General Orchid Taxonomy

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Braem

Guest
Dear Folks,

as it has become obvious that some people do have a keen interest in taxonomic questions, I have decided to open this thread that should be devoted to taxonomy questions only.

I will view this thread regularly and answer your questions and queries to the best of my ability. Anyone should feel free to post problems and questions in this thread, but I would like to see that answers are given only by professionally trained plant taxonomists.

Maybe this way, we can shorten some futile long discussions and have time to address the many bona fide taxonomy problems.

Guido

Prof. Dr. Guido J. Braem
 
L

lienluu

Guest
Hello Dr. Braem,

I was wondering, what is Paphiopedilum micranthum var. albo-flavum Braem?

Does it represent P. micranthum that are nearly albino, such as this:

http://www.ex.biwa.ne.jp/~naoki/DSCF022411.JPG

Or does it represent the true albino P. micranthum which Gruß and Roeth later (re)described as Paphiopedilum micranthum fma. glanzeanum?

http://paphs.net/media/Paphs/micranthum4.JPG

Or does your description refer to a yellow form of P. micranthum? I have seen photos on the web, such as this one, which show a yellow form. I am unsure, however, if this is due to lighting during photography or if it is the true colour.

http://paphs.net/media/Paphs/micranthum3.JPG

Thanks
Lien
 
P

paphjoint

Guest
Hopefully you asked the mods on this forum before setting up your own rules - this is NOT your forum
 
C

cdub

Guest
But, it is HIS thread. And we could try to post according to the few and simple guidelines Dr. Braem requested.

Welcome Dr. Braem. It will be nice to have some fresh views on taxonomy 'round here.

How 'bout those micranthum's eh?
 
B

Braem

Guest
albo-flavum means nothing else than white and yellow (this is in reference to the flower of course). Thus the plant is an albino, but not an "alba". And yes it is the same as the taxon described by Olaf.

regards
Guido
 
B

Braem

Guest
Lien, all three illustrations you have refer to the taxon I described, or if you want to the taxon Olaf described. This is the advantage of not using "alba" as a synonym for "albino", Anyone can see that parts of the flowers are white and other parts or yellow. Therefore "albo-flavum".

If there were a form that is pure yellow (which I doubt) then it could be described as "flavum". It would be different from "albo-flavum" but would still be an albino.

Guido
 
B

Braem

Guest
Paphjoint,

Just calm down. And remember that this is a thread on taxonomy. If you don't like it, you don't have to participate. But I do like your posting. It clearly shows to all why these treads and forums become so overcrowded with nonsense.

Maybe you should note that I sign all my postings with my real name. And please feel free to complain about me with the webmasters.

Guido J. Braem
 
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paphjoint

Guest
Mr Braem,

No reason to calm down your posts does not really excite me,

Its common and widely accepted to use aliases in internet forums - and the use of an alias does not mean that I hide my ID -


I did complain about your presence here to the mods - but as it is a free and openminded forum you're allowed to post here - so take this as an opportunity to be polite towards the forum members although they're not highly skilled botanists or taxonomists


Braem said:
Paphjoint,

Just calm down. And remember that this is a thread on taxonomy. If you don't like it, you don't have to participate. But I do like your posting. It clearly shows to all why these treads and forums become so overcrowded with nonsense.

Maybe you should note that I sign all my postings with my real name. And please feel free to complain about me with the webmasters.

Guido J. Braem
 
M

Mahon

Guest
I have a question for either Guido or Olaf... what has become of Paph. hiepii? I have heard that it is merely a bad flowering plant of Paph. jackii. Is there any relation between the Paph. hiepii and the Paph. jackii distribution? Are there any more plants and pictures?

Thanks for your help,

-Pat
 
O

ORG

Guest
Dear Patrick,
Paph. hiepii seems to be only a misformed jackii. All plants labeled as hiepii which I have seen in flower were jackii.


Best greetings

Olaf
 
B

Braem

Guest
Mahon,

Olaf is correct. The same information has been obtained from various sources, thus it should be regarded as fairly settled. Nevertheless, I do not know what causes the malformation. The explanation I have obtained some years ago from a French source was neither conclusive nor logical.

greetings
Guido
 
L

lienluu

Guest
Braem said:
Lien, all three illustrations you have refer to the taxon I described, or if you want to the taxon Olaf described. This is the advantage of not using "alba" as a synonym for "albino", Anyone can see that parts of the flowers are white and other parts or yellow. Therefore "albo-flavum".

If there were a form that is pure yellow (which I doubt) then it could be described as "flavum". It would be different from "albo-flavum" but would still be an albino.

Guido

Thank Dr. Braem.

So then, my next question is, if your description covers same taxon as that described by Olaf, does not yours take precendence over Olaf's?

May I also then ask, Olaf, why did you publish your description?

Thanks
Lien
 

Rick

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I am confused/concerned over the differences (or lack there of) for the hirsutissimum group.

I can't tell the difference between the nominal form and esquirolie even when the pictures are side by side. There seems to be enough variation within individual plants to acount for all possible variation of the varieties let alone giving them species status.

Compared to the differences between Phrag wallisii, and Phrag lindenii (that we argue about species vs subspecies status), it seems like there is inadequete consistent differences in the hirsutisimum group to even get varietal status.
 
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Braem

Guest
Lien,

The life of a taxonomist is quite complicated. It is very common, especially in orchids that several people work on the same concepts independently. As the date of publication of a journal is controlled by the publisher (and not by the author), it is often difficult to say when the publication will take place. Of course, taxonomists don't tell what they are working on. And they hope that their co-workers don't spill the beans either. And as long as anyone cam do taxonomy. independent of whether he/she has proper training, everyone wants his/her name on a plant ....

Obviously Olaf and I both are working on slippers and someone's publication is always first. Sometimes mine, sometimes Olaf's. Some people make a big fuzz when the "loose a race" (cfr. the kovachii/peruvianum debate). It does, however, happen to all of us. I don't make an issue out of it.

As long as one of the uppermost principles of plant taxonomy remains "priority" everyone tries to publish first.

regards
Guido
 
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Braem

Guest
Rick, that is one of the borderline cases.

here is some information from Braem & Chiron (2003)

"The question whether Paphiopedilum esquirolei is a good autonomous species or "merely" a variant of P. hirsutissimum is as old as its description ... "

and the key:

1. Peduncle and ovary covered with long hairs (hirsute), humps on the staminodal shield distinctly protruding ..... P. hirsutissimum
1a. Peduncle and ovary covered with very short hairs, humps on the staminodal shield only slightly protruding ..... P. esquirolei

Suffice it to say that taxonomists are pretty good at "splitting hairs":evil:

regards
Guido



Rick said:
I am confused/concerned over the differences (or lack there of) for the hirsutissimum group.

I can't tell the difference between the nominal form and esquirolie even when the pictures are side by side. There seems to be enough variation within individual plants to acount for all possible variation of the varieties let alone giving them species status.

Compared to the differences between Phrag wallisii, and Phrag lindenii (that we argue about species vs subspecies status), it seems like there is inadequete consistent differences in the hirsutisimum group to even get varietal status.
 
E

Eric Muehlbauer

Guest
Now here is a non-taxonomists anecdotal observations of the differences between hirsutisimum and esquirolei...scientifically invalid due to my limited number of plants: hirs. has broader leaves than esquirolei, of a paler, (maybe more glaucous? ) shade of green (based on memories of a deceased plant).....and very unscientifically, much easier to bloom, and much more vigorous growth...Take care, Eric
 

Rick

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Braem said:
Rick, that is one of the borderline cases.

Suffice it to say that taxonomists are pretty good at "splitting hairs":evil:

regards
Guido
Do you think in this case that taxonomists have split the hairs finer than any pollinator could tell the difference? I would hope that to attain species status there must be something that could provide reproductive isolation. My limited understanding of the geographical distribution of these taxa is that ranges are substantially overlapped.
 
B

Braem

Guest
hirsutissimum/esquirolei

Eric,

yes, but all these "variations" can be explained by habitat variation. I (and others) have not heard of any difference that is really constant. One would have to investigate a statistical valid number of plants to study whether those criteria are an acceptable basis for species differentiation (which I doubt very much).

regards
Guido

Eric Muehlbauer said:
Now here is a non-taxonomists anecdotal observations of the differences between hirsutisimum and esquirolei...scientifically invalid due to my limited number of plants: hirs. has broader leaves than esquirolei, of a paler, (maybe more glaucous? ) shade of green (based on memories of a deceased plant).....and very unscientifically, much easier to bloom, and much more vigorous growth...Take care, Eric
 
B

Braem

Guest
hirsutissimum/esquirolei

Rick,

good question. Lately I have been communicating with a pollination expert, and he informed me that pollinators are not as specific as we hitherto have been thinking.

Again, my personal view is that you can regards these are separate species, but that you can equally well consider them to be varieties of one species (hirsutissimum). The overlapping distribution is not a criterion either. It may be an indication, but nothing more. Lots of species have overlapping distribution. And the thing with "reproductive isolation" is true only for animals. In plants it does not work.

The problem was, is, and remains the fact that there are no generally accepted rules by which we can decide how far two entities must be apart to be good autonomous species.

Of course, biologists try to make their taxonomy "rational" and "sensible", but still, it is, to a certain extent, subjective.

The same problem is with adductum/anitum, hookerae/volonteanum, philippinense/roebelenii, etc. and that is why, in the latest book (Braem & Chiron) I put these paars in "complexes" and don't say that these are all separate species per se.

regards
Guido


Rick said:
Do you think in this case that taxonomists have split the hairs finer than any pollinator could tell the difference? I would hope that to attain species status there must be something that could provide reproductive isolation. My limited understanding of the geographical distribution of these taxa is that ranges are substantially overlapped.
 
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Ernie

Guest
anamense

Dr. Braem,

Love the idea. Now for my first question... one word: anamense??? Species, variety of villosum, garbage, syn of affine (then what's affine)? Go. :) Thanks for your expertise!

-Ernie
 

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