Abies pinsapo

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Partelow, Dec 14, 2019.

  1. Partelow

    Partelow New Member

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    I follow this forum regularly but find long periods of inactivity. So to try to stimulate a bit of fun I bring up the subject of abies pinsapo which I am very proud to have as a garden specimen. About 9 metres tall now and coning every year. Never fails to draw attention from my garden visitors. I would like to hear from other growers of this conifer and how it does in their garden or hardiness zone. Would also like to discuss the progress of seedlings from this species.
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Esteemed Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    We had two different taxa here at UBC, the species and the cultivar 'Aurea'. The cultivar was removed in 2017, getting too big for its space.

    The species has been grown since ~1974. It is listed as being in fair-good condition. Too bad, as I rather like the plant myself. We also have a spontaneous seedling from a couple years ago that has been kept.
     
  3. Partelow

    Partelow New Member

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    I saw an abies pinsapo many years ago at the Finch arboretum in Spokane. A most unusual conifer, I thought. I wonder if this same tree still survives there. I found a small one , cultivar Glauca, and it has grown excellently for me. Very densely branched with no interior browning. I think abies pinsapo is well adapted to low humidity and hot dry summers, such as we have here in the South Similkmeen Valley.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Small technical point here - a cultivar isn't a taxon ;-)

    In Britain, Spanish Fir grows much better in the warmer, drier south than in the cooler, wetter north - a contrast to almost all other Abies. The few I've seen up north have very slow growth, irregular crown shape (probably due to the wood not ripening well with inadequate summer heat), and under-sized cones.
     
  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Esteemed Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Well...I don't have the latest edition of the International Code of Nomenclature of Cultivated Plants, so perhaps this has changed in the ninth edition, but they do expressly state in Principles 3 and 4:

     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Guess it depends on the definition of 'taxon', but they don't appear to be using the normal definition (as at e.g. wikipedia), since a cultivar is a single clone, and therefore can't be 'a population'. Can an individual be a taxon?
     
  7. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Esteemed Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The glossary from the 8th edition has the following:

    When culton was proposed for use, there was an argument for it to replace taxon for cultivated plant groupings (and that taxon could not be applied to these, as it was strictly for botanical nomenclature). That seems to either have been rejected by the ICNCP or not fully implemented, at least in the 8th edition.

    Considering that there is a long history of distinct groupings of entities having their names flipped between forma / variety and cultivar (or vice versa), I think it's just more useful to have taxon apply to all. If not that, then some term needs to be invented, because I don't want to use "here in the garden we have a number of taxa and culta in Sapindaceae".

    I don't think an individual is a taxon--but an individual plant can be the sole member of a taxon. And maybe it is my ecological background, but I would keep the word "population" within the realm of ecology and not attempt to use it to construct a definition for taxonomy.

    As an aside (and bringing this back to Abies pinsapo), on this page: https://conifersociety.org/conifers/abies-pinsapo/ , the sidebar on the right has a titled dropdown "Explore trinomials in the Abies pinsapo species"; I'd suggest "Explore taxa within Abies pinsapo" to be more precise.
     
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Culton / culta seems a good idea to me :-) And no, they shouldn't be included in lists of taxa in a botanical garden - it gives a very wrong impression when a garden claims to have more taxa than have been described in the botanical literature. To me, cultivars are just irrelevances that have no place in botanical study; one does not expect them to be given the same status as species or other taxa. That botanical garden listing should say "here in the garden we have 67 taxa in Sapindaceae, and also 675 cultivars"; to say "we have 742 taxa in Sapindaceae" just invites a 'what the ****[expletive deleted]??', it would be more honest to say "we have 742 specimens of Sapindaceae" - then it doesn't matter if it is a forest of Acer palmatum individuals where each has a cultivar label, or a forest of Acer macrophyllum where each, though equally genetically distinct individuals, don't have cultivar names attached.

    Yes, I guess for every taxon about to become extinct, there is/was a sole (surviving) member of that taxon; there must once have been a sad last remaining Picea critchfieldii somewhere. But a taxon needs to be able to reproduce the same taxon; cultivars don't breed true, their seedlings come up different, and for me, that says they are not taxa.

    The long history of names being 'flipped' just illustrates that it took a while for definitions to be worked out.
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    There are plenty of cultivars that consist of more than one clone.
     
  10. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Esteemed Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Abies pinsapo var. pinsapo crossed with Abies pinsapo var. pinsapo -> Abies pinsapo var. pinsapo
    Abies pinsapo
    var. pinsapo crossed with Abies pinsapo 'Aurea' -> Abies pinsapo var. pinsapo
    Abies pinsapo
    var. pinsapo crossed with Abies pinsapo var. marocana -> Abies pinsapo var. pinsapo
    Abies pinsapo
    var. marocana crossed with Abies pinsapo var. marocana -> Abies pinsapo var. marocana
    Abies pinsap
    o var. marocana crossed with Abies pinsapo 'Aurea' -> Abies pinsapo var. pinsapo
    Abies pinsap
    o 'Aurea' crossed with Abies pinsapo 'Aurea' -> Abies pinsapo var. pinsapo

    The definition of taxon does not use the taxonomic status of the progeny of a reproductive event, i.e., it doesn't require "breeding true". There are some species concepts (among the 7 to 27 that are out there: How many species concepts are there? ) that use that notion, but those are applicable to what defines a species, not what defines a taxon.

    Here are some taxa that do not "breed true" because they don't sexually reproduce:

    Lomatia tasmanica - Wikipedia (there are other triploid+ taxa that have the same reproductive constraint)

    And, if you have access to it: Species and Evolution in Asexually Reproducing Independent Fern Gametophytes

    ---

    Re:
    What it should say is "we have 67 botanical taxa in Sapindaceae and 675 cultivars of such" as a means of being somewhat precise.

    is correct as well, but it is only accurate and very imprecise.

    is extremely imprecise, though I suppose accurate. It is almost useless.

    [A garden has] 742 taxa of Sapindaceae, consisting of 50 species, 10 subspecies, and 7 varieties along with 675 cultivars is both exceedingly accurate and precise.
     
  11. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Esteemed Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I'll also add that I know of taxonomic systems used by BC indigenous peoples that are based on plant use as opposed to the shared/distinct physical characteristics used to name entities under the ICBN / ICNCP. The definition of taxon, "a group into which a number of similar entities may be classified", works equally well for those systems.
     

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