Flora of China website

Discussion in 'Plants: Nomenclature and Taxonomy' started by maf, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    For Chinese species can the names (and synonyms) listed on the Flora of China website be considered the definitive source?

    To be more precise, if a book published in the 1990's, for example, listed two distinct species that were subsequently listed as synonyms on Flora of China, can I safely accept the Flora of China view?
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    As always, it's an interpretation. Not every specialist in the field will agree with every published opinion presented everywhere. For instance, I happen to know that western Cotoneaster experts and the ones who worked on the genus for Flora of China are not on the same page. If you want to know who to follow on a particular plant or group, you just have to study the arguments presented and make your own decisions.

    That's partly how some plants pile up author names and synonyms over time. Different authors have had different ideas about how they should be placed and named.

    When you try to rely on a single source for plant names it always falls apart, sooner or later.
     
  3. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    We very often agree with Flora of China treatments for plants of Asian distribution, but we don't agree with everything. FOC lists several species in Magnoliaceae, whereas we and most western botanists think of Magnoliaceae as only containing Magnolia and Liriodendron

    For some reason The FOC website lists Rhododendron in Apiaceae. I would not agree with that. I thought this was just a mistake, but it has been that way for quite some time.

    You kind of have to look at the researchers involved and make your choices as to who you trust and agree with.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I think you meant "several genera".
     
  5. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes, I should have typed, FOC lists several genera in Magnoliaceae. I need another cup of coffee.

    Hey, there is proof that people should not look to me as an authority.
     
  6. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I should also say that as far as online taxonomic and nomenclature databases go, FOC is one of the best. They are very thorough and offer technical botanical descriptions and reliable distribution information. I hope they and the Flora of N. America continue and would like to see this type of eFlora.org model used for other regions.
     
  7. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks for the information. I suspected a definitive source would be hard to find, and that there would always be room for interpretation and opinion, agreement and disagreement.

    Does anyone know how good FOC are on the genus Acer?

    The question that started this was whether Acer pubipalmatum was a synonym for Acer pauciflorum or a separate species? My gut tells me that it would be hard to disagree with Flora of China about two species that are so rare in cultivation outside of China.
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    You have to look at the details of what discussion you can find and form your own position based on that. Who said it is not really an argument for a particular view.
     
  9. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I totally agree, but I have not been able to find any relevant discussion of these species, they still seem rare in the West; if you can find any discussion I would be very interested to read it. Are there any websites where the nomenclature of genus Acer is discussed in more detail?

    I was not really trying to suggest that it was, just that some botanists might by their geographical location have more familiarity with certain plants, and potentially be in a better position to confirm or debunk species or synonym status of said plants.

    Happy growing,
    maf
     
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Decidedly conservative - it was done by de Jong & Oterdoom, who make ridiculous lumps like putting Acer ginnala in A. tataricum as a subspecies.

     
  11. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I am surprised, I expected that Chinese scientists compiled it, not some well known Europeans.
     
  12. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    A lot of FOC is multinational; there are plenty of Chinese botanists involved as well.
     

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