Phrag caudatum group Taxonomy

Discussion in 'Taxonomy' started by Drorchid, Oct 31, 2006.

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  1. Nov 3, 2006 #21

    Jmoney

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    I am with Jon 100%. I have phrags wallisii and warscewiczianum in my collection, and Laelia purpurata. you all can call it what you want, but a century of this naming convention is good enough for me to keep it the same in my book.
     
  2. Nov 3, 2006 #22
    I think a lot of us get too worked up over taxonomy. Now, this is serious business if you are a taxonomist.....and if you insist on being absolutely scientific about your collection. But, I myself, consider my hobby to be horticulture, not botany, not taxonomy. I do take my collection seriously in a scientific sense...but I also categorize it horticulturally. Scientifically, I tend to be a "lumper".....I have no problem considering all long petalled phrags to be within the species concept "caudatum". That said, I also have no problem with plants labelled "wallisii" or "warsce...whatever..." or caudatum. My collection is for my enjoyment, not research, and I'm happy to be a "splitter" as far as my plants are concerned. Notice I didn't mention lindenii....you guys can keep that ugly mutant for yourselves...what's the point of a slipper orchid without a slipper? I also refused to get worked up over Laelia/Sophronitis....I'm perfectly happy to accept that my Laelia purpurata is really a Sophronitis. I just won't bother to change the tag..................Take care, Eric
     
  3. Nov 3, 2006 #23

    Rick

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    Allot of taxonomy seems to be as much history and politics rather than science.:evil:
     
  4. Nov 3, 2006 #24

    Braem

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    Sorry, but Eric is symply wrong. Paph. warscewiczii cannot be the name as the genus Paphiopedilum was not created until about 40 years later.
    The earliest names is Cypripedium warscewiczii and Selenipedium warscewiczii and they are later homonyms of "warszewiczianum" (correct spelling). If Eric maintains that "warscewiczii" is a different species than "warszewiczianum", he is simply wrong. The names are different spellings by Reichenbach (who made a lot of these mistakes.) And even if Eric were right, the name warzcewiczii (however you spell it) would me a later homonym and invalid. It has all been said before. The "avowed substitute" theory of Eric is nonscence. Must go. Will be in soon again.
     
  5. Nov 3, 2006 #25

    NYEric

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    I thought the standard convention is that the initially published name stands, if they are actually the same plant. Can't the plants be compared, dried sample to live plants, via genetics? :confused:
     
  6. Nov 3, 2006 #26

    Braem

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    popowii & co

    Stephen wrote:
     
  7. Nov 3, 2006 #27

    Braem

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    Well, fine. But if you don't care, why join in this debate.
     
  8. Nov 3, 2006 #28

    silence882

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    I was under the impression that the 'should's in the ICBN were the Recommendations and that the Articles are mandatory. Am I wrong in this? The Preamble states:

    4. The object of the Rules is to put the nomenclature of the past into order and to provide for that of the future; names contrary to a rule cannot be maintained.
    5. The Recommendations deal with subsidiary points, their object being to bring about greater uniformity and clarity, especially in future nomenclature; names contrary to a recommendation cannot, on that account, be rejected, but they are not examples to be followed.

    I was misusing the term taxon/taxa. Is there a common term that applies to the group but doesn't imply ranks? (e.g. something that would cover the plants known as lindenii without specifying whether it is being called a variety or a species.)

    I suppose what I should have said was:

    I prefer to use the 5 taxa:
    Phrag. wallisii
    Phrag. lindenii
    Phrag. caudatum
    Phrag. caudatum var. roseum (tentative)
    Phrag. caudatum var. exstaminodium

    1) I know the choice of name lies with the authors. I was saying what I would have named the species had I been in their position.
    2) 'humboldtii' was misunderstood by Atwood & Dressler. That's not why I thought it should be used as the name for the new species. I thought humboldtii should be used because Rchb. fil wrote that Warszewicz, the collector, had intended it to be named as such.
    3) I, like many, have serious objections regarding CITES and don't care really care if it's being violated. However, these forums have allowed me to get to know people from around the world that do business with Mr. Popow. Unless these people have all been lying to me, Mr. Popow routinely ignores CITES restrictions.
    4) I'm not telling the authors to go back in time and change the name they applied to the species. The authors published a paper in a scientific journal and should expect and encourage feedback on their work.

    --Stephen
     
  9. Nov 4, 2006 #29

    Braem

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    "So, Christenson is right and we do have an old name (S. warscewiczii Rchb. fil.) for popowii, only if this name is valid. Validity may be questioned because of the similarity to the older name S. warscewiczianum and the doubtful intention of Rchb fil to actually newly describe a species/publish a new name S. warscewiczii. Any comments?"

    I am afraid this has amused me. You yourself give the reasons why Eric Christenson cannot be right!

    OK for the slower ones. If you transfer Selenipedium warscewiczii to Phragmipedium, you get Phragmipedium warszewicziii (spelling error corrected). And that is just the same name as Phragmipedium warszewiczianum, just with another ending. Now we know that all plants under that name have been given for one single person: the collector Warszewicz who was a good friend of Reichenbach fil. And this means that Eric's P. warscewiczii is invalid. It is just as simple as that.

    Now, in addition, Reichenbach fil. may have been an arrogant dude, but he was certainly not a fool. Thus when he writes Cypripedium warscewiczianum, or C. warscewiczii he meant the SAME Species. And that is what we now call Phragmipedium warszewiczianum because that is the proper taxonomic designation today. Now, Reichenbach also LINKED it explicitly to at least one very clear and distinct illustration. And that illustration shows the plant SOME people haven been calling Phragmipedium wallisii (since 1983 or 1984 and not for 100 or 150 years). Eric did not discover that Reichenbach had described an extra species, Eric just wanted to get into the discussion, for whatever reason (which I dont wish to degress upon here but which are well-known by all those that know Eric Christenson).

    Again, maybe you should read Braem & Ohlund before ...

    Guido
     
  10. Nov 5, 2006 #30

    Braem

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    That statement shows that you don't have a clue about taxonomy. Pseudotaxonomy done in Orchids is indeed politics. And that is why I keep saying that non-taxonomists should keep their hands away from this very difficult science of taconomy and systematics. If you look seriously at what is regarded as orchid taxonomy by the general public, you will see that most of it is hot air by people who have no training as a taxonomist at all.
    Of course there is envy, jalousy, hatred, etc involved. But you find that in any discipline (I could list some good examples out of anthropology, archeology, Art History, etc.). And unfortunately, some taxonomists are too chauvinistic to admit that there are other languages than their native one. For example, the discussion about P. popowii originated only out of the fact that two American taxonomists were not capable (I could also phrase it differently) to read German, and were too arrogant and/or lazy to ask someone for help. And now one of them writes a nonsence article in OD because he feels insulted having been shown to be wrong. The other one is in hiding since the kovachii affair. And the third jumped on the bandwagon because of his principle of needing to have his say. You may call that "politics" but in fact it is nothing but proof that some scientists don't understand their metier.

    Guido
     
  11. Nov 5, 2006 #31

    Rick

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    I figured I would egg someone on with that eventually, but it seems like we all have witnessed about 3 pages of posts that focus on a "who was there first" argument that has spanned 150 years (history), rather than reflecting on the biological/ecological similarities/differences of the taxa in question.

    I realize I don't have a keen understanding of this science since I'm not a taxonomist by trade, but as an ecologist and toxicologist I have yet to witness such legal wrangling and bureaucracy within a scientific discipline.

    I guess I lead a sheltered life:confused:
     
  12. Nov 11, 2006 #32

    Braem

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    Importance

    Rick,

    the problem is that one of the uppermost rules in taxonomy IS priority. We must live with that, whether we like it or not. And as long as there is the rule of priority (meaning always, otherwise taxonomy would become chaos), we have to pay attention to it.
    Its like traffic laws. We make not like some of them, but without the traffic laws there would be chaos.

    And it is not always as easy as it is to solve in the case of the chicken and the egg (which is real easy ... just think).

    regards
    Guido


     
  13. Nov 11, 2006 #33

    Braem

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    Initially published

    Eric,

    not quite. The initially published name stands if it was published validly and effectively (and in the case of a genus there is another criterion, but lets not make it too complicated).

    And yes, plants can be compared via DNA analysis, but remember, what we do is compare a very small part of the genome. Thus, ......

    Its like sitting in a train and looking at the cows between New York and Buffalo. The first one is white, the second one is white .. etc.. and no. 26777 is white too. Now you are in Buffalo. Can you say that all the cows are white? NO. You can only say that all parts YOU have seen of all the cows YOU have seen are white. Get the point?:evil:

    regards
    Guido

     
  14. Nov 12, 2006 #34

    Heather

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    Personally, I think this is good. There needs to be some standard adhered to. While it may annoy us to have P. kovachii instead of peruvianum, priority stands. When Glen Decker came to speak to our society last year, our society president made a HUGE stink about how NO ONE in the society would be calling it kovachii, because of the dubious nature of it's description. It took several calls to Glen and the RHS to convince her that, however unfortunate, that's the plant's name!
     
  15. Nov 12, 2006 #35

    Braem

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    To be dubious or not to be dubious

    If we are going to refuse to accept the names because we don't like the person whose name is used , or because we don't like the author of the article? where will it end.
    The big stink about "Phrag. popowii" is is causes 40% by people that don't like Mr. Popow (for what reasons) ever, 40% by people who don't like me, 18% by people that simple don't understand the issue and don't bother to verify it, and 2% by miscellaneous. And of all those, 99% have not read the pertinent literature.

    There is forrestry engineer who had (maybe still has) a dog named "Saddam Hussein". Is the work of that person bad because of the name of his/her dog? What about plants named by Cribb (whose "Expertise" in the Popow case was thrown out of court because he lied in it. What about plants named (if there are any) for GW? I bet you a lot of people all over the world would object to that.

    Some of the main problems in orchid taxonomy are jealousy, envy, personal intrigues etc.

    Whether "perivianum" or "kovachii" is the better name for P. kovachii is a matter of opinion. If Elisabeth Besse purchased the first besseae from a roadside vendor (as Kovach did in the case of P. kovachii), why does no-one question the name of P. besseae.

    There are people on any forum that will question ANYTHING I do even if I would save their own life, they would still question me. At the same time, some of these people praise anthing what Cribb says. One of the AOS Presidents once wrote in AOS Bulletin: (quote) "The AOS follows the opinion of Cribb because he is employed by Kew". That, of course, is a very valid scientific argument.

    To come to a conclusion: names are given by the authors of an article. Just accept them and leave the personal feelings out. All what we have to be concerned about is:

    1) Is the name validly published
    2) is the name effectively published
    3) is the name the first validly and effectively published name for the taxon.

    and believe me, there is more than enough room for discussion there.

    and jus two afterthought:

    1) If P. kovachii would have been named P. Gerorgebushii, no-one in the USA who have criticised Selby, Higgins, Kovach in any respect (at least not at the time), and the US authorities would have told Peru to go fly a kite. And Eric Christenson would never have made a fuzz about the thing if Kovach would have asked him to describe the plant as P. kovachii.

    2) what is a "dubious nature of description"? Who decides what "dubious" is?
    As I have written on other occassions (and have been scolded for), I will write here again: morality (whatever it may mean), political correctness (whatever that may mean), and many other things are nothing but very subjective entities "accepted" by certain people in certain places at certain times. They may (and are) different between peoples, places and times. I can give you plenty of examples from many parts of history .....

    regards
    Guido


    And a question: is there any spellchecking function for these messages?





     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2006
  16. Nov 12, 2006 #36

    SlipperFan

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    Ohhhhh, you are so wrong on this one!!! :fight:
     
  17. Nov 12, 2006 #37

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    I would go so far as to say that this is a problem in pretty much every aspect of the orchid world, from scientists on down to hobbyists. I would also add that I think the internet aggrivates these problems, and makes them ten times worse. I think it's alot harder to call someone ignorant, or worse, when you are standing right in front of them. Though, I can think of a few people I hope I never meet at an orchid show. My mouth has a tendency to say the most insulting things in real life. And most of the time, they are true. :)

    Do you think this has anything to do with reputations, true or untrue? I will admit Dr. Braem, the first I heard of you was from the book Orchid Fever. Your inclusion in that book, as well as that of Cribb and Popow, elevates you to a status of "celebrity" to some extent. Or for what passes as celebrity in the orchid world. How do you feel about that work adding to your reputation? Was it an accurate portrayal of the people you mention above?

    Beyond that, I have always found you to be open and honest, and you have always answered any question I have asked of you. But I am not a taxonomist, and really have no business toying with the ideas. Since I do not understand the science and have no real time to learn it, I avoid it for the most part. But there are those who do make the attempt to learn it, and it seems to me while they are learning and asking questions, they often get very terse and sometimes insulting responses from the people making the decisions.

    (And I am not talking about taxonomy students who label themselves taxonomists, and who just regurgitate the work of others, correct or incorrect, as fact. This is blatantly obvious and past the point of ridiculous by now.)

    I think if you accept that morality and other concepts are subjective, you have to be most accepting of questions pointed at you. I am not saying that people have no right to keep secrets, but if you don't believe in certain methods of living that most of the other population believes in, then you have to be willing to explain why. And this is how I feel most people in the orchid world with something to teach fail. They get so frustrated being asked "why" all the time, that they get angry, or respond out of frustration. I have to say Dr. Braem, I have heard many stories about your infamous temper. I have not found you to be anything but courteous. I would hope that over the next few pages of this thread, we could dig into some real discussion about all the problems associated with taxonomy and orchids, and speak very openly about subjects that have sparked arguments in the past.

    Yes. When composing a message in the window, there is a button on the right hand side, just above the smiley faces that says abc with a check mark underneath it. It will direct you to visit www.iespell.com and download a tool that will check any text typed in Internet Explorer. I hope this helps.
     
  18. Nov 12, 2006 #38

    Braem

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    Various

    Well that makes the two of us ... and those who know me personally know that I call a cat a cat. And yes, that is true for all levels, and not only in Orchid Taxonomy.

    Yes. Unfortunately, the German translation of the book was very bad and falsified the citations. I did not read any other translations. I know Cribb tried to stop the book in England.

    Well, yes, I agree with you. If someone asks a question, he/she will get an answer from me (and I am not that often in a bad mood, inspite of 32 years of marriage). What I object to is the people that post things on their website and design it as if it is the word of some god, whereby they have it blatantly wrong. On an other forum there was a question of how many types there can be for one genus. Someone, a nice guy actually, but obviously devoid of any taxonomic knowledge answered that question and had it wrong. That person should not have answered that question as he obviously did not have a clou. And if he wanted to answer the question, he could have asked me or some other taxonomist, or could have looked it up in the Code. That is what I get angry at. And when I look at the orchid sites on the web, I often don't know whether I should have a heart attack or a stroke first. And those people act as if their website is taxonomically correct. Very often, they don't even have the spelling of the names right. Now, don't get me wrong. I don't always use a spell checker either, but then I don't claim to have a taxonomically correct website.
    I have offered (free of charge) my help to some of those webmasters ... None ever reacted to my email
    And by the way, if you have to answer the same question for the 257th time it can get on your nerves. I have always wondered why so few orchid enthousiasts buy books?
    And some people are very slow at comprehension. It took 30 years to convince people that "Phrag. schlimii Wilcox" and "Phrag. schlimii Birchwood" are hybrids. Even some wellknown growers have submitted hybrids as species for judging and gotten awards on their plants. (Not only the example I give above, but alsp Paph. volonteanum, Phrag. hirtzii, etc. etc.).

    I will be the last to deny my temper. However, lots of people mistake my booming voice for "yelling". That has been so since I was a child and I have grown sick of explaining that. When my temper rises (admittedly), no-one asks for the reason. All they do is talk about my "infamous" temper. When someone openly and repeatedly calls me a thief and is not willing to present the evidence, I will get angry. And I always maintained that I am allergic against stupidity. And there is no lack of that about (If you don't believe me, just look up what Einstein said about that). People forget too often that a reaction is always caused by an action (otherwies it would not be called "reaction"). And people often forget that even taxonomists are only humans [but don't quote me on that.]. And before I forget: I am in good company in respect to my temper: John Lindley, Thomas Henry Huxley, Joseph Dalton Hooker, Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach, Newton, etc.

    I am afraid it isn't there on my computer. I am working with Netscape. I will try to work with Internet Explorer.

    regards
    Guido
     
  19. Nov 12, 2006 #39

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    Are you kidding, Eric Christenson makes a 'fuzz' about everything! :)

    I will start reading over this thread, it is quite interesting.

    -Pat
     
  20. Nov 13, 2006 #40

    Braem

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    Etc.

    Pat, you may have a point there. I saw some of his letters. One to Lightbinders when they released the "Orchids of the New World" CD-ROM.
    And compared to his temper and language, mine is that of a Roman Catholic Convent Girl school.

    I have never been able to figure out why Eric has such hatred towards Selby and what made Selby declare Eric persona non grata.

    regards
    Guido




     

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