From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Plants (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Plants, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of plants and botany on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Food and drink (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Food and drink, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of food and drink related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
Checklist icon
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Agriculture (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Agriculture, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of agriculture on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

Blanking sections[edit]

How about instead of blanking entire sections like has been done in the past few days people look for other sources? In fact many of the explanations for the removals aren't even accurate if one were to read closely what was in the section removed. Not saying that what was there was good, but in the case of cultural significance the source had its own sources so not OR and the appropriate thing to do is find additional sources, not remove what is there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Falconjh (talkcontribs) 15:18, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

Disagree: the original sources offered under Cultural significance are religious fables impossible to meet WP:V. The Cornell author's publication is loosely associated with verifiable sources, so is best defined as WP:OR. Reliable sources are unlikely to exist. It is not our role at Wikipedia to perpetuate myths. --Zefr (talk) 17:52, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
Finding other sources for brambles (Blackberries) for Christ's crown of thrones is fairly easy to do; for the fairy tale 'Strawberries in Winter' as well; You aren't even clear as to what in particular you are disagreeing with or why you think those myths are not culturally significant within the cultures that they exist. Obviously it is impossible to verify whether Christ's crown of thorns was real let alone had brambles, but that there is a cultural tradition which holds that it does exist and was made of brambles and even additionally that the juices of the berries are the way they are due to the blood of Christ is something that can be verified. Falconjh (talk) 18:40, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
Also, based on both OR and V you are wrong; Cornell is a reputable university, the author is a reputable author, the paper is published making already not OR and V from that sense and what is cited to not be OR from the perspective of Wikipedia; that you disagree with religion, or that religion, has no bearing on whether or not it is of cultural significance to those who are of the culture that holds those beliefs. Falconjh (talk) 19:00, 16 August 2015 (UTC)


The section below was removed from the article per WP:BRD and placed here for evaluation with the following comments and alternate revision:

According to Mediterranean folklore Christ's Crown of Thorns was made of brambles[clarification needed] and the color of the berries is from the blood of Christ; a different legend holds that Lucifer entered the bush when he fell from heaven. When Bellerophon tried to ride Pegasus he fell into a thorn bush so that blackberries are also associated with arrogance.[1] Elderberries are associated with bad omens.[1] Raspberries are associated with fragility and kindness, as well as with ensuring good pregnancy and childbirth.[1] Strawberries are associated with righteousness, the trinity, perfection, sweetness, and modesty.[1] The Slovakian version of Cinderella is called 'Strawberries in Winter'.[1] Comments

  1. it is difficult to see how such fables linked to berries without sufficient WP:V or WP:SECONDARY can warrant emphasis under "cultural significance"; further, what culture among thousands is to be emphasized in this section?
  2. it is illogical to propose a) a crown of thorns from berry brambles supposedly obtained from the eastern Mediterranean region. What berry species would this be? The Alexander article illogically proposes the thorns are from blackberry vines. Rubus berries are a northern maritime species, so can be readily eliminated from consideration based on geographic habitat and climate; b) proposing berry colors as originating from blood is conspicuous as narrow selective reasoning to make a dubious religious point
  3. although the Alexander (Cornell) reference comes from a respected university and faculty member (in Horticulture, not Mythology), it contains no in-line citations and reads like a "soft" summary devoid of editorial rigor and published in a berry consumer newsletter. It is clearly WP:OR and does not satisfy WP:V, yet might be used as a general reference on mythology (since there are unlikely to be good alternate sources), as suggested below

Alternate revision subtitled "Mythology":

Numerous common berries, such as blackberries, elderberries, cranberries and strawberries, are associated with mythological, ethnic and religious beliefs.[1]

--Zefr (talk) 17:30, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

Myths and legends associated with plants are a legitimate topic for an article; this in no way supports the truth or otherwise of the myth or legend. Equally the use of a plant or plant part as a symbol is a legitimate topic. As this is the English Wikipedia, cultural meanings for English-speakers are generally of most importance, although not to the exclusion of others.
However, proper referencing is essential. As an example of how it should be done, see Christmas_decoration#Tree. Sadly, as examples of how it should not be done, you can look at many articles (e.g. Christmas_decoration#Plants, Holly#Culture). A useful and reliable source is Mabberley, D.J. (2008), Mabberley's plant-book : a portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521820714  Peter coxhead (talk) 17:54, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
Ok so for the 'Strawberries in Winter' just a quick search has turned up that it is almost certainly accurate based on it being very similar to "The Three Little Men in the Woods" by Bros. Grimm, The Russian Version being Strawberries in Snow or The Twelve Months see and; Regarding Christ's Crown of thorns being made of brambles that is likewise accurate and there are available other sources for it; It comes via interpreting Judges 9 where the Bramble is made king over the trees instead of the Olive tree see and and; Brambles (Rubus) do grown in the Mediterranean climates with blackberries being a common name for a wide variety of bramble berries; The Middle East being on roughly the same latitude as Virginia, north of Texas and California being major producers of Blackberries. Falconjh (talk) 19:00, 17 August 2015 (UTC) - Raspberries also grow in Utah and Colorado in the wild, news article but also pointed out in the university extension office pages. Wondering about your justification of the climate of where brambles do and do not grow. Falconjh (talk) 19:48, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
@Falconjh: sorry, but you need to read some of these sources more carefully. Re the crown of thorns being brambles, none of the sources you give reliably support this. This refers to Paliurus spina-christi; brambles are only mentioned in relation to St Aquinas. The commentary here betrays its inaccuracy when it has "Some variety of the cactus or prickly pear may be meant" – cacti, including prickly pears (Opuntia), are New World plants unknown in the Old World until after Columbus. Re Judges 9: determining the species meant by Hebrew names for plants is known to be exceedingly problematic. Early English translations used names that have often not been supported by later research. Mandrake#In the Bible is an example of the problems that exist; I worked on the more botanical articles on Mandragora species and couldn't find a shred of evidence in reliable sources that dûdã'im, literally "love plant", was a Mandragora species. It's just speculation by translators, whether into Greek or English. So all that really should be said at Mandrake is that there is a tradition that dûdã'im is a mandrake, and nothing else. All the rest belongs at a page on Dûdã'im. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:12, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
There is a species of bramble that grows in Palestine. Rubus ulmifolius subsp. sanctus. The WP article sheds little light, but it may be worth following up. see also [1]. Plantsurfer 20:17, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
Biblehub gives many different commentators, so saying that "its inaccuracy" is relatively meaningless in total; the Pulpit Commentaries inaccuracy is betrayed by including new world plants in the old world; which says nothing about "Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible" or any of the additional commentaries given here:; If on the berry Wikipedia page we were to prove that Christ existed and had a crown of thrones made of brambles that would certainly be OR; the point can't be to say that it was actually brambles vs. Paliurus spina-Christi if there is anything "actually" to be said in the first place at all, but to say that some people believe it to be the case, identify who those people are as a culture as much as possible, and if we can source anything definitive about the accuracy of the translation of Judges 9 that provides support to that cultural/religious tradition as it relates to rubus then do so. Though anything much than the high level that was there should probably be on some other page different from the general berry one. Falconjh (talk) 20:34, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
Sure, if reliable sources both establish the existence of a belief about berries and the notability of that belief (all sorts of things are believed by some people but notability is another matter) it can be included under the Culture section. I can only say that I haven't been convinced by any of the material so far. Peter coxhead (talk) 21:00, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
I am still rather confused about the non-notability of Cornell University and am highly tempted at this point to blank out everything in the article which comes directly from Cornell or indirectly from Cornell; which if one follows the sources in Agricultural methods is most everything there regardless of it being directly from Cornell or not; because apparently Cornell is not a reliable source, I should not be required to source check a publication by Cornell University to begin with. That said I notice you aren't arguing anything about the fairy tale any more (whatever we want to call it); That seems notable enough. In terms of Brambles and Christ's crown of thorns going to books might be the way to go, that will require more time than web searches: Though other websites do mention that tradition, as already pointed out . Falconjh (talk) 21:29, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
@Falconjh: I didn't comment on the Cornell source, so I apologize if it seemed that this omission meant that I supported Zefr's comments. Zefr wrote The Cornell author's publication is loosely associated with verifiable sources, so is best defined as WP:OR. This is clearly wrong; WP:OR is what editors shouldn't do, not what sources shouldn't do. It could certainly be used as a supporting source, although with caution because it's not a published book or a journal article, and seems to have a rather informal style. The notability of the material to the Berry article is what concerns me more. It starts ok: "Berries often are used to symbolize many different things in literature, art, mythology, and everyday life. It has been thought that the red color of many berries symbolizes life or the blood of mythical creatures." But after that it seems to be just a random collection of bits of information about individual kinds of berry and berry-bearing plants, rather a coherent account of the meaning of berries in culture, mythology and folklore. Peter coxhead (talk) 12:33, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Book Source: Falconjh (talk) 13:51, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Well, I would certainly add to the Blackberry article based on this, but is it really relevant to Berry? I would have thought that something more generic was more appropriate – material that applied to more than one berry, if not generically. There are good sources, for example, for the belief that holly berries symbolically represent Christ's blood, but this is surely only relevant to Holly, not to Berry. Maybe there isn't anything really generic, and a collection of well-sourced bits is all that can be provided, but each one is then open to the challenge "is it notable to Berry based on reliable sources?" Peter coxhead (talk) 14:58, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
In terms of Finland, there is this college research paper/translation project that is well sourced and covers berries in general:; It seems that we might be able to say something like that: "In many myths and religious tales berries represent blood" and give some specific examples so that entire sentence has multiple sources. Same with saying berries are often symbolic of beauty and youth. Falconjh (talk) 15:43, 18 August 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b c d e f Alexander, Courtney. "Berries As Symbols and in Folklore" (PDF). Cornell Fruit. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 

Removing content[edit]

This isn't completely related to the mythology section, but a similar section was deleted at about differences between the botanical definition and the colloquial one. I agree that is was slightly too long, but at the same time I think we should have instead just summarized it. (It's on my to do list, but haven't gotten to it yet..)-- CFCF 🍌 (email) 16:02, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

It was both too long and far too technically worded. So I did do exactly what you suggest, namely summarized it in less technical language at Berry#Botanical definition in a long series of edits after the one you linked above. It needs some references added based on those at Berry (botany). Peter coxhead (talk) 19:55, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Oh, and I added the multiple image and the footer to help non-botanists. Peter coxhead (talk) 19:57, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

FAO statistics[edit]

There's no explanation in the article of how the FAO statistics were derived, and there should be. Is the table in the article actually in the FAO data set, or was it calculated by combining data on the seven categories defined here? Great care is needed in doing our own calculations, and we need explain clearly how they were done, if that is indeed the case.

Also note that "blackberry" is glossed as Morus nigra (i.e. mulberry) in the FAO definitions, so there appear to be no statistics on blackberries = Rubus fruits, contrary to the article, unless this is a mistake in the FAO web page. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:49, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

Mainland China is missing from the table, but according to the FAO statistics, it produced 2,760,864 tonnes of strawberries alone in 2012, more than is given for all "berries" in the US. I conclude that the table is seriously flawed, and have removed it until this can be sorted. Peter coxhead (talk) 14:27, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
Removal seem to be the right call. Falconjh (talk) 16:07, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

Edit notice?[edit]

There seems to be quite regular edits from users/IPs thinking this is the berry (botany) article. Should we put in an wp:edit notice to reiterate that the context is "everyday language", not botany? E.g.

- Evad37 [talk] 05:05, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

Probably a good idea, although it is covered in the second paragraph :-/ Qzd (talk) 06:15, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
I've added a page notice, which may or may not help. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:46, 22 December 2015 (UTC)