User talk:Joseph Laferriere

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Hello, Joseph Laferriere! Welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. You may benefit from following some of the links below, which will help you get the most out of Wikipedia. If you have any questions you can ask me on my talk page, or place {{helpme}} on your talk page and ask your question there. Please remember to sign your name on talk pages by clicking or by typing four tildes "~~~~"; this will automatically produce your name and the date. If you are already excited about Wikipedia, you might want to consider being "adopted" by a more experienced editor or joining a WikiProject to collaborate with others in creating and improving articles of your interest. Click here for a directory of all the WikiProjects. Finally, please do your best to always fill in the edit summary field when making edits to pages. Happy editing! Randykitty (talk) 18:00, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
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Reference Heading[edit]

Hello. Please stop writing "reference cited" and write this in the source instead: ==References== --Tco03displays (talk) 13:51, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

A page you started (Yucca endlichiana) has been reviewed![edit]

Thanks for creating Yucca endlichiana, Joseph Laferriere!

Wikipedia editor Lgcsmasamiya just reviewed your page, and wrote this note for you:

Whta about categories?

To reply, leave a comment on Lgcsmasamiya's talk page.

Learn more about page curation.

Thank you/suggestions[edit]

Thank you for your efforts creating articles on plant species. I've come across a bunch and you've created and have made a couple edits to most of them. I noticed you started out leaving the binomial at the beginning of the article unformatted, then had it italicized, and have now been making it bold. The first instance of the subject of the article should be bolded, and since the subjects of the articles you've been creating have a scientific name, it should also both italicized and bolded (use 5 single quotes ' for bold italic format).

It's good practice to place new articles in one or more categories (what User:Lgcsmasamiya mentioned in the previous comment on your talk page). At a minimum, plant articles should be in a taxonomic category. The taxonomy category tree is kind of patchy at present. There are categories for some genera (e.g. Category:Yucca, but for Dasylirion species, the most precise existing category is Category:Nolinoideae. Of course, you can create more precise taxonomic categories if you wish. There's a tool called HotCat with an autocompletion feature that makes it easier to find the most precise existing taxonomic category.

I made several additional changes to your most recent article, Yucca rupicola as stepwise improvements (while keeping the article fairly minimal). In addition to adding at least one appropriate category, and bold/italic the first instance of the article name, I'd also suggest trying to include a photo. There's a very good chance that Wikimedia Commons has freely available photos of plant species native to the United States (and a reasonable chance of there being photos of plants from other areas).

Thanks again for all the articles you've created. If you have any question abouts about article format, or the changes I applied to Yucca rupicola, I'd be happy to answer them. Plantdrew (talk) 05:17, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

synonym list[edit]

I've been coming behind you and fixing the synonym list. Starting lines with an equal sign can cause problems.

The synonym list should go into the infobox. See Persoonia linearis as an example. Persoonia linearis is a featured articles, so it has all the proper ways of doing things. Acrolophus mora has an example of a smaller list. Bgwhite (talk) 07:19, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Ways to improve Prionosciadium nelsonii[edit]

Hi, I'm Sulfurboy. Joseph Laferriere, thanks for creating Prionosciadium nelsonii!

I've just tagged the page, using our page curation tools, as having some issues to fix. /

The tags can be removed by you or another editor once the issues they mention are addressed. If you have questions, you can leave a comment on my talk page. Or, for more editing help, talk to the volunteers at the Teahouse. Sulfurboy (talk) 19:36, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Ways to improve Prionosciadium linearifolium[edit]

Hi, I'm Sulfurboy. Joseph Laferriere, thanks for creating Prionosciadium linearifolium!

I've just tagged the page, using our page curation tools, as having some issues to fix. /

The tags can be removed by you or another editor once the issues they mention are addressed. If you have questions, you can leave a comment on my talk page. Or, for more editing help, talk to the volunteers at the Teahouse. Sulfurboy (talk) 19:37, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Ways to improve Hymenocallis guerreroensis[edit]

Hi, I'm Sulfurboy. Joseph Laferriere, thanks for creating Hymenocallis guerreroensis!

I've just tagged the page, using our page curation tools, as having some issues to fix. 2

The tags can be removed by you or another editor once the issues they mention are addressed. If you have questions, you can leave a comment on my talk page. Or, for more editing help, talk to the volunteers at the Teahouse. Sulfurboy (talk) 23:27, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Category edits[edit]


Thanks for you numerous contributions to Wikipedia! I noticed that you have been expanding the Flora of the USA category with a list the categories for each of the states. While I'm not an expert on the rules and regulations around use of Categories, I have not seen this sort of thing done elsewhere in Wikipedia. So I'm guessing that is not the usual way to do things. Taken to its extreme one would end up with ultra long lists of this kind of category tags which would not be distracting from the article. Probably worth looking up the guidelines around category usage. Alexbateman (talk) 20:02, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your message on my talk page. I have had a closer look at the Wikipedia guidelines on Categorization. I think the relevant information is in subcategorization WP:SUBCAT. If an article belongs to the category of Flora of the United States then it does not need to have all the subcategories added. The subcategories of Flora by state should be used when the species has a less widespread distribution. Alexbateman (talk) 20:33, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanx. I have never used the "Flora of the United States" category, nor to the best of my recollection have I found any species known from all 50 states. I have stopped doing what you describe anyway, listing states for widespread species. I have more pressing uses for my time. But your point is noted for future reference. -- Joe Laferriere

Yuccas and explanations[edit]

Hey, Dr. Laferriere. I've just tidied up a non-optimal situation that resulted from your work on the article re: Yucca desmetiana — and, I think, from your relative inexperience with Wikipedia. As such, I'd like to explain things to you so that you can avoid making that particular mistake a second time.

Your first action was to create an article with the specific epithet "de-smetiana". You edited it for a while, then — some days later — you created a new article with the specific epithet "desmetiana"; presumably this came after you realized that the correct name is not hyphenated.

What you should have done was rename, or "move", the page; if you had done this, the old name would have been converted into a redirect to the new name, and the new name would have retained the full edit history. What I did was — well, first, before I realized the actual situation, I converted the article with the hyphenated name into a redirect. If <X> is an alternate name and <Y> is the official/primary/preferred name, and you want X to redirect to Y, the content of X should be as follows: #REDIRECT [[Y]].

But then I realized that you'd created the hyphenated version first, which meant that its edit history should be preserved. So I reverted my own edit — restoring the text of the hyphenated version — and renamed 'de-smetiana' to 'desmetiana'. Because the article name 'desmetiana' was already in use, I was told that the rename could not be completed unless the pre-existing 'desmetiana' article was deleted; however, I'm an administrator and have page deletion privileges. So I deleted the newer page, and moved the older page into the newly-emptied space. (This also converted 'de-smetiana' back into a redirect.)

Then, I opened up the article history, and used my administrator privileges to restore the content of the 'desmetiana' page that had just been deleted; the edits to the two different pages are now considered to be edits to the same page. The histories have been merged.

The only remaining problem is that I'm not a botanist, so I'm not certain whether the article is currently how you want it to be; if not, I recommend going through the history, picking the revision you want, and making that one active (by selecting it from the history, then clicking 'edit', and saving). DS (talk) 14:24, 17 January 2014 (UTC) Thank you immensely for doing this. I wanted to do something like this but could not figure out how. Even now, I still do not know how to change the name of a page. All I could do was to go back to the generic Yucca page and edit the link that created the specific page. Then I could create a second page. But I did not (and still do not) know how to delete the first page.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 07:50, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Style for plant articles in the English Wikipedia[edit]

Hi, just to say that there is a consistent WP:PLANTS style for plant articles. For example, botanical authorities are presented in smaller type, using <small>..</small>. I'm not sure of the historical origins of this style, it's just something I learnt when I started editing plant articles. Also, we don't give the full bibliographic reference (unless in very special cases).

Another relevant issue is that WP:RS requires us to use secondary sources where possible. So synonym lists should be sourced to WCSP, GRIN, TPL, etc. Peter coxhead (talk) 21:20, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your contributions and welcome![edit]

Hi! I recently noticed your many contributions to Wikipedia articles about southwestern shrubs. It's exciting to see an expert in the area helping to improve these topics! You should consider joining the Plants Project, a group of editors specifically working on botany articles, especially making sure that they have a consistent style. Right now, some of us are having a discussion related to some of your edits on the project's talk page. Please feel free to participate in that discussion. Although a few of the comments might seem critical, don't worry about it, Wikipedia has various conventions that it can take awhile for new editors to get used to, and everyone understands that and went through it once.

Once again, welcome! Tdslk (talk) 21:07, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Since you're a botanist...[edit]

I've started to work on the Dent corn article and would appreciate any suggestions you could offer. Since it is an important crop, I'd like to get it to FA status since there aren't many Featured Articles on major crops (Cabbage, Lettuce and Durian are the only ones other than the various Banskia articles).--ColonelHenry (talk) 03:53, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

ColonelHenry: Sure. I would be more than happy to help, to whatever extent that I can.

Sminthopsis84: Certainly I would hope for and work toward a less confrontational and more cooperative atmosphere. I hope that these things can go more smoothly in the future. I am fully aware that it was the Yucca declinata issue that you were referring to. I was rash in doing the action you mention, and I regret this. Two comments here: in the discussion here on this talk page, you generalized this and said I was "unresponsive," which is quite simply not true. As for the declinata issue, let us please put this in context. You wrote to me earlier pointing out that the photo on the page did not match my description of the species. I looked and you were correct. Someone else had added a picture that was of some other species, and a bad photo at that. I do have in my possession some photos of the real Y. declinata but I cannot upload them because they are not my photos and have been published at least 4 times that I know of. So I cannot vouch for their copyright status. But I do know of a website where they are already on-line, so I wanted to supply a link to that page. Okay so maybe I was a bit too wordy in providing the link. I should have simply created the link without the explanation the reason for providing it. Your revision deleted the link without addressing the reason for creating it. I have since learned how to do this better.

Peter coxhead: I have been thinking about our discussion on the issue of primary vs secondary sources of information. I think that this is a red herring, a diversion from the real issues. I think that the underlying reason for relying on WCSP, GRIN, TPL and other similar systems is that they are readily available on-line while many of the primary sources are not. On the of whether primary or secondary sources are more authoritative: answer is both and neither. On issues such as the correct spelling of a name or whether a name is validly published, the authors of The Code have struggled for years to make the Code unambiguous on these sorts of issues, so that anyone familiar enough with the Code's provisions should reach the same conclusions. On the issue of whether two names coined independently by two botanists represent the same species, it is impossible for anyone to be considered authoritative on this because Mother Nature is herself not following human rules. Biologists have been arguing for years over the definition of the word "species." Phenomena such as cloning, introgression, polyploidy, etc., make the definition very difficult. If we could invite Mother Nature to join one of these discussion groups, maybe we could get her to explain herself. In the meantime, such decisions remain open to interpretation.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 07:46, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your continued good work[edit]

Hi Joseph, I'm glad to see that you are continuing your editing. I just took a glance at a few of your recent edits. They look great! I noticed a few minor formatting issues that are just "how Wikipedia does it". One is that there should not be a space in the text before a reference. Another is that, when you want to add a wikilink to italicized text, the apostrophes go outside the brackets ''[[like this]]''. The same would also go for the triple apostrophes of bold text, except that bolding is generally reserved for names of the subject of the article, and those are not supposed to contain wikilinks. Another thing, on talk pages, it's customary to respond to a post directly below that post. So your comment above to Peter above should be under his comment, so that he can find your response. Cheers, Tdslk (talk) 22:19, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Yucca elata[edit]

Hi, a couple of things. I'm sorry that the thought did briefly cross my mind that it might have been you who added that list of materials examined to the Yucca elata page. I'm sorry about that, I'd seen hardly any of your edits at that point and knew only that you were taking quite a traditional monograph approach. I didn't look further though, just deleted the material. Now I know you a bit better, I wouldn't imagine such a thing. It's a slow process to get to know people here, but it happens. And once again, sorry about that thought. I've said more about that on my talk page.

I'm not sure if you are seeing answers on my talk page unless I post something here. Some of us, and I'm one, have set one of the preferences under the watchlist category "Add pages and files I edit to my watchlist". That means that a reply to something I wrote will show up in my watchlist if it is posted on the same page. (Periodically, it is necessary to trim the watchlist!) Anyway, that's something you might want to consider doing if it seems to work well for you. You might also want to look at the Notifications section of Preferences -- getting email to say that someone posted on one's talk page can be helpful (perhaps that is set by default, I'm not sure). Best wishes to you, Sminthopsis84 (talk) 20:22, 27 January 2014 (UTC) Thanx. I am still trying to figure out the talk system here, so if someone is talking about me, I don't know about it unless I get an email pointing it out. As for specimen citations, those are useful only if you are actually describing a new species or at least determining whether two names represent the same taxon. Years ago at Harvard, I found a situation in which some person who apparently could not tell the difference between the ICBN and a road map of Albuquerque coined a couple dozen names, creating one hideous mess. I had to get his types on loan from a dozen herbaria in Europe to straighten things out.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 21:00, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes, those road maps of Albuquerque are a serious problem, turning up all over the place. :) … glad to be working on apomictic plants, where creating a species name is considered close to a criminal act … Sminthopsis84 (talk) 23:16, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Ways to improve Allium elmendorfii[edit]

Hi, I'm ColonelHenry. Joseph Laferriere, thanks for creating Allium elmendorfii!

I've just tagged the page, using our page curation tools, as having some issues to fix. Perhaps you might want to find a way to link the article into Onion.

The tags can be removed by you or another editor once the issues they mention are addressed. If you have questions, you can leave a comment on my talk page. Or, for more editing help, talk to the volunteers at the Teahouse. ColonelHenry (talk) 06:17, 28 January 2014 (UTC) Dear (talk: Thanx for the suggestions. I added a link to the Allium cepa page, as you suggested, and ended up doing some editing to the latter page, following guidelines I have received from several other editors. I leave it to others to add more information to the A. elmendorfii page.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 09:35, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

A page you started (Agave gracilipes) has been reviewed![edit]

Thanks for creating Agave gracilipes, Joseph Laferriere!

Wikipedia editor Touch Of Light just reviewed your page, and wrote this note for you:

Well done. Everything looks perfect.

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A barnstar for you![edit]

Original Barnstar Hires.png The Original Barnstar
For your excellent botanical articles :). Ironholds (talk) 02:47, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
Related thought; have you considered applying for autopatrolled status? Would you like to me to just WP:BOLDly nominate you myself? ;). Ironholds (talk) 02:48, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Thanx. Never heard of that, but it does sound like something I might be interested in.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 10:46, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Cool; nominated! Ironholds (talk) 20:25, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Wow. Thanx. Good to be trusted.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 21:06, 2 February 2014 (UTC)


Wikipedia Autopatrolled.svg

Hello, this is just to let you know that I have granted you the "autopatrolled" permission. This won't affect your editing, it just automatically marks any page you create as patrolled, benefiting new page patrollers. Please remember:

  • This permission does not give you any special status or authority
  • Submission of inappropriate material may lead to its removal
  • You may wish to display the {{Autopatrolled}} top icon and/or the {{User wikipedia/autopatrolled}} userbox on your user page
  • If, for any reason, you decide you do not want the permission, let me know and I can remove it
If you have any questions about the permission, don't hesitate to ask. Otherwise, happy editing! HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 20:55, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

List of Allium species[edit]

Hi, I saw all the good work you've been doing on Allium species. I've had List of Allium species in my sights for some time: there was no source for the list; it was easy to find names regarded as synonyms by reliable sources listed as separate species; given the large number of synonyms in this genus, the authorities are vital but weren't there. I've used the WCSP list as a starting point, but it may need further work. I hope this is ok with you. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:49, 18 March 2014 (UTC) Peter coxhead

Thanx. Great fun going through the list and finding rare endemics. I've been using the Flora of North America as a starting point, adding extra info as I can find it. The Plant List is great for synonomy, though they do make errors now and then, and Tropicos has links to lots of references to look up. I wish I could find more photos though. Lots of photos on-line, as there are several pages by nature photographers showing great stuff. But, alas, copyrighted. But that does not stop me from adding a link to their webpages. Just yesterday I started in on the Flora of China list. Keeps me off the streets anyway. More fun than watching tv in the evening.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 21:05, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

I find FoNA & FoC excellent for species descriptions, but both tend to have somewhat out-of-date names. I usually start with WCSP, because it is generally up-to-date on those families it covers, and because it is self-consistent, whereas although The Plant List is more comprehensive, it isn't internally consistent. (But you doubtless know all this already!)
I trust you continue to find editing Wikipedia fun. The secret seems to be to avoid becoming upset by vandals and aggressive editors; I gave up Wikipedia editing for a while recently because I found I wasn't managing it. Peter coxhead (talk) 21:25, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead I learned early on to double-check FoNA names against TPL before starting a new page, to make sure the names were still current. And some of the FoNA range info is outdated, or at least incomplete, with other places listing entire states that FoNA did not mention. But it is a good place to start. As for vandals, I have not had problems with those, although I very nearly gave up a few times because of overzealous editors slashing whole paragraphs out of my pages, and, worse, not answering my queries. I would get notes "You're doing it wrong" with no explanations how to do it right, nor any replies to requests for enlightenment. Oh, well.
I have more trouble with editing other people's writings, trying to straighten out mistakes. "This plant is endemic to Kentucky and also found in Tennessee" or "This onion has a head of pink flowers" or text so badly written it's difficult to figure out just what they were trying to say. My pet peeve is when someone will say "This plant is a noxious weed in Kentucky" and give 3 pages of information on the Kentucky view of the plant. Then buried in the middle is "And the plant is native to Eurasia." Sheesh. This is supposed to be an international forum to be used by people from all over, not just wherever the author happens to be.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 22:12, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

It is annoying when editors aren't willing to explain or discuss their edits to one's work. I can see how this happens: the 20th time I correct a cactus hobbyist's edits to Cactus I'm less likely to bother to explain that books about growing cacti are not a reliable source of names. But that doesn't make me right!

The following articles have as titles species names not accepted by WCSP, and thus are not in the Allium list as I've left it. If WCSP is correct, these need to be fixed, but of course, it may not be. If you have time, you might be able to look at them:

Peter coxhead (talk) 22:47, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

Peter coxhead The last two I have not seen before. Burdickii and denticulatum I recognize as my own work but do not remember so I'd have to double check. As for bigelovii, I remember this very clearly. Tropicos has a link where you can call up a photoreproduction of the Sereno Watson's original publication. He spelled it with a v. I read through the ICN orthography section but could find no reason it should be changed to a w. So, very sorry, but the v is correct.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 22:58, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
It's always worth contacting Rafaël Govaerts at WCSP if you think their data is in error. I've found him very responsive. Orthographic correction seems to be a tricky area over which specialist taxonomists disagree. I'm just an interested observer! Peter coxhead (talk) 23:48, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

Sounds encouraging, but I have no clue who this person is.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 23:56, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

"and this use of a "v" must be accepted per ICN art 60.7 and subsequent example 15." Um... Well, I've written things like this myself, but be aware that extreme purists here will say that this is WP:OR – you are interpreting the ICN, not reporting on someone else's interpretation. However, since Article 60, Example 15 specifically mentions bigelovii, there's not much interpretation needed! Peter coxhead (talk) 16:54, 20 March 2014 (UTC) Point taken. Perhaps I should reword my statement. But my point remains that some things are open to interpretation, but others are not. "2+2=37" is not an opinion, it is simply an error. The very purpose of the ICN is to provide rules for settling and indeed avoiding disagreements. My position is that I am not interpreting the ICN but simply quoting it.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 17:19, 20 March 2014 (UTC) Peter coxhead: How's this as a rewrite: "The original publication, however, spelled the name "Bigelovii" using the latinized form of the name as per ICN art 60.7 and associated example 15"

Use of "head"[edit]

I noticed some of your edits to Allium pages which changed the terms "flower head" and "seed head". Flora Europaea and some other sources I've checked restrict "head" to "capitulum" – is this your usage? On the other hand, the Kew Plant Glossary (2010) defines "head" as "short dense inflorescence, capitulum". The inflorescence of, say, Allium sphaerocephalon, or other "drumstick" alliums, seems to me to count as a "short dense inflorescence"; looser umbels perhaps not.

I agree that the term "umbel" should be used, but perhaps a gloss like 'umbel ("flower head")' (including the quotes around "flower head") might be more meaningful to non-botanical readers while retaining accuracy.

Another terminological question (remember I'm not a professional botanist): the literature uses different terms to describe the structure on which an amaryllid umbel is borne. The three most common terms seem to be "scape", "peduncle" and "stem". Working on Scadoxus and its species, I'm inclined to use "scape" since this is more specific in being leafless. I'm welcome your opinion on the best technical terminology to use. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:18, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

[[User:Peter coxhead|Peter coxhead]: I have been following what I was taught in freshman botany and have never seen challenged since. "Head" and "capitulum" are synonymous, meaning the sort of inflorescence in Asteraceae and a few other things (e.g. Eryngium). An umbel consists of flowers each with a pedicel connecting it to a single location on the stem. A tightly compacted Allium umbel may have short pedicels, but it still has pedicels. A true head has no pedicels. Zero. Flowers are attached directly to the receptacle, the swollen base of the head. Any botanist would cringe at seeing an umbel described as a head. So, yes I know that we are supposed to follow consensus and not proclaim anything right or wrong, but this is the way I was taught. If you think we should do something to accommodate those who have not taken introductory botany, we can talk about that. My question then is how many non-botanists would be reading these descriptions, especially on non-cultivated species. As for scape, this is a narrow word for a leafless stem arising from an otherwise stemless plant, such as one forming a bulb. "Flowering stalk," "peduncle" and "stem" and not incorrect, but they are more general terms. I have been using "scape" with a link to the page explaining what this means.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 17:40, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Bear in mind that I have no vested interest either way; I've just looked at the sources available to me to see how they define "head". It seems likely that the Kew Glossary is out of line here, in using "head" (as a botanical term) more generally than for a capitulum, so it seems best to go with the consensus against its wider usage.
As a WikiProject, we do get accused of not writing for the general reader. I'm as guilty (if that's the right word) as anyone else. I do try to "gloss" terms at first use if possible. It's difficult though; I see that at Scadoxus I've written the petioles (leaf stalks) overlap to produce a false stem or pseudostem, i.e. attempting some explanation of the terms "petiole" and "pseudostem" which I've then used later, but earlier I've used "rhizome" without only a wikilink and no gloss. Scadoxus species are cultivated, so the article could be read by a gardener rather than a botanist (and by the way Allium oreophilum is widely grown in the UK as an alpine/rock garden bulb – I've grown it for years).
Scape – thanks for confirming that this is the best term to use in these cases. Peter coxhead (talk) 23:57, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

I just looked back at your previous note. You quoted Kew Glossary as defining head as "short dense inflorescence, capitulum." It sounds to me as if they were just doing the same thing as you and I have been doing, sticking in short definitions for the benefit of the layperson. If you define head as "a capitulum" and you define capitulum as "a head" you don't get anywhere. Problem is that their "short dense inflorescence" did not go far enough, hence the confusion. My general feeling on all of this is that we can explain technical vocabulary and use non-technical terms when they are available. but we should do anything that contradicts technical usageJoseph Laferriere (talk) 00:18, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

You may be right about the Kew Glossary giving the first "definition" as a gloss. However, "capitulum" is then defined as "a compact cluster of ± sessile flowers" which seems to me the same as "short dense inflorescence". We have had issues with Beentje's definitions in the Kew Glossary before. An example which arose at Plant reproductive morphology is "monoecious". Most botanists seem to use this term only for plants with unisexual flowers, so that "bisexual", "dioecious" and "monoecious" are exclusive categories, but the Kew Glossary explicitly defines the term to include plants with bisexual flowers (which is of course within the literal meaning of "monoecious").
My experience has been that "schools" of botanists often employ a self-consistent terminology which may not be universal. (The same is probably true of most academic disciplines; certainly I expected my students to use the computer science or computational linguistics terminology I used.) The problem in Wikipedia is how to maintain a WP:NPOV in respect of well-attested but inconsistent terminology.
I should add that I'm very grateful to those like you and Sminthopsis84 who are willing to engage helpfully over terminology with non-professionals like me. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:25, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Alerted to mention of my name (not by burning ears, but by a notification) I'd just like to interject that Beentje's Kew Glossary, in my experience, tallies perfectly with what botanists say, those botanists who want to be very specific about breeding systems and uses terms like geitonogamy and polygamodioecious. I'd also comment that inconsistent terminology abounds, particularly when there is an old definition that has been taken up in more than one discipline (apomixis and parthenogenesis in botany versus zoology make an extreme example: in botany parthenogenesis is a component of apomixis, but in zoology apomixis is a type of parthenogenesis).Sminthopsis84 (talk) 19:32, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

My pleasure. I taught class for many years and got great satisfaction from breaking down complex ideas into terms newcomers could understand. As for the definition of capitulum as "a compact cluster of ± sessile flowers," key word there is "sessile," i.e., "zero pedicel."Joseph Laferriere (talk) 16:44, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

It seemed to me that the problem was the "±", i.e. "more or less sessile". How long a pedicel is "more or less sessile"? It seems too vague. Peter coxhead (talk) 18:24, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Peter coxhead Indeed, therein lies the problem. I would not have included the "±"Joseph Laferriere (talk) 18:27, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Yup, have to agree that "sessile" is the key here and that ± is a big problem. I know a maker of identification keys who seems to use it to mean "with or without", rather than "somewhat", as I think was intended here (i.e., microscopic examination might reveal a tiny pedicel). Sminthopsis84 (talk) 19:32, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

I am reminded of a photo that a friend posted on Facebook this morning. It was a photo of a sign in front of a church saying "Don't let your worries kill you! Let the church help!" I leaned many years ago to be very precise and careful with wording. If there is any possible way to misinterpret something, someone will do just that. I am sure that the "± sessile" was meant as "sessile or almost sessile" rather than "maybe sessile, maybe not."Joseph Laferriere (talk) 19:51, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

[[User:Peter coxhead|Peter coxhead] I decided to tackle some European onions. Some of the most common species have no pages at all, and seem more important that some rare endemic from one valley in Inner Mongolia. I came across one that does have a page, with the common name "round-headed leek" and the scientific name "Allium sphaerocephalon." Eeee, gads. I can't exactly change the common name to "round-umbeled leek" and I certainly can't change the scientific name to "Allium sphareoumbelon." Hmmmm. Let's see how tactfully I can do this.
Oh, and incidentaly, Tropicos has the original publication for A. lehmannii, endemic to Sicily, as "Flora Sichuanica." Sichuan is in southern China. Should be "Flora Sicula, "Flora of Sicily." So even the experts can maik misteaks.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 15:38, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Hi Joseph, I'd recommend reporting that error to Tropicos, I've found the people there very responsive when such mistakes are pointed out to them through the "send feedback" link at the bottom of the page. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 17:31, 29 March 2014 (UTC) Very good. Will do. Thanx.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 17:39, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
I fixed it already. If you come across any more mistakes in Tropicos, let me know. Plantdrew (talk) 18:21, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Plantdrew-Thanx. Funny, but the error was still there an hour ago, but it's gone nowJoseph Laferriere (talk) 18:35, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
It was right around a hour ago (that is, an hour prior to your latest comment) when I was fixing the publication details (Sminthopsis84's suggestion to use "send feedback" apparently came right as I was making the change in Tropicos). Plantdrew (talk) 19:05, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Plantdrew I believe the expression is "Great minds think alike." All in all, Tropicos is wonderful and immensely useful. Everyone involved with it should be immensely proud of this great and (almost) mistake-free system.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 19:12, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

At the risk of being repetitious, Tropicos, IPNI and WCSP are, in my experience, both grateful to have errors pointed out and quick to correct them. The Plant List "scrapes" other databases and when I've sent them corrections they have replied that they will pick them up at the next "build", which is why I prefer to reference TPL's sources rather than TPL. Does anyone have any experience of sending corrections to USDA Plants? Peter coxhead (talk) 20:54, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
I haven't, but have had swift and grateful response from USDA GRIN. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 21:59, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead So how often does TPL have these "builds?" Once a year is it? What do they think this is, the 20th Century? Time is gone when people were willing to wait for the latest 5-year installment of Index Kewensis to hit the bookstores.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 22:38, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's problematic, but perhaps they will speed up as ways of aggregating the data become less experimental. One thing that I like about TPL is the confidence indicator, although I don't know what it is based on; lately I've taken to ignoring the low confidence entries when producing synonym or species lists. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 22:49, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Slowness of TPL updates is a recognized problem. There's talk now about getting an Online World Flora going by 2020 (presumably, that means something online by 2020, but not necessarily a complete World Flora). World Flora would include taxonomy, morphological description, distribution, etc... Wikipedia was mentioned as a model (though it sounds more to me like EoL; editorial privileges won't be granted to just anybody). Approved editors would be able to do taxonomic updates instantly, rather than having to wait forever for TPL updates. Not sure what that would mean for the future of TPL, but TPL would probably be the initial taxonomic framework for the World Flora. Plantdrew (talk) 23:44, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
I am glad to see that they have a confidence factor, an admission on their part that nothing is set in stone, that everything is open to change if new information warrants. But I don't know how figure it, either. I have seen them say "low confidence" when one name is basionym of the other. A name and its basionym have the same type and are by definition two names for the same critter.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 23:08, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
It's all automated, and it doesn't take much for the algorithm to flag something as low confidence. The cases I've seen where basionym and a subsequent combination are synonymized with low confidence involve differences in author citation (e.g., WCSP has the standard author abbreviation, and TROPICOS has the authors surname unabbreviated). Plantdrew (talk) 23:44, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

In the words of a famous philosopher: "Curiouser and curiouser!"Joseph Laferriere (talk) 23:50, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

This is somewhat off-topic, but since EOL was mentioned, does anyone have an understanding of how to fix EOL? At one point I signed up to be an editor, but then asked them to remove me again because the way the system showed my name had me apparently responsible for some seriously nonsensical material. I haven't seen that a page's history can be retrieved to roll back to an earlier version. The page I'd like to investigate the history of is Prunus simonii/Nectarine where I've added an ineffectual comment. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 14:26, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Allium fedschenkoanum/Allium fedtschenkoanum[edit]

Two questions:

  1. Is WCSP wrong to spell this without the "t"? See
  2. Is WCSP wrong to regard this name as a synonym? (I can't access the Novon source.)

Peter coxhead (talk) 16:59, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Peter coxhead Wow! Good eyes! I just did a cut and paste from the "Allium species" page, which did have the "t" in it. I would need stronger glasses to be able to catch those sorts of details without hitting the "magnify" button a few times. Just now I was able to access the Novon page, and it did not have the "t." But this is not the important question. Question is whether the original 1875 Regel basionym was published with or without the "t." Fortunately, though the magic of the Internet, that is available on-line as well. No "t." So I went and corrected this. As for the WCSP preferring to regard this as a variety instead of a distinct species, all along I have been following TPL's lead on acceptability, and they have it as a species. I must say also that the Allium species page is a lot bluer than it was a few weeks ago, but still a lot of red there.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 17:34, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, but we must be looking at different places in TPL. Here it just repeats WCSP's view that it's a synonym. (Btw, I only meant the Novon reference in relation to the second question above.) Peter coxhead (talk) 18:51, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

[[User:Peter coxhead|Peter coxhead] Maybe I was looking at last year's TPL. It made no mention of the Novon varietal name at all, and I had the page half written as a species before I looked up range information on the WCSP site. Oh, and by the way, what's with the name "Allium oreophilum?" Does that mean it likes chocolate cookies?Joseph Laferriere (talk) 19:17, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Sorry, must be some American cultural allusion lost on us on this side of the Atlantic. :-) To me, "oreo-" is just "mountain". Do explain! Peter coxhead (talk) 22:45, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Peter coxhead Humble apologies. An "oreo" is a brand name for a very popular chocolate cookie (= biscuit) here in the Colonies.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 22:56, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Peter coxheadActually, what the did on WCSP was not to sink fedschenkoanum from accepted to unaccepted. They sank it from accepted species to accepted variety. I am not sure what criteria they were using to determine whether a taxon should be regarded as a species or a variety. The way I learned botany, there are no good criteria for such decisions, and no bad criteria either. No criteria.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 12:39, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
Agreed (c.f. my earlier comments on Ophrys – a reasonable number of very variable species with many subspecies/varieties or a large number of scarcely distinguishable species – you pays your money and you takes your choice – I'm a lumper). On Wikipedia we are supposed to use a reliable secondary source which, for me, is WCSP.
Re "oreo" – I'm told on very good authority that it's a well-advertised brand name over here for chocolate biscuits, so the issue is not my ignorance of American culture but my ignorance of chocolate biscuit brands! Peter coxhead (talk) 18:48, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead Thanx. My siblings and I consumed many thousands of boxes of oreos when we were children, although I have not had any in years. Biologists have been arguing for years over the definition of the word "species." Nature does what she wants, regardless of how we poor humans try to force her into nice neat categories. Many biologists lose sight of this and start to think that all these taxa we create are true representations of nature. No, they represent our human needs to find patterns in chaos and to break the bizarre and perplexing universe into tiny pieces that we can understand. There just simply is no right or wrong answer to splitting/lumping questions, just what turns out to be convenient for us humans.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 19:30, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
We are in complete agreement over species. This view does have to be defended here against some of the absolutists. (It's a pity that the Species article isn't better.) Unfortunately, perhaps, when constructing articles and taxoboxes, we don't have any choice other than to choose some "nice neat categories". Peter coxhead (talk) 20:12, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
(talk) -- Oh, sure. I like nice, neat categories as much as anyone else. Mother Nature is the one who has a problem with it. If only we could learn her email address so we ask her to clarify things.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 20:29, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Hymenocallis coronaria[edit]

(I'm not deliberately following you around, though it might look that way! It's just that you've been editing pages on my watchlist/to do list.) The Hymenocallis coronaria article in this version makes claims about Bartram naming the species which aren't what the reference says, and then lists Hymenocallis fluitans Bartram as a synonym. I can't find any evidence that either piece of information is correct, although I haven't looked very hard, so maybe I'm wrong. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:05, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Peter coxhead: Very strange. I just ran Hymenocallis fluitans through Tropicos but got nothing. Pancratium fluitans did get a hit, but by a different authority; TPL lists it as a synonym of Ismene nutans. Kew's World Checklist give me the same info as TPL. So I have no clue where the Bartram citation comes from. I have some experience with this genus, as I described 2 new species years ago and was considering doing a monograph at one time. This is another difficult group, highly variable, prone to serious populational inbreeding making for tiny little differences that people jump on as new species. And they make hideous herbarium specimens. Botanists in Florida tell me they passionately hate the plant. So Lots of synonyms in the literature. Oh, and many of the species grow in the Everglads and other swamplands. Keys to species will say "Seeds float" vs "Seeds sink." Try that on a herbariumj specimen.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 13:24, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

So it seems that it was ok for me to remove the Bartram citation. I now think an earlier editor of this article mis-read the FoNA entry and assumed that there was a Pancratium fluitans Bartram, whereas actually Bartram thought he had seen Pancratium fluitans Fraser ex Schult. & Schult.f.. I guess this shows yet again why citations for synonyms are vital, although there are many plant taxoboxes without them. Peter coxhead (talk) 15:55, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Peter coxheadIndeed. Already done. I have seen TPL list the same name as synonym for two different species, not synonyms of each other. I have also seen it accept a name and its basionym as two separate species. That's the problem with these computer-generated lists. You need a human keeping an eye on themJoseph Laferriere (talk) 16:42, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Monotypic genera[edit]

I came across a bunch of articles you recently created on monotypic genera, and noticed that you'd changed your style for the most recent one, Hexacyrtis from what you'd done before. WP:FLORA#Monotypic taxa suggests that there should not multiple articles covering essentially the same group of organisms at different ranks, and that in the case of monotypic genera, the sole species should be covered in the article with a genus title. I think the first part (not having multiple articles for difference in rank) is quite sensible. I do wish the guideline had suggested having the article at the lowest relevant rank (i.e. monotypic genus is treated in the article with binomial title), but it's not something I care about strongly enough to suggest overturning a well-established standard.

Anyway, I've been making some edits to your monotypic genus articles to make them more consistent with how existing articles on monotypic genera are formatted. I've been adding species/binomial/binomial_authority to the taxobox (the taxobox then covers both genus and species), bolding the binomial at first appearance in the article text, and adding Category:Monotypic plant genera to the article. Then I'd created a redirect from the binomial to the genus (and including the template {{R to monotypic taxon}} in the binomial redirect).

No big deal if you don't do any of this, but I thought you might want to know how it's usually been done. And if you have any thoughts on how usual practice with regard to formatting monotypic pages could be improved, I'd be happy to discuss it further. Plantdrew (talk) 19:59, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

Plantdrew Thanx for the comments. Trying to help here, not to create more work for anyone. I was following a suggestion from Peter Coxhead, looking through the lists of genera for particular families, and creating generic pages for any red-linked genera. I've been doing that, adding species lists for any genus with less than about 10 species or so. I figure even a basic, bare-bones page is better than nothing. As for monotypic genera meriting one page instead of two, the only problem is that I have run across several examples when someone created a page saying that a genus is monotypic, but then I find that it's not. Perhaps there is a recently described second species or something. Task then is to take the one genus/species page and split it in three (genus and 2 species pages). Painful.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 20:16, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for making all the red-linked genus pages. It's certainly better to have them, and if it's easier to format them all consistently (without getting into weird details about format differences for monotypic and polytypic genera), keep doing what you're doing. Yes, it's painful when the genus needs to get split into multiple articles. That's part of why I wish the standard was to have the monotypic genus redirect to the binomial rather than vice versa. Distribution and description really apply to the species, not the putatively monotypic genus. If another species is discovered, distribution and descriptive info about the genus might change, but the changes to the first species article will be minimal. Plantdrew (talk) 20:44, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

Plantdrew I just took a look back at a monotypic genus page I did months ago, for Apacheria chiricahuensis. I had a devil of a time getting around the problem of there already being an "Apacheria" page meaning something else. All I could figure out to do was to use the specific name as the title of the page, and create links going around the unrelated page. Actually for me the oddest thing was that the author, Chuck Mason, was one of my professors. He was frail and pushing 80 when I knew him. I had a hard time picturing him clambering around rugged terrain in the Chiricahuas collecting specimens from cliff faces.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 21:29, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

Yeah, if the (monotypic) genus name conflicts with another meaning, it's better to use the binomial as the title. Another reason why it would be better to have the binomial as the default article title and have monotypic genera as redirects. It's always interesting when I come across Wikipedia citations of recent publications by people I know professionally. They get a little media attention, and suddenly somebody with no particular interest in plants decides to add something about it to Wikipedia. Plantdrew (talk) 02:01, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

New article[edit]

Clearly we need an article at Joseph E. Laferriere or some such title (I see that some of your publications have the accented form "Laferrière" but many don't), especially now I've linked it at Hymenocallis clivorum (which I would have assumed was "of the Clives" without your explanation). Unfortunately I can't use your user page here as a source, although it would make a nice starting point. Do you (or did you) have some biographical information online, e.g. at Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona? Peter coxhead (talk) 21:25, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

I take it you are thinking of writing a page yourself. Very kind of you. The only places I can think of where I have any biographical info about me online are my facebook page and my profile on the Elance site (where I advertize my services to do free-lance writing). But you need something you can cite as a reference. U of Arizona does not post bios of former graduate students. But citing my dissertation and my various publications might work. Some my old articles are actually on-line, e.g. the Yucca declinata article. That should include the address where I was at when I wrote it, as should my others. What do you think? I can put together a list.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 22:06, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree. Why don't you e-mail me the information you suggest? An IPNI search shows up c. 300 taxa with your name attached, which is certainly notable!
Re your date of birth – see here. It's in HUH, though. Accent or no accent? Peter coxhead (talk) 08:27, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
Very good. I'll have time to do that later today. I always use the accent in my name, ever since I was 14 and began studying French in school. The 300 figure sounds rather high; I should think maybe 100 or so.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 10:26, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
300 is verifiable, and indeed sourced at Joseph Edward Laferrière, as is all the information I've included. However, it includes "ex Laferr." so should probably be reduced to those without "ex" – I'll look at this later. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:30, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Peter coxhead The citation "Smith ex Jones" gets shortened to "Jones," not to "Smith," so anything "ex Laferr." does indeed belong on my list. But I found the list of the 303 names attributed to me. You will note that many of the Berberis names are listed in triplicate. I had a mixup several years ago. I wrote a paper moving 75 species from Mahonia to Berberis. Very long and sad story, but it ended up getting printed in 3 different journals. One is in Poland, one in Russia, one in India. Embarrassing and unfortunate error, one for the ages and one I would prefer to forget. IPNI seems to be picking them all up as separate names, without noticing the duplication (or triplication). Real total is maybe 15 or 20 completely new species, plus about 80 or 90 new combinations (changing the name of a species already described in print).Joseph Laferriere (talk) 11:54, 11 May 2014 (UTC) Peter coxhead Found one listing my address as Biosphere 2: Now all we need is one with my address as Harvard.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 12:43, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Actually I did know, but had forgotten (age...), how many duplicates there are in the IPNI lists. I make it 120 unique names in their list. Will update the page. Peter coxhead (talk) 15:47, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead I think I forgot something once, but I can't remember what it was. 120 sounds about right. I cannot find anything with the Harvard address on it. Things I was working on at Harvard did not get into print until later, after I had returned to Arizona, so they have either the UArizona address or the Biosphere 2 address. One that does have Biosphere 2 listed as my address is:
Laferrière, Joseph E. 1995. Nomenclature and type specimens in Eustrephus and Geitonoplesium (Geitonoplesiaceae). Austrobaileya 4(3):391-399. Joseph Laferriere (talk) 17:04, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead Thanx. Looks great!Joseph Laferriere (talk) 11:05, 12 May 2014 (UTC)


I see you're venturing into the minefield of Ophrys and its so-called species. They are my all-time favourite flowers but I've avoided editing articles because I have too many books on my shelves which contradict one another (and too many of my photographic slides of Ophrys have multiple re-labellings). (I trust you've read my note at Talk:Ophrys#Number of species.) I'm a firm "lumper" as regards bee-orchids; recent molecular genetic phylogeny work seems to confirm this view, and is slowly beginning to make some sense of the genus. However, a lot more research needs to be done, and in the meantime it's not clear how to construct articles without falling foul of WP:NPOV or WP:OR. The Belgian botanist Delforge is passionate "splitter", but we shouldn't have ~252 species articles! Peter coxhead (talk) 20:22, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Peter coxhead Thanx. Actually I'm just about done with that genus, ready to move on to something else. I appreciate what you're saying. I have never seen a genus with so many synonyms and certainly with so many hybrid names. I found one species for which most of the literature says "found only in Sicily," except for the "Flora of Malta" page which says "found only in Malta." Hmmmm. The whole family seems pretty messy, many of the species having been in a dozen or more genera over the years.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 20:37, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead - and the bit about bee orchids looking and smelling so much like female bees that the male bees think that these really are female bees? Can't you just picture the female bees watching, laughing at how stupid the males are?Joseph Laferriere (talk) 23:16, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead Pursuant to your comments, I edited the discussion with a few disclaimers. Thanx for the suggestions.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 13:12, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
A guy called N.J. Vereecken has taken some great videos of pseudocopulation involving Ophrys (see The males do seem to get the message after a while, but they obviously try again otherwise this pollination strategy wouldn't have evolved. I give talks to natural history and garden groups ( and I have to say that during the bee orchid talk the women in the audience generally do see this as an example of male stupidity as you suggest female bees would... Peter coxhead (talk) 17:00, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead -What I am wondering is whether the things are self-fertile. If so, it would be unnecessary to fool the male twice. Once would suffice in getting the thing pollinated. This would also explain the intense variation. With no or little cross-pollination, each population would become inbred rather quickly. Thus each population would soon appear different from the others.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 17:42, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead If you think Ophrys is bad, try Dendrobium. Over 1200 accepted species, averaging a dozen synonyms each.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 23:12, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
@Joseph Laferriere: self-fertility in Ophrys (your 21 May comment) is interesting. In some species (especially O. apifera) if the flower isn't fertilized the pollinium bends over to touch the stigmatic surface. This allows O. apifera to survive in colder northern areas where there appear to be no pollinators. Hence in this species aberrant forms proliferate. I haven't made a serious effort to work out the maths, but consider that in orchids each fertilized flower can produce tens of thousands of seeds, all from the same two parents. If the likelihood of any one flower being pollinated is low, and the number of offspring from each fertilized flower is high, then it seems to me that the genetic flow within the species is low, compared to a 'normal' angiosperm. Hence I'd expect differentiated local populations to develop, but to be absorbed over a longer time span.
Re both Ophrys and Dendrobium – if hand-held DNA analysers ever appear, they may be the answer. Determining orchid species based on morphological differences just doesn't seem to work! Peter coxhead (talk) 09:09, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead Hand-held DNA analysers? Wow. You've been watching Star Trek. I think Dr. Beverly had one of those on the Enterprise. Seriously, a lot of this depends on the definition of what the word "species" means. Biologists have been arguing about this for years, with consensus nowhere in sight.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 10:17, 21 June 2014 (UTC)


Hello Joseph Laferriere,
thanks for the your additions of references and further actions in orchids. I am very glad, that I find these informations for wikispecies and commons. Unfortunately, the group of activists in this big and great sector is very small.
By the way User:Andyboorman and I prefer the taxonomy of KEW also, to go a way as uniformly as possible.
I wish us a good cooperation.
Best greetings. Orchi (talk) 19:44, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Orchi Thanx. Just trying to help. This is more fun than watching television in the evenings.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 20:02, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
...I completely agree. Orchi (talk) 20:08, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Flora categorization on genus articles[edit]

Hi, Joseph. I have partially reverted a few of your edits on genus articles (e.g. this one). It makes sense only to include the lowest ranked taxa in those country or regional categories unless the entire genus is endemic to one category's circumscription. This has been our standard practice for quite some time.

I have also been trying to update our category hierarchy to the World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions so we aren't accused of WP:OVERCAT and "category clutter" which have been cited in recent (with WP:DEFINING even though I strongly disagree) in recent and ongoing fauna of Europe category discussions. We don't want to give deletionists any more reason to come after the flora categories, so I've provided an incomplete list of proposals along with the WGSRPD at WP:PLANTS/WGSRPD. I'd appreciate your comments, of course. And anything you could do to help move articles out of categories that don't comply with the WGSRPD would be appreciated. Cheers, Rkitko (talk) 19:27, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

RkitkoYou completely lost me on this. I have no clue what you are talking about. Joseph Laferriere (talk) 19:36, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Sorry if my message was confusing. You were adding flora categories by country, e.g. Category:Orchids of Haiti, to articles on genera. Those categories typically belong on species articles. Not all species in a genus will be native to Haiti, for example, so it's misleading and unnecessary to categorize genera this way. I hope that's clearer. Cheers, Rkitko (talk) 19:40, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Rkitko Thanx. Now I understand, although I disagree. Someone looking for information on Haitian plants may well be interested in a genus that contains Haitian plants even though not all the plants in the genus are Haitian. The example you sent, for example, has no species pages at all, the entire list red-linked. So, not, it is not misleading, not in the least, but potentially rather helpful to the readers. Joseph Laferriere (talk) 19:51, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Categorization is for navigation of the articles we have, though. And since categories are for characteristics of the article's topic, it would be incorrect to categorize an article on a genus by where only some of its constituents are found (unless the genus is endemic to one country or region or it's monotypic). What you describe as desirable is served by list articles, e.g. Flora of Haiti or List of plants of Haiti but would probably best be a list of the plants of Hispaniola anyway. Rkitko (talk) 20:00, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
[[User:Rkitko|Rkitko] Whatever. I shall try to comply with this, even though I continue to disagree. Just trying to serve the needs of the readers, which I continue to believe is better served the way I've been doing it. But no use doing it is you or someone else is going to delete it.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 20:15, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I would again suggest list articles are better suited to serving the needs of the reader if they are looking for information on flora of a country or region. Lists can include explanations, images, be organized appropriately, and include links to articles that don't exist. Categories don't serve that purpose. If, however, you strongly disagree, you could always start a discussion at WT:PLANTS. Our active membership is always changing, so perhaps opinions on this have, too. Cheers, Rkitko (talk) 21:15, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
[[User:Rkitko|Rkitko] I see what you are saying. I guess I misunderstood the purpose of the categories, as I thought that that was what they were for, to create lists of pages having info on the topic in question. Thanx for taking the time to explain this. Several times I have run into wikipedia editors complaining about something but not explaining themselves nor offering suggestions on how to do things better. So the time is much appreciated.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 21:59, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Allium burdickii[edit]

Allium burdickii was on my "to do" list as it's a taxon not accepted by the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. I expanded it, noting that it's not accepted by all sources. While working on the description, though, I became more doubtful that it should be retained. The descriptions by Burdick quoted here (see the letters reproduced at the bottom of the page) contradict the Flora of North America entry. Burdick says it has longer petioles, purple in colour, the FNA says "scarcely petiolate or less strongly so than in var. tricoccum, sheaths and petioles not anthocyanous." It's not possible to integrate these two descriptions! I bow to your judgement on North American alliums, but I now incline to treat this as does FNA & WCSP, i.e. as just a variety of A. tricoccum and make the article a redirect to this species. What do you think? Peter coxhead (talk) 08:06, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Peter coxhead I am deeply honored. Thank you for asking. My impression is that we were not supposed to use our own judgement, that we were obligated to follow these secondary sources you mention. I just checked FNA, Tropicos, TPL and WCSPF, and they all consider burdickii a variety of tricoccum, so I would have to go with that. I also read through the entire editing history of the A. burdickii. This is not one of my pages. In those days when I was working on Allium, I was just creating new species pages, paying no attention to existing species pages. What I object to in the burdickii history is that someone removed the "Flora of North America" category and replaced it with "Flora of Alabama." That is the opposite of what I have been taught to do. Hate that, when people take a wide-ranging species and put in one and only one local category. That is a great disservice to everyone in the rest of the range. Actually, last week I got into trouble following WCSPF. There was an orchid that WCSPF regards as two separate species, yet the existing webpage lumped them into one. I spent 20 minutes separating the two, only to have someone come in and revert my work in a few seconds, saying Kew is not always right and that I should follow the latest monograph instead. I have no access to the monograph this person mentioned, and all the editors since I started doing this have been insisting on the need to follow secondary sources instead of the primary ones.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 10:31, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
I think you were quite right; we should not follow the latest monograph, not just because Wikipedia prefers secondary sources, but also because the latest monograph is often followed by another one with a contrary view.
I should perhaps have been clearer (a common problem of mine!). I asked you not for your own opinion but because of your obvious knowledge of the literature in this area – you might have known of good sources which over-rule FNA, WCSP, etc. Given that there aren't, the page should be made a redirect. Peter coxhead (talk) 12:00, 25 May 2014 (UTC)


Dear Joseph Laferriere,
can you help me please. With your great work here I found the Calypso bulbosa nothovar. kostiukiae.
This is the spelling of KEW also: [1]
Could be the notho-name: Calypso × bulbosa nothovar. kostiukiae?
I do'nt Know, whether the rules of nothovarietates are the same as for nothospecies.
Best greetings and thanks. Orchi (talk) 16:23, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Orchi Thanx for the nice comments concerning my work. Yes, the spelling rules are the same for species, varieties, nothospecies and nothovarieties. I have not seen the original publication for this particular taxon, but I assume it was named after some woman named Kostiuk or Kostiuki. Why? Have you seen a different spelling someplace else?Joseph Laferriere (talk) 16:37, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Orchi Oh, now I understand. I assumed you were questioning the "kostiukiae." I realize now you were inquiring about the "x." Good question. Let me look this upJoseph Laferriere (talk) 16:41, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Orchi I looked through the ICN without finding an answer to your query. I have no experience with nothovarieties and must say that I cannot envision ever using these myself. I created the line on the wikipedia page by cutting/pasting the listing on Kew World Checklist. Sorry I cannot give you a better answer than that.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 16:52, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
....thanks for your quick answer. Orchi (talk) 17:09, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Interesting question! If you take H.1.1 literally ("Hybridity is indicated by use of the multiplication sign × or by addition of the prefix 'notho-' to the term denoting the rank of the taxon"), then Alpha beta nothovar. gamma is equivalent to Alpha beta ×gamma. But this can't be right because then you can't tell which infraspecific rank is meant. So I conclude that for ranks below species, only the "notho" notation works. Certainly all the examples are like this, e.g. H.11 Ex. 2. Mentha ×piperita L. nothosubsp. piperita. So actually H.1.1 appears to be in error. Um... Peter coxhead (talk) 19:43, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead Orchi Indeed. They did not use these notho things when I was learning all botany, and I must say I don't really approve. The way I learned it, hybrids between what we consider species are not at all uncommon, and once they become established in the wild, reproducing on their own and recognizably different from the parents, they become species, period, no "notho" involved. Indeed, a fairly high percentage of species probably originated that way, though sometimes it may be difficult to prove. I do not think it adds anything to stick an x or a notho into the name of the taxon. But, whatever.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 19:58, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I guess it's only meaningful in some cases, e.g. when there are populations of two species which maintain themselves as well as populations of the hybrid between them which doesn't "breed true". Thus in the National Nature Reserve where I record, Dactylorhiza fuchsii and D. praetermissa populations vary little, but the hybrid D. × grandis is very variable and back-crosses. If the parents disappeared and it formed a stable population, then calling it a nothospecies would, I agree, be pointless. Peter coxhead (talk) 07:39, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Oh, and this is off topic but it's my talk page, so who cares? I ran into the statement "This is one of the newest of all species of orchids. It was first described in 1842 ..."Joseph Laferriere (talk) 20:01, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Ah, the joys of reading WP articles... Peter coxhead (talk) 07:39, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

Platanthera hyperborea[edit]

Hello Joseph Laferriere, could you please have a look here: commons. Do we find here correct identified Platanthera hyperborea? Thanks for your help and best greetings. Orchi (talk) 16:01, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Where were the photos taken? None of the backgrounds meet my mental pictures of Greenland or Iceland. I have been working mostly with range data, and noticed a conflict in this case, some refs saying the plant is known only from the frozen north, others discussing the plant in Indiana or California or whatever. So I did some poking around and found the explanation. So, no, I think it likely that those are all the other species.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 16:14, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately, it is too hard for me to identify these pictures. Charyle A. Luer in The native orchids of the United States and Canada page 229 shows distribution maps with large parts of Canada and USA.That is my only source of information. In Germany it is easier to identify Platanthera. Only two species and one nothospecies grow here. Orchi (talk) 16:55, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Orchi I certainly sympathise. Identifying a plant from a photo is always difficult. But all the photos you showed me have trees in the background, which rules out Greenland and Iceland.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 17:25, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
KEW says also: Only Greenland and Iceland. I propose to move all pictures of Platanthera hyperborea to Unidentified Platanthera. Orchi (talk) 17:41, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but a recent reference cited it from that one island in Canada, across the channel from Greenland.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 17:43, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Orchi Actually, just now I went and retraced my steps to find the ref. Kew is the place that listed it from the one Canadian island Kew ChecklistJoseph Laferriere (talk) 17:48, 4 June 2014 (UTC)


Some time ago User:Rillke created it for me, working in wikispecies, an automatic redirect tool. With a few changes, it works here also.
My problem is to explain it in English correct.
My proposal: when we are together active in Commons, let us create the tool step by step.

Here I explained it to User:Ulei: Wikispecies:User talk:Uleli#Redirects of synonyms

A. If you are interested, you should build the following page: User:Joseph Laferriere/common.js copying of my site: User:Orchi/common.js
B. Empty the browser cache to see the changes.
C: Then should appear on the left side of the page under the tools the new tool Create Redirects.
D: Now create in an article the synonyms as you do it, but without the square brackets.
E. Save your changes and then I make the next steps, showing you the way.
Greetings. Orchi (talk) 20:57, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Interesting idea, but I do not know how to do half the things you suggest. I have no experience with these "tools" you mention, nor have I used "commons" at all.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 21:31, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm a "software-greehorn". When this tool is set, it is very simple to handle. common.js is only the name of this javascript. Orchi (talk) 21:37, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
What is a javascript?Joseph Laferriere (talk) 21:48, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
...javascript is a programming language. When this tool is set, it is very easy to handle. Here [2] you see the result of the redirects without any change of the article Phaius tancarvilleae in two minutes. Bye for now. Orchi (talk) 21:59, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanx.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 22:05, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Orchi I was just thinking about this, and I'm not sure I approve of creating redirect pages automatically. I have adopted the policy of looking at existing pages first. If there is no existing page, or if the existing page is rebot-generated (as with half the Orchidaceae genus pages), fine, redirect. But if there's something there that some human actually spent time writing, then I'll leave it alone. I'd prefer not to erase someone else's work.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 03:41, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks you for your informations. My tip was only to save your step: „ (remove temporary link needed to create a redirect page)“. Orchi (talk) 10:32, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
A. I hope, you allow me to short the indroduction of this message
B. .... in my next life I will learn not only Latin and ancient Greek but more English :)
Thank you. Very much appreciated.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 10:51, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Old Gay Hill Red China rose[edit]

Hello. I saw your edits in Category:Endemic flora of Texas, and I was wondering if you'd be interested in helping me expand User:Zigzig20s/Old Gay Hill Red China? I will create a page for the plantation btw.Zigzig20s (talk) 08:52, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Zigzig20s Thanx for the kind words. I would be glad to help, except that I do not know anything about the plant, and I have no experience writing pages on cultivars. I do wild plants.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page).

Joseph Laferriere (talk) 10:06, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Sources for Pancratium maritimum[edit]

The whole article is almost completely unsourced and some of the information looks dubious as WP:OR. Since it's within your field could you provide sourcing? (talk) 20:42, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

I went and added some references and some more information. But I have no idea where they got the information on pollination, etc.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 22:35, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
Are the 16 sources all to prove that they are found in the Azores? Are those sources for other aspects about the plant? (talk) 05:22, 30 June 2014 (UTC) Look at the list of references. The references justify the distribution statements in that paragraph, not just the Azores but the rest of the range as well.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 07:56, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
How did it spread across that wide range? Human or some seeds floating across the seas? (talk) 00:27, 1 July 2014 (UTC) I can only speculate on that question. Certainly in the places listed as "naturalized," (California, Bermuda and the Azores), humans had some role in distributing the thing. As for the natural range, sure, seeds and plant parts (bulbs or whatever) can be swept long distances by the waves, especially during storms.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 00:36, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Creating links[edit]

I've noticed a few of your edits like this, and I thought I'd share a useful tip with you. If you just hit preview, rather than save, you can still create the links and use them to create new articles, but since you haven't saved the original page, you don't have to go back and undo the edit that created those temp links. Guettarda (talk) 23:34, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

Thanx for the thought, but if you do that you lose the editingJoseph Laferriere (talk) 23:53, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

sorry sir, i am not a botanyist[edit]

concerned about the bamboo species -thank you for developing the articles started by me . i got this photos from Kerala forest research institute botanical garden, veluppadam, thrissur , india. i named those plants with the nameboard put under the tree. (i gave the photo of the nameboard also) please contact. it will be helpful if you contacting them = thank you for your great mind.--Dvellakat (talk) 13:41, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Glad to helpJoseph Laferriere (talk) 13:46, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Treatment of Rhaphiodon[edit]

Another complexity: the last paragraph of Wikipedia:Naming conventions (flora)#Monotypic taxa provides for an exception to the general principle that the sole species in a monospecific genus is treated at the genus. When the genus needs to be disambiguated, as Rhaphiodon (plant) does from Rhaphiodon (fish), instead of creating the article at the disambiguated plant genus, it should be created at the species name. (Don't shoot the messenger; I didn't make up this 'rule' and only found out about it when corrected by someone after I'd created a "GENUS (plant)" article.) I'll fix it. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:17, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanx. I rarely shoot messengers, so you have nothing to worry about. The very first monotypic genus I did was Apacheria, which already had a page describing "Apacheria" as the part of Arizona and New Mexico that used to belong to the Apache. Quite a large swath of land, actually. Anyhow, I made the page at the species name and put in links bypassing the geographic use of the name.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 17:36, 3 September 2014 (UTC)


I notice that you delete the subfamilies where they are given in the lead for the "lumped" families of APGIII, such as Asparagaceae, Xanthorrhoeaceae, etc., whereas I've either added them or retained them as subfamilies from a placement in the s.s. family in an earlier version of the article. My rationale has been that it's still not clear that the s.l. families will "stick". For example, all the recent specialist articles in the area continue to use Hyacinthaceae, rather than Asparagaceae: Scilloideae. Indeed, it could be argued that Scilloideae#Tribes represents a degree of OR, because the most recent sources given there actually treat them as subfamilies in Hyacinthaceae not as tribes in Scilloideae. We also generally have more detailed articles on these subfamilies than on the APGIII families. I wouldn't put subfamilies in the lead elsewhere. Peter coxhead (talk) 15:23, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

I figure that the subfamilies are in the taxobox, so including them in the text is repetitious. Joseph Laferriere (talk) 16:22, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
True, but so are the families, so including them in the text is repetitious. The question for me has been what is sufficiently notable to be worth putting in the lead section. I take the view that where it seems clear that the s.l. families are regarded as too broad by specialists, it's worth putting the subfamily – particularly when this has a substantial article which can be wikilinked. It's a matter of judgement, I guess. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:41, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
The other factor is the audience. Lay people will be only vaguely aware of what a family is, and will care nothing about subfamilies. Only a botanist would be interested in subfamilies. Having both the family and the subfamily in the first line of text will leave most laypeople with the impression that this is a technical discussion over their heads. I have seen pages using a lay term such as "grass family" in the opening line instead of "Poaceae." Not a bad idea, although I am at a loss in coming up with a lay term for Xanthorrhoeaceae.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 16:55, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
There's certainly an argument for not including the family at all in the opening sentence; it's a very "botanist's approach", and I do favour including an English name as well if the family is given. The problem with the APGIII lumped families is that their English names aren't sensible. "Grass tree family" for the old Xanthorrhoeaceae s.s. or "grass tree subfamily" for the Xanthorrhoeoideae is fine, but "grass tree family" for the Xanthorrhoeaceae sensu APGIII is misleading. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:05, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. This is why we have so-called "scientific names," not because there is the slightest thing scientific about the naming process, which there is not, but because common names can be confusing and misleading. I think it's a stylistic thing. An opening sentence "Poa is a genus of plants" is rather short and choppy, so there is an impulse to add a little extra just to make the sentence longer. The way I have seen it done is grass family, an attempt to satisfy both the specialist and the lay person. Another stylistic thing with which I am uncomfortable is beginning a sentence with an abbreviation such as "P. pratensis is a grass." In school when we were children, they taught us not to use any sort of an abbreviation at the beginning of a sentence.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 13:20, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead You know, if we get tired of referring to the Asteraceae as the daisy family or the sunflower family, we can call it the fleabane family or the sneezewort family.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 13:02, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Writers Barnstar Hires.png The Writer's Barnstar
Dear Joseph Laferriere, thank you for your contributions to Wikipedia, especially your recent creation of Quisumbingia. Keep up the good work! You are making a difference here! With regards, AnupamTalk 15:42, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Anupam Thanx. Very much appreciated. This is great fun, better than watching television in the evenings.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 16:05, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Date of description categories[edit]

I notice that in a number of your edits, you have added date-of-description categories, such as Category:Plants described in 1753, to articles about monotypic genera. This is a slightly confusing situation, because the article is about the species, but the title that appears in the category listing has to make sense in that context. For that reason, these date categories are added to the binomen-titled article or redirect (e.g. Chaiturus marrubiastrum) and not to the genus-titled article or redirect (Chaiturus), regardless of which is the title of the article. --Stemonitis (talk) 10:35, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

I stopped doing that months ago.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 10:43, 22 November 2014 (UTC)


Hi, I think this change is premature, and it isn't supported at the linked page. Macraea laricifolia Hook.f. seems to be well accepted as the name of a Galapagos plant. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 00:59, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

I spent 20 minutes investigating this on several websites and I believe I made the appropriate decision based on what I found.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 02:12, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
So can Macraea be added as a synonym at Lipochaeta with a citation? Sminthopsis84 (talk) 22:42, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Probably. Let me retrace my steps in the morning.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 22:48, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Done. Thanx for pointing this out.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 19:31, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for sorting that out. From some things I was seeing on the web, it looked as if Macraea laricifolia was in the Asteraceae, heh, heh. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 23:42, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Writers Barnstar Hires.png The Writer's Barnstar
For Anisocarpus. It's an incredible start. I especially love how you added a picture of the plant and tagged it as a stub; such are the actions of a responsible Wikipedian. Sincerely, Crossark (talk) 23:44, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
Crossark Thanx. Usually I cannot find a good photo lacking any copyright difficulties, but I lucked out with this one.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 23:56, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Evil tribe?[edit]

I realize the importance of making things accessible for a general audience by using common names (when they are available) instead of scientific jargon. But I don't really think "evil tribe" should be understood as a common name for Vernonieae. It's being used as a descriptive term, not a name per se, which is why the reference is enclosing it in quotes. Promoting "evil tribe" as a common name for Vernonieae is equivalent to promoting "DYC" as a common name for Asteraceae (or at least for some members of the family; I suppose Vernonieae tend to be DPCs more than DYCs). Plantdrew (talk) 22:57, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Okay. I'll start calling them "DPCs."Joseph Laferriere (talk) 23:12, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
-) Fair enough. Plantdrew (talk) 23:58, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Edit warring[edit]

Stop icon

Your recent editing history at Vittadinia‎ shows that you are currently engaged in an edit war. To resolve the content dispute, please do not revert or change the edits of others when you get reverted. Instead of reverting, please use the article's talk page to work toward making a version that represents consensus among editors. The best practice at this stage is to discuss, not edit-war. See BRD for how this is done. If discussions reach an impasse, you can then post a request for help at a relevant noticeboard or seek dispute resolution. In some cases, you may wish to request temporary page protection.

Being involved in an edit war can result in your being blocked from editing—especially if you violate the three-revert rule, which states that an editor must not perform more than three reverts on a single page within a 24-hour period. Undoing another editor's work—whether in whole or in part, whether involving the same or different material each time—counts as a revert. Also keep in mind that while violating the three-revert rule often leads to a block, you can still be blocked for edit warring—even if you don't violate the three-revert rule—should your behavior indicate that you intend to continue reverting repeatedly.
There is already a discussion underway on the talk page regarding this material. Discuss the material there, do not simply re-add it. Your current behaviour breaches both WP:STATUSQUO and WP:BRD. Please do not re-add the material until consensus has been reached. Thank you.Mark Marathon (talk) 03:44, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

talkI reverted it once. You reverted it twice. So which one of us is violating the policy?Joseph Laferriere (talk) 11:31, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Numbered lists of species[edit]

Hi, when I updated the species lists at Wurmbea I wondered whether to maintain the numbering rather than use bullets. I recognize numbering as characteristic of your edits; personally I don't like it, but that's not a reason to change. However, when looking for advice in the MOS I found MOS:LISTNUMBERED. It doesn't seem to me that any of its three provisions apply to lists of species, so I left the lists with bullets as generated from WCSP. It's not something I have strong feelings about. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:06, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanx for the note. Very often editors change my work without explanation. Right now I am dealing with another page for which an editor simply reversed work I spent at least half an hour on. No word of explanation. As for the lists, numbering the species has the advantage of showing you unambiguously how many species there are in the genus. I have seen many pages which begin "This is a genus of 30-40 species" followed by a list of 53, or whatever. The estimates are frequently way off the mark and subject to change.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 11:29, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I take that point. It's a pity there isn't a way of automatically including a count of the number of bullet points in a list. I guess the point about numbering a species lists is that we know that the numbers are meaningless, but I worry that less botanically aware readers could feel that there's some significance in being species #34. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:51, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Harmless problem.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 12:21, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Probably. Don't be surprised though if in future some MOS zealot removes your numbering, citing MOS:LISTNUMBERED! Peter coxhead (talk) 20:31, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
I would expect that most people would have better things to do, especially considering the sad state that many of these pages are in when I first get to them.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 20:35, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
MOS zealots don't spend their time doing what you and I would call "improving pages", i.e. adding content, so they have plenty of time to quibble about style 'rules'. Sigh... Peter coxhead (talk) 20:45, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Consider it my gift to them, giving them something to do.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 20:55, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Calectasia spp.[edit]

Hello Joseph Laferriere,

I am working on the genus Calectasia and notice you have listed Huttia and Scaryomyrtus as synonyms. Unfortunately the reference you have used (Kew Gardens) does not seem to give a response to either of these names. The Australian Plant Names Index does give Scaryomyrtus as a synonym of Calectasia though. I have made some notes on the Calectasia Talk page[[3]]. You may wish to add your thoughts. Gderrin (talk) 09:47, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Gderrin At the moment, I seem to be having some difficulty connecting to the Kew database. Once the connectivity problems are corrected, I shall investigate. All I can say in the meantime is that if I listed those names as having come from the Kew database, that is where I got them.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 10:36, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Working for me at present, and WCSP here does give Huttia and Scaryomyrtus as heterotypic synonyms. Peter coxhead (talk) 14:52, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. Joseph Laferriere (talk) 15:33, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Me too, and thank you for your work Joseph Laferriere and Peter coxhead. The lack of a response from Kew was a connectivity problem - sorry. But I am still curious. APNI gives Huttia as a synonym of Hibbertia and no mention of Calectasia whereas Kew Gardens gives Huttia as a synonym of Calectasia and no mention of Hibbertia. How can that be? Almost as confusing as Hook. and Hook.f.! On your advice, I will leave the synonymy in Calectasia unchanged even though jingoism might tempt me to defer to APNI rather than Kew. Gderrin (talk) 22:25, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Remember the full name of the Kew database: "World Checklist of SELECTED Plant Families." They do not have everything in there. They keep adding more families, but some of the large ones are still completely missing. Tropicos, which does cover everything, or at least tries to, lists two different Huttias given the same name by different authors. "Homonyms" is the term. As for the two Hooker names, the "f." is an abbreviation of the Latin word for "son." So "Hook." is the dad, "Hook.f." is his son. Many people mistranslate "f." as junior, but no, "bis" means "junior," "f." means "son." The difference is that with the "junior," the two have the same first name, but not necessarily in the case of the "f."Joseph Laferriere (talk) 23:14, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Brilliant! Thank you very much. (I think I remember Prof. Roger Carolin telling me that at Sydney University in 1975. Too many years teaching "Kingdom, Phylum, Class etc." in the interim.) Still learning .....Gderrin (talk) 23:37, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Selflinks, etc.[edit]

A couple of things. First, you regularly introduce links to synonyms of genera, which (at best) lead directly back to the same article. These are selflinks, and are to be avoided. By all means links them at the preview stage in order to create the redirects, but do not leave such links in when you save the page. Secondly, your approach to monotypic taxa differs quite widely from the standard approach. Again, the binomen should not be linked, because it will redirect back to the same article. Moreover, it should also be mentioned in the taxobox as (in the case of Schizachne) | species = '''''S. purpurascens'''''. Oh, one last thing: try to keep the content in prose as far as possible. Hope this helps. --Stemonitis (talk) 15:37, 2 April 2015 (UTC) I have been following someone else's instructions on this. I do not know what you mean by keeping things in proseCite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). .Joseph Laferriere (talk) 16:04, 2 April 2015 (UTC) talkIncidentally, I have not yet finished with the Pennisetum page. I took a lunch break and intend to finish the page now.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 16:08, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

Taxobox name parameter[edit]

Hi, Joseph. Nice work, as always, incorporating synonyms and references. I just saw a few of your edits to the Erythronium articles and wanted to mention that we don't use the name = parameter to include all major vernacular names. The comment at Template:Taxobox#Name has some guidance on this. We also usually don't link synonyms in a list of synonyms, especially if they only redirect to the article. Cheers, Rkitko (talk) 21:30, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Also, I'm not quite sure why when you add the name = parameter, it gets thrown into the middle of the taxonomic parameters, e.g. in this edit. Normally name = , if one is warranted or needed, would be placed at the top right underneath {{Taxobox. If the list of parameters is standard, editing is easier in the future. Thanks! Rkitko (talk) 21:40, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
I put links on the synonyms so that I can use the red links to create redirect pages. I usually take them back off afterwards but sometimes I forget.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 21:52, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
That's certainly understandable. As Stemonitis suggested above, use the preview function before saving, create the redirects in a new window, then remove the links and save the original article.
On a related issue, when adding things like image_caption = (e.g. diff) the best practice is to place it near the related parameter, usually right below image = in this case. In the linked diff here, the image caption is unnecessary because it just identified the photo as the topic of the article. Image captions are useful when describing the image in some manner or on genus articles when linking to the species displayed. If the image caption is only going to repeat info already in the taxobox in the binomial = parameter, it's just superfluous. Cheers, Rkitko (talk) 03:01, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I always use the preview function. The suggestion of using a link from the preview function to make a redirect page before saving the main page does not work because it send you to a new page in the same window, erasing whatever changes were made in the main page. It is necessary to save the main page first, then make the redirects, then go back and reedit the main page. The system does not work otherwise.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 08:56, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
It depends on the browser/operating system, but usually if you right-click or control-click and hold on the link in the preview window you get an option like "open link in new tab" or "open link in new window". Choosing this then doesn't lose the edits in the first window. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:28, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanx, Peter. I tried this persuant to your suggestion, but it does not work.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 09:31, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I need to save things once in a while anyway, esp on longer pages. Sometimes the electricity goes out here during storms, costing me unsaved work. And concerning the image caption duplicating the binomial, yes, that it is redundant on species pages, but it does not hurt anybody. The binomial is positioned low on the screen, and sometimes it is completely off screen unless you scroll down looking for it. My overriding concern in general is what is useful for the reader, not unwavering adherence to some arbitrary stylistic guidelines. It is much easier to ignore what you do not need than it is to need something but not have it.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 11:10, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
My concern is for the reader, too, but our guidelines are not arbitrary. There's no need to have the binomial in duplicate (or triplicate, in some taxoboxes). The image caption parameter should not be used as a work-around for what you perceive to be a problem of layout; its purpose is to describe the image -- see WP:CAPTION. This can include identification of the subject, but it shouldn't be in bold text and ideally would describe the image in other ways, e.g. "Leaves and flower of Genus species". If you want the binomial presented higher, you can choose to put it in the name parameter instead of a vernacular name, especially in cases where there's no clear primary vernacular name or they're all minor names compared to the prevalence of the scientific name in reliable sources. Thanks, Rkitko (talk) 23:04, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Ok. I shall take this under advisement. I really dislike the "flowers of ..." when anyone can see that they are flowers.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 00:40, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
I have in the past agreed with you, but it's been pointed out that "anyone can see" is false – users may be employing a screen reader. If there's no |alt= then a redundant caption at least tells them something. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:06, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Peter coxhead Yes, you have been very kind and fair, Peter, and I very much appreciate that. I misstated my case earlier when I said these sorts of issues are arbitrary. I meant trivial and unimportant. I dislike spending my time arguing about formatting when I see so many pages presenting misinformation or information written so badly as to be unintelligible. I see mangled sentences that make no sense, people misusing technical terms such as "endemic," misstating ranges of species (e.g. "This plant is native to Ireland" when in fact is is from Bolivia), and other substantive problems. Those sorts of things I consider much more important than whether something gets boldfaced or not.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 11:18, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
I always agree that accurate information is far more important than formatting and such like. "Native" versus "naturalized" is certainly widely misunderstood; both are also confused with "cultivated". Sigh... Peter coxhead (talk) 12:38, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Peter coxhead I tried that right-click thing again and got it to work. Thanx. I can think of several other uses for that.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 14:39, 21 April 2015 (UTC)