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WikiProject Plants

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Archives for WP:PLANTS (Archive index) edit

Rhubarb - question about naming[edit]

Hi, reading about rhubarb from various sources including wikipedia. Begining to suspect there is no standardisation in terms used between UK and US for common garden rubarb?

  • Rheum x hybridum -- I can see that the Royal Horticultural Society uses this term,[1] which they also state is a synonym for Rheum × cultorum[2]. The latter term cannot be found on wikipedia at all. This source [3](again, UK) states that R. cultorum is also termed Rheum undulatum, however according to the wikipeida article R. undulatum appears to be treated as a distinct species from garden rhubarb.
  • Rheum rhabarbarum -- this is the term used on the main wikipedia article for "garden rhubarb". Is this the preferred US term?

Confused about this, do Rheum x hybridum, Rhuem x cultorum and Rheum rhabarbarum all refer to the same thing, i.e. common garden rhubarb? Many thanks for help. Matthew Ferguson (talk) 11:19, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

Based on this source [4] Rheum rhaponticum, Rheum x hybridum, Rheum rhabarbarum, Rheum x cultorum are synonymous? Matthew Ferguson (talk) 13:12, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
POWO has the first three as accepted names, and doesn't mention the 4th at all. Looks like some digging is needed. It might be a lumper/splitter issue. (One paper has Rh. undulatum, a synomym of Rh. rhabarbarum, as the sister to Rh. rhaponticum.) Lavateraguy (talk) 16:55, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
May I ask if any of these sources holds authority as far as naming convention on wikipeida goes? Matthew Ferguson (talk) 17:00, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

───────────────────────── @Matthew Ferguson: as far as I can make out, the wild species is Rheum rhabarbarum, which will have priority as a name if there are synonyms for this species since it was named by Linnaeus. However, as often happened, Linnaeus gave names to cultivars as if they were genuine species, which has caused endless confusion (banana names are an excellent example). The Flora of China here seems to agree that Rheum rhabarbarum is a wild species, not cultivated in China, but cultivated in Europe (and by extension I guess North America). However, it seems to be agreed by both the RHS and the Missouri Botanical Garden (see [5]) that the cultivars used for their edible leaf stalks are derived from a hybrid, not a wild species, which they name Rheum × hybridum. (I wouldn't take much notice of POWO unless it's clear where its data came from. It seems to be just a "data dump" at present, with little or no curation, unlike, say, WCSP. POWO has never responded when I tried to point out quite obvious errors.) I haven't been able to find any molecular phylogenetic studies yet. I think that the article Rhubarb with its mention of both names is the best that we can do for now. Peter coxhead (talk) 19:30, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

Several sources say that hybridum is rhaponticum × palmatum. (I did find some molecular studies on Rheum, but they didn't shed any light.) Lavateraguy (talk) 22:21, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
Hi people, sorry, bit late to the party. I studied the entire genus many years ago, was attempting to grow the Himalayan species (no cigar). If I remember correctly, garden rhubarb is among the newest vegetables (along with witlof, rucola, sugar beet, some others), having been created by an Englishman around 1800, thus post Linnaeus, and Rheum × hybridum is the correct name. The wikipedia article is ambiguous regarding taxonomy; if I remember correctly, the ancients used a Chinese species (R. officiale), and it was only around the time of Catherine the Great that Russia usurped the trade with another species (R. rhaponticum). Leo (talk) 12:27, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Hi Leo, thanks for info. Where in that case does R. rhabarbarum fit in? Should the encyclopedia article state Rheum x hybridum as the binomial term alone if we are discussed "garden rhubarb"? Matthew Ferguson (talk) 18:51, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
It was a long time ago, and I can't remember my sources... R. rhabarbarum is confused; fide FNA R. × hybridum is a synonym of it (ditto R. × cultorum) however in the Species Plantarum Linnaeus applies this name to a Chinese/Siberian species, which might be what I earlier called R. officinale, so it appears the FNA is misapplying it. Linnaeus doesn't mention a species as a potherb/vegetable, only 3 wild plants from foreign areas. If the garden plant is a recent man-made allotetraploid hybrid then R. rhabarbarum cannot be correct as it is a nothospecies. A look online shows confusion. I also see the name R. × rhabarbarum being used in recent floras, and R. rhaponticum has been misapplied to garden rhubarb in the USA in the past. I'm afraid you'll have to dig deeper, there must be something on the history of the breeding of the plant out there; how a plant cultivated for its rhizomes ended up being grown for its stalks (possibly a similar story to that of witlof). Perhaps searching for earliest recipes might tell us something -was it always eaten as today? Regarding Linnaean names and the history of the original medicinal rhubarb, it might be worthwhile to look at the earlier sources that Linnaeus or de Jussieu cite. Cheers, Leo86.83.56.115 (talk) 22:37, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
Uh... "Should the encyclopedia article state Rheum x hybridum as the binomial term alone if we are discussed "garden rhubarb"?" I still think this is the correct name, but I may be wrong. Priority applies for whatever nothospecific name is correctly applied to the type, and I think R. × hybridum is oldest. (talk) 22:45, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
I can't help myself. Prospero Alpini was likely the first to identify R. rhaponticum (then called differently) as being the plant of which the rhizomes were imported in ancient times. In Dodoens Rhaponticum scariosum is confused with the roots of Rheum, known then as the rha of Pontus or Turkey. John Gerard (pg. 392) apparently considers a plant somewhat like an Arctium to be "Turky rubarb", and calls that of Dodoens "bastard rubarb", but he follows Alpini in calling what we know now as R. rhaponticum the true "Pontick rubarb". Parkinson first described growing this plant in England. Here's a book regarding initial culinary use. This report claims cultivation started in Germany around 1850, and started in the Low Countries around 1900, but considering what both sources say about John Gerard... I see nothing about eating the stalks in his Herball. According to the unsourced German wikipedia it was first grown as food in 1753 in Chelsea then Yorkshire, and in Germany it was first grown in 1848 around Hamburg. Also note the page 'Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb' in German. Nothing about the hybrid though. Leo (talk) 00:22, 27 October 2018 (UTC)

±::::Easy to believe that Yorkshire was involved in the early selective breeding /hybridization of "garden rhubarb", since there is the Rhubarb Triangle in that region.

These sources might be of use?
  • [6] "common garden rhubarb, Rheum x cultorum [...] is derived from Rheum palmatum, and from Rheum officinale". listed synonyms are "Rheum rhaponticum, Rheum x hybridum, Rheum rhubarbarum". Source also states that Rheum palmatum is not a synonym for Rheum rhaponticum.
  • [7] and the pages on Rheum x cultorum[8] which states "This species is probably of hybrid origin, R. rhaponticum x R. palmatum" which seems to contradict the above source.
Let me know what you think. Matthew Ferguson (talk) 14:42, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Hi Matthew. I don't think either source has much taxonomic weight. I believe the name R. rhaponticum refers to a 'good' species, the wild 2n=22 chromosome rhubarb from the steppes in eastern Europe, first grown in western Europe in the 1500s, but it has been misapplied for the 4n garden hybrid, especially in the USA, and as such is only a synonym where misapplied (i.e. syn. R. rhaponticum auct. non L.). R. rhubarbarum is a confused name, I am unclear exactly what Linnaeus is referring to in his description, but he doesn't appear to be talking about the hybrid, but a wild species from China (I'm afraid though that it may be a synonym pro parte). This name has also been misapplied to the hybrid (again, syn. R. rhubarbarum auct. non L.). R. palmatum and R. officinale are also good species, both wild species from eastern Asia, with R. officinale being the purported source for the medicinal roots imported by the Ancient Greeks (disputable), and R. palmatum var. tanguticum being a beautiful oversized ornamental plant in my collection.
That the exact species used in the hybrid is not clear in the sources is annoying -I can't find an easy answer; PROTA for example says it is an unknown hybrid with R. rhubarbarum (which does make sense as we known this Chinese species was in Europe in the 1750s fide Linnaeus). You'd expect a karyotypy study could shed light on this, but I can't find anything quickly. The correct name for the garden hybrid is clearly R. ×hybridum Murray, 1775 and not R. ×cultorum Thorsrud & Reisaeter 1948, which is a junior synonym. Logically, should it be a hybrid with R. rhaponticum, ergo this hybrid could only have been created when the eastern Asian species were brought to Europe, and plants from China only really started coming in in the 1700s, so the timing looks right. In Murray's original description of the hybrid in the Novi Commentarii Societatis Regiae Scientiarum Gottingensis [9], he claims, if I'm reading it right, that the hybrid was created in 1769 with the pollen parent being R. palmatum, which he states was amply cultivated in England at the time (see also the English-language agronomic sources he refers to from the 1760s (Hope, Dossie)). Cheers, Leo (talk) 17:34, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

Plant for ID[edit]

Can anyone identify this plant? Plant height is approx. 1 metre. Largest leaves are 10+ cm. Leaf stems tend towards purple color, along with some of the leaf veins. Main stems are square. Flowers are tiny, light purple/pink/white color. Sometimes grows in large clumps, as shown in first image. Leaves and flowers have distinctive medicinal herb aroma, not unpleasant. Location is northern part of Western Ghats, Maharashtra, India. Scattered throughout Lonavala and Khandala areas. Grows in fields and roadsides. Doesn't quite fit in with local tropical flora, so this is looking to me like an introduced species. But that is an uneducated guess.

Thanks, First Light (talk) 09:16, 29 September 2018 (UTC)

Perhaps a species of Nepeta. Plantdrew (talk) 17:16, 29 September 2018 (UTC)
Looks like Isodon. Leo (talk) 18:14, 29 September 2018 (UTC)
Compare, for example, Isodon lophanthoides, which seems to occur in the right area. Peter coxhead (talk) 19:49, 29 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks! Yes, I'm leaning towards that Isodon - also after finding another id request online from the same area for the same plant. It does look like Nepeta, having grown a fair number of them, but the fragrance is quite different from this. First Light (talk) 05:02, 30 September 2018 (UTC)

Search for taxa by standard author abbreviation?[edit]

Is there a database or website that will provide a list of taxa described by a specific author? I know I can search Wikipedia for the standard author abbreviation, but many articles neglect to list the taxonomers. --Nessie (talk) 15:00, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

I don't know how efficient it is but POWO seems to provide answers if you enter the name in the search box, e.g. gives 2701 results.   Jts1882 | talk  16:01, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Likewise, I have not tested IPNI searches lately, but in theory it will do that here: insignis 16:12, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks @Cygnis insignis and Jts1882:! They both look helpful and will work for what I need. But I don't know how I missed that search on IPNI.--Nessie (talk) 19:36, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
The search in IPNI is often used to reference a list of taxa named by a botanist in a biography article. For a small example, see ref. 7 at Joseph Edward Laferrière. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:23, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

One of your project's articles has been selected for improvement![edit]

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An Acacieae article has been merged into (grafted onto) Mimosoideae. It looks as if it could do with some integration of the two parts. Lavateraguy (talk) 00:44, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

ICYMI: WikiProject Hypericaceae is a thing[edit]

Maybe I missed the notice, but maybe others did too. WikiProject Hypericaceae is now live. Looks like the third child project of WP plants (after WikiProject Banksia and WikiProject Carnivorous plants). --Nessie (talk) 15:18, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

Question concerning extinction dagger placement[edit]

Please see Template talk:Speciesbox#Extinct dagger in binomial box for a discussion concerning the placement of † when {{Speciesbox}} is used for an extinct species. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:31, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

Festuca glauca - image question[edit]

This file is currently used in the taxobox at Festuca glauca, though the file description is F. cinerea. Is this a synonym? I can't seem to find confirmation that it is. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 19:22, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

It has been treated as a form of Festuca glauca, but Tela-Botanica treats Festuca cinerea as a distinct species, as does Euro+Med Plantbase and POWO after Grassbase. I think the conclusion has to be not a synonym. Lavateraguy (talk) 20:24, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
I thought all the cultivars in cultivation called F. glauca are actually F. arvernensis, which would mean that most of the pictures (and text) in that article are wrong. Leo86.83.56.115 (talk) 22:56, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I've replaced the image with one taken at Tehran Botanic Garden, so it should be correct (though it isn't a close-up). I wonder if the other image used in the article is also incorrect, as it doesn't look very 'blue'? PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 08:20, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
That picture certainly looks to be of a fescue, and if it is for sale at as Australian nursery it is probably F. arvernensis/F. glauca (whichever the identity of cultivated plants), it's probably not blue because it looks as if it was recently cut back to rejuvenate the clump and the growth seen in the picture is still very young. Without seedheads/flowers it's impossible to truly identify. Either way it is not a very representative picture. Leo (talk) 17:50, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

Requested move of Jeffrey pine to scientific name[edit]

I have proposed moving Jeffrey pine to Pinus jeffreyi, per WP:FLORA. If you'd like to join in the discussion, please see Talk:Jeffrey pine#Requested move 27 October 2018. —hike395 (talk) 03:39, 27 October 2018 (UTC)

A link to a DAB page[edit]

Pentaphylax links to the DAB page Shorta, and has done so since 2008 (this diff). I can't find any botanist by that name, and a Google search for 'Pentaphylax Dicotyledonae Crassinucelli' (in case the name was misspelled) turned up nothing of any use. Can any expert help in solving this puzzle? Narky Blert (talk) 13:27, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

It appears to be the Watson and Dallwitz classification: [10]. There's no botanist by the name "Shorta" in the IPNI; I would just remove this link.
I looked on google scholar and BHL to no avail. Looks like the edit was made by @Hardyplants: so hopefully they can point us in the right direction. --Nessie (talk) 15:52, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
I thought it might be a typo for "Short's", but all Google is associating with the term is the Watson and Dallwitz classification, cited to Young and Watson (1970). Lavateraguy (talk) 16:46, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
There is a botanist Charles Wilkins Short who has the genus Shortia named after him. I don't see how this this helps, though.   Jts1882 | talk  17:17, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

Oak stubs[edit]

Please see WP:WSS/P#Oak species, if you wish to comment on a proposal to split Category:Fagales stubs by creating a new stub type just for genus Quercus. Thanks. -GTBacchus(talk) 11:08, 9 November 2018 (UTC)


Category:Palms seems to be very confused.

  • There's no article at Palms, which is a redirect to a disambiguation page at Palm, but the main article for "Category:X" should be at "X" (or "Xs").
  • The plant sense of "palm" directs the reader to Arecaceae.
  • The introduction to the category previously said that it was "for both the members of the palm family Arecaceae and of the higher palm order Arecales". Ignoring the bad English, this wasn't true, because there's a separate category Category:Arecales, so I changed it.
  • Arecaceae and Arecales are currently both categorized into both Category:Palms and Category:Arecales, which doesn't make sense.

Unless anyone has strong objections, I propose to move Category:Palms to Category:Arecaceae and treat it as a normal plant family category. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:09, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

Featured quality source review RFC[edit]

Editors in this WikiProject may be interested in the featured quality source review RFC that has been ongoing. It would change the featured article candidate process (FAC) so that source reviews would need to occur prior to any other reviews for FAC. Your comments are appreciated. --IznoRepeat (talk) 21:35, 11 November 2018 (UTC)