Talk:Fertilisation of Orchids

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Featured article Fertilisation of Orchids is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on October 6, 2012.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
July 6, 2009 Good article nominee Listed
August 9, 2009 Featured article candidate Promoted
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on February 12, 2009.
Current status: Featured article

Capitalization of 'Bee Orchid'[edit]

I'm unfamiliar with the capitalization scheme of 'Bee Orchid', which is used throughout this article. The WP article on Bee Orchids also uses this scheme, but not in the infobox of that article. Britannica's article on the subject puts both words in lowercase. Is the capitalization used in this article simply a carry-over from the Bee Orchids article that went unscrutinized, or is there a convention here that I'm unaware of? The same situation seems to be played out in uses of 'Fly Orchid' and 'Green-winged Orchid'. Entering 'bee orchid' into Google Scholar shows that the term seems to be used in lowercase in academic resources (see Emw2012 (talk) 01:08, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

As a non-botanist I followed what seems to be Darwin's common usage and the WP articles, which may be about to change to the scientific names judging by WP:PLANTS#Plant article naming conventions, but the relevant guideline was a bit of a battleground recently. Looking through google books, there doesn't seem to be a fixed convention, and my home references use capitals, but they're fairly old. Browne and Desmond & Moore use lower case, so on balance probably best to follow them. Any other more expert views? . . dave souza, talk 21:18, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
The vast majority of academic articles shown in the external link from my previous post use 'bee orchid' instead of 'Bee Orchid'. With regard to Darwin's usage of the term, I think the linked articles show that it's been mostly deprecated. Emw2012 (talk) 04:30, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Section headings, organization[edit]

Couldn't the section heading "Fertilisation of Orchids, as presented" be more succinctly conveyed as "Content"? Such a change would add some consistency between this article and the one on Origin of Species. Another possible improvement would be putting the current sections "Interest in insect fertilisation of flowers" and "Research and draft" under a larger "Background" section, and bumping current subsections one level lower. Emw2012 (talk) 04:58, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, looking at it again a simpler structure works better, and I've acted accordingly, with the modification of simply changing "Interest in insect fertilisation of flowers" to "Background", and bumping "Research and draft" down one level to come under the "Background" heading. See what you think. . . dave souza, talk 09:40, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
The new organization is a definite improvement. Emw2012 (talk) 16:21, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Illustrations from the work[edit]

Is there a frontispiece -- or any other illustration from the work -- available? Emw2012 (talk) 05:01, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

I've had a look and there still seems to be nothing in the Commons, though the book illustrations are close to the figure from the Linnean paper that we've used. There's this image from the same paper, but it didn't seem to me to add much. The Darwin Online site has rather awkward copyright claims on images,[1] which seem to be valid under UK law though not in other countries. If someone could scan a copy of the book, or find unencumbered images, that would be ideal. The site the Linnean papers came from doesn't seem to have scanned this particular book, unfortunately. For info, the Darwin Online copy of the book has the title page here, and the "List of Woodcuts with links to the images used in the book. . . dave souza, talk 19:06, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
I found a copy of a 1877 edition at a local university library, and just added a scanned image of the title page, which was somewhat deteriorated. The publisher of this edition was "D. APPLETON AND COMPANY"; I'm not sure if that publisher deserves note in the article. Emw2012 (talk) 04:52, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, that's excellent. It's a shame not to have File:Haeckel Orchidae.jpg|thumb|Illustration showing orchids, by Ernst Haeckel, but the page is a bit crowded so that'll have to stay out for now. Appleton was the U.S. publisher of Darwin's works from the Origin on, and I'll add information about the publication history. Would it be possible for you to scan Fig. 1 from page 8 and Fig 2 from page 12? Those two would be particularly useful. It would be nice to also get Fig 4 from page 31, and if possible figures 28 and 29 from pages 182 and 183 respectively. That would be terrific. Thanks again for all your help with this, dave souza, talk 07:16, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Sure, I'll try to get those images uploaded by the end of Friday. If in the meantime you think of any more images that would be useful, drop a message at my user talk page. I've also got access to the 1883 Appleton edition of The Effects of Cross and Self Fertilisation in the Vegetable Kingdom, which is in significantly better condition than the copy of Fertilisation. Let me know if you'd like any particular figures from that work as well. Emw2012 (talk) 10:06, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
All set:
I went ahead and scanned all of the other figures from Fertilisation as well, and will upload those some time next week. Cheers, Emw2012 (talk) 22:06, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

<ri>Many thanks, these are terrific. Will now review how to use them in the article, suggest setting up a commons category Fertilisation of Orchids and that way we can have a commonscat link on the page: the categories don't seem to be working for me right now and it's late a night, so will check that out tomorow. Thank again, dave souza, talk 23:02, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

They are beautiful and the article(s) will benefit. This one will. A picture is worth ...(etc.) —Mattisse (Talk) 23:20, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Am progressing a little bit of adaptation for illustration purposes, will add pics soon. Have also combined the categories into a new commons category "Fertilisation of Orchids", and if any new images can be given that sme category it'll keep them conveniently together. My feeling is that it will also be worthwhile having a gallery as a new section of :Illustrations" showing the original scans unmodified, or at least a selection of them. See how it looks. . . dave souza, talk 18:27, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
I just uploaded a batch of images -- see Category: Fertilisation of Orchids over at Commons. Sorry for the delay. I had a problem with the USB flash drive that was storing the images, but by my count 20 of the 38 figures from Fertilisation are up. I'll be re-scanning the missing images (figures 3, 5-17, and 34-37) soon, and will post here once they're uploaded. Emw2012 (talk) 01:13, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, these are great scans. There's a difficulty in providing alternative text for a gallery, so at FAC (link below) I've accepted a button to the category: may rethink a way of using one image as a sample to highlight what's available. . dave souza, talk 12:04, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Fertilisation of Orchids[edit]

Discussion in progress at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Fertilisation of Orchids/archive1, sorry if the header caused confusion earler. Any comments much appreciated. . dave souza, talk 12:04, 16 July 2009 (UTC)


I am a little bothered by the headings under "Reception". For example, why is "Natural theology" not part of "Influence"? Also, I temporarily created a new sub section "Aftermath" for biographical information that does not logically fall under "Influence" (or even "Reception" for that matter - probably needs its own section). What do you think? Regards, —Mattisse (Talk) 20:38, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

My feeling was that combining the two sections was pretty long, and it was worthwhile separating out the natural theology issues from the scientific influence going on into the 20th century. The "Aftermath" section works well, it's really about Darwin's life so not sure of the title, but can't think of anything better right now. So, overall I like the changes. Have found another source, The coevolutionary process By John N. Thompson pp. 23–29, which could usefully add to the discussion of both the theological and scientific aftermath as well as giving a good secondary view on the publication of related ideas in On the Origin of Species. May tackle that tomorrow, but reluctant to make excessive changes. . . dave souza, talk 21:35, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
I tried to address some of the concerns voiced in the FAC review by rewording a few things. —Mattisse (Talk) 11:06, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. me too. Am wondering if "Influence on Darwin" would work better than "Aftermath", and would welcome other opinions on whether the article name should be "On the Fertilisation of Orchids" as discussed there. . . dave souza, talk 11:34, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
"Aftermath" doesn't really fit. I chewed over "Later life", "Life after" or some such. By the way, that book you link above uses the phrase "reciprocal evolution" to describe Darwin's view, an interesting phrase. —Mattisse (Talk) 17:06, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
Still no inspiration, was almost thinking that "Darwin's greenhouse" would work. The general subject seems to be coevolution, the articles on Reciprocity (evolution) and Reciprocal altruism don't seem to really fit. . . dave souza, talk 18:23, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
"Darwin's greenhouse" might work. It at least would be direct. I was interested in "reciprocal evolution" because I reworded some of the article having to to with "cause". I think I changed "caused" to "resulted" but I like reciprocal evolution better. —Mattisse (Talk) 18:36, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
OK, have tried out "Darwin's greenhouse" and made "Influence" into a new main section, following after the "Natural theology" section which is about the reception from proponents of that view, in my reading. Bit tired, feel free to revert if it doesn't look like an improvement. . . dave souza, talk 18:53, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Image issues[edit]

There is currently a licensing issue with File:Fertilisation of Orchids figure 29c.jpg which incorporates a commons source image, File:Catasetum-saccatum.jpg, which is authorised for use, per Template:LarsenCopyright, but a request to Cookie to forward the emails on Commons:Authorization to use material from to OTRS (commons:Commons:OTRS) has not yet been answered. I have therefore changed the illustration in the article to File:Fertilisation of Orchids figure 29d.jpg which composites two public domain images. If the LarsenCopyright authorisation is fully approved at a future date, the other image could be restored. The replacement image is duller, there is a nice photograph available of Orchis pyramidalis, but not much space to put the image next to the relevant text, so have left that out for now: can review options if desired. . . dave souza, talk 20:22, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Punctuation issues[edit]

Moved here from archived Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Fertilisation of Orchids/archive1, the edit summary of the last edit asked "can someone ask Tony is this should be modified even if it's in original source ?"

Can the punctuation on this sentence be improved?

  • He explained the mechanism by which it fired its sticky pollen mass at an insect that touched an "antenna" on the flower, referring to experiments imitating its action using a whalebone spring.

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:35, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Comma followed by a dash: is that the punctuation in the cited source?

  • flower is due to a long course of slow modification,—each modification having been
  • In my examination of Orchids, hardly any fact has so much struck me as the endless diversity of structure,—the prodigality of resources,—for gaining the

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:36, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Have tried to improve the explanation about the mechanism for firing the pollen mass at insects, will aim to review this. The punctuation of a comma followed by a dash is in the original book as cited. The first instance[2] has as a secondary source Thompson p. 25.[3] He actually uses ellipsis to miss a bit out of the sentence including the dash in question, but later on the same page cites a quotation from the second edition which includes a comma followed by a dash. The second instance is cited to The Guardian, who omit the dashes and simply follow the comma by a space.[4] I've added a citation to the original book,[5] confirming that we are following the original punctuation. We could always follow the lead given by the Guardian, will ask Tony to comment. . . dave souza, talk 14:45, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
I do not think you should change Darwin's punctuation. There is not a good reason to do so and it would alter the meaningfulness of the quote, I think. —mattisse (Talk) 16:15, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, taking into account Tony's response we'll leave it unchanged. If the issue does come up again, this discussion gives useful links. dave souza, talk 16:27, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Explanation of the mechanism – suggestion[edit]

Having learnt a bit more about how the mechanism of orchids works, I've tried reconsidering the description in the British orchids section, and having updated my sandbox made these changes to give more detail, and show more info on the illustration with this outcome. Is that worth implementing on the article, or does it lose the simple English advantages of explaining the process to laymen? . . dave souza, talk 12:51, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

World Heritage Site[edit]

The nomination was rejected.[6][7] --Ghirla-трёп- 05:22, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Awww :-/ Have updated accordingly, dave souza, talk 07:56, 3 August 2010 (UTC)


Review relevance of The weird sex life of orchids | feature | Science | The Observer . . . dave souza, talk 22:16, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Darwin Correspondence Project » Orchids. . dave souza, talk 07:11, 13 March 2013 (UTC)