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Paphiopedilum armeniacum

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Jon in SW Ohio

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This name has always bothered me. Is there a rule that mandates a species name, if descriptive, must match the entity it describes? My understanding is that the name armeniacum means "apricot colored", and I have not heard of any Paphiopedilum armeniacum that was not bright yellow.

Could this description have been for another Paphiopedilum? Does any other part of the description go against the morphological features of what is widely known as armeniacum? Has an explanation been given for this name?

Example:

The color Apricot:


I don't have any pics of Paphiopedilum armeniacum, but here's a pic of a primary with it with the same color, Paph. Golddollar (armeniacum x primulinum):


Thank you for any light you can shed on this topic.

Jon
 

slippertalker

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You would have to ask the Chinese persons (Chen & Liu) that named the species. Perhaps there was something lost in the translation to English, or a Chinese apricot is bright yellow. This has been a question from the beginning when the plants were orignally bloomed.
Another strange one is Paph micranthum which is anything but micro....
 
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Braem

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micranthum/armeniacum

OK ... we have two problems here:

1) (let me do this one first as it is the easier one): P. micranthum: the authors based their taxon on a dried herbarium specimen and did not realise that the plant was in bud. They simply mistook the bud (obviously in an early stage of development) for a mature flower.

2) P. armeniacum: well, all the plants I have seen, and that is plenty, and the plants I have heard of are yellow. None are apricot. What made Chen & Liu choose the name "apricot" I ignore, and we will probably never know. Before someone asks whether we can change the name to a more realistic one: NO. Theoretically, you can describe a white flower as ".... nigritum". Whatever name the authors give the plant in the original description (assuming that the publication is valid and effective) is the name to be followed. The authors do not have to explain there name-giving. After all, one can argue that the "nigritum" refers to some dark hair on the back of the leaf (for example). And everyone knows how many plants designated as "alba" have in reality flowers that are by no means white.

Guido

slippertalker said:
You would have to ask the Chinese persons (Chen & Liu) that named the species. Perhaps there was something lost in the translation to English, or a Chinese apricot is bright yellow. This has been a question from the beginning when the plants were orignally bloomed.
Another strange one is Paph micranthum which is anything but micro....
 

Shadow

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Are the apricots apricot as the photo of colour? It is apricot colour, but it is not the colour of the real apricot. I think the problem is not in the paph, but in the colour. Here is quite good picture of apricot. http://www.paulnoll.com/Oregon/Canning/canning-apricot-jam.html
It is yellow, with the touch of orange, when it is ripe or with tiny pink spots. Or we have different apricots over here.
 

SlipperFan

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Shadow said:
Are the apricots apricot as the photo of colour? It is apricot colour, but it is not the colour of the real apricot. I think the problem is not in the paph, but in the colour. Here is quite good picture of apricot. http://www.paulnoll.com/Oregon/Canning/canning-apricot-jam.html
It is yellow, with the touch of orange, when it is ripe or with tiny pink spots. Or we have different apricots over here.
When I look for apricots for purchase, I like to find the ones that are the most "apricot." To me the color indicates the taste, but you are right in that the apricot color doesn't fit the whole fruit.

At Porter's, We have a mini-cat that is named Lc. Pink Elf. Bad name -- the flower is blue. But probably the hybridizer used a pink form originally. But that shows the problem in using color in a name.
 

NYEric

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Who would expect a green and brown flower w/ those parents?:poke: And Shadow, yes our apricots are more commonly orange. And Jon, by the way, SHOWOFF!:rollhappy: Nice flowers. E.
 
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Inverness

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Some forms of the common apricot (Prunus armeniaca) are as yellow as a lemon. So, this name isn't really off, just a different perspective.

Ken B.
 

slippertalker

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Inverness said:
Some forms of the common apricot (Prunus armeniaca) are as yellow as a lemon. So, this name isn't really off, just a different perspective.

Ken B.
This is the danger of naming species or hybrids after various fruit. Many varieties of fruit come in many colors, so it's a bit nebulous. Many hybrids have a color in the name, but the progeny can be totally different than the name especially if other color varieties are used. An apple, cherry or banana can be in many different colors.

A good example is Paph Vert, which is French for green. The original cross was made with albino parents, hence the name. It was actually green and white. The same cross made with coloratum parents gives a much different mix of colors, primarily purple shades, and made with vinicolor parents give the wine color.

I suppose the Chinese apricot was yellow?
 
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Braem

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slippertalker said:
This is the danger of naming species or hybrids after various fruit. Many varieties of fruit come in many colors, so it's a bit nebulous. Many hybrids have a color in the name, but the progeny can be totally different than the name especially if other color varieties are used. An apple, cherry or banana can be in many different colors.

A good example is Paph Vert, which is French for green. The original cross was made with albino parents, hence the name. It was actually green and white. The same cross made with coloratum parents gives a much different mix of colors, primarily purple shades, and made with vinicolor parents give the wine color.

I suppose the Chinese apricot was yellow?
-----------------------------

I personally have no idea what the chinese apricot looks like.

But that is not a criterion to moan about. No matter how you name a plant, someone will object. Do you name it after a friend, he will be slandered; do you name it after a colour of fruit, there are varieties; do you call it blue, some people will say it is more green than blue ... etc. etc. Do you name it after a country of origin, the darn critter will be found in the next country within weeks; ... If you call it P. Ho Chi Minh (sp?), someone complains; if you call it after Darwin, other people complain (People *****ed at me for naming P. sangii, P. supardii, P. henryanum, P. popowii... ) If you name the species after a characteristic ... the characteristic is not unique, or too broadly or too narrowly applied. Then people complain that they cannot pronounce certain names such as "trichopiliochila" ... so what, if you call it "scheveningia" only the Dutch and the Flemish can pronounce it correctly. Look at the way certain names are written in literature. Schlechter: most Anglo-saxons cannot pronounce it, so they write "Slecter" or something the like. You just can't win on this.

We are still trying to find out what "volonteanum" means.

I think the botanist simply has to explain the etymology in his/her publications. Sometimes we forget, but it is a good thing to do. The story about P. micranthum is interesting, but once you know it, it is no longer a problem. And the name is valid. No matter how "stupid" or how "unsuited" a name is, as long as it is valid and effective, the name must be used.

One day, I will name a species "ledebergensis" ... that will fix everyone real good!

Guido
 

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