Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Plants

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WikiProject Plants (Rated Project-class)
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Archives for WP:PLANTS (Archive index) edit




Metrosideros excelsa → Pohutukawa[edit]

I have started a WP:Requested Move at Talk:Metrosideros_excelsa that may be of interest to editors here. Stuartyeates (talk)

Categories "flora by countries"[edit]

I think these categories have not much botanic sense, since plants do not recognize national borders, and they create a huge mass of categories for some species. As an example Lily of the valley has about thirty such categories. I propose to suppress these categories, or admit only those that are for English speaking countries.--Auró (talk) 21:38, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

I agree. I have raised this once before here but without much success. Regards  Velella  Velella Talk   23:01, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
The mess you found at Lily of the valley was the result of a misapplication of the flora categories and overcategorization. For example, the plant was in both Category:Flora of Europe and many of the country categories within Europe. As the distribution for this plant is best accurately described at the higher level, we remove child categories and upmerge as long as that category higher in the hierarchy still accurately describes the distribution. I cleaned it up, and for the most part the plant is native to temperate Asia, Europe, and the southeastern US.
It doesn't matter what the plant thinks about political borders. This is how we discuss, write about, define, and think about plants. Political borders are a convenient way to discuss plant distributions, which is why we use the World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions. Books and flora treatments are written on the plants native to areas defined by political boundaries. When you find category clutter like that on the lily of the valley article, it is not the fault of the category scheme but a few overzealous editors who seem to think a plant must be included in every country category it can be found in. Be bold and clean it up by upmerging! I wrote some advice here: WP:PLANTS/WGSRPD. Rkitko (talk) 23:19, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
We have discussed this at great length before. I have only one thing to say at this juncture, i.e., that I very strongly and unequivocally object to the bit about "admit only those that are for English speaking countries." I cannot think of a single polite thing to say about that idea.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 02:02, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
I think that my suggestion about limiting the category flora by country to the English speaking countries has been taken in a sense that was not intended by me. Fortunately there are many Wikipedia projects, for many languages. If Wikipedia Catalana, for instance, contains a category named "Flora de Catalunya" I would find it quite normal, but to admit that English Wikipedia has to contain "Flora from Catalonia" as well as any of world countries and regions is not sensible. I hope my point is now clear.--Auró (talk) 21:28, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Since the geographical areas of distribution for plants tend to be larger than a single country, merging up could in fact suppress about 90% of the categories by country. It is a practical solution.--Auró (talk) 21:38, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Auró - Two assumptions here: 1) People will be reading Wikipedia only in their own native languages. Much of the information is available in one language but not another. In general, the English wikipedia tends to cover more information than the versions in other languages, though of course with exceptions. Many people whose first language is not English will be reading the English-language wikipedia pages. 2) People are interested only in plants native to their native countries. This is hardly true. Many botanists cross international boundaries in their work and need information about plants around the world. I personally have worked much in Latin America and frequently make use of websites in Spanish and occasionally in French or Portuguese. The current system offers the option of large-range categories or short-range categories. If a plant is widespread across most of Africa, it goes into the "Flora of Africa" category but if it is endemic to Botswana it goes in the "Flora of Botswana" category. You are proposing eliminating that option.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 22:38, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Joseph - For me the question is settled by means of Rkitko up merging solution.--Auró (talk) 21:36, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

garidella[edit]

Hello. I was wondering if any of you would be interested in creating a page on garidella, a subclass of the thalamiflorae, named in honour of French botanist Pierre Joseph Garidel. Let me know if you are. Please reply on my talkpage. Thank you.Zigzig20s (talk) 18:53, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Tools for adding lists to plant pages[edit]

I've been working with @Peter coxhead: and getting valuable advice from @V111P:, creating tools that might be of interest to other plant editors, for rapidly reformatting synonym lists and species lists. A prototype tool is described at User:Sminthopsis84/TPLSynonyms. That one uses synonym data from http://www.theplantlist.org chosen by the wikipedian, who uses copy/paste to give input data to the program and to add the result to wikipedia. The program is written in HTML and javascript, and would run in your browser (we've tested it on a few of the many available browsers), thereby avoiding the security problems that come with a compiled language like java. I'd be very interested to know if people think this would be useful, and happy to answer questions. It is possible to create programs that work with other databases, WCSP, algaebase, ...

We've discussed possibly integrating such tools further into wikipedia, perhaps creating a button that you would click to go to the program, and perhaps working directly from the plant database without using copy/paste. Those sophisticated additions don't seem to be warranted at present, unless people think they would be helpful.

The prototype tool is easily downloaded as described at User:Sminthopsis84/TPLSynonyms. You would put the two files into the same directory anywhere on your computer, and then open one of them with your browser. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 17:53, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Nice work! I do want to mention I still have some concerns about using TPL or WCSP exclusively for synonym lists. I've found some egregious errors on both, as is natural for databases of their scope. Often, the synonymy lists are informed by a single editor and no supporting documentation is provided. I'd rather not see existing synonym lists compiled from recent monographs and other sources be overwritten by TPL or WCSP, though I'm not suggested that would happen. Scripts just make the possibility of such errors a little more likely. Anyway, just my two cents, and really more of a response to lots of recent conversations here that have treated TPL or WCSP as authoritative sources when they should be used more carefully. Not a criticism of the tool you've created! Cheers, Rkitko (talk) 21:55, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I entirely agree that these aggregator databases must not overwrite more authoritative information. They have errors, and may simply be working from less than the complete set of authoritative literature. I think it is encouraging, though, how much they have been updated in the last couple of years, and (funding permitting) seem likely to continue to improve. My feeling is that the need to carefully consider the contents of those databases is a good reason to not further automate the tools. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 11:51, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
For synonym lists, I agree that multiple sources can be used, although there are problems: using monographs is sometimes against the preference of WP:RS for secondary sources, and combining sources can lead to inconsistencies unless care is taken. Obviously it's always necessary to review the information in any source, TPL, WCSP or whatever, before using it. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:06, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
Addendum: Rafaël Govaerts at WCSP (use the "contact" link on the WCSP page) is, in my experience, very helpful and very quick to correct errors for which evidence can be provided. TPL is different: it seems that they "scrape" other databases only once for a version, so corrections and changes to WCSP, Tropicos, etc. won't show up until the next version. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:09, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
I had a problem a few weeks ago. I put together a species list to put onto a genus page, as I have done many times before. But this one time, I got a nasty note from some bot accusing me of violating copyright by, according to the bot, swiping the list from TLP. I had not even consulted TLP at all on this; I had swiped it from WCSP. The bot note went on to say "you can obtain information from another source, but you must rephrase it." You can't rephrase a scientific name. Can a list be copyrighted? Maybe if I were to de-alphabetize the list, the bot might accept that as rephrasing. Bots are not all that bright. Anyhow, nothing came of this, and the list is still on the wikipage.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 23:11, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm no expert on US copyright law which applies to Wikipedia, but the information in a list can't be copyrighted, although the layout and precise wording can. So long as we extract only scientific names and authorities and put them into WP's format, there shouldn't be a problem. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:06, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

There's a working prototype temporarily here which takes a list of species pasted from a WCSP checklist (using the "Build a checklist" option in the left column), extracts records according to selected criteria, and produces a wikified list for copying and pasting into Wikipedia. WCSP is not entirely consistent in its formatting, so automated parsing doesn't always work; careful review of the output is needed! Comments welcome. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:06, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Peter coxhead That's what I figured. I was not copying anybody's format, adding links and a brief range statement for each species on the list, the range information taken again from WCSP but reworded. It is much easier to reword a range statement than it is to edit the name of a species (simply say "Staffordshire and Tajkistan" instead of "Tajkistan and Staffordshire)." But these bots are not consulting with lawyers before they send out these threatening notes.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 09:57, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
@Joseph Laferriere: can you provide the details of where this bot ambushed you? Perhaps WP:PLANTS people could mount an argument somewhere about how to improve its behaviour. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 11:51, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
Sure. I can give you the direct quote, cut/pasted from my talk page: "This is an automated message from CorenSearchBot. I have performed a web search with the contents of Globba, and it appears to include material copied directly from http://www.theplantlist.org/browse/A/Zingiberaceae/Globba" Joseph Laferriere (talk) 13:14, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
I see what you mean by a not-very-bright bot. Apparently, CorenSearchBot will leave alone additions that use a citation template like {{1911}}. There doesn't seem to be such a template for WCSP, but there is one made by @Plantdrew: for The Plant List, and that isn't being used by the tool described above. Plantdrew, could you please have a look at the more complex example listed here, and see what you think about how to interface your template with that? I could write code that looks for two different situations, a URL that includes "record" and one that includes "search", using your template only for the former case. The tool would also need to be modified to pick up the taxon name and authority from the TPL page for that case. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 18:08, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
I have templates for both TPL and WCSP which I use regularly: see User:Peter coxhead/TPL and User:Peter coxhead/WCSP. The problem with "citation templates" is that preferred styles vary; e.g. my templates default to my preferred style of Template:Citation and to ISO dates for the access date, etc. which may not be to other people's tastes. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:24, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
A few thoughts, my friends. First, I have done hundreds of these pages, but CorenSearchBot objected only the one time. Second, Peter, you mentioned US copyright law. Why US? Indeed, what country's laws are applicable to an international phenomenon such as wikipedia? Plant List comes out of Kew, or so I thought. Kew is in the UK, or was last time I checked. Third, I am a bit uncomfortable with things like this being done automatically. That seems almost certain to introduce new errors. Old-fashioned cut/past may be more time-consuming, but it does allow for an actual human to double-check to make sure the not-so-bright bot is not doing something totally daft.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 04:05, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
@Joseph Laferriere: (1) Wikipedia is held on servers in the US, so US copyright law applies – see Wikipedia:Copyrights#Governing copyright law. (2) I would never suggest automatically extracting information from any database. For example, all my WCSP tool does is to re-format information copy-and-pasted from a WCSP checklist. It's intended solely to make it easier to format information consistently in the style we use. Peter coxhead (talk) 06:00, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Interesting that CorenSearchBot doesn't often react. I hope we can ignore it, and just revert its action when it strikes.
  • I don't like the idea of automatic extraction either.
  • So, what is the general consensus about whether tools like TPLSynonyms should use a template rather than coding their own format for the citation? Is that premature because the templates aren't universally beloved? I've described two possible embellishments at User talk:Sminthopsis84/TPLSynonyms and would welcome opinions there. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 16:13, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

Inaccuracy of TPL[edit]

The accuracy of TPL has been questioned in these talk pages in the past. I entirely agree; for those plant families it covers I've found WCSP much more reliable. A particular problem with TPL is that it does not extract information correctly from Tropicos. Here's just one example I've found.

  • Search TPL for "Maurandya acerifolia". Response: Maurandya acerifolia Pennell is an accepted name, citing Tropicos.
  • Search TPL for "Mabrya acerifolia". Response: Mabrya acerifolia (Pennell) Elisens is an accepted name, citing Tropicos.

The authorities should ring an alarm bell, so let's look at Tropicos directly.

  • Search Tropicos for "Maurandya acerifolia". On the response page there's a tab "Accepted Names (1)" under which we find Mabrya acerifolia (Pennell) Elisens.

So Tropicos does not accept Maurandya acerifolia Pennell; it regards it as a synonym of the name it accepts, Mabrya acerifolia (Pennell) Elisens.

Sadly this isn't an isolated example. The status of names in TPL derived from Tropicos needs to be checked directly with Tropicos.

However, Tropicos isn't itself a reliable source for the status of names, since it collates information including specimens in herbaria, which may well be wrongly labelled. Here's an example. TPL claims that Lophospermum nubiculum Elisens is an accepted name in Tropicos. Tropicos does indeed have an entry for Lophospermum nubiculum Elisens, but doesn't cite the source of the name, only a secondary source. The name isn't in IPNI; a search of plant names by author in IPNI shows that Elisens didn't name species after 1985. His 1985 monograph which covers Lophospermum is online; there's no such name as Lophospermum nubiculum although there is a Lophospermum nubicola. The epithet nubiculum appears to be an orthographic error based on the re-labelling of a single herbarium specimen (see here) which cites Elisens (1985) which doesn't contain the name.

This probably counts as original taxonomic research so can't be included in Wikipedia, but the moral seems to be "don't believe what you see in (some?) online taxonomic databases". Peter coxhead (talk) 06:30, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

The phrase "orthographic error" is another way of saying "misspelled word." We are not allowed to correct misspellings? Suppose I were to say that the Queen of England lives in Buckleham Palace. We are not allowed to correct the error because this would constitute original research? Joseph Laferriere (talk) 07:34, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
We do correct names, by following the rules in the ICN. So do other botanists, and sometimes they do so incorrectly. I think that what went wrong with TPL here is that it didn't downgrade all names to low confidence if there was no original citation listed in Tropicos.org. To TPL's credit, the most recent update did correct a lot of crossed pointers. At least one of those crosses, though, was crossed in Tropicos, and has since been corrected. The next update of TPL should correct at least that one. In general, I believe that IPNI has done a superb job of incorporating the changes to articles 60, 61, and 62 of the ICN, so a good rule of thumb is to use IPNI's spelling. I've witnessed the anguish at two botanical congresses (6 years apart, as always, the next will be in 2017) where both times there were a huge number of proposals to change or clarify those articles about orthography, and both times the congress latched with alacrity onto the suggestion to refer them all as a block to the editorial committee. Those articles have been nightmarish. In 2001, it was much harder to figure out how to apply them. I suspect that those authors either goofed or did not, but in any case are now considered to have been mistaken. Botanists and wikipedians should ignore that name.
There are certainly errors in TPL: I don't remember where, but I saw a species listed as a synonym of its own autonymous variety …
I've sometimes set off to place synonym lists and move plant pages as appropriate and found that there is no database that I can find that gives a good account of what the current accepted taxonomy might be, then had to back-track. In many cases, there is no recent authoritative monograph either, the plant group simply hasn't been revised in living memory. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 16:13, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
@Joseph Laferriere: well, if you came across, say, "Lopospermum" in a context which clearly meant "Lophospermum", then it would be like "Buckleham Palace". In my example, it's not so obvious that it's an orthographic error. I've contented myself with a footnote at Lophospermum, but maybe I should have been bolder and not listed the name at all?
@Sminthopsis84: I'm a bit wary about applying the orthographic correction rules in the ICN directly in Wikipedia. For example, epithets with "ae" instead of "i" can be corrected (as I understand the rules). Thus if you find e.g. alliariaefolia or yuccaeflorum they can be corrected to alliariifolia and yucciflorum. If I found such cases in the online databases, I've preferred so far to report them and wait for the change. Again, I can only applaud Rafaël at WCSP who's been very quick to make corrections. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:48, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Peter coxhead Okay. I can see the point about waiting until WCSP changes the error its database before we correct it on Wikipedia. Having them spell it one way and us spell it another would create confusion, even if we are right according to the ICN and they are wrong. The ICN exists for a reason, i.e., to solve problems rather than to create them. Any good botanist knows this and tries to follow the ICN as closely as possible. Yes, it can be complicated, but is mostly due to the retroactive nature of the rules, trying to apply 21st Century rules to 18th- and 19th-Century publications. But sometimes botanists (esp many of my fellow Americans) have a poor knowledge of Latin, resulting in mistakes. I saw one paper in which a male botanist said he was naming a species after his wife, then proceeded to use the male -ii instead of the female -iae.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 22:14, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Update Tropicos (in the person of Jim Solomon, the Curator of the Herbarium) has now removed "Lophospermum nubiculum", so I can fix the Lophospermum article. For me, this yet again points to the undesirability of using The Plant List as a source, because it only seems to change its data when a new version appears. Peter coxhead (talk) 05:53, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree that getting the databases corrected when we discover an error is by far the best course. I think that working on plant taxonomy in wikipedia is valuable in large part because of the errors that it reveals in those external databases. No single database covers all that we need, however: e.g., WCSP doesn't cover Rosaceae; Tropicos and the Kew databases don't cover Boronea. APNI doesn't decide on a single synonym list, but list the opinions of various authors, as for example here, and Wikipedia doesn't work that way (neither does wikispecies, the wiki world apparently isn't ready for multiple taxonomies or for incomplete resolution in the taxonomy). Tropicos doesn't have any sort of "confidence" indicator, and I would prefer to see that ThePlantList says that Baissea names derived from Tropicos should be taken with a small grain of salt, than to look directly at Tropicos and see no such indication. I very much hope that ThePlantList will, in future, be making small updates more frequently than it did in the first two upheavals. For species-level taxonomy, it is different from the other sources, and potentially the final checklist. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 12:43, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

The most up to date checklists[edit]

gets updated to the latest available highest quality taxonomy at least as frequently as twice a year and often within days or weeks of the new taxonomy publication date (if it’s already widely accepted) by means of thorough taxonomy review by the Council of the Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) including coordination of taxonomic botany specialists—as written by the manager of botanical information to me. The best standard plant taxonomy and nomenclature database that i know of in the world … for all others to be compared to … many more reliable sources about this can be provided … . --Macropneuma 05:46, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Regional/national databases are fine for endemic taxa of whatever rank. The problem with using them more generally is possible inconsistency with the treatment of the same taxon in other countries. Peter coxhead (talk) 15:41, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Again, please Peter Coxhead reply to the above request about Europe and the British Isles most up to the moment (date) and highest quality plant species and genera checklists.
Not a problem. Compare the most up to date highest quality taxonomy checklists (secondary and most reliable sources) and read through the body of taxonomic literature on the subject genus, especially the most recently published (so called primary sources, in terms of well attested human taxonomies of plant species and genera).
Real, topical, example (—JL), compare the Gahnia genus (Cyperaceae family) taxonomy and nomenclature in the Australian Plant Name Index here, Florical (linked above), NZ plant taxonomy database (online) and so on —the most up to date and highest quality taxonomy checklists, with the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP), here and through the means of its "Build a Checklist" link with the setting of the family to Cyperaceae and genus to Gahnia. Quotation below of WCSP’s own citations of their sources and of how up to date they are—does this mean this Cyperaceae checklist was compiled in database form in 2004 and published in paper form in 2007 without update or that they did do more checking of the taxonomy after 2004 before going into hard copy print in 2007. Clearly it means that no update has happened since 2007 for their Cyperaceae family checklist of species and genera available in WCSP and The Plant List.
  • Govaerts, R. (2004). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-54382. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Govaerts, R. & Simpson, D.A. (2007). World Checklist of Cyperaceae. Sedges: 1-765. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
—--Macropneuma 00:41, 15 July 2014 (UTC) —addendum: here we see who the few Cyperaceae (family) actual plant taxonomist reviewers were, partial info on what they reviewed and when they last did review so for WCSP (from 2004 to 2008 —of course, Govaerts merely compiles). —--Macropneuma 23:37, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Gmelina (Lamiaceae) was a genus WCSP got up to date (superfluously for WP purposes, here) based directly on the taxonomy of de Kok’s high quality worldwide genus revision published in 2012 in Kew Bulletin—hardly surprising really, has everyone heard of the Johari window (here referred to not literally but rather figuratively for the ethnic group social scale rather than the usual individual person scale)? —--Macropneuma 01:12, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
For this genus, a quotation of WCSP’s own citations of their sources:
  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • de Kok, R. (2012). A revision of the genus Gmelina (Lamiaceae). Kew Bulletin 67: 293-329.
—--Macropneuma 03:21, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Where WCSP, Tropicos, etc. state the sources they use, then if more recent monographs covering the entire taxon are available, one would of course use them, with the usual caveats about single primary sources as per WP:OR. However, in many cases, they simply aren't available. Producing detailed taxonomically reliable monographs seems to be a dying activity; most modern papers on a taxon consist of molecular phylogenetic studies on those subtaxa which have gene sequences available.
@Macropneuma: sorry, didn't realize you were asking a question. For Europe as a whole, I know of no up-to-date reliable source. For the British Isles, we use Stace, Clive (2010), New Flora of the British Isles (3rd ed.), Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-70772-5  plus updates published by the BSBI in its journal Watsonia and its bulletin. There isn't yet a single consolidated list (to my knowledge); I use the 2007 list + the updates at [1]. It should be noted that Clive Stace is an explicit supporter of paraphyletic taxa where he feels these make best sense, so e.g. Lemnaceae is recognized independently of Araceae. Recent British Floras (e.g. the Flora of Birmingham and the Black Country, 2013) follow Stace + updates. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:37, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
I was going to suggest the Euro+Med plant database for Europe, but checking out its Malvaceae listing, there are a few errors in there (e.g., they've sunk Lavatera in Malva, but haven't transferred Althaea sect. Hirsutae and haven't sunk Malvaltheaea). Lavateraguy (talk) 10:23, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
… Thanks. Around twenty years ago in the late 1980s and early 1990s we used and cited Flora Europaea. I’ve just been reading various sources about the Euro+Med plant database, how Flora Europaea volume 1 was revised and the new edition published in 1993, then all volumes were digitised and released on CDs in Dec. 2001, then all this information has been used in this Euro+Med plant database wherein they have started doing many packages of work on updating it all; see here. … —--Macropneuma 12:11, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Flora Europaea was a fantastic resource – actually I still use my copy from time to time (and some groups have been round in a circle, e.g. FE‘s conservative treatment of Ophrys fell out of fashion as botanists like Delforges multiplied the species ten-fold, but recent molecular work tends to support FE‘s approach). I have about ~20,000 slides of European plants (mine and two late friends), which were originally (re)labelled using FE. The issue for these is not whether the latest taxonomy has been used, but whether there is a complete and self-consistent list. At present it doesn't seem that there is. Peter coxhead (talk) 18:29, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Rename request: Dandelion_(disambiguation) to Dandelion[edit]

Dandelion currently redirects to Taraxacum. Opinions are invited at Talk:Dandelion_(disambiguation) on a proposal to rename and move Dandelion (disambiguation) to Dandelion. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 16:32, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Recent changes to article template[edit]

User:FloraWilde recently made some significant changes to the Project's Article Template, including re-ordering and renaming the "Distribution and habitat" section. Such changes need discussion and consensus here first, so I reverted them wholesale and then added back changes some I thought useful and uncontroversial. Please revert these too if you don't agree. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:28, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

:Talk page discussion of possible revisions is here. FloraWilde (talk) 20:48, 19 July 2014 (UTC) (I think it's better to discuss it here; this page is more often visited and it's where we've usually discussed changes to the project's subpages. Peter coxhead (talk) 21:30, 19 July 2014 (UTC))

  • Plant ID or description starts with distribution/habitat/range - It grows at location A, at elevation B, in soil type C, among vegetation type D, and consists in about E of the ground cover.
  • Next comes what the plant looks like overall, the growth pattern - It is an annual/perennial Tree/bush/shrub/herb growing from central/branching stems and reaches a height F and is shaped like G.
  • Next comes a description of leaves, stems, roots.
  • Then comes a description of inflorescence and fruit.
  • Other information, such as uses, ecological interaction, technical taxonomical information, etc., then follows.
  • I suggest these revisions.

FloraWilde (talk) 20:48, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Several points.
  • I think that Wikipedia readers want to know first of all what a plant looks like, i.e. to have a description of it.
  • In the description, after some overall statements about the growth habit, most sources I use tend to start from the bottom upwards which is also roughly growth order, i.e. roots, stems, leaves, inflorescence (for flowering plants), fruit/seeds/etc.
  • For taxa with no subdivisions, it's possible, I guess, to move the Distribution and habitat section to the top, but for families, genera, and species with significant infraspecific taxa, it doesn't really work, because you have to say something about the distribution of these subtaxa, which means you need the material in the usual Taxonomy section to be first, since it's there that we list the subdivisions.
I have to say that when I first encountered WP:WikiProject Plants/Template, I had some doubts about the order of the sections, but the more articles I work on (especially new ones) the more I see why the order in the template makes sense. Peter coxhead (talk) 21:30, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree "Wikipedia readers want to know first of all what a plant looks like". So do I, in most cases. General appearance is a good thing to put in the lead first sentence. This is especially true for plants that are used for visual aesthetics, such as for flowers, landscape plants, etc. In certain specific instances, like for food plants, readers likely want to first know how food plants are used as food, and then appearance. If a plant has a high commercial use, that should be in the first sentence in the lead, which is for general information. The lead should also generally describe range and habitat, like "a North American desert plant that grows in sand dunes", with specificity in sections below.
  • Following the lead, in the more technical oriented sections below the lead, I am suggesting that the first two sections should be about distribution, habitat, and range, and then technical appearance, including growth pattern, leaves and stems (and roots), and inflorescence and fruit (seed). This is stuff more technical (and should use plain English, with technical nomenclature in parentheses) , but it is stuff that general readers can still read without much background knowledge, and is what is in books at the local store. I am suggesting moving distribution, range, habitat, to a section ahead of taxonomy, because the taxonomy section is something that requires more background knowledge than general readers likely have.
But you wrote, "the more articles I work on... the more I see why the order in the template makes sense". I defer to your experience on that.
  • Re "most sources... start from the bottom to the top, roots, stems, leaves, inflorescence, fruit." That is the most logical order, and it has parallels to each subject: growth, physiology, and moving from birth to reproducing. The advice "follow the approach used by standard Flora" in the template is also good (maybe tweaking this to "Flora or manual"). Floras differ from region to region in this ordering.
  • Re "but for families, genera, and species with significant infraspecific taxa, it doesn't really work." That is true. A reason for having distribution next to description for species in most cases, is that for general readers, that is often all they want. I am basing that on the fact that this is the way most plant books in a general bookstore have it, such as in field guides and slightly technical books that can still be read by non-experts. Its not that important, and the article template is only for general guidance anyway.
  • Re my bonehead waste of your time - I did not notice that you already restored most of my edits before I started writing all this.
  • The other changes I made that you did not already restore generalizes the sections and subsections I have been finding underly many articles already written. I was just trying to formalize that. -

Subsections might include "growth pattern", "stems and leaves (and maybe roots)", "inflorescence and fruit", or further subdivisions of these subsections. For example, "it is a branching perennial shrub that grows to 1 meter with a taproot. Stems are woody and covered with corky bark. Foul smelling leaves are opposite, compound pinnate, with hairy oval opposite leaflets having toothed edges. The inflorescence is a a corymb. Fragrant, radially symmetric flowers have five pointed green sepals and blue to violet petals fused into a tube flaring five lobes, with five anthers opposed to the petals. Pistils have three-parted styles. Ovaries are superior. Fruits have three dehiscent chambers filled with many black seeds."

The example should probably not be the one I made up from a chimerical plant that appeared in my mind as I typed, but instead be a clear and illustrative one from a "gold star" article (or whatever Wikipedians call their best articles). FloraWilde (talk) 02:42, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

I agree with Peter that a description section should come first, before distribution and habitat etc. Regarding FloraWilde's concerns, I wonder if some plant articles might appear 'too technical' at the start simply because their leads aren't sufficiently fleshed out to give a good general overview - I think this applies to quite a few plant articles. Also in some plant articles the taxonomy sections are far more detailed than any other section, giving an impression of technical impenetrability, but I think the solution to these situations is not necessarily to reorder sections, but to expand and rewrite information so that articles are more balanced and the text is easier for laypeople to understand. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 18:55, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

I agree with PaleCloudedWhite. The distribution, at least, is likely to be more accessible to the lay reader because there's only so much you can do to make it impenetrable; but description, taxonomy, ecology and even habitat can all be rendered technically overwhelming pretty quickly. In theory, the lay reader should be able to read over the lead and come away with the kind of general information you might find in a field guide; in practice, Wikipedia in general has problems with poor lead construction. (It's probably partly due to the accretive way in which we write articles; when I write a new article, I tend to write the lead last, because I find I need to look over the completed article in order to write an orderly summary.) As it stands, the "Introduction" section of the template is very cursory; perhaps we could place more emphasis on this role, at the expense of repeating some of WP:LEAD.
BTW, welcome to Wikipedia, Flora. Your boldness in making useful changes to the article template and your graciousness when some of them have been disputed are both commendable. It's always nice to see someone else added to our little botanical community here, and I hope you have more ideas for making our articles better. Choess (talk) 14:28, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I think making major changes to the order of sections at this stage would be disastrous, since it would literally require thousands of pages to be rewritten. As it is I revise several every day. I think a well written lead section gives the general reader all they they need to know and the following sections amplify this. --Michael Goodyear (talk) 00:06, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Plant field guides and manuals do not meet WP:MEDRS standards for reliability of medical information[edit]

Many authors of plant field guides are notable experts at plant identification. But they often add comments about traditional or alternative medicine uses, or exaggerate actual or potential medical use, often with an apparent end of furthering a conservation agenda by trying to find some reason other than just loving the plants for conservation of them. They are often not qualified to even read a proper medical study. Plant field guides and manuals do not meet WP:MEDRS standards for reliability of medical information. This should be stated in the template.FloraWilde (talk) 21:35, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

While I agree that this is true, it's also important in my view to report (without any hint of endorsement) traditional uses for plants. There have been some problems with over-enthusiastic WP:MEDRS-influenced editors trying to remove historical and ethnobotanical information of this kind. There is significant scholarly ethnobotany literature which can be used to support this kind of material. So I believe it's important a balance is struck. Peter coxhead (talk) 07:09, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Exaggerating actual or potential medical uses would be a problem, but ethnobotany and traditional medicine are important areas of scholarship. Without the material studied by those disciplines, modern medicine would hardly exist, and neither would the hypotheses that medical trials aim to test, which come largely from traditional practices. I've seen the problem that Peter mentions, that WP:MEDRS enthusiasts expunge simple unproblematic statements or entire sections, but I hope that it is still rare. Literal and unthinking application of WP:MOS and various guidelines is, I believe, becoming a serious problem, and I would not be happy to see the proposed statement in the template. As Peter coxhead says, balance is needed. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 12:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I see two countervailing tendencies, both of which are to be avoided. The first, as Sminthopsis mentions, is expurgation of ethnobotanical/folk medical information under the aegis of WP:MEDRS. This is a problem, because that information is useful in an anthropological, if not a medical, context. On the flip side, one often sees (even in the published literature!) a sort of WP:SYNTH problem: plant X is reported to have a traditional use, say, treatment of wounds. A crude extract of plant X, or some compound present in plant X, is found to have some kind of biological activity in vitro. The inference is implicitly or explicitly drawn that the in vitro findings ratify the traditional in vivo use. I think it might be appropriate to say something like "The use of plants to treat illness is traditional in most societies. However, most of these uses have not been scientifically validated. Unless the plant itself, or its extracts, has been reliably shown to be effective in treating illness, as defined by WP:MEDRS, it should not be described as medically effective, only as traditionally used in certain cultural contexts." Choess (talk) 14:04, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Choess in that we try to keep to what the sources say and keep things circumscribed if at all possible. mention cultural/folk-use context and clarify that and avoid mentioning medical effectiveness unless there is a MEDRS doing so. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 14:25, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
As an aside, but I think related: at a conference related to ethnopharmacology I was impressed by talks that discussed two things (1) that traditional medicine is the intellectual property of the cultures that developed it and must not be "stolen" by others for profit and (2) that traditional medicine needs to be documented so that the knowledge is still available. An example given was a cholera outbreak in Micronesia where western medicines ran out and people died, when the plants traditionally used to treat cholera were growing right outside the clinic but the young staff didn't have their grandparents' knowledge that would have made use of those plants. I don't know what in wikipedia prevents people from giving too much detail that is IP, such as the various ethnobotanical manuals that are being prepared around the world. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 15:01, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I also agree with Choess. This is a frequent issue in plant articles, and one where it would be helpful for there to be some sort of guidance on how to approach things. Tdslk (talk) 19:14, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Agreed with above comments as to use as sources for historical/anthropological/sociological material on traditional medicine belief systems. Not putting in historical uses of traditional medicine belief systems would be like leaving religion out of a history article. My point is that the way the wording often occurs in these field guides, they appear to endorse some kind of actual usefulness or efficacy, when there is none, or none has been proven.
If I understand what Choess said, it is exactly the example I was thinking of. A tribe rubs a plant on a wound. Some lab finds chemical in an extract from the plant which, if injected in sufficient concentration, has antibiotic efficacy. But rubbing the plant never reaches the level of concentration needed for minimal efficacy. The field guide only says in a mis-blending of two facts with values, "they use it to treat wounds and it has been found to have antibiotic properties, so we need conservation efforts in this beautiful area". The inference any reader would take from this both that it is useful to rub it on wounds, and that there is a pragmatic reason to conserve the area, other than just to preserve its aesthetic value. The chemical may be readily available without the plant, very expensive to obtain from the plant, and rubbing it on a wound does nothing. The Wikipedia editor has this as their source, and reads it just as any other reader would. Strictly following the source would violate MEDRS. FloraWilde (talk) 20:12, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's just what I was getting at. I think it would be reasonable to add something to my above notes for the template to the effect that field guides and the like may be reliable sources for ethnobotanical claims but not for medical claims, and that the latter should only be made on the basis of reliable secondary sources as described at MEDRS. (As a side note, ethnobotanical material is interesting not only because the medical claims it makes might bear scientific investigation, but because of the light it throws on cultural beliefs about plants. And yet the belief systems it illuminates--like the doctrine of signatures--may have mediated the plant's entry into the culture's pharmacopeia despite a lack of reliable empirical evidence!) As a crotchety biochemist, I think we should also be fairly selective about what lab results we report. There seems to be a perpetual flow of papers in obscure and local journals of biochemistry and the like showing that the crude extracts of [plant used in traditional medicine] kill bacteria or fungi or the authors' favorite cancer cell line in vitro. These results almost never have in vivo pharmacological applicability. There are probably enough exceptions to this that I wouldn't want to draft a broad rule banning them, but I think it should be legitimate to sweep out that sort of "extract did this in vitro" material unless there's a very compelling reason to keep it. Choess (talk) 03:26, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Note - There is a related discussion at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Plants/Template#Uses. FloraWilde (talk) 10:01, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

I think the key issue is to distinguish between traditional folk or cultural use, and actual pharmacological and clinical data - both have their place but need to be carefully distinguished. --Michael Goodyear (talk) 00:10, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Inappropriate tagging[edit]

Single source[edit]

I have found several pages recently where lists of species have been tagged {{one source}} by an enthusiastic editor who does not realise that something like the Plant List or Checklist is the authoritative source. --Michael Goodyear (talk) 03:28, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

If you have a problem getting these tags removed, come here and I'm sure many of us will help. More common is the reverse: editors who don't understand the problems merge together lists from several sources so listing the same species under several synonyms. Quite what we can do about this, I don't know, other than the usual work of editing/maintaining plant articles. Peter coxhead (talk) 07:27, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Michael Goodyear How can two places both be "the authoritative source?" Either one is, or the other, or neither, but not both. I vote for neither, as I have seen errors in both. More germane than being "authoritative" (a matter of opinion) is that these secondary sources represent compilations and distillations of information from thousands of different sources. Hence one Checklist citation is worth at least a dozen ordinary citations, if not hundreds. Joseph Laferriere (talk) 02:04, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Admin needed for move[edit]

A new user has moved Dracaena braunii to Dracaena braunii (Lucky Bamboo) thereby violating several principles of article titling. I've explained on their talk page, but could some admin please move it back. Thanks. Peter coxhead (talk) 07:04, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

He's also deleted half the article. Lavateraguy (talk) 07:53, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I moved it back - I looked at what he's removed and some is (I think) right but (a) we're not a how-to manual and (b) some I think was possibly wrong, so I might leave it and have a hunt for sources before readding. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 08:23, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Dioscorea opposita[edit]

What should be done with Dioscorea opposita (see Talk:Dioscorea opposita#Nomenclature_is_all_mixed_up for some background)? I'm kind of confused by it, but what I think I understand follows. Nomenclaturally, D. opposita is an illegitimate and superfluous name for the south Asian (India) species Dioscorea oppositifolia (and thus a synonym of that species). However, the name Dioscorea opposita is widely used to refer to an east Asian (Japan, China, South Korea) species that is used as a vegetable and which is naturalized/invasive in the United States. The vegetable/invasive is apparently best treated as Dioscorea polystachya.

Most people searching for D. opposita are probably interested in the east Asian vegetable/invasive, not the Indian species. There would be less need to disambiguate incoming links to Dioscorea opposita if it redirects to D. polystachya. But that doesn't mesh with the nomenclature situation. Would it be better to redirect to D. polystachya or would it be better to make D. opposita into a disambiguation page, or is it best to redirect oppposita to oppositifolia as nomenclatural rules prescribe? Plantdrew (talk) 05:48, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

My view is that we're here to serve readers, not knowledgeable botanists/editors (although I don't always like the consequences of this view!). So I would redirect it to D. polystachya with a prominent explanation in the lead section that this plant is widely but incorrectly called D. opposita. (One reason for calling the R template "R from alternative scientific name" rather than e.g. "R from taxonomic synonym" is that there's no claim that the alternative name is a valid synonym.) Peter coxhead (talk) 06:40, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Similar things have happened many times before, someone discovering that a name has been applied to the wrong plant for years. There is even a standard, technical way of writing it: "Quercus nigra auct. non L." to mean a misapplication of L's name to some species other than the real Quercus nigra. You can put "D. opposita auct. non ..." as a synonym in the taxobox section of D. polystachya. As for the redirect question, you can treat this "auct. non" name the way you would treat a legitimately published synonym, forwarding it directly the the D. polystachya page. And be sure to say prominently in the first paragraph "D. polystachya often misidentified as D. opposita" or something to that effect. That would work.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 02:03, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
I'd say that that sounds like the perfect solution. USDA GRIN can be cited to say that D. opposita auct. is D. polystachya. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 16:17, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

I've tried to explain some of this by removing the taxobox from the Dioscorea opposita page, and adding taxonomy sections there, on Dioscorea polystachya, and Dioscorea oppositifolia. I don't know whether these species are interchangeable as food and medicine, in particular whether Dioscorea oppositifolia is known by the various common names that were listed there and whether it can be safely eaten raw. For now, I've removed that material from Dioscorea oppositifolia. If anyone has that knowledge, please re-add the statements. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 14:15, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

"English rose"[edit]

I've suggested a split of English rose (personal description) into a girl and a plant article. See talk:English rose (personal description). Is this plant concept significant? -- 65.94.169.222 (talk) 06:37, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Flora of the Sierra Nevada alpine zone[edit]

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Flora of the Sierra Nevada alpine zone. FloraWilde (talk) 02:27, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Botanist template flagged for deletion[edit]

You may wish to comment at Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2014 August 7#Template:Botanist where it is proposed that the {{Botanist}} template is deleted. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:39, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

I think that would be a disaster. Final say should remain with this group. --Michael Goodyear (talk) 22:45, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Request for closure: Category:Drosera by synonymy and others[edit]

Please could an uninvolved person from this project close the discussion at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2014 April 27#Category:Drosera by synonymy? If the closure is done by a non-admin and requires admin action to implement it, just ping me. – Fayenatic London 15:01, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

I don't think there's really been enough participation in this discussion by members of this project to reach a consensus. I've added my view; I'd like to see some views from others interested in the categorization of plant articles. Peter coxhead (talk) 19:24, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

please develop some botanical articles by me[edit]

i have put the photos of some bamboo species in their respective pages,Bambusa membranaceus, Bambusa multiplex var yellow,Bombus affinis, Bambusa oldhamii ,‎ Bambusa wamin ‎ ,Bambusa teris. ‎, Bambusa multiplex ‎ , ‎ Bambusa tulda please develop these pages. --Dvellakat (talk) 14:09, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

ok. Will do.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 09:30, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Dvellakat A few problems. The names Bambusa teris, Bambusa multiplex var yellow, and Bambusa wamin do not apply to names accepted by the World Checklist. Bombus affinis is a bumblebee.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 11:07, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
teris may be an error for teres. I see nothing in IPNI for which wamin is a plausible orthographical error. (There is a Bambusa affinis.) Lavateraguy (talk) 09:51, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Could the wording be improved?[edit]

A reader contacted the Wikimedia Foundation, noting that Leontopodium alpinum states it belongs to the sunflower family. while Leontopodium states it is in the daisy family,.

The implication being that one or the other is wrong.

I looked at Asteraceae, which suggest that the same family is known by both names.

I'm out of my depth, but would it make sense to have more harmonized wording. If one usage is more common, change one, or if both are quite common, refer to both?--S Philbrick(Talk) 15:29, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

This is a good example of the problems caused by using English names. Any of aster, daisy, composite or sunflower family is equally "right". A Google ngram suggests that since 2000 the use of "composite family" has dropped markedly, leaving "daisy family" and "sunflower family" about equally common. However, there's a marked ENGVAR difference: in British English, "daisy family" is much more common, whereas in American English, "sunflower family" is increasingly dominant. So it seems sensible to use both English names. I'll fix the two articles mentioned, but there must be many more. Peter coxhead (talk) 19:15, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
As an Australian, I think of daisy as the more natural term for the family, and think of a sunflower as a type of daisy (not vice versa)...just sayin' Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 21:39, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
"Aster family."Joseph Laferriere (talk) 09:31, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, if I were choosing freely, then this would be my choice too. (Although the genus Aster has been so changed lately that most of the plants I think of as asters aren't now in this genus!) However, Wikipedia policies require us to reflect usage not impose it. I think "Asteraceae, the daisy or sunflower family" is the best compromise. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:58, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Ok. Sounds good. Actually, the common term among botanists in the US is "DYC," short for "darned yellow composites." They are very difficult to tell apart sometimes. Me? I never saw anything wrong with "composites."Joseph Laferriere (talk) 10:12, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Epacris impressa[edit]

..is at FAC..Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Epacris impressa/archive1...and it's going pretty slowly. Would appreciate any input from folks....especially botanists..cheers, Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 06:05, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

10th anniversary of WikiProject Plants[edit]

Happy anniversary to all plant editors, past and present, and thanks for your improvement to plant articles and contributions to the many informative discussions here over 10 years.--Melburnian (talk) 13:55, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

AfC request for assistance from subject expert[edit]

Hello from AfC! Can someone please review the draft article located at Draft:Chloroplast migration, which is fairly technical, and check if it is original research or not, or if it makes sense? Thanks. Reventtalk 23:55, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

So how to we go about saying that is contains copyright violation from this web site? Sminthopsis84 (talk) 18:31, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Image request for Aristolochia watsonii[edit]

Image request for Aristolochia watsonii. FloraWilde (talk) 01:02, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Discrepency regarding Euphorbia and List of the largest genera of flowering plants[edit]

The Euphorbia Planetary Biodiversity Inventory project web page, last updated July 2012, says[2] -

"Euphorbia. With over 2000 accepted species, it is second in size only to the legume genus Astragalus among the flowering plants."

This is inconsistent with information in the List of the largest genera of flowering plants.

The Euphorbia PBI is "Supported by the Planetary Biodiversity Inventory (PBI) Program of the National Science Foundation", Smithsonian Institution, University of Michigan, and University of Florida, which is pretty good support as a reliable source. Can anyone resolve the inconsistency. Can anyone help resolve the inconsistency? FloraWilde (talk) 18:18, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

I am always unhappy with lists like those at List of the largest genera of flowering plants which combine information from sources of different ages, different reliability, and different standards and criteria. The only accurate statement would be something like "Based on the list of species in genus X accepted by SOURCE1 as of DATE1 and the list of species in genus Y accepted by SOURCE2 as of DATE2, X is a larger genus than Y." More than this is simply not meaningful. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:17, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Peter. I purposely avoid trying to estimate the number of species in any genus. Two reasons: various authors will frequently disagree on which ones to recognize and where to draw generic boundaries, and, second, for many genera, perhaps the majority of genera, there are probably more species happily turning leaves toward the sun, never having been seen by any human botanists. So instead of saying "This genus has 53 species," I say "This genus has approximately 50-60 known species." The "known" is a disclaimer.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 18:49, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Admin move request[edit]

Could an admin please move Lanariaceae to Lanaria in accordance with our policy on monotypic taxa? Thanks. Peter coxhead (talk) 21:35, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Done. But perhaps we should upmerge Category:Lanariaceae and Category:Lanariaceae genera per WP:SMALLCAT? Rkitko (talk) 23:41, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
@Rkitko: Thanks for the move. Yes, I agree about upmerging. I've moved the articles up in the category hierarchy and marked both Category:Lanariaceae and Category:Lanariaceae genera with {{Db-c1}}. Could you delete them? Peter coxhead (talk) 08:52, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Request for comments: categorizing monotypic redirects[edit]

Arising from the move above (Lanariaceae to Lanaria), there's an issue about categorizing articles and redirects involving monotypic taxa. The project's current advice is here but only covers the "R" templates. The issue that concerns me is the main taxonomic categories. There seem to be three choices:

  1. Categorize the single article on the monotypic taxon for each of the actual taxa covered in the article. Thus for Lanaria (only genus in family, only one species), the article would be categorized as the family article Lanariaceae, as the genus article Lanaria, and as the species article Lanaria lanata.
    The argument for is that it's the article that should be categorized.
    The argument against is that the category contents then look odd; e.g. a genus name will appear in a list otherwise of families.
  2. Categorize the single article on the monotypic taxon only for the taxon used in the title. Thus for Lanaria, the article would be categorized only as a genus article. Categorize the redirects from higher or lower taxa appropriate to their rank. Thus the redirect at Lanariaceae would be categorized as a family article, the redirect at Lanaria lanata as a species article.
    The argument for is that the category contents then contain taxa at the expected rank.
    The argument against is that normally it's articles that get categorized in "proper" categories; redirects are categorized by their type via the "R" templates. Also there wouldn't be related sourcing for some of the categorization – Lanaria lanata was first described by Linnaeus in 1753 (as Hyacinthus lanatus) so should be in the Category:Plants described in 1753. Normally this information is sourced in the categorized article, but would only be done indirectly for the redirect.
  3. Do both of (1) and (2), i.e. categorize the single article for each of the taxa covered in the article and categorize the redirects appropriate to their rank. This has the advantages and disadvantages of both (1) and (2).

I think we've discussed this before, but not added the conclusions to the project page (as often seems to happen). At present, we're somewhat inconsistent (at least I know I am).

Comments, please.

I plead guilty to being the person who created the Lanaria pages. I struggled with the decision of how to do this. Obviously, there needed to be three pages, with two of them redirected to the third. But which gets the actual info? I decided to put it on the familial page, with the generic and specific pages redirected. Apparently, I chose the wrong one. Mea culpa. As for categorization, sorry, but your explanation above is as clear as mud.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 10:04, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
It's an arbitrary choice, but the project decided to use genus page as the main one in such cases, so it's better to be consistent.
To give a specific example of the choices, one of the categories to be used somewhere is Category:Plants described in 1753 for the species Lanaria lanata. So where should this category be put? (1) On the article Lanaria? (2) On the redirect Lanaria lanata? (3) On both?
Does this example help? Peter coxhead (talk) 11:50, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

I did not realize that redirect pages could be put into categories.Joseph Laferriere (talk) 12:28, 2 September 2014 (UTC)