Thuja plicata

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers) Photo Gallery' started by Michael F, Sep 1, 2007.

  1. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Western Redcedar Thuja plicata. Cultivated, northeastern England (foliage, September 2007; bark, July 2005).

    A common native species in the Pacific Northwest, it is also widely cultivated both as a specimen tree and for timber in northwestern Europe where the climate is similar.

    The species is sometimes wrongly called a 'cedar', a name that should only be used for species in the genus Cedrus (Kelsey & Dayton, Standardized Plant Names, ed.2, American Joint Committee on Horticultural Nomenclature).
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Usually called cedar here in native area, not sometimes. Practices of lay public will not be affected by publications of such lists. To deny the occurrence of this usage of common names by people who are far more numerous than plant scientists is a disconnect.
     
  3. Andrzej

    Andrzej Active Member

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    Many nurseries in our area call this pretty native tree: cedar, red cedar ,or excelsa cedar (smaller one with high density) .
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    An obvious need for better education!
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Somehow I don't see botanical pedantics as a big priority on the list of social problems burning to be addressed. Common names don't need to be standardized, we have scientific names to use for scientific purposes. Those outside of botany will never "clean up" their usages, likewise I don't see slang disappearing anytime soon.
     
  6. ToddTheLorax

    ToddTheLorax Active Member

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    Regarding the lay usage of the word cedar for plants which are not strictly speaking cedars, I for one am with Michael.

    Many people don't use the English language correctly in common speech, they may outnumber the few of us that do. But you wouldn't throw out all grammatical rules on the basis that they are not popular would you?

    We have a 'cedar' here in Texas. People on the east coast have more than one. On the West coast you have this one and the true cedars (2 to 4 different species) are common in cultivation. Absent a rule, no one knows what the heck you're talking about when you talk about cedar trees.

    But maybe I'm wrong and we should just abandon this binomial nomenclature alltogether....We could teach ebonics instead of English in high school too.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Common names aren't Latin binomials. Scientific names were developed because of the limitations of common names. Problem solved, hundreds of years ago.
     
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yeah, but most people refuse to use scientific names. Problem not solved. Getting some standards English names would help a lot, as English-speaking people relate to them better than they do to Latin / Greek names.
     
  9. ToddTheLorax

    ToddTheLorax Active Member

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    Also, at the very least, common names which directly contradict scientific names should be avoided. For example, I have a podocarpus in my garden. Frequently at nurseries it's described as a 'yew pine'. That's a pretty poor common name in light of the fact that it isn't a yew or pine.

    The local nursery has, on occasion, had pinus remota. It is identified only as "Texas Pinyon". I know they mean remota, but maybe not the best choice because three different species of pinyon pine can be found in Texas.

    I don't want to offend anyone or start a huge debate, but people should be encouranged to use proper names for plants in their gardens. And there is only one proper name for any plant.
     

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