Wikipedia:WikiProject Plants

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WikiProject Plants
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20 August 2004
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Portal:Plants

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Some Wikipedians have formed a project to better organize information in articles related to plants. This page and its subpages contain their suggestions; it is hoped that this project will help to focus the efforts of other Wikipedians. If you would like to help, please inquire on the talk page and see the to-do list. To join the project, add your username to the list at WikiProject Plants/Participants or just jump in.

Scope and goals[edit]

This WikiProject aims primarily to describe all plants, that is, all species and natural hybrids belonging to the kingdom Plantae. This project's scope also includes notable artificial hybrids and cultivars, botanists and botany-related articles.

Goals:

  1. Describe all ranks and notable clades (particularly orders, families, genera, species, and natural hybrids) of the kingdom Plantae.
  2. For species, natural hybrids, and notable artificial hybrids and cultivars, describe botanical properties, distribution, multiplication, usage (medicine, food, etc.), botanical history, cultivation information, and common names.
  3. Develop and implement a robust method of naming plant articles for the ease of navigation and searching for Wikipedia users.
  4. Maintain Category:Plants and its subcategories.

WikiProject family tree[edit]

This WikiProject is an offshoot of WikiProject Tree of Life:

  • WikiProject Plants

Related WikiProjects[edit]

Guidelines[edit]

Plant article naming conventions[edit]

These are now explained at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (flora), alias WP:FLORA.

Singular and plural with the names of taxa[edit]

Some facts are not disputed:

  • The botanical name of a taxon higher than genus (i.e. from family upwards) is plural in Latin.
  • A genus name (and hence a species or infraspecies name) is singular in Latin.
  • The botanical names of taxa are treated as proper nouns (noun phrases for species and below) in English, as is shown by capitalization, for example.

After a lengthy discussion it is clear that there is no consensus, neither in reliable sources nor among members of this WikiProject, as to whether the grammatical number of the taxon name in Latin should be followed when writing in English. Accordingly, either may be used; for example, an article about a family may begin in either of the following ways:

  • Asparagaceae is a family ... It is/has ...
  • The Asparagaceae are a family ... They are/have ...

(The use of "the" follows the standard English grammatical pattern for proper nouns: "the" is required with those that are of plural form, e.g. "the United States", "the Netherlands", "the Smiths", but is usually omitted with those that are of singular form, e.g. "England", "John Smith", although there are exceptions.)

The use of botanical names as common names[edit]

In some cases, the genus name has become the common name for a group of plants, particularly in a horticultural context. These cases include:

  • Using the common name for the genus as a whole, e.g. "hostas", "cannas".
  • Using the common name for only part of the genus, e.g. "pelargoniums", "rhododendrons" (as opposed to "azaleas").
  • Using the common name in a way that does not correspond to current genus boundaries at all, e.g. "geraniums".

Such uses should be explained in the lead, e.g. "Hosta is a genus of plants commonly known as hostas..." When a common name and a spelled-alike genus name refer to different groups this needs to be made very clear.

The singular of one of these common names is easily confused with an incorrectly formatted genus name and should be avoided as far as possible. When the plural means something like "those species and cultivars of the genus which are in cultivation" its use is more acceptable, as in "Hostas are widely cultivated, being particularly useful in the garden as shade-tolerant plants" meaning "Species and cultivars of Hosta are ..."

Categorization of redirects[edit]

This material was previously in the section #Plant article naming conventions but is not included in WP:FLORA. It needs further work done on it.

Redirect pages can be placed in categories and tagged as printworthy. For example see Golden bladderwort, which has the content

#REDIRECT [[Utricularia aurea]] {{R printworthy}}
[[Category:Utricularia species by common name]]

Common names[edit]

This point was previously in the section #Plant article naming conventions but is not included in WP:FLORA. It may need expansion.

Sourced common names used in English are to be included in taxon articles. Names that are genuinely widespread and familiar should be mentioned in the lead paragraph.

Trade designations[edit]

WP:FLORA previously included this information which is relevant to the content rather than just the title. It may need editing.

In addition to a unique cultivar name (regulated by the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants), many cultivated plants have "selling names" or "marketing names"; the ICNCP calls these "trade designations". Trade designations are not regulated by the ICNCP; they are often different in different countries and can change over time. The ICNCP states that "trade designations must always be distinguished typographically from cultivar, Group and grex epithets." They should never be set in single quotes. Some are also registered trade marks (which cultivar names never are). There is currently no consensus as to how to represent trade designations in Wikipedia.

The template {{tdes}} can be used; one advantage is that if a consensus is reached in future, consistency will be easy to achieve.

  • The RHS uses a different font face. This is the default for {{tdes}}. ''S. vulgaris'' {{tdes|Ludwig Spaeth}}Syringa vulgaris Ludwig Spaeth.
  • The ICNCP uses small capitals. ''S. vulgaris'' {{tdes|Ludwig Spaeth|smallcaps}}S. vulgaris Ludwig Spaeth. Small capitals are generally disliked in Wikipedia.
  • Plain text can be used, making clear the nature of the name. It is still useful to mark the name in the source as a trade designation. ''S. vulgaris'' 'Andenken an Ludwig Späth' is often sold as {{tdes|Ludwig Spaeth|plain}}S. vulgaris 'Andenken an Ludwig Späth' is often sold as Ludwig Spaeth.

"Synonyms" of scientific names[edit]

Citation needed - Whenever a list of synonyms appears in a taxobox, a citation needs to be given to support the statement that these are synonyms. This will almost always be a single citation; it is not appropriate to accumulate a list of "synonyms" from multiple sources, since the separate sources may not be compatible with one another. In rare case, it may be necessary and acceptable to include more than one citation, for example, if the synonym reference contains a misspelling, then a citation could be added that discusses the correct spelling.

Appropriate citations - There is as yet no single best source to cite for synonym lists for all plant taxa. The most appropriate source may be an authoritative monograph or flora, but assessing that type of publication requires care, and usually requires specialist knowledge. Databases are being developed outside wikipedia to bring together summaries of the most thorough taxonomic work on all plant species, and these often provide suitable synonym lists.

  • For vascular plants and bryophytes, The Plant List, African Plant Database, Australian Plant Census, closely match Wikipedia's requirements. TPL draws a subset of the information from other databases; those other databases can be helpful to understand particular cases, and until 2014 TPL has had compilation errors that do not accurately represent those databases (hopefully, that situation has now ended).
  • WCSP, a very detailed and authoritative work, unfortunately doesn't cover all families,
  • Tropicos feeds synonym data to TPL; includes much more information such as links to specimen images,
  • Algaebase for green algae,
  • USDA GRIN Taxonomy, not a source for TPL. A superb reference for agriculturally important crops and weeds, but as of 2014 the taxonomy is not being updated as rapidly as in the other databases,
  • IPNI (seed plants and lycophytes) is not an appropriate source for synonym lists (or species lists) because it aims to list all published names regardless of taxonomy,
  • APNI, also not an appropriate source for a synonym list; rather, it aims to list all published opinions on synonymy.

What to include - It is desirable to discuss and fully disambiguate many of the large number of names found in botanical or gardening reference works that appear to be scientific names of plants, but synonym lists in publications often contain many elements that are not synonyms as the term is used in the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants, and these lists can be both difficult to interpret and confusing. The following approach is suggested:

  1. The Taxobox synonyms area (the synonyms parameter of the Taxobox template) should be reserved for two kinds of names that are usefully considered to be synonyms of the taxon name used on the wikipedia page:
    1. Names that are heterotypic synonyms as defined by the Code of Nomenclature, and
    2. Validly published names of a different rank that have the same type (specimen) as the taxon name used on the wikipedia page, are well-known, and don't have their own page.
  2. A section of the text area of the page could be used to explain interesting or difficult aspects of nomenclature. This section could be called Taxonomic history or Nomenclatural history.
  3. For taxonomic (heterotypic) synonyms, which are synonyms only in the opinion of a particular author or authors, it is important to include one or more citations to the source(s) of these taxonomic opinions (the synonyms_ref parameter of the Taxobox template can be used for this).
  4. For nomenclatural (homotypic) synonyms, which involve the same type (specimen) and are less debatable, it is also desirable to include a citation to the source(s) from which this information was obtained.

For example:

  • Photinia arbutifolia Lindl. could be listed in the taxobox as a synonym of Heteromeles salicifolia (a heterotypic synonym, considered by the sources that Wikipedia follows to be part of the species Photinia arbutifolia).
  • Cedrus libani var. brevifolia Hook.f. could be discussed on the Cedrus libani page as a case of debatable taxonomic placement, and also listed as a synonym in the taxobox on the page for Cedrus brevifolia.
  • Banksia latifolia var. minor Maiden & Camfield could be listed in the taxobox as a synonym of Banksia oblongifolia (or as a synonym of Banksia oblongifolia var. minor if a page about that variety were created).
  • The tribe Amygdaleae could be listed as a synonym of subfamily Amygdaloideae (a homotypic synonym at a different rank).

The synonym list would include synonyms of subordinate taxa. This is because in a wikipedia taxobox (as in many other reference works) homotypic and heterotypic synonyms are not distinguished. For example, if a single cited source states that :

  • Spiraea densiflora Nutt. ex Greenm. is a synonym of Spiraea splendens Baumann ex K. Koch var. splendens and
  • Spiraea arbuscula Greene is a synonym of Spiraea splendens Baumann ex K. Koch var. rosea (A. Gray) Kartesz & Gandhi

then the taxobox would list both Spiraea densiflora Nutt. ex Greenm. and Spiraea arbuscula Greene as synonyms of Spiraea splendens.

Some cases to exclude from the taxobox (an incomplete list):

  • Misidentifications would not appear in a synonym list, and often would not require mention. For example:
    • Crataegus pubescens Steud. nom. illeg. and Crataegus gracilior J.B.Phipps are very commonly misapplied to Crataegus mexicana DC., but if that situation is rectified it may no longer warrant discussion.
  • Names that do not satisfy the technical definition of a botanical name, and uncorrected forms, would be excluded:
    • Orthographic variants can be handled by redirects to the page with the correct spelling, and should not require any mention on the page. For example:
      • Pereskia opuntiaeflora, the original spelling used by de Candolle, could redirect to Pereskia opuntiiflora, the corrected spelling specified by the code of nomenclature (article 60.8).
      • Populus section Aegiros, a common misspelling, could redirect to Populus section Aigeiros.
    • Nom. inval. or num. nud. signals a name that was not validly published as a botanical name. Few of these have become well known without being validated by a later publication, but a small number are well known, and these may warrant discussion. For example:
      • Crataegus macracantha Lodd. need not be listed; the validated name is written as Crataegus macracantha Lodd. ex Loudon or Crataegus macracantha Loudon.
      • Subfamily Prunoideae Burnett was not validly published because Burnett compiled a list of comments about the (group at the rank now considered to be a) subfamily but did not provide text that qualifies as a description, according to the requirements of our modern codes of nomenclature (and he did not provide a diagnosis or refer to a previous description).
    • Certain names published in suppressed works (opera oppressa) are considered invalid, and do not belong in the taxobox. It may be useful to discuss some of these in the page text. For example:
      • Michel Gandoger earned some renown for publishing a vast number of species names in the genus Rosa in his suppressed work Flora Europae terrarumque adjacentium. It could be helpful to discuss these with Rosa canina, which is sometimes noted as a species that caused taxonomic confusion.
  • Nom. rej. and/or Nom. illeg. can signal a name that has not satisfied some of the rules of the code of nomenclature. Nom. rej. can also indicate names that have been explicitly rejected (articles 14 and 56). Some such names may be best omitted, and others may justify detailed explanation. For example:
    • On a page about the genus Hierochloë R. Br., it might be desirable to discuss Savastana Schrank, Torresia Ruiz & Pav., and Disarrenum Labill. These names are rejected in favour of Hierochloë, but a different taxonomy could consider them to be separate from Hierochloë, in which case they are valid and legitimate botanical names.

Categorization[edit]

There are a number of standard categories which can be added to a plant article.

Open tasks[edit]

Media related to Unidentified plants at Wikimedia Commons

Participants[edit]

Articles[edit]

Article alerts[edit]

Categories for discussion
Requested moves

Assessment[edit]

For the criteria used in assessing articles for this project, see Wikipedia:WikiProject Plants/Assessment#Quality scale. It is important to rate the quality of articles correctly; the number of Stub-class articles shown in the table below is much larger than the number of articles which are actually stubs. It appears that editors who expand stubs often forget to alter the quality rating.

Statistics[edit]


Templates[edit]

Categories[edit]

Click the "►" below to see all subcategories:

Resources[edit]

Tools[edit]

Main tool page: toolserver.org
  • Reflinks - Edits bare references - adds title/dates etc. to bare references
  • Checklinks - Edit and repair external links
  • Dab solver - Quickly resolve ambiguous links.
  • Peer reviewer - Provides hints and suggestion to improving articles.

External watchlist[edit]


Directory Directory of WikiProjects

 

Council WikiProject Council

 

Guide Guide to WikiProjects