. I've done a basic hack of the page, splitting it into three pieces, which will undoubtedly need some polishing. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 20:55, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

¿It is necessary to cut this information?

Hi, I just have seen this edition on Trichosanthes cucumerina where all names in native languages are gone. I feel it like a lost and I think it could have its own section without damaging anyone. I use to search for photos and information about these cultivars and these lists of native names help me a lot. --RoRo (talk) 22:31, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

There is no specific guideline on this, but many editors interpret the guidelines to mean non-English common names are generally not allowable on Wikipedia, and remove them. (Exceptions are made when there is a good reason for mentioning a name).
The editor who removed the names said "WP:NOT an interlanguage dictionary". WP:NOT says Wikipedia is not a dictionary, but says nothing about "interlanguage". However, WP:DICTIONARY has more details, and uses "octopus" as an example, saying Wiktionary should include translations of the word. It does not say translations shouldnn't be listed in a Wikipedia article, but it seems to be implied, and that is extended by some editors to refer to all topics.
Some foreign common names are accepted as English common names, but there's a gray area when they are not common enough to be included as English in general dictionaries.
In past discussions, some people said they find such information useful, and others said nobody finds them useful. Either way, being useful, by itself, is not a justification for inclusion in Wikipedia.
Agyle (talk) 01:34, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
@RoRo: this sort of list removal is not uncommon - a better strategy for keeping significant foreign names is to find out what other significance they might have - folklore, link to old English name or relatable to some interesting attribute of the plant. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 03:40, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
If references can be found in some of these other languages that could provide a motivation for including the name in the respective language. Incidentally the German article at de:Schlangenhaargurke has two English-language refs that we don't already have. The French article at fr:Trichosanthes cucumerina has some useful links at the bottom. The French article chooses to include some other-language names for the plant, but the gourd seems to have extremely wide distribution so the usefulness of including all the names could be questioned: "Widely distributed from India, Sri Lanka, and S China, through Malesia into W, N, and NE Australia. Widespread in cultivation (var. anguina)." according to Duyfjes and Pruesapan in Thai Forest Bulletin (Botany) #32, page 84, 2004. According to this link it is all over West Africa as well. Seems like overkill to include every name this plant is called by in every country where it is found or cultivated. A compendium of multiple language names is available at this Univ. of Melbourne site, already linked from our Trichosanthes article. EdJohnston (talk) 04:47, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
I have removed such lists before (see here), and would echo Casliber's comment - for inclusion, such names should have a particular, citeable significance. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 08:24, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
A plant endemic to a country where English is not the local language is not likely to have an English common name. The name in the local language is very likely the only common name that the plant has. It seems to me folly not to include it. Joseph Laferriere (talk) 13:05, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
The question that should be asked is why the readers of the English Wikipedia would want to know the vernacular name in other languages? There is perhaps an argument that readers in countries like India or Nigeria, where English is widely used or is an official language, might be helped by being given a vernacular name familiar to them, although the problem then is that there are so many languages spoken in such countries that the result can be long lists of no interest to most readers. I don't at all see the point of giving a Russian or Chinese vernacular name, particularly when not transcribed into the Latin alphabet, nor a name in a language with its own well-developed Wikipedia, like Spanish or German. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:30, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Answer to the question of why they would want to know the local name? Two reasons. First, people want to know what to call the thing, and the scientific names are frequently long and tongue-twistery. Second, if a Brit or a Yank or an Aussie or Canadian is visiting the country or reading about the country or cooking recipes from the cuisine of that country, and encounters the local common name, it is useful for the Brit or Yank or Aussie or Canadian to be able to double-check and be sure that this is the correct species. Dictionaries are frequently useless; I can give you a list of examples of plant names in Mexico that refer to different plants from what a standard Español-Inglés diccionario will tell you. I agree that long lists of names in a dozen languages is overkill, but a plant endemic to one country very likely has no common name other than the one used in that country. Anyone speaking English will probably use the local common name while speaking English simply because there is no other name available to use.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 16:24, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Some points:
  • If the plant is used in a local cuisine, I don't think anyone would object to the name used in that context being given in the article (subject to my point below).
  • To use the local common name you have to be able to pronounce it, so if it's to be useful in the way you suggest, a prerequisite is that it's written in a script that monolingual English readers can read and pronounce, or at least a transcription is given that such readers can pronounce.
  • If the restriction "endemic to one country" is taken seriously, then much of my concern would disappear. The real problems arise with fairly common plants, found in many countries, which end up with long lists of non-English names, because, reasonably, if someone adds the Hindi name, others will add the Thai name, the Bengali name, the Malay name, the Tagalog name, the Farsi name, etc. – and why shouldn't they, in the interests of WP:NPOV?
I would prefer to say that unless plants have a non-English name related to a use likely to be of interest to English readers (e.g. in the local cuisine, or in a well-known system of alternative medicine) then only English common names should be given. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:53, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
I've found common names in scripts I can't read useful for searches; I'm not saying they should be included in Wikipedia, but I disagree with the "not useful" generalization. Personally I think non-English names should also be allowed for some species without clear English common names, but I'd guess that's a minority view, and that a challenge of bois de chèvre, for example, would prevail. Agyle (talk) 18:15, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

I think it's important to realize that these may actually be English common names. India is 4th biggest country for traffic to en.wikipedia (ahead of Australia and New Zealand [5]). And there's more traffic from India to en.wikipedia than any other language [6]. Philippines and Malaysia are also ahead of New Zealand, and make heavier use of en.wikipedia than any other language. Brinjal and methi are common names in Indian English. If I go to an ethnic market in the United States, I can find packages of frozen Indian vegetables where the packaging is entirely in English, except that the name of the vegetable is of Hindi etymology. While it's not entirely clear which cucurbit is patola in Philippine English, I find tons of English language results on Google for patola+recipe. English is a common second language/lingua franca in many countries colonized by the UK. In these regional varieties of English, common names for plants are often taken from one of the native languages, but are being used in English. I'm pretty sure most of the people reading the article on T. cucurmina live in Asia, speak English as a second language, and are probably searching for it by using a term from the local language, rather than "snake gourd" (which is a colonial legacy and probably currently less commonly used than terms originating in local languages).

Obviously, it gets pretty unwieldy when we've got 40 different common names of varied etymological origin. I'm not sure where to draw the line over having too many common names. Something like Template:Infobox Chinese as used in Allium tuberosum might be a good way to organize large numbers of common names (in spite of the template name, it handles many Asian languages, not just Chinese). Common names of non-English etymology are used as English common names in countries where English is an official language. 21:33, 15 April 2014 (UTC) Plantdrew (talk) 16:53, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

I very much prefer leaning toward the side of inclusion. I find it infinitely preferable to include something that will be ignored rather than to have information missing for the one person who needs it.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 21:55, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
There's never any harm in having many redirects, so by all means create redirects from these local names (if they can be unambiguously tied to a species, which is often a very serious problem). But are you saying that a plant's name in every language in which it has a vernacular name is worthy of inclusion in an article? If not, what are the criteria to be used? If so, then I believe this information is not encyclopedic and contrary to "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information" (as per WP:NOT). Peter coxhead (talk) 07:34, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
If you're having redirects from foreign languages, please use the {{R from alternative language}} template to indicate what language the redirect is coming from. The template helps those interested in the language aspects keep things in line. Stuartyeates (talk) 07:44, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I've observed the cycle of vernacular names accreting and then being block-deleted occurring several times with Okra. I can see arguments either way, so I've kept out of the firing line. (While reading the discussion above earlier the stray thought crossed my mind that there could be a "List of vernacular names of okra" article - so that the names can be available without cluttering the main article. But I'm not sure that everyone would like the precedent - how many other plant species would people want to be treated similarly. Lavateraguy (talk) 08:04, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I suppose it might be possible insert a sentence of the form "For vernacular names in other languages see Wiktionary". That would provide the information, and encourage people who wish to add the name in their local language to add it to Wiktionary instead. I'm a little nervous of the verifiability issue?
The verifiability issue is very important; many if not most vernacular names are imprecise. Adding a Chinese name based on the Flora of China is one thing. But what happens in practice is that readers see a name from another language and add their own based on their belief that it's the correct name. If we rigidly insisted on a source for every vernacular name – a source which explicitly connects the scientific and vernacular name, and regularly removed all those with no such source, a lot of the problem would go away. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:37, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I second that. It also applies to English-language common names, which also proliferate in some articles (e.g. Arum maculatum). PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 08:53, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead I never suggested that ALL common names from every language should be included, only the more important ones, especially if there is no term in English. Including the word in the language of the native land of the species seems better than having no common name at all. I find this preferable to inventing common names that are mere translations of the scientific name, so that "Ferocactus engelmannii" becomes "Engelmann's ferocactus" as if anybody actually calls it that.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 10:35, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I know you didn't. But once one or two relevant ones are there, how do we stop the list continually growing? (talk) 12:25, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead How do you stop the list from growing? You don't. My experience with Wikipedia is that people are going to do what they want to do, and other people are going to disagree and complain about it. I am more interested in clarity and accuracy of what information is presented than I am with what people choose to include. Much of what I read consists of random information, presented in dis-coordinated paragraphs filled with ungrammatical sentences. That to me is worth taking the time to clean up rather than arguing over how many common names to include or what type font to put the author's names in.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 13:15, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I think common names are very useful where English is not a native language, as in the case of Trichosanthes cucumerina that is eaten where most people doesn't know its English name, nor English speaking people know its name neither the gourd. Local names are not really infinite. --RoRo (talk) 15:49, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
@Joseph Laferriere: cleaning up articles is, of course, the priority. However, experience shows that one way to diminish time wasted on disagreements is to have clear guidelines, like our article template. Agreed guidance on vernacular names would surely be helpful when cleaning up articles?
@RoRo: Trichosanthes cucumerina illustrates clearly for me current problems. As per Joseph Laferriere's points above, it's a very poor article. Just one of its poor features is the list of vernacular names, none of which is sourced, and in the case of the non-English names, the language is not indicated. Peter coxhead (talk) 07:53, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead - I just looked up the article you mention. I agree that this needs some improvement. I may tackle this myself after breakfast. Two points: This was obviously written by someone whose first language was something other than English, and, second, by someone who has not read the guidelines. This illustrates my point from yesterday, that you can write all the guidelines you want, but they do no good if people do not read themJoseph Laferriere (talk) 10:28, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Okay. Did it. I added much new info to the Trichosanthes cucumerina page and added citations for the info already there. Not only did the previous author not cite references for the common names, but she or he did not cite any citations for anything else either. I am glad I did this, as I learned some interesting things. The only piece of info I was unable to track down was the claim that the fruits are used to make didgeridoos. If I have more time later maybe I'll dig a bit deeper on this, as it is a fascinating piece of into. So, thanx, Peter, for pointing this out. Of course, your point remains concerning the common names. Joseph Laferriere (talk) 14:16, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

proposed merger of Species naming and Species description

See Talk:Species_naming#Proposed_merge_with_Species_description Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 05:32, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

ICN and English descriptions for new species

I do note that the ICN does now accept English descrptions for new species in place of Latin. But it does not specify which national variety of English, nor even from which century ("Methinketh the bloome doth bear the pale of yon kingley rose ...")Joseph Laferriere (talk) 13:09, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Ah, but it does need to be "published" which is likely to require adherence to some style conventions! Peter coxhead (talk) 13:24, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead Ah, yes, but see article 29 concerning what constitutes publication. Anyone with a printing press in the basement can run something off and mail copies to a few herbaria, and the thing is published. We had a long discussion about this years ago on the old taxacom e-mailing list. The Code carries some restrictions tacked in over the years (no non-scientific newspapers, no seed catalogues, etc), and the word "printed" has been defined so as to rule out photocopies, but the definition remains rather broad.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 14:25, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Maybe, but botanists have generally done a lot better in this area than zoologists, thankfully. Circéus (talk) 17:53, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Better, but not perfect: Phragmipedium kovachii. And botany could use some "cyber nomenclaturalists" to clean up some plant/fungi homonyms (e.g. Romanoa, Sachsia, Cystodium. Plantdrew (talk) 18:29, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
I cannot say that I am familiar with the zoological rules. I do not know of any cases in recent years in which someone has done what I subscribe, but in digging through the older literature there are many examples of names published in obscure places, including a few that are now totally unobtainable. We know about them only through later references to them. Just yesterday I found a plant described in 1791 apparently in a tiny pamphlet containing nothing but the description of that one species. No copies are known to exist, though the illustration is still sitting in the British Museum. But the name is still valid. Reading through the current Code, I see recommendations discouraging that sort of thing but nothing prohibiting it entirely.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 18:36, 25 April 2014 (UTC)


The usage of Microbiota (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) is under discussion, see talk:Microbiota -- (talk) 03:48, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Page merger discussion

A discussion is taking place that may be of interest to some members of this project at Talk:XY sex-determination system#Proposed merge with Maternal influence on sex determination. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 12:48, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Royal Society journals - subscription offer for one year

I'm delighted to say that the Royal Society, the UK’s National Academy for science, is offering 24 Wikipedians free access for one year to its prestigious range of scientific journals. Please note that much of the content of these journals is already freely available online, the details varying slightly between the journals – see the Royal Society Publishing webpages. For the purposes of this offer the Royal Society's journals are divided into 3 groups: Biological sciences, Physical sciences and history of science. For full details and signing-up, please see the applications page. Initial applications will close on 25 May 2014, but later applications will go on the waiting list. Wiki at Royal Society John (talk) 03:08, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/Bunchosia armeniaca

Dear plant experts: Here's a small stub that someone started but never submitted at AfC. I this something that should be kept instead off being deleted as a stale draft? —Anne Delong (talk) 18:01, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Anne Delong I can go fix it up if you like. Add a few refs and a taxobox and it should be okay. Not great, mind you, but enough to pass muster, and better than nothing.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 11:25, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
That's great. I didn't even take biology in high school, so I am really ignorant about this. —Anne Delong (talk) 14:18, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Anne Delong Done. Actually, I started a fresh page and copied what was on the old draft. Then I added a few things. It is amazing what info you can get on-line if you know where to look. The new one is already on-lineJoseph Laferriere (talk) 16:34, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Joseph Laferriere, the article is greatly improved. I would ask that next time you use the "Move" function to move the existing material to a page name you like, rather than copying it to a new page. I have requested that the two pages histories be merged, so that in the future we'll be able to tell who created the topic in the first place. When that's done, all will be well. Thanks again for sharing your expertise. —Anne Delong (talk) 16:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Anne Delong I would have done that except that I do not know how to access a page under review like thatJoseph Laferriere (talk) 17:17, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, Joseph Laferriere , anyone can move a page out of Afc and into mainspace, just like any other page. However, editors who have joined Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation have access to a handy tool that helps add Wikidata, Wikiproject banners, categories, etc. that makes it more efficient. Those things can always be done afterwards, though, so you don't have to be a member to move a page. In any case, this page wouldn't be in the encyclopedia without you, so thanks again. —Anne Delong (talk) 17:32, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
The menu at the top of each page has a drop down menu, with a single item (Move) in it. It seems to be available for articles at AfC, as well as others. Lavateraguy (talk) 17:44, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Anne Delong As I said, I have never done that before, so have never had reason to learn how.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 17:42, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

A confusing term

Dear plant experts: I reported an old Afc submission at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Genetics#Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/Community genetics, but it turns out that the term "Community genetics" also concerns plants. Is this a term that is used by plant biologists? If so, could someone please comment at that discussion? Thanks. —Anne Delong (talk) 19:28, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Esoteric geography

Lately I have been editing existing plant pages, focusing on geographic distributions. Kew's World Checklist is a great help, although they overlook a lot of naturalizations. One thing I noticed is that authors often use geographical terms that are not on any maps, such as Levant or Malesia or Mascarene Islands. Remember that Wikipedia is supposed to be aimed at a generalist audience, who may open a world atlas or on-line maps to find these places. Most people will recognize such non-map names within their own countries but not beyond. Every American, for example, knows where New England is, but imagine someone in Peru or Pakistan trying to find it on a map. I prefer avoiding such non-map names; at the very least, editors need to make sure that they are linked to someplace where the reader who is unfamiliar with the name can find out where it is.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 16:51, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

That's where wikilinks come in handy. Lavateraguy (talk) 17:46, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
That is exactly what I was suggesting.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 18:54, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps Wikipedia could do with an article on Papuasia (lots of hits in Google search). GPI defines it as Papua New Guinea (and neighbouring islands), the Bismarck Archipelago and the Solomon Islands. Lavateraguy (talk) 21:07, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Lavateraguy - Good idea. Don't leave out the Santa Cruz Islands (not to be confused with Santa Cruz Island in California). I had never heard of the Santa Cruz Islands of Melanesia until yesterday when I saw them mentioned and had to look them up. Huge naval battle there in 1942. Anyhow, maybe we should make a list of these and create pages for all of them, as a service to people trying to make sense out of some of these non-map geographic names.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 00:52, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
I made a start on Papuasia, it has quite a few incoming links from plant articles.--Melburnian (talk) 02:50, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Melburnian - Very good. That's all that is needed, a brief overview. I clicked on the links. I see that the Santa Cruz Islands are excluded from Papuasia, but no explanation why. I also see the Indonesian half of New Guinea has chanaged names over the years, and has now been split into two provinces. It was called "Irian Jaya" when I was in Indonesia in 1993. Of course, the challenge of determining which part of the island a particular specimen was collected is no easy task, and many secondary references (e.g. Kew's World Checklist) simply say "New Guinea" with no further info.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 10:03, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it can be confusing sorting New Guinea, Papua New Guinea, West Papua (province), West Papua (region), West Irian, Irian Jaya and Papua (province).--Melburnian (talk) 12:35, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. Then there are even older names such as Dutch New Guinea and Kaiser Wilhelm's Land, names that still pop up on herbarium labels of old specimens. At some point, it becomes a question of how important the distinctions are. This depends on who your audience is. Simply saying "New Guinea" should suffice for the majority of Wikipedia readers. But, to return to my original point, they can find New Guinea easily enough on a map, but not Papuasia.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 14:49, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Does anyone know of any other geographic locations that appear multiple times in plant articles that don't have a Wikipedia article?--Melburnian (talk) 01:43, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
I considered Subantarctic Islands which is a redirect to a list of Antarctic and Subantarctic islands, but there are no plant articles linking there. Most of the links are for the IBRA ecoregion, so perhaps there's a case for dab page. Lavateraguy (talk) 07:48, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
I think Subantarctic Islands should be redirected to the article Subantartic (rather than a list), which is already the case with Subantarctic islands.--Melburnian (talk) 10:29, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
The list of phytochoria has Eremaea, South Subantarctic Islands and New Zealand Subantarctic islands. Things like Hyrcania, Turania and Transbaikalia aren't linked out, but the potential link targets have no or little biological content. Lavateraguy (talk) 08:03, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
I've started an article on Eremaean province--Melburnian (talk) 23:26, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Lavateraguy Beg to differ, my friend, but those cold, windswept islands are filled with rare endemics. I just did a few pages yesterday of plant species found only in the Antipodes Islands, south of New Zealand. And maybe the lack of links to non-existent pages reflects the non-existence of the pages rather than the lack of need for them. I for one do not create red links except for the purpose of facilitating the creating of new species pages.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 13:26, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
You misunderstand me. "little or no biological content" firstly refers to areas mentioned in the same sentence (i.e. not the interior of Australia or the islands of the Southern Ocean), and secondly to that articles not linked to (i.e. not to the corresponding geographical areas). Lavateraguy (talk) 13:34, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Humble apologies. Just now, I went back and reread the sentences in question without success in figuring out what it was that you were talking about.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 15:08, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Lavateraguy More apologies. I went back again and reexamined the pages you mention. Floristic provinces in general are a good example of what I mean. Those are very useful for professional botanists, but the average layperson will never have heard of them. For a generalized audience such as frequents Wikipedia, you need more than a link, you need either to avoid the technical terms altogether or to offer an explanation right on the website. Hence "Insular Southeast Asia" instead of "Malesia." Same for ancient kingdoms that have not existed in centuries. Instead of "Hyrcania" say "the Hyrcania region of northern Iran and southwestern Turkmenistan." Iran and Turkmenistan then can find on a map.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 09:50, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Italicization for taxa above genus

It is my understanding that the Botanical Code now recommends the use of italics for all plant taxa, not just Genus and below.

Is Wikipedia planning to adopt this international convention?

GRM (talk) 09:30, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

In short, no, because there needs to a (reasonably) consistent style across all organisms, and we have a well-established consensus on the present Wikipedia style.
It's not really a "recommendation". The precise quotation from the preface is instructive (my emphases):
"As in all recent editions, scientific names under the jurisdiction of the Code, irrespective of rank, are consistently printed in italic type. The Code sets no binding standard in this respect, as typography is a matter of editorial style and tradition, not of nomenclature. Nevertheless, editors and authors, in the interest of international uniformity, may wish to consider adhering to the practice exemplified by the Code, which has been well received in general and is followed in a number of botanical and mycological journals. To set off scientific names even better, the abandonment in the Code of italics for technical terms and other words in Latin, traditional but inconsistent in early editions, has been maintained."
In a general encyclopedia, we would not want to follow the other suggestion, i.e. abandoning italics for all other words in Latin. (See MOS:Ety.) Peter coxhead (talk) 09:50, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxheadWhere exactly is this in the ICN? I was unable to find it. On a practical level, I would oppose any idea requiring making formatting changes to many thousands of web pages. I see no need for any change in this anyway. The existing custom has worked fine for centuries, and is well-established custom. As the old saying goes "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."Joseph Laferriere (talk) 20:35, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
As I count it, it's the 13th paragraph from the bottom of the preface here. Peter coxhead (talk) 21:57, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanx. No wonder I missed it. I didn't even know there was a preface. But you're right, Peter. It is a weakly worded suggestion, nothing more, certainly not mandatory. And they point out that previous version of The Code have been doing it for years without us noticing. I suppose there is some logic in the idea of having all scientific names in italics, but this is all about custom, which frequently has little to do with logic.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 00:44, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
The odds of WP adopting this are about nil. And it's not been "well received in general". I don't see any real-world evidence this is being adopted except by a few botanical speciality publications. WP:NOT#JOURNAL. Certainly, mainstream generalist publications do not do this, nor do prestigious biology and general science journals.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  18:21, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Wow, I'd not seen this! Agree this is left-field stuff. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 21:58, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
  • In my opinion, it would be more logic, easy and consistent to always capitalise latin names (all taxa) in Wikipedia, whatever the kingdom or taxonomic level. Coreyemotela (talk) 09:52, 3 May 2014 (UTC).
I assume you mean "italicize" not "capitalise". Whether it's more or less logical is arguable, but Wikipedia's style seems to be the most common elsewhere. There's no good reason to change. Peter coxhead (talk) 21:33, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Common name of species are not capitalised

For your information, following discussions on Talk:Crowned crane#Requested move, on Wikipedia:Move review/Log/2014 March#Black crowned crane and especially on Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Bird common name decapitalisation, it is now clear that the consensus is not to capitalise the common (vernacular) name of all species.

The guidelines are detailed on Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Animals, plants, and other organisms.

Coreyemotela (talk) 20:05, 4 May 2014 (UTC).

I would rather strongly disagree with this if part of the name is a proper noun, either the name of a person or the name of a country or other regionJoseph Laferriere (talk) 00:45, 5 May 2014 (UTC)
"not capitalized" is a convenient but incorrect summary; it means "not capitalized other than the normal capitalization at the start of sentences, titles, etc. and other than words that are normally capitalized, such as the names of specific people, places, etc." Peter coxhead (talk) 09:30, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

Rosa sericea and Rosa omeiensis

The articles on these two close species seem to contain some duplication. For instance is there really both a Rosa omeiensis f. glandulosa T.T.Yü & T.C.Ku. and a Rosa sericea f. glandulosa T.T.Yü & T.C.Ku.? Imc (talk) 19:09, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

It seems to be okay. Flora of China recognizes both. I don't have access to Bulletin of Botanical Research, Harbin 1(4): 7. 1981 to be absolutely sure that the forma wasn't moved from R. sericea to R. omeiensis, but Flora of China is very authoritative. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 20:08, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Austrian Oak

This currently redirects to Arnold Schwarzenegger, but Quercus cerris seems a more obvious choice. Does anyone know of a good way to handle this ambiguity? Sminthopsis84 (talk) 17:44, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

A google check gives the following:
"Austrian oak" "Quercus cerris" 538 results
"Turkey oak" "Quercus cerris" 23,300 results
"Austrian oak " "Arnold Schwarzenegger" 77,800 results
If Arnie was known as the "Turkey Oak" there would be an argument for a disambiguation page, but I think he is the clear primary topic for "Austrian oak" / "Austrian Oak". I would think a hatnote at Arnold Schwarzenegger is probably in order.--Melburnian (talk) 00:01, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
Done, thanks. Curiously: "Turkey oak " + "Arnold Schwarzenegger" gives 1,740 results, with a spectacular example of vandalism from eol showing up that is not the current version (see section "personal life"). The problem came from wikipedia, where it was for a few days in February 2013. How embarrassing for us and for EOL. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 13:01, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's quite a corker.... PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 20:13, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Sunscorch vs. sunscald vs. sunburn

I'm in need of a bit of plant expertise regarding some redirects that I suspect are pointing to the wrong place. Your input at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2014 May 6#Sunscorch would be appreciated. --BDD (talk) 21:56, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

About the Review of Draft:Corynopuntia

You mention that the page Corynopuntia already exists. It actually doesn't exist. Presently it's a copy of the page Opuntia, or a link redirecting to that page, whilst the most recent works on Opuntioids state that the genus Corynopuntia is distinct from Opuntia.
For this reason I made the true page "Corynopuntia". Am I wrong? Seedlens (talk) 23:47, 6 May 2014 (UTC) I checked with Kew's "The Plant List," and it does accept Corynopuntia as a distinct genus with 15 accepted species. So I agree with you. What you need to do is to unredirect the existing Corynopuntia rather than submitting a draft from scratch. I can give you instructions if you don't know how. And good luck dealing with cacti. My experience (having spent 12 years at Univ Arizona) is that cactus taxonomy is one nightmarish mess.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 11:37, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

More student project articles

I guess it's that the time of year again for articles written for student projects. Several new articles by different editors with no prior contributions and similar editorial idiosyncrasies have shown up in the past few days. I've done a little bit to standardize formatting and taxoboxes, but if anybody is interested, it might be good to go over these for content issues. The articles include: Astragalus drummondii, Camassia howellii, Ludwigia glandulosa, Cakile edentula, Pinguicula filifolia, Gaura biennis, Cladanthus mixtus, Argemone pinnatisecta, Rauvolfia micrantha, Helianthus anomalus, Cymopterus glomeratus, Sparganium americanum, and Astragalus gummifer. Some taxonomic issues I noted related to these, without researching thoroughly: Argemone pinnatisecta was raised from subspecies to species in 2010, this isn't yet reflected in the major taxonomic databases; Cymopterus glomeratus and Cymopterus acaulis apparently should be merged; per The Plant List, Astragalus gummifer is in Astracantha, and that genus is recognized by TPL.Plantdrew (talk) 05:02, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

And a few more: Agastache scrophulariifolia, Cytinus visseri, Aster scaber, Quercus delgadoana. And Hachijō-kibushi. Plantdrew (talk) 06:18, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
I looked through a few of the links trying to determine what these plants have in common, whether they were all from the same geographic region or what. I could not find anything that the plants had in common, although the pages did have poor writing styles in commonJoseph Laferriere (talk) 11:46, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Twining plant

Should there be a Wikipedia article titled Twining plant? If not, should that redirect to something? Currently one page links to Twining plant. Michael Hardy (talk) 03:31, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

I've redirected it to vine which is also the target for twiner, climbing plant etc.--Melburnian (talk) 04:01, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
But the two are not synonymous. "Vine" can refer to a plant climbing by tendrils or by adventitious roots (e.g. Hedera or Toxicodendron) instead of by twining.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 11:40, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
A redirect does not have to be synonymous, it just just needs to take readers to the most relevant article. If anyone feels they create a decent article specifically on twining plants from reliable sources then go for it.--Melburnian (talk) 01:10, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
Okay. That makes sense. An article on vines can explain the various methods of climbing that plants use. Fair enough.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 01:33, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Are there historical botanic images people would like released?

As Wikimedian in residence at the Royal Society, the UK's National Academy for the Sciences, I'm trying to organize a release of some images in various categories from their Picture Library. One of the categories is historic (out of copyright) natural history books, mainly for the illustrations. Are there particular books or other holdings that people would like to see images from, or particular images? Unfortunately much of what they have is not digitized and much of what is digitized is not presently online at the last link. The main library catalogue search page is here. Before asking, please try to see if decent quality images are not available elsewhere, as they often are, from the Library of Congress etc. Thanks, Wiki at Royal Society John (talk) 09:58, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

So this would involve separating the images from their associated text? That would not be of interest to me, for one. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 17:47, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure if this current grant proposal at META would be of interest here. The proposal is under review, so I can't comment on it. —Anne Delong (talk) 18:28, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
THat's all about text on Wikisource, so no. Wiki at Royal Society John (talk) 11:06, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
The Royal Society plant illustrations by Frederick Polydor(e) Nodder [7]would be nice to have in commons.--Melburnian (talk) 03:05, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
Ok, though the Natural History Museum has the original artwork, all or mostly online, which I suppose is preferable. I'll ask. Wiki at Royal Society John (talk) 11:06, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Can we now accept a subpage?

Wikipedia:PLANTS/Description in year categories is labelled as an "essay". It describes how to categorize plant species using the "Plants first described in ...." categories. It has been around since 2009 with some expansion in 2013, and as far as I am aware no-one has expressed any reservations about its advice.

Can we now remove the "essay" tag and accept it as a project subpage? Peter coxhead (talk) 11:34, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm not very comfortable with obscuring the distinction between date of original description, and date of nomenclatural priority (and I note that this is much less of an issue for Animals by year of description categories; barring replacement names, priority date and description date are the same for animals). I do think date of description is more relevant to a general audience than priority date (and botanists aren't going to be going to Wikipedia to resolve priority; since Wikipedia only have articles on accepted species, synonyms/homonyms that may have bearing on priority are going to exist as redirects at best, and there are better botanical sources for priority info than Wikipedia). I'd like to see year categories only used on articles/redirects at the basionym (not sure what to suggest where names have been replaced though, since replacement names are often needed due to homonyms, and Wikipedia can't handle homonyms well). Putting the date category on basionym redirects makes it a little harder to get into the "by year" category tree, but shouldn't impact browsing through the category tree once somebody has found their way into it.
Who is the by year categorization for? A general audience? I suspect few will be very interested in it (although Category:Plants described in 1753 is pretty interesting, and I could see looking at the date categories in aggregate to get a picture of the progress made in documenting the Earth's botanical diversity over the last 250+ years). If the year categorization is for plant specialists (who are somewhat more likely than generalists to be interested in these categories), it's deeply problematic. For now, I've been adding year categories semi-regularly to articles I'm editing, but only when the currently accepted name is also the basionym; if there are parentheses in the author citation, I don't bother with the category. Plantdrew (talk) 02:19, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't quite understand your first paragraph. The categories are for the first formal description of the plant, not the name used now and hence the title of the article. All the (homotypic) synonyms would be in the same category if they were so categorized. Are you suggesting we also categorise all the redirects from synonyms? Or only the redirect from the basionym?
I have some sympathy for your question of who the category is for. It wasn't my invention; I just did a bit of work on explaining how it should be used given that it existed. However I do now find it interesting to see when plants were first "known to science". Peter coxhead (talk) 14:45, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Now I'm confused. I was suggesting categorizing only the redirect from the basionym (not categorizing all redirects from synonyms). I was also suggesting not categorizing the title of an article when the current name/article title is not the basionym. Whe you said "not the name used now and hence the title of the article", were you agreeing that the category should go on a basionym redirect, and should not go on an article titled by a later combination? Plantdrew (talk) 16:20, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
This is probably one of those classic cases where writing notes to one another rather than being able to talk makes communication difficult. What I'm trying to say is that the category is about the plant species, not its name. So it should certainly be on the article about the plant. The category says that this plant species, the one discussed in this article, was first known to science (i.e. formally named, which requires at least a minimum of description) in the given year. Since all the synonyms (homotypic ones anyway) refer to the same plant species they could also be categorized in the same way. I can see the logic of so categorising the basionym if it's a redirect, but not the logic of not categorising the article itself just because the plant's name has changed. Changing the name doesn't change when the plant species was first formally described, surely? Peter coxhead (talk) 17:12, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Changing the name doesn't change when it was first described. My concern is that categorizing articles where the name has changed makes the year categories a mix; some of articles in a given year category will be at the priority date, but some will not. It depends on who the category is for. Wikipedia is for a general audience, yes, but anybody who's interested in an obscure plant species, let alone an obscure detail like the year it was described, has specialist interests. Now, one doesn't need to be a botanist to be interested in knowing what species Linnaeus described in 1753, but I think generalist audience might also be interested in knowing which names established by Linnaeus are still in current use (and since redirects are presented differently in the category than articles, one could get a sense of this from the category). Plantdrew (talk) 18:29, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Ah, right. Sorry if I'm being a bit dense. Sure, there could be another categorization system for the year of the name – many being the same year but not all. But personally I think this is less interesting to non-specialists, who don't really care about the mysteries of name changes under the IC(B)N, but might be interested in when the plant was "discovered" scientifically.
My understanding is that Category:Plants by year of formal description and the relevant subcategories was introduced by Rkitko because the parallel animal categories already existed. So I think the question here is: does the "essay" page correctly and fully describe the purpose of categories as they exist? Peter coxhead (talk) 20:26, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Not sure how to rephrase, but "the species was first formally and validly described according to the rules of the ICN" in the essay has two problems. 1) It doesn't cover subspecies later raised to species. 2) Maybe this is taxonomy vs. nomenclature nitpicking, but I'd say that the rules of the ICN apply to names, not species per se. Somebody can publish a name (with a description) according to the rules, but nobody else has to accept it as a species. This second point is probably not worth worrying about.
The trouble really arises because it's parallel to the animal categories, when ICN rules & recommendations aren't parallel to the ICZN. It's very rare for an animal name to have different dates for priority and for description, not so for plants. Another big difference with the animal categories I just realized; in the discussion on geographic categories above, Agyle quoted WP:CAT: "Categorization of articles must be verifiable. It should be clear from verifiable information in the article why it was placed in each of its categories." Ouch. Animals have the year in the author citation, so the date generally appears somewhere in the article text or taxobox (although it may not be referenced). In the cases where animal description/priority year differ (i.e. replacement names), I very much doubt that anybody is actually digging down to the year of first description to correctly categorize the article the way the essay suggests we do for plants. Because different years for priority/description are so rare in animals, I'm pretty sure when replacement names for animals are categorized, the categorizer is just slapping on the year that appears in the author citation in the taxobox.
Most of the year categorized plant articles don't have the date appearing anywhere in the article (not even unreferenced), and it may not even be in any of the references (TPL didn't have publication details for Tephrosia apollonia; and it looked like ILDIS doesn't provide this data either). Basically, until more plant articles have a taxonomic history section ("the species was described by L. in 1753 and transferred to the genus Bus by Joseph Banks in 1810"...), we really shouldn't be using these categories much at all. I've certainly been guilty of adding the cat to articles where the date never appears.
So, go ahead and make the essay a guideline. Clarify that a species may be first described as a subspecies and then elevated. Make it clear that the year categories shouldn't be used until the article has text that supports them.
A final question. Would it be OR/SYNTHESIS to write a 1 sentence taxonomic history based on the synonymy in a database like TROPICOS? It takes some botanical background to parse synonymy into a sentence of prose, but the relevant facts would be present in the source. Plantdrew (talk) 01:43, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
There is an essay WP:What_SYNTH_is_not against the over-restrictive rejection of synthesis. Lavateraguy (talk) 06:33, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
I do expand the "raw" taxonomic information in secondary sources into prose, with of course a reference. See, e.g., Scadoxus longifolius#Taxonomy. The sentences The species was first named in 1900 as Demeusea longifolia by Émile De Wildeman & Théophile Durand. In 1952, it was transferred to the genus Haemanthus by Hamilton Traub. are based on, and supported by the reference to, the taxonomic information in WCSP. This isn't WP:SYNTH, it's just an editorial expansion of the raw information as to what is the basionym, the bibliographic years, etc.
I think it would be wrong to say that the category should not be used when the text doesn't have such information; rather the other way round, i.e. where the category exists without supporting text, such text should be added. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:02, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

I've now added:

  • "Note that there may have been a change of rank, e.g. what is now accepted as a species may have been first described at an infraspecific rank. If so, the date of that description is used."
  • A short section "Discussion in the text".

Please edit or change as required. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:16, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

That's better. No objection to making it a project subpage now. Plantdrew (talk) 15:15, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Ok, let's wait a day or to to see if anyone else has any comments. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:59, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
I point out that moving a species from one genus to another, or raising a taxon from the rank of subspecies or variety or subvariety or whatever to the rank of species does not require a description. All it requires is a citation of the basionym. Indeed, the majority of such recombinations have only the citations, with no new descriptions. So the question "When was this first described?" the answer is that it was described the date the basionym was published.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 16:10, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
@Joseph Laferriere: understood, and that's what Wikipedia:PLANTS/Description in year categories says, although perhaps the word "basionym" should be used. The only case where there may be an earlier description than a valid name seems to be an "ex" case. The example on the project page is of a species where the name was not validly published because there was no diagnosis. There can, of course, be cases where there was a description, but the name was not validly published for other reasons (not in Latin for example for those years where this was required). I'm not sure we are clear as to the date to be used in the category in this case. An example is actually "your" Hymenocallis duvalensis. I put it in Category:Plants described in 1967, but maybe it should be 1996? Peter coxhead (talk) 18:54, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead I see your point. I regret having published that paper with the Hymenocallis duvalensis and a dozen similar names in it. Nobody except me seemed to care that the original protologue had two types listed; perhaps I should have just left it alone. Anyway, cases such as that one are rare, and what I said before should cover nearly all recombinations.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 19:24, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
Well, I'm not a professional botanist or taxonomists, but as an IT professional I do believe in following rules. There are very good reasons for a single type: suppose someone later decided the two types belonged in different infraspecies? Which would be the nominate one? No, better to be exact in such matters. Peter coxhead (talk) 19:35, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
Very certainly. That is why I did it, and I now regret it for the same reason. I did this based on the published protologue not having seen the specimens. I had overlooked the part of the ICBN saying that two sheets can be considered one specimen (and hence one type) if the labels say they were collected from the same individual plant. I don't know whether the labels said that or not. So I was sloppy and much too hasty in printing that paper. Incidentally, I just looked it up. Kew's World Checklist has it as "Traub ex Laferr. 1967," crediting me with the "ex" but using Traub's date. Tropicos, on the other hand lists "Traub 1967" as conserved, ""Traub ex Laferr. 1996" as rejected.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 20:08, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

geographic categories

Question: what is the purpose of the geographic categories associated with plant pages? I mean "Flora of Europe," "Flora of Tajikistan" etc. I had thought that these were there to help people find the pages with information on the plants found in those areas. So if, for example, a plant is found in Japan and Honduras, it should go into the "Flora of Japan" and "Flora of Honduras" categories. But someone complained, saying that a plant page should not go into a geographic category unless it is endemic to the region. This person has been going around deleting such categories from pages I have created. Some guidance would be appreciated. One of my pet complaints, incidentally, about other people's pages is that I have seen numerous cases of a widespread species listed in one and only one very limited geographic category, such as a species common across most of Europe and most of North America being listed in the "Flora of Delaware" category but nowhere else. Another complaint (albeit unrelated) is people using the word "basionymum" instead of "basionym." Ain't no such word.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 14:10, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Hi, Joseph. My comment on your talk page was not quite a complaint and I'm sorry you took it that way. It looked like you hadn't been informed of how the flora categories are used, so I left you a note with an explanation. I also encouraged opening a dialogue here, so I'm glad to see that you did. Perhaps others with experience and knowledge on this topic will reply. Anyway, as I've noted in past posts on this talk page, a few editors are arguing in discussions that fauna by country categories are not WP:DEFINING for the article's topic and are in the process of slowly upmerging all European fauna by country categories to a large fauna by Europe category. See Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2014 May 19#Category:Insects of Andorra for a current and ongoing discussion and see Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2014 April 18#Category:Amphibians of Albania for an archived discussion that resulted in upmerging where I tried my best to argue against that proposal. In light of those discussions and one from 2007, it seems that the way we use flora geographic categories needs to be re-evaluated.
Note that I did not suggest in my message to you that all plant pages should be in geographic categories only if they are endemic. The clear point I made was that genus articles are rarely included in geographic categories. The only times we have added geographic categories to genus articles is when it's monotypic (and thus the genus article is also the article for the only species) or when a genus and all it's constituent species are endemic to a region, e.g. if a genus was endemic to the Hawaiian islands you could add the relevant category to that genus article. Taxa of the lowest rank, usually species, are usually categorized by their geographic distributions. But note that if a plant has a large distribution, it does not need to be in every state, province, or country category. Instead, use regional categories to approximate the range, minimizing the number of categories on the page ("category clutter" is another reason those fauna categories by country have been deleted). I have outlined this approach in the lede at WP:PLANTS/WGSRPD, which is certainly open to modification and improvement!
And yes, occasionally we get an editor enthusiastic about categorizing all of the flora of a particular country to approximate what a list article should do. This has happened with Category:Flora of Delaware, Category:Flora of Lebanon, and Category:Flora of Pakistan in the past. Some of the damage has yet to be undone. We have 10s of thousands of articles on plant species -- it's hard to get to them all especially when determining the appropriate categorization takes time, reliable sources, and a good deal of careful thought. Cheers, Rkitko (talk) 17:04, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
Rkitko No, I did not misunderstand any of this. I already got all of this and was asking for other people's input.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 17:16, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
Ok. Then consider my comment here as clarification for others that may reply to your query. Cheers, Rkitko (talk) 17:23, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
Let me explain my rationale behind putting the category links on genus pages. When I create a new genus page, I usually include a list of the species, including a link to each of the species pages and geographic range of each one. I try to do this unless it's a large genus. Very rarely do any of the species links turn out blue; most of the time they're all red. So the genus page becomes the only place in wikipedia where there's any information on that species. If I had time, I would create species pages for all the species, but I have other things to do. When I first started doing wikipedia pages months ago, I was putting links on species pages to all the local pages I could find, such as one to every state, country and province the thing occurs in. But someone asked me not to do that, so I started limiting these to major regions such as "Flora of the United States" and "Flora of Canada" unless the species were very local. I dislike using esoteric regions that people will not be able to find on a map, such as Malesia or Levant. Even "Mid-Atlantic" sounds as if you're talking about Bermuda and the Azores instead of Maryland and New Jersey. Try to make it easy for people to find and to interpret the information that is available.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 13:44, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree with both Rkitko's desire to use a standardized set of descriptors, such as those used in the WGSRPD system, and Joseph's point that some of these are difficult to understand. One way of reconciling these two positions might be to have an article listing and explaining the WGSRPD codes down to, say, the third level (see [8]). Then the category pages could link to this article. Would this work? Peter coxhead (talk) 21:25, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
I looked through the WGSRPD page. Okay. Guidelines there. But I still do not have an answer to my query of why these categories exist.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 10:32, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

AfC submission - 27/05

Draft:Tritrophic Interactions in Plant Defense. FoCuSandLeArN (talk) 17:25, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Redirects and categorization

I've been expanding what was a very short section; see WP:PLANTS#Redirects and categorization. I think what I've written there represents "best practice" so far as it goes. (In reality vaguer categorization is quite common, e.g. {{R from synonym}} has frequently been used instead of the more precise {{R from alternative scientific name}}.)

  • Please feel free to edit there or comment here on anything I've written.
  • I have some unresolved problems relating to monotypic taxa.

Peter coxhead (talk) 10:58, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

A couple things. For Peter's specific examples, I'd use only "alternative scientific name" for Erianthum pulchellum. Not sure what I'd do with Carnegiea, but I'm leaning towards at least putting {{R to monotypic taxon}} on Carnegiea gigantea.
I'm partial to using {{R from taxonomic synonym}} instead of {{R from alternative scientific name}}; they're functionally equivalent, as the former redirects to the later, but I think the former template name is more precise. "Alternative scientific name" sounds like it would cover e.g. Cruciferae or Graminae (conserved family names are currently tagged with the general "alternative name" redirect template).
Over at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Tree of Life#Redirect categorization templates, I brought up adding parameters to these redirect templates so that the redirects could be placed in organismal WikiProject specific subcategories (e.g. having "|plant=yes" on {{R from alternative scientific name}} would place the redirect in Category:Redirects from alternative scientific names of plants. Presently, the categories are massive, and it's practically impossible to find redirects that pertain to any particular group of organisms. By adding the WikiProject Plants tag to redirect talk pages, I've made it so almost all of the scientific name redirects for our common name titled articles can be seen with CatScan (see this search). If the redirects were placed in organism group subcategories, they would be easier to find (as it is now, I've kludged together a rough way of finding them by using CatScan, but the redirects need the WikiProject Plants tag added for the CatScan approach to work).
I've also created {{R plants with possibilities}} for accepted species that redirect to a genus (or where a common name titled article is scoped to cover genus and species), the template places them in Category:Plants redirects with possibilities These are redirects that should probably be converted to articles, so ideally tagging redirects with the "possibilities" template is temporary and short term. Related to this, I've also encountered cases where a synonym redirects to the genus, because an article for the accepted binomial name that should be the redirect target of the synonym doesn't exist yet. Would it be worth having something like {{R from taxonomic synonym missing proper target}}? Better practice would certainly be to bang out a stub for the accepted name and fix the synonymous redirects whenever these are encountered.Plantdrew (talk) 19:33, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm not keen on {{R from taxonomic synonym}} because its name implies the alternative name is a valid synonym. For example, plants of horticultural importance have often been known by names which aren't taxonomically valid. There are also widespread orthographic errors. I wouldn't want to have to use different "R templates" for these cases.
Personally I would use {{R from alternative scientific name}} for Cruciferae, etc.
I do think it's a good idea to break down the categories which result from the use of the "R templates" into subcategories. I'm happy to do it immediately for plants. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:02, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that it's any better to call non-validly published names, spelling errors, etc. "scientific names" rather than "taxonomic synonyms". But those cases are a minority; most of the redirects concerned are validly published alternative scientific names/taxonomic synonyms. I'm not too concerned about it either way though. Plantdrew (talk) 16:42, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
@Plantdrew: well, "scientific name" in this context has the meaning "Latin name" as opposed to "English name" or "vernacular name". The key point is that the template is used on redirects from a Latin name to a Latin name. If we aren't going to have separate categories for "real" taxonomic synonyms and for other Latin names which have been used in the literature, why use two template names?
There is a problem about spelling errors or typographical variants, since at present the template labels the redirect as printworthy, but there seems no point in having Aponogeton bernerianus in a print version as well as the correct Aponogeton bernerianum. In the same way, at present variant versions of hybrid names, e.g. Alpha × beta, Alpha ×beta, Alpha x beta, Alpha xbeta, Alpha X beta, Alpha Xbeta, have sometimes been created and labelled with {{R from alternative scientific name}}, which makes them printworthy, when they are clearly not. I'm not quite clear how this should be fixed. Peter coxhead (talk) 14:27, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
To me, there's nothing surprising about having both "real" synonyms as well as other Latin names used in the literature presented together in a list of "synonyms" (though ideally there'd be a note on the status of the other Latin names; "orth. var.", "hort.", etc.). But I don't really want to hassle with separate categories for various types of "synonyms". I've been using {{R from taxonomic synonym}} mostly because I came across it first, and it's shorter and quicker to type (as well as, 95%+ of the time, the redirects I've tagged can be accurately described by the more precise term "taxonomic synonym"). But if we're not categorizing "real"/"not real" synonyms separately and want to use a single template consistently, I can go with "alternative scientfic name".
I'm not really sure what to do with variant hybrid names, which I guess is the only major case where we have scientific names that vary in typography or formatting. Common names are a whole other issue there; I don't think it's great that {{R to scientific name}} tags them all as unprintworthy, but don't really want to get into judging which of a dozen minor typographical variants is printworthy (though the birders might be justified in making a redirect categorization template for their preferred common name capitalizations).17:03, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Are not the variant representations of hybrid names orthographic variations (even if not orth. vars.)? Lavateraguy (talk) 19:51, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
@Lavateraguy: I don't think that changing the hybrid symbol from × to x or changing its spacing constitutes an "orth. var." according to the ICN: "61.2. For the purpose of this Code, orthographical variants are the various spelling, compounding, and inflectional forms of a name or its final epithet (including typographical errors)". However, interpreting the Code is notoriously tricky, so I stand to be corrected. (The previous Code had a bit on the use of "x" instead of "×", but it doesn't seem to be in the Melbourne Code, which is sharper on the use of the proper symbol.) I think we just have these redirects in Wikipedia because of the difficulty in typing "×". On the other hand, Aponogeton bernerianus is definitely an orthographic variant of Aponogeton bernerianum.
@Plantdrew: one solution is to allow "|printworthy=yes/no" in all the relevant templates so that the default value can be over-ridden in particular cases. Would this be worthwhile? Peter coxhead (talk) 20:18, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
My intended meaning was that they were orthographical variants in the "linguistic" sense, regardless of whether they are orthographical variants as defined by the code. Lavateraguy (talk) 23:24, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
@Lavateraguy: ah, I see; you're making a distinction between "orthographic variant", as defined in the Code, and "orthographic variation". Yes, it makes sense to treat orthographic variations as "alternative scientific names" but not as "taxonomic synonyms". Peter coxhead (talk) 06:16, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

I've now made both {{R from scientific name}} and {{R from alternative scientific name}} accept "|plant", creating the subcategories Category:Redirects from scientific names of plants and Category:Redirects from alternative scientific names of plants. I intend to do the same for {{R to scientific name}}. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:23, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Awesome. Thanks for working on the templates, and for starting to retag redirects with the subcategory templates. Overriding the default printworthy value seems reasonable, though I'm not sure how worthwhile it is (worthwhileness would depend on how many non-printworthy redirects to alternative scientific names we're dealing with). What would fall under non-printworthy r to alt. sci. name besides variant forms for hybrid names? Not validly published horticultural names? Misspellings in the scientific literature (either original or subsequent)? Cases where the grammatical gender has been contentious (e.g. Euonymus alata vs. Euonymus alatus)? Common misspellings outside of the scientific literature (e.g. Fushia)? Other stuff? Plantdrew (talk) 21:48, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, I can't say that I really understand the point of a printed version of Wikipedia, but still... I assume there would be an alphabetically ordered set of articles. So there would be little point in having:
Aponogeton bernerianum
(article content)
Aponogeton bernerianus – see Aponogeton bernerianum
However, the present tagging of some kinds of redirects as printworthy and others not seems inconsistent to me, so I'm not sure an extra anomaly matters. Peter coxhead (talk) 06:13, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
In discussing whether or not to create redirect pages for such tings as invalid names, orthographic variants, etc., the important thing is not what it says in the Code. Invalid names, orthographic variants, etc., are by definition cases of people not doing things in accordance with the Code. Indeed, the Code would be half the length it is now, were it not for the need to include in the code guidelines for people not having done things in accordance with the central provisions of the Code. I have often wished for a certain gentleman in a blue English police box to come and obtain copies of the Code and distribute them to Rafinesque and many other old-time botanists so they might follow present-day practices a bit more closely. But I digress. Criterion on Wikipedia on questions such as this is what would be useful for the reader. Is it likely that some reader is going to be searching for information on a particular species using an out-dated or invalid or misspelled name? If such a name has been used in print in the past few decades, in some publication that somebody might still be using, then by all means, help the readers out by providing a link.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 12:48, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
The discussion here isn't whether to create redirects, but how to categorize them. Redirect categories are kind of behind the scenes and don't directly benefit the reader (though categories can help editors keep track of redirects relevant to their work, and could potentially be parsed by search engines). Any plausible search term the reader might use (common names, synonyms, misspellings) should have a redirect created. Plantdrew (talk) 15:47, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
@Joseph Laferriere: yes, I think we all agree that usefulness to the reader is what matters, and this means that we should always be happy to create more rather than fewer redirects. It's precisely because I think this that I created the template {{R from alternative scientific name}} and called it just "alternative" to avoid any implication of legitimacy or validity. The slight difference of opinion between myself and Plantdrew is whether to label some redirects with "R from taxonomic synonym" (which is a redirect to "R from alternative scientific name") or whether to label them all with "R from alternative scientific name". I prefer the latter, but it doesn't matter much either way. The category we both agree on is Category:Redirects from alternative scientific names of plants, which you put a page into by adding either {{R from alternative scientific name|plant}} or {{R from taxonomic synonym|plant}}. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:25, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
I certainly agree that it does not matter what you call it.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 16:39, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Phyllanthus niruri and Phyllanthus amarus

In a recent discussion at FB "Indian Flora" group, experts commented that Phyllanthus niruri does not grow in India. P. debilis, P. amarus, P. fraternus and P. urinaria are growing in India and which can confused with each other. Ref:,,, So I think the redirect of Phyllanthus amarus should be removed. Jee 15:55, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

P. amarus could be turned into a stub, and there is a large gallery at Commons said to be that species. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 16:45, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Jee 16:52, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
If there is a common misusage of a name, I would suggest explaining the situation somewhere rather than burying it under a link. I ran into a situation recently with contradictory information, some sources saying a species was "known only from Greenland and Iceland" while other sources were discussing the same species in California, Indiana, etc. "Curioser and curioser" said Alice. So I pressed on and found the explanation: recent molecular studies were saying that what had been regarded as one species needed to be split in two: one from Greenland and Iceland, the other widespread across the US and Canada. Any guesses where the original type of the sensu lato species was collected? So I made sure to explain this in my page and provide appropriate links where people could read this for themselves.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 22:49, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
I added the information available so far in my file page. I don't know how we can use it in articles. Jee 02:32, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Seeking input. Should any of these be moved to scientific name?

I mentioned above that the redirecting scientific names for almost all of our common name titled articles can be found with [this search in Catscan]. I'm aware of 58 more common name titled articles that won't yet be found with that search. These all have scientific names redirects with only a single edit, which means that a non-admin move is still possible. I've been hesitant to add any redirect categorization templates to these without being absolutely sure that common name title is best (since any additional edit will make it so only admins can execute the move). I'm OK with having Abies redirect to an article title by the common name Fir, but Santol (fruit) might be better as Sandoricum koetjape. The list of single edit scientific name redirects to common names I've found is collapsed below. What do folks think? Should all of these scientific names be maintained as redirect to common name titled articles?

Extended content

Plantdrew (talk) 19:50, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Yes, in my view. Common names should redirect to scientific names throughout Wikipedia. Plantsurfer (talk) 20:10, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
I also agree. Unless a common name is so firmly entrenched in widespread common usage across the whole range of the plant, then the very strong preference would be to have the article at the scientific name with the common name(s) as redirect(s). I cannot see any example of an overwhelming case to retain a common name in the list given.  Velella  Velella Talk   22:02, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Common food items and spices (pigeon pea, clove, cowpea, nutmeg) should stay at the common name, especially when the article is more about the product than the plant. Guettarda (talk) 22:42, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
That is a very long list and each entry needs to be considered on its own merit. A couple of preliminary thoughts are that Nutmeg, Myristica fragrans and Myristica should have separate articles and Commiphora gileadensis (which currently redirects to an article that doesn't mention that species) should have its own article as well.--Melburnian (talk) 00:39, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Stub made for Commiphora gileadensis. Perhaps Balsam of Mecca can be resurrected as a product page without a taxobox. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 21:46, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks.--Melburnian (talk) 23:48, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Sminthopsis84, this is better. The treatment of balsam of Mecca and C. gileadensis got shifted a couple months ago. There's also Opopanax (formerly a genus article, now a resin product) and Opopanax chironium that were substantially revised in conjunction with the mess of balsam related articles, and which could use some clean up. Plantdrew (talk) 04:27, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
One could argue that kenaf (an important fibre crop) should be treated in the same was as jute. On the other hand, there's only one species involved in the case of kenaf. Lavateraguy (talk) 08:36, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Melburnian; these need to be considered one by one. For example, Musa sapientum was, in my view, incorrectly redirecting; WCSP considers it to be a synonym of Musa × paradisiaca so I've altered it to redirect to that (although as you noted, it is complicated because the Linnaean meaning was almost certainly a cultivar or cultivar group). Peter coxhead (talk) 14:00, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Names of some of these common food items are not nearly as global as some people think. One example given above was "pigeon pea." I just looked up the page on that and found the statement "also known as ..." followed by a dozen other names. Some were in other languages, but others in English. Even such seemingly universal names as "maize" or "potato" or "peanut" are known by other names in some English-speaking countries.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 22:19, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Don't mention "maize"! It's been the subject of endless arguments as to whether it should be at "Corn"... Peter coxhead (talk) 08:25, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Nutmeg – I agree with Melburnian that Nutmeg, Myristica and Myristica fragrans should have separate articles, and I have made a quick preliminary split. The Nutmeg article was confused in that the body used "nutmeg" as the name of the spice and was about the spice but the lead claimed it was a name for both the genus and one or more species and had a genus taxobox – whatever the article was about, it wasn't the genus. The split-off articles need more work – particularly sourcing – if anyone has time. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:25, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Peter.--Melburnian (talk) 12:04, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead Exactly my point, trying to avoid arguments (something not easy to do around here). Call it "Zea mays" and people on both sides of the pond are happy.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 22:53, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's what I used to think. :-( Certainly people here will be happy, but the determined supporters of an extreme interpretation of WP:COMMONNAME won't be. Peter coxhead (talk) 07:18, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Merge discussion for Nagpur orange


An article that you have been involved in editing, Nagpur orange , has been proposed for a merge with another article. If you are interested in the merge discussion, please participate by going here, and adding your comments on the discussion page. Thank you. Cnilep (talk) 02:38, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Commonscat Mango

  • Media related to Mango at Wikimedia Commons

I'd like to start some child cats for the cultivars in which to put both tree and fruit pictures. Would that be okay? If so, how about naming? "Mangifera cultivars" and then grandchildren for the cultivars? "Mango cultivars" and then grandchildren for the cultivars? And what about Mangifera indica and the cultivars? for the actual cultivar cats: then "Mango cultivar Langra" for example? Langra cultivar (mango)? Simply Langra and (mango) if needed? Guidance please. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 00:36, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

Okay, no guidance. I guess I'll just follow as an example:

Anna Frodesiak (talk) 09:05, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

You didn't give us long to answer! According to the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants, the correct way of referring to cultivars is either scientific name 'Cultivar Name', e.g. Mangifera indica 'Langra' (if that's the right species) or Mangifera 'Langra' (if it's a complex hybrid or the species is unknown), or common name 'Cultivar Name', e.g. mango 'Langra'. However, this doesn't seem to have been followed in other cases in Commons, although we've been trying to get it right here. One problem is that it's often not clear whether a true unique cultivar name is involved or a synonym, traditional name for a landrace, selling name, etc. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:25, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Sorry I didn't wait long enough. :) Good points and thank you for the thoughtful reply. I'm wasn't sure what to do, so I made a couple based on apple. I really wanted the child cat for Langra because we have tree and fruit pics. So, I created: the cat for it and one more just to see how things go. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 11:51, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

AfC submission - 04/06

Draft:White spruce (Picea glauca) Taxonomy. FoCuSandLeArN (talk) 22:46, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

There are some problems with this essay, but the big one is that it isn't appropriate as an article for WikiPedia; it contains material which should be (and in many cases already is) spread across several WikiPedia articles. Which is a pity considering how much work must have been put into it. Lavateraguy (talk) 08:37, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
@FoCuSandLeArN - The draft is not a wasted effort if experienced editors would simply do as Lavateraguy suggests - merge the content into relevant existing articles such as Picea, Picea glauca, etc.
The WP:Split and WP:Merge processes can be done directly from the Draftspace page into Mainspace target articles. I'd suggest that the AFC template be removed and be replaced with an explanation to the draft writer of what is going to be done with their work, and why. The Draft should then get the appropriate Split and Merge tags. (Unfortunately I'm a bit too busy today to do any of this myself.) Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 10:56, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
I've invited him over here. Lavateraguy (talk) 12:11, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
I would actually be inclined to accept Draft:Conifer evolution as-is, improvements can be done to it once it is in mainspace. Imho there are no serious problems with it that would lead to deletion. Pinophyta has only a few lines on evolution anyway. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 12:57, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
That article can be divided into 4 parts - the 1st bit is on conifer evolution, and would fit into Pinophyta (there's not enough to split it out); the 2nd bit is on Picea evolution (too specific for Pinophyta); the 3rd bit is on the recent palaeophytogeography (not evolution) of Pinaceae (and would fit in there); and the 4th bit is on the impacts of climate change (for which I don't see an obvious home). Lavateraguy (talk) 14:20, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
There's a 5th - see his contributions list.
The taxonomy one has been unrejected. It appears that a rogue editor went on a AfC rejection spree. Lavateraguy (talk) 06:47, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Yup: Draft:White spruce (Picea glauca) Phylogeny and Biosystematics. FoCuSandLeArN (talk) 14:42, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

As noted above, a lot of work has gone into these drafts, but they just don't fit into either the organization or style of Wikipedia articles. Organizationally they cut across articles on the taxa involved but aren't sufficiently general to make standalone articles. Stylistically they feel like drafts for scholarly articles rather than ones for a general encyclopedia. Undoubtedly if anyone has time material can be cut up and moved to more appropriate locations, but significant copy-editing is needed in my view. Peter coxhead (talk) 07:38, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

I'd suggest waiting a couple of weeks to give him an opportunity to engage before anyone starts cutting up his text. Lavateraguy (talk) 22:12, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
I've templated White spruce (Picea glauca) Phylogeny and Biosystematics, which someone has (prematurely?) moved to main article space. UNless someone wants to move it back to AfC draft? Sionk (talk) 10:45, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
It's been moved back to AfC draft space. As you were, everybody. Sionk (talk) 11:26, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
We appreciate your thoughtful comments and suggestions and would like to follow them but will probably need some more guidance. Our original intention was to take a manuscript written by a late colleague, break it into manageable chunks and put it on Wikipedia with links to and from existing information about white spruce. I am quite certain that the information we have would be an asset to the site. Unfortunately we (my supervisor) were (was) naïve about the process. Aside from pieces you may have seen we have information on botany – crown form, phenology, seeds, seedling development, root system form, stem, vegetative reproduction, grafting, tree improvement; physiology – dormancy, light, temperature, photosynthesis, water, nutrition, phytohormones; constraints on establishment – environmental stress, fire, soil, mammals, birds, insects, fungi, competition; silviculture – management practices, natural regeneration, artificial regeneration, direct seeding, planting, site selection and preparation, tending, release, growth and yield and harvesting. Most of the information is about white spruce in Canada.

Can you tell me (us) if there is a straightforward way to proceed? Nmcke (talk) 13:49, 16 June 2014 (UTC)


This page has quite an extensive history of images being added of non-Hedera species. What say the project members to renaming this page to Hedera? Sminthopsis84 (talk) 17:26, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Support, provided ivy redirects to Hedera. Plantsurfer (talk) 17:44, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Support; Ivy could also possibly redirect to List of plants known as ivy, which has Hedera in a primary spot at the beginning. --Tom Hulse (talk) 03:09, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Support, as per Tom's suggestion - List of plants known as ivy appears to be a sort of disambig page anyway. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 07:47, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Also support, as per Tom's suggestion. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:31, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
@Plantsurfer: is it acceptable to you for Ivy to redirect to List of plants known as ivy? Sminthopsis84 (talk) 20:02, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I would support that. Good suggestion. Plantsurfer (talk) 20:40, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
What about the "real" Ivy (disambiguation)? Not everybody who searches for "ivy" is actually looking for a plant; some might want the movie, the singer, the motorcycle manufacturer, etc. I would support redirecting to that page, with the list of plants folded into it. Tdslk (talk) 20:58, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Which is a good point, Ivy (disambiguation) was not indicated by a hatnote at the top of Ivy. We now have multiple suggestions. I've submitted a move request for one of them, moving Ivy to Hedera, and redirecting Ivy to Hedera, with some preparatory changes made at Ivy. The change request is at Talk:Ivy#Requested move 11 June 2014, and I hope that participants here will also post a statement there. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 21:42, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree that a disambiguation page is certainly a good idea. I have seen the term "ivy" applied not only to Hedera but also to Parthenicissus, Plectranthus, Toxicodendron and even Rhododenrdron. And don't forget Ivy League Colleges in the USA and the Korean singer Park Eun Hye who uses the stage name Ivy.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 14:19, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Could the Rhododendron be just this cultivar? Sminthopsis84 (talk) 11:46, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Sminthopsis84 - I was told that "ivy" is the common name for Rhododendron in parts of the southeastern United States. I visited the Great Smoky Mountains years ago, right when they were in bloom. Heavenly gorgeous, steep hillsides covered with these pink to purple flowers on shrubs over 2 m tall.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 11:33, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Neat! The geographic information helps to track down a citation. The book I've just cited at Rhododendron catawbiense is a treasure-trove of potential common-name redirects with lots of ambiguity to resolve in wikipedia. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 12:02, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, and they alternatively call it "mountain laurel". OK, so contrary to my initial knee-jerk reaction, all of the above strengthens the case for the principle of giving formal systematic names to the WP articles on species, and disambiguating the common names via a dab page. Considerable non-uniformity applies at present, e.g.:
Poppy goes to a general article, but there is also a DAB page.
Daisy goes straight to DAB, and there is no general article
Ivy goes to an article on Hedera, but there is also a DAB page
Laurel and Heather go straight to DAB pages
Thistle and Rose go to general articles, and should go to DAB
Geranium article is about the genus, but there is also a DAB page
Beech deals with Fagus and should be redirected to DAB and the article renamed Fagus - there is already an article on Nothofagus
The question arise whether there is a need for general articles on multi-taxon topics such as poppy, daisy, thistle, Geranium and Cactus, the last two examples where a systematic name has passed into common usage. If there is a need for general articles for some of them, why not for all? In any case, access to these articles should be uniformly via DAB. Plantsurfer (talk) 12:51, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
I tend to think that many common names that are also common dictionary words should have separate, general articles. These names arise in language, symbolism, literature and design and are often used in a sense that is inexact or ambiguous in terms of botanical taxonomy.--Melburnian (talk) 13:37, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree. The problem is that non-botanists use these words in a way that seems precise to them, but not to botanists. "Thistle" is a good example. It's easy to recognize plants that are likely to be included under this umbrella term (spiny leaves, leafy stems, flowers apparently made up of a spiny green ovoid with a purple tuft on top). To try to identify thistles used as symbols or in art with particular species or genera misses the point. Peter coxhead (talk) 00:50, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
@Plantsurfer: I agree with your points in general, but "Cactus" does seem to me different from the others in the list. It's now synonymous with Cactaceae; indeed Cactus as a genus was abandoned precisely because of the confusion with the family. Much as I favour the use of scientific names, I can't see that moving Cactus to Cactaceae would achieve anything much. Peter coxhead (talk) 00:50, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
@Peter coxhead:Yes, and Melburnian also makes a case for common name articles. A problem is that if Poppy goes directly to article Poppy it makes it difficult to disambiguate the name of the article unless it becomes a matter of policy that the article sets out deliberately to do that - instead of a list of links it might become an extended, descriptive DAB page. It would be altogether simpler if a common name were to go to a DAB page where the general article was an item on the list, possibly even the first item, I really don't mind. What I am strongly opposed to is common names going directly to an article on a specific species or genus, such as happens with Ivy and Beech. Common names need to be disambiguated first, and articles given the formal name of the taxon. Plantsurfer (talk) 09:39, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Ever hear of an "agave cactus?" That is nonsense to a botanist, but I heard the phrase many times when I lived in Arizona, non-botanists thinking anything with spines is a cactus.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 11:11, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Plantsurfer, actually that has already been long ago decided on Wikipedia. If there is a primary topic, then the name must link directly to that article, not the dab page, as at Poppy (Melburnian, it is actually a taxon article in hiding, subfamily Papaveroideae of the family Papaveraceae); but if consensus says there is no primary topic, then it links first to the dab page as you wish; perhaps as might be considered at Beech. Did someone above mention rolling the List of plants known as ivy into the Ivy (disambiguation) page? That sounds like a good option to me. I think at least that most everyone agrees Ivy should not go straight to Hedera because of all the different types of ivy. --Tom Hulse (talk) 16:55, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
@Tom Hulse: I deny that the primary topic of "poppy" is subfamily Papaveroideae; this is just an attempt to match a common name with a taxon. Note that the so-called "common names" are often back-constructions by botanists for use by people who don't like Latin names. Was "pygmy poppy" a real "common name" for Canbya species, or just an English name made up by a botanist who knew their relationship? The primary topic of "poppy" can't be gleaned from the botanical literature, but from folklore, literature, culture, etc. We have this same argument over and over again at Ape, Monkey, etc. These are words that have genuine vernacular uses not corresponding to any currently accepted taxon. The primary meaning of "ape", for example, is something like "tailless monkey", witness "Barbary ape". At least in the UK, the primary meaning of "poppy" is one of a number of red-flowered species of Papaver. Forcing a match between the common name and a taxon is against the fundamental requirement for Wikipedia to reflect not direct. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:22, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Peter, here is a fictional book, non-botanical, that mentions the pygmy poppy: small, white-flowered, growing in California near LA... that sounds like they have the right one. It's true about the chance botanists may have started the common names, yet, does it matter who started it? And much more importantly, is that even a relevant point since pygmy poppies are still within Papaveroideae? It still satifies WP:PRIMARYTOPIC and so should direct straight to the article, not dab page. I'm not a poppy expert, but are you saying the first sentence at Poppy is false? I'm just going off what the article says. Do you know of other plants that are commonly called just "poppy", outside Papaveroideae? That would be the beginning of an argument that Poppy is not the primary topic. --Tom Hulse (talk) 17:48, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Poppy is OK. There are good articles for Papaver and other poppy genera and species, so no problem. I have a problem with Beech, because it is an article on the genus Fagus but given a common name. I don't have a problem with Daisy as an article name, providing it isn't the name for the article on Bellis perennis. Plantsurfer (talk) 18:26, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

With all this general discussing of common names and article titles, hopefully the move request at the Ivy article won't get overlooked, and folks can make some comments there before an admin closes it. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 23:38, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

World Geographic Scheme

There is an effort to make the flora categories align with this geographic system, per Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Plants/World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions. I want to know if this is coming from a consensus of editors across the board, or from the plant wikiproject. i believe that having smaller regional categories can be productive to organizing wp. my particular concern is Category:Environment of the San Francisco Bay Area, which has been multiply cited as a distinct bioregion by many, although it may not be seen as such by the WGS. why should a category on plants endemic to the bay area be lost just to fit with this (not yet implemented) proposed new system, without any comment by other editors?Mercurywoodrose (talk) 15:43, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

I want to make two points. First, remember the audience: general public composed of people of many diverse backgrounds. It is desirable imho not to use esoteric categories that many people will not understand. Keep in mind this this is an international venture, and what may be common knowledge to people living in a particular country might be unknown to someone from another land. For example, every American knows where New England is, but someone from central Asia trying to find it on a map is not going to locate it. Second, most of the sources from which we are drawing this information (e. g. Kew's World Checklist) use political units in conveying distribution information. Very often, a list of countries or a list of US states in which something is found is all we have to go on.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 16:51, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm not particularly arguing for the WGS here, but what was happening was that more and more country, state and region categories were being added to plant articles, apparently so that the categories served as lists of plants of an area.
  • This is not the purpose of the category system; if you want Wikipedia to have a list of plants of the San Francisco Bay area and it's sufficiently noteworthy, create the article List of plants of the San Francisco Bay area.
  • Categories are meant to be hierarchical. If a plant is endemic to the San Francisco Bay area, then Category:Environment of the San Francisco Bay Area may be appropriate. However, if it has a wider distribution, then it should be categorized at the highest possible geographical level in order to maintain the category hierarchy.
Peter coxhead (talk) 17:02, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
So what is the purpose of the geographical categories? I am still unclear about this. Also, humans think in hierarchical terms. Mother Nature does not. Most plant ranges will cross whatever human boundaries you might want to set, whether politics or vegetation types or drainage basins or whatever. Suppose a plant is found in Spain and Morocco, which is not at all unusual. Suppose you are using a politically based system and allowed to use only one category. "Flora of Europe" does not work, nor does "Flora of Africa." You have to go up the hierarchy and use "Flora of Earth." As for a list of the plants in the San Francisco Bay area, that would be a major endeavor. Estimates of the total number of vascular plants in the entire state of California run to about 5000 or so. Joseph Laferriere (talk) 17:53, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
(I have also replied to this query on my talk page.) From WP:CAT: "The central goal of the category system is to provide navigational links to all Wikipedia pages in a hierarchy of categories which readers, knowing essential—defining—characteristics of a topic, can browse and quickly find sets of pages on topics that are defined by those characteristics." It goes on to suggests lists, as Peter mentioned, as an alternative for the overview of a topic. The geographical categories at the finest scale (states, provinces, small countries) serve as sets of plants either endemic to or restricted to a small distribution around that category but isn't quite accurately described as being native to the full distribution of the next level up in the hierarchy (in this case: Category:Flora of the Southwestern United States). Our category structure is not a strict hierarchy, so what Joseph describes isn't a problem -- a plant that's native to both Spain and Morocco would be best placed in Category:Flora of Spain and Category:Flora of Morocco. If the plant has a wider distribution, then it would be placed in both Category:Flora of Southwestern Europe and Category:Flora of North Africa. If native to only Morocco and Southwestern Europe, you place it in those two categories. You don't hav to use just a single category. Many of the plants found in both the Southwestern US and Northwestern Mexico are also found in western New Mexico, but the WGSRPD places New Mexico in Category:Flora of the South-Central United States along with Texas so if the distribution includes SW US, NW Mexico, and New Mexico but not Texas, you use three categories: Category:Flora of the Southwestern United States, Category:Flora of Northwestern Mexico, and Category:Flora of New Mexico; if it's also found in Texas, you upmerge the New Mexico category to the South-Central United States category.
The point is to minimize overcategorization and "category clutter" and to somewhat accurately categorize by distribution, a defining aspect of the species, with the fewest categories possible. But there's no need to keep going up a single category tree until you reach Flora of Earth. Use a few regional categories instead of 30 individual state/province/small country categories. Rkitko (talk) 18:20, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Rkitko Yes, I understand all of this. My Spain/Morocco example was a hypothetical illustration of a strictly hierarchical system in which you were allowed only one such category. Emphasis here on the word "hypothetical."Joseph Laferriere (talk) 19:04, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
havent yet read all the comments above, but i did forget to point out that i totally support NOT having each subregion or region (or even state) category containing all the plants or animals that exist in that region. I would only support placing a species in a smaller region if it existed exclusively in that region. otherwise, yes, we would have completely overcrowded and repetitive lists of plants by state when they are in each state, instead of one listing in a region. ill read more later. just glad my queries are taken both sincerely and with assumed good intent, which unfortunately didnt happen at one project i commented at. makes me more likely to want to thoroughly learn consensus, and even join.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 01:35, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Banksia coccinea

Not sure who is interested on writing a Featured plant Article, but I have Banksia coccinea at FAC - Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Banksia coccinea/archive1 - if anyone wants to see a template of one for comparison etc. Cheers, Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 14:13, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Errr, attracting reviewers at a snail's pace - I promise this is the last esoteric article I put up for FAC for a while...seriously, all input gratefully appreciated. cheers, Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:52, 17 June 2014 (UTC)