Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Plants/Archive21

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Archives for WP:PLANTS (Archive index) edit


Many plant articles are not assigned to the least inclusive taxonomic (Wikipedia) category. For example some articles on Rhus and Toxicodendron are in category Sapindales, rather than category Anacardiaceae. I've fixed a few (e.g. in Liliales and Malvales), but it seems to me that a bot could be set loose on this - the taxonomic ranks can be taken from the taxobox, and compared to the assigned category, and the categories that exist. Lavateraguy (talk) 19:49, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

This might be just plain dumb, but can the category be added via the taxoboxen? Then the bot would only be removing the non-taxobox category. -- carol (talk) 03:18, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
That would be a pretty complicated algorithm to decide which taxon is used to generate the category. Consider first of all that plants aren't the only taxa using the Taxobox. Further, the category isn't always the final taxon; a page on a taxon above the level of genus but below the rank of family would cause problems. Also, the category won't always match the taxon name; for example, there are cases of identical names used for both plant and animal taxa, and there are cases where a common name is used for a category. It's a good idea in principle, but it would be very complicated to carry out. --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:44, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
They use 'if' which could cause it only to work on everything in the plant kingdom or even lower in the taxo chain. It would quickly make all articles beneath whatever starting point be uniformly categorized. Perhaps start with a genus to see if it works -- many of the Senecio species have been put into Asteraceae and I am quite certain they don't belong there; I was going to move them as I worked on them. -- carol (talk) 04:34, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, not really. There are still a lot of articles for which this information is not correct. I'm still cleaning up incorrect ordinal classification in the monocots. Much of this was the result of PolBot adding pages that used a different classification system. Until the taxoboxes are all cleaned up, a bot might just make things worse. --EncycloPetey (talk) 20:15, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
There is a half-way house - a bot which reports articles with apparently the incorrect categories, leaving it to a human to decide what to do. Lavateraguy (talk) 20:38, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm... something like that could work, but I think it would be most useful if it did a single order or family at a time, or at least generated a list so divided, rather than doing the whole of the plant kingdom alphabetically. --EncycloPetey (talk) 22:28, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
There's even quite a few situations that I've come upon where we have both classifications (e.g. Category:Tiliaceae and Category:Tilioideae; yeah, I know, I created both of them. One was a Polbot quickfix and the other I came upon independently and haven't known what to do with either. Help sorting out which taxonomy should be kept would be appreciated.) or where Polbot created really small genus categories and placed them in family categories that don't exist. By the way, I dug through Polbot's contributions and all of the plant categories it created are listed at User:BotanyBot/sandbox2#Polbot categories if you want to sift through them. Let me know if you think BotanyBot can help in any way, since I already have bot approval to monkey around with plant categories. Cheers, Rkitko (talk) 23:22, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Glancing at that, it looks to me as if Ipomaea chrysocalyx and Category:Ipomaea are orthographic errors (for Ipomoea. Lavateraguy (talk) 23:42, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Agreed on that. Polbot (or, its source info, the IUCN database) had a few errors like that. I'll make the necessary changes. Thanks for spotting that! Rkitko (talk) 23:57, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
A reporting bot could go through the files and work out what categories should exist, according to some rule set, such as all orders have categories and families and genera with more than, say, 20 pages have categories, and what category pages should be in compared to what pages they are in; it could also identify taxa for which the taxoboxes are inconsistent (e.g. species in family taxobox differs from that in genus taxobox). Such a report would hopefully help with taxobox cleanup.
One problem with taxomically based categories is that it requires original research to produce a classification on which to base categories - we could (and mostly have) based orders and families on APG II/APG III/Stevens (but even that has objectors - see Berton), but competing classifications exist (e.g. the new Heywood et al), and there's no clear source for genera.
BTW, a while back I went and moved all the Ilex pages in Category:Ilex, as they were half and half between there and, IIRC, Category:Aquifoliales. Salvia, for example, is another genus in a similar situation. Lavateraguy (talk) 19:27, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Category:Asteraceae seems to be an even bigger mess. A significant number of articles one genera and species are categorized there, with no category for genera. For a small family, that might work, but Asteraceae is not a small family! Even those genera that have categories are not consistently categorized; the genus article itself may not even be in the category. I've done a little cleanup, and have started several tribe categories to help with organization. Lavateraguy has noted that there are often competing classifications, and Asteraceae is replete with those, but at least having some start will help. It's easy to move a generic category between tribe categories, if that becomes necessary. --EncycloPetey (talk) 02:10, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Organizing related categories into logical hierarchy[edit]

Please take a look at Category talk:Gardens for a discussion on organizing categories related to this subject. Looking for comments on a proposed category scheme. Thanks! FieldMarine (talk) 19:05, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Categories: Higher taxa[edit]

I agree on the problem of categorizing the higher taxa above genus. The scientific solution would be to create the categories each with a sensu. That is a family could be in "Category:Malvales sec. APGII" and in "Category:Malvales sec. Heywood et. al. 2007" (see User:Berton/Malvales. In fact, I believe that ultimately the article "Malvales" will end up as a non-classification article, combining an overview with a disambiguation to different classification systems. Vigilius (talk) 08:14, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

That's not what categories are for. They are for organizing the articles, not for carrying content. --EncycloPetey (talk) 17:25, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Categories: Genera[edit]

Here we could make it much more automatic. It seems unfortunate, that the taxoboxes create links into the general link space, where the list of all articles referring to a genus contains the species as well as student societies etc., and that the categories, which could be more robust in list all species, end up at the bottom of the page. Any way around that?

Can this be integrated into the taxaboxes? Also I note that in the taxoboxes the list of lower taxa is manually created. Any way to automatically displaying a list of lower categories (e.g. species in a genus) by using the category mechanism? I am too new to WP to know that, I haven't seen it. I imagine something like a special version of the list displayed on category pages. Vigilius (talk) 08:14, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

No, the categories are a separate structure. The taxobox is lists content, and happens to serve as a navigational aid as well. The categories are a separate structure that is common to all articles on Wikipedia. The categories do not necessarily reflect the classification, so we don't have Categories for Gingoopsida, Ginkgoales, Ginkgaceae, etc. because most of those categories wouldn't contain much. We also have the problem that there are some names used for both plant and animal taxa, so automatic categorization isn't feasible. --EncycloPetey (talk) 17:23, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Amaranthus brownii[edit]

I would welcome some fresh eyes on this page as I continue to expand it. Thanks, and feel free to contribute. —Viriditas | Talk 08:45, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

The page mentions 3 and 12 endemic species. I guess that this is 3 species endemic to Nihoa, and 12 species native to Nihoa endemic to Hawaii, but it'd be nice to be clear on this point. Lavateraguy (talk) 10:10, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Correct. Can you make the changes? —Viriditas | Talk 10:40, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Plant article stubs[edit]

Is there a need for a stub that clearly states that the article was written by an illiterate pleb please expand?

Also, I can see a future where the need for a stub claiming that "parts of this article were translated from latin by (once again) illiterate pleb, please expand.

What would be a good image for stubs like these? -- carol (talk) 23:21, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Now there's a stub category that would quickly become overpopulated. :-) But seriously, I think this is sufficiently covered by Wikipedia:General disclaimers, which is linked to from the very bottom of every page served: "Please be advised that nothing found here has necessarily been reviewed by people with the expertise required to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information." Hesperian 23:45, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Although I'm sure most editors have had these thoughts from time to time, it's really not going to work to create a template that directly disparages the personal abilities of other editors. Instead of creating still more templates, why not spend the time adding actual content instead? Some of my old articles have been decorated and redecorated and re-redecorated with templates dozens of time, but no one has actually added any new facts... Stan (talk) 04:11, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
I have been attempting to translate some latin (month three in thonline school of botany?). So far, it is incredibly interesting how either I lost interest in the leaf description at the same point that others lost interest -- or at the point where the description actually is incoherent and contradictory. Does anyone know when we (humans) stopped tasting things to learn about them? It is really easy to make these long since dead authorities look like pillars of their society; I just can't help thinking that the person who wrote this one (which I think describes the hairs on the leaves and then says that the leaves are bald) got a little drunk or filled up with poppy seeds or whatever while writing this. I am trying to figure out the difference between doing this online and via the free encyclopedia vs doing this for a class at a university. I am using free dictionaries and scans of a rare book. At a university, I would have bought a reproduction of the book and would be using whatever pet textbook the instructor or department advocated and perhaps a dictionary dedicated to the language and its translation. The reliability quality of these sources is kind of equal (but different) and the main thing missing is a known local authority on the subject and a due date. Oh, and the testing afterwords! I got so I liked college except for the homework and the tests. All that being said, I really wouldn't mind something that says first time translating latin (at least, I think it is latin) in the case that someone who knows what they are doing might look it over and people reading it would at least be warned. And I understand that it is the nature of wikipedia to be written by amateurs, but look at what happened today, earlier here! The stub could be something like this article was not written by a poser (from wordnet: a person who habitually pretends to be something he is not). As soon as a poser edits it, the stub can be removed.... -- carol (talk) 08:03, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
I hope you have a copy of Stearn by your side. I'm sure there is something in what you say about the quality of botanical Latin in some of these old texts. The revered Robert Brown was notoriously awful at it. If it is possible to murder a language that is already dead, he did so in his Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae. Hesperian 11:37, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Heh. While it seems appropriate to start and end my response with a simple respectful heh, I must say that I appreciate a pointer to a poorly written document as much as to a good one -- thank you very much! I think that all I need now is the source to a pig latin translator and this stuff could be fun, easy and somewhat automated.... -- carol (talk) 22:16, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
There is actually a botanical Latin translator floating around. It is not very good, but helped me a little bit when I was trying to nail down an old circumscription.[1] I don't think it does Pig Latin but. Hesperian 01:05, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh I get it now - you want to warn people about the limitations of your own efforts. I usually just add a note to the talk page, where I can explain the situation better. I have a bit of misgiving about attempting to translate old descriptions from Latin though - are there really no modern sources? Even if the translation is well-done, I'd worry about perpetuating assertions that were later found to be mistaken ("always hairy" changed to "usually hairy" after a disjunct population of variants found recently, for instance). Stan (talk) 20:11, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
I am attempting to expand a stub that was autogenerated using information from the ICUN -- an organization which already challenges my faith by demanding it. The fact that one of their mysterious Ecuadorian species has a page in one of the books in Botanicus is... well, I don't know what it is more than two online sources which meet the criteria of a source here at wikipedia and I do not have the ability to dispute and not much more than that. And what is with them and their lists? Some are online, some are in books that are online. In the eighties, they were selling star (the celestial gaseous masses) names the same way they sold pet rocks in the seventies, except at least the pet rocks were more honest in that it was obvious that it was kind of funny. In the late nineties, they were trying to sell font registration the same way. I was going to put the OCR text that I attempted to translate in comments on the page -- the stuff that I think I translated and the stuff that I couldn't make sense of. A mention on the talk page is probably good as well. The interesting thing about my tranlation so far is that for the life of me, I have described almost perfectly the sow thistle that are growing abundantly nearby. If I don't find that there is a disc involved in the flower head, I will not save the text -- sow thistle is not in the same genus and the family is way too large.... -- carol (talk) 22:28, 4 April 2008 (UTC)


I notice zooxanthella (a Chromalveolate) was under the plants banner. Surely this project is limited to actual plants, not just any phototrophic organism? Of course, I realize we have very few WikiProjects in this area (in fact, for these taxa the nearest taxonomic WikiProject is the Tree of Life itself), but this doesn't make them plants. Richard001 (talk) 22:45, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

I could attempt a long essay on why we might draw the line one place or another, but it is probably better just to note that the project page says "all species belonging to the kingdom Plantae" and that seems to also be existing practice (so, clearly not Alveolata like zooxanthella). Incidentally, the monophyly of the Chromalveolates is far from established (see Burki and Parfrey references on that page), but I'm probably digressing even further... Kingdon (talk) 03:23, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
If we had phycologists participating in our group, then, given the historical inclusion of phycology within botany, the various groups of algae might come under our project. As it stands, we don't have any such persons in WP:PLANTS, so only a few articles on Algae ever see any attention from this group. --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:33, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
The definition of plants isn't exactly agreed upon either. Some would include the red algae, while others would limit them to the embryophytes. Bruising as it may be to any essentialists lurking around, there's no ontological entity out there that corresponds to the word 'plant', so it's really a somewhat arbitrary matter where we draw the line. It would be nice to have a project covering the non-plant/fungi/animal eukaryotes, perhaps simply a 'WikiProject Eukaryotes', but specializing in taxa not covered by other projects. There is only really the very broad tree of life project, which also covers classification, and the similarly broad microbiology and molecular and cell biology projects, which are not even about specific taxa. I feel somewhat embarrassed that there are so many projects about specific vertebrate taxa while there isn't even one for the large majority of eukaryote higher taxa; indeed, the vast majority of living things. Richard001 (talk) 10:53, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

expert need ed on Hermann Theodor Geyler[edit]

Hi all, we made a stub on this guy. He has done something with conifers in 1867. Some clues on talk page, for which my botanical knowledge is insufficient to do it justice. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 06:47, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, one work mentioned in the stub article is paleobotanical, but he's not mentioned in Beck's Origin and Evolution of Gymnosperns, and his name isn't in the index of any of the three paleobotanical textbooks I have. The title Ueber den Gefassbiindelverlauf in den Laubblatt-regionen der Coniferen I translate roughly as "On the vascular-conductivetissue-course in the broad-leaf region conifers". I'm not sure what botanical structure is specified by "Gefäß" refers to vascular bundles, and it sounds like morphological work on vascular tissue patterning or development, but he's not cited or mentioned in my texts on plant morphology or plant anatomy. --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:39, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Category:Lists of flowers[edit]

This category seems to contain a hodgepodge of lists of flowers; lists of flowering plant species according to flower characters, such as flowering season; and lists of flowering plant species defined in other terms, such as distribution. Would it be appropriate to move articles like List of Minnesota wild flowers across to a new Category:Lists of angiosperms? Hesperian 01:50, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

I'd favour scrapping Category:Lists of flowers, putting the articles directly into Category:Lists of plants and then developing additional subcategories within the latter such as distribution, taxonomy, use etc. Melburnian (talk) 04:02, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Add'l info in articles[edit]

[Moved from project page. Hesperian 03:59, 7 April 2008 (UTC)]

What about adding when to plant, time it takes to grow and when to harvest, and whether edible parts of plants grow above or below ground? Sewnmouthsecret (talk) 03:50, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Subject to WP:NOT#HOWTO, this kind of thing should generally be in the Cultivation section of the article for any cultivated plant. See Wikipedia:WikiProject Plants/Template for more suggestions. Kingdon (talk) 15:45, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
I imagine it'd meet the above guidelines. I checked the WikiProjectPlants Template and didn't really see any way to change the template. Could a request be made to put such information in a template? Sewnmouthsecret (talk) 18:48, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
There is another way to expand on the horticultural aspects. The wikibooks instruction manual, A Wikimanual of Gardening, has a Hortibox template for this data. The 'how to' info can be moved or created there, then linked from the encyclopaedic article here. cygnis insignis 20:07, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Also please try to make it generic ("spring" is not in April in the southern hemisphere), or else be sure to name the region, if the info is region-specific. Stan (talk) 17:49, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Image:Plant image missing.png[edit]

Does the Wikiproject have any need for Plant image missing.png? If not, please delete. Thanks. GregManninLB (talk) 17:20, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Banksia mentioned in scientific study[edit]

This study on the use of scientific citations in Wikipedia found WikiProject Banksia's use of scientific references to be so good that it skewed the results:

"The total scientific citation pattern in Wikipedia is quite comparable to the total citation pattern seen between journals, though there is some tendency for Wikipedia contributors to cite high-impact journals, such as Nature and Science, more than journals that receive a lot of citations, such as Journal of Biological Chemistry. “Astro”-journals are often cited — more than would be expected from statistics from Journal Citation Reports. The Astrophysical Journals was found to be the most cited “Astro”-journal. Many citations also go to Australian botany journals, seemingly because of the Banksia Wikiproject that has made well-referenced articles for this genus of plants with the beautiful flowers. A number of the articles for these plants has become so-called “featured” on Wikipedia: Coast Banksia, Brown's Banksia (this Banksia is listed as endangered), Heath-leaved Banksia and Banksia epica."

Thanks to Cas for finding this. Hesperian 01:37, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Category:Flora and fauna in the Canary Islands[edit]

This category is under discussion at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2008 April 14#Category:Flora and fauna in the Canary Islands. A notification was posted here, but the notifier then changed their mind and removed the thread. Hesperian 05:22, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Splitting plant taxon articles out of plant product articles[edit]

In line with what I believe to be longstanding WP:PLANTS policy, I split an article on the plant species Annona reticulata out of the fruit article custard-apple. I was reverted five minutes later.

Does this need to be revisited? Is everyone still firmly behind the idea that plant taxon is not the same as plant product, and these merit distinct articles? Have I misunderstood our position? Or is this just a matter of educating/convincing the reverter?

Hesperian 05:44, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

And now the reverter has stalked through my contribs list reverting the other splits I did today. :-( Hesperian 06:07, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
I was not aware of any previous discussion on the issue. In cases where it was one species=one item I thought one article was better, but as soon as there was disparity (eg 3 coffee species, rose species doubt etc.) then splitting is preferable. I'll have a look at the old discussion Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 06:12, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Well I've been reverted at Apium graveolens too, even though that species is the source of both celery and celeriac. Hesperian 06:19, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
(sigh) - where I am the pages are taking a very long time to load. Saffron is a Featured Article - be good to see how the food FAs handle it. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 06:37, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Just for the record, there was extensive discussion here, leading to guideline formation here and a guideline was produced here Melburnian (talk) 06:39, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh right, there I was thinking that the common name took priority over the scientific name (but keeping together) and now I have seen this. Hmmm. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 06:59, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

If we take A. graveolens as an example, the idea is for the taxon article to take the taxobox, and to cover information about the plant itself, independent of its uses; for example: plant morphology; phenology; taxonomy; phylogenetics; distribution; habitat; ecology, e.g. pollination, soil nutrition, diseases. It would essentially be a article on the botany of the plant species. The "Human uses" section would mention that it is the source of celery, celeriac, celery seed and celery oil, but not go into detail.

The celery article, then, would be an article on the vegetable, and cover culinary significance; nutritional information; allergies; production economics; the production lifecycle, including cultivation, harvesting, post-harvest treatment, transportation, marketing.

The point of the convention is that plant taxon and plant product are distinct concepts, and that, for plant products of significance, the combination is too broad to be covered in a single article. My rule of thumb is: if the plant product is important enough that I'm not comfortable moving the article to the scientific name in line with naming convention, then the plant product and the plant taxon are distinct and independently notable entities that merit distinct articles.

Hesperian 07:12, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I have bowed to the apparent necessity of having this discussion all over again for each article I want to split, and have posted essentially the same rationale as above, at Talk:Celery. Hesperian 07:23, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
I am surprised that celery is still considered to be food. Are you certain about this point? -- carol (talk) 09:34, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Sometimes people can get obsessed with having "good-sized" articles, and will work against a sensible split because it results in two smaller articles. Even so, it's something to discuss on a per-article basis, not to mass-revert without any prior discussion, and I've added my warning to ones Badagnani has already received. Stan (talk) 13:21, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Custard-apple was reverted to an article on both fruit and taxon, but Annona reticulata was not reverted to a redirect, leaving us with duplicate articles covering this taxon. I'm damned if I'm doing to undo my own efforts by reverting A. reticulata to a redirect, and I don't wish to edit war at custard-apple, so I am unable to fix this. If someone would please sort it out, however they see fit, that would be much appreciated. Hesperian 23:27, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Duplication (at least in this case) is not necessarily the worst outcome, especially if the eventual goal is to have separate articles. Given the small amount of content in either article, I'm afraid I'm even less excited than usual about whether it is one article or two (either way). And then to see the thing spill over into unrelated articles is just silly (as far as I can tell, both sides of this debate contributed to blowing this out of proportion). Kingdon (talk) 05:54, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

3rd opinion in Ailanthus dispute...[edit]

Hey everyone. I am currently involved in a dispute with User:Blechnic here. Essentially the user is arguing that, in the opener, the section relating to the tree in Chinese culture should be mentioned before the section on its introduction and subsequent invasiveness. He bases this on history, stating that since the former happened first, it should be mentioned first. I hold that per WP:UNDUE, the latter should be mentioned first because there are bout 50 times more sources for invasiveness than its cultural role in China, and subsequently due to the fact that the article treats ecology and invasiveness to a greater extent given the more numerous sources. Any input at the talk page would be appreciated. Thanks! DJLayton4 (talk) 16:12, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't think there is an absolute necessity for the lead to accurately reproduce the order in which the informations are presented in the article. Indeed, quite often, once condensed, it might be easier to introduce elements in a different orders because the absence of formal headers make other structures more accessible for that information. Circeus (talk) 16:25, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I would generally agree, but given that, I don't think the user gives a strong argument for why the order should be changed. I feel that WP:UNDUE can at least be applied for keeping the status quo. DJLayton4 (talk) 16:34, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Ok well that dispute fissiled out, but another has arisen about the length and scope of the intro. I think the current revision is way to simple and even misrepresents the information because of it's simplicity. For example, it states that it is found in many parts of the world because it spreads aggressively, which is wrong. Please give your opinions if you can. It's here Thanks! DJLayton4 (talk) 05:57, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

language policy?[edit]

I'm always unsure whether I should add the name of a plant in a non-English language if it's range is significantly in the region where that language is spoken. This can lead to an obvious slippery slope, e.g. almost every European plant, but for North American plants I am often tempted to, and often do add the French names for plants present in Quebec. I also sometimes add Chinese names for plants found there as most are culturally significant or endemic anyways. Do you think we should have a standard for this, or is it preferable to use one's best judgment? DJLayton4 (talk) 17:03, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

The Alum article has acquired Thai and Filipino names for the substance. I was a little tempted to remove them, on the grounds that "wikipedia is not a (multilingual) dictionary". Apart from that, what I see as a potential problem is the scope it offers to vandalism - for most languages few people other than native speakers of a language can tell whether or not a supposed name is correct. An intermediate position is to require citation to a reputable source. Lavateraguy (talk) 17:16, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I think it is a good idea to include an indigenous or non-English name only:
  1. if the non-English name is important in early documentation of human knowledge of the plant, such as in a quotation from a classical Latin text or early Chinese writings
  2. if the species was first published in a non-English publication, and the non-English name is important for correlating the article with the source.
  3. if the non-English name gave rise to the English or scientific name.
I personally think that article about plants primarily from Latin America could reasonably give the Spanish name. However, for most other regions, it is unlikely that the plant will be common enough and exist only in a region with one language. Russia, China, and India have numerous local languages, despite having a smaller nummber of "official" languages. Europe and Africa are total patchworks of languages.
Therefore, I think that in nearly all cases, the name of a plant in another language should be placed on the corresponding Wikispecies article and/or the corresponding Wiktionary article. The Wikipedia article should not be burdened with translations. --EncycloPetey (talk) 17:49, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Besides, interwiki links automatically give the common name in other languages. JoJan (talk) 17:58, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
That is true, but there must first be an article about the subject in the other language. If no such article exists, then there won't a link. --EncycloPetey (talk) 21:57, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I would tend towards the "wikipedia is not a multi-lingual dictionary" point of view, but some judgment is needed. For example, as far as I can tell, even when writing in English the term cina is quite common for Stenocereus alamosensis. Some editors will try to go well beyond listing a few of the most common/relevant names, and list the plant's name, and pronunciation, in a very large variety of languages (well, or a large number of editors each add one language, more commonly). I don't always try to fight it (one the one occasion when I tried, the editor seemed quite emphatic about the point and I dropped the subject), but I would generally favor their removal. Kingdon (talk) 02:21, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and I wouldn't mind some kind of policy (WP:NOT#DICTIONARY is the closest I know of, but it doesn't really address this particular topic), but I'm not sure a plant-specific policy for this makes sense. Kingdon (talk) 02:27, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Another reason to have non-English names is for aboriginal languages, especially those that may never have a Wikipedia for lack of a group of fluent writers or speakers. Again, it is a judgment call; it would seem excessive to list every Native American name for a plant found over most of North America, but specific examples may be useful.--Curtis Clark (talk) 03:29, 24 April 2008 (UTC) - wikipedia offshoot[edit]

Hi, I've been working on a plant wiki ( ) for over a year, which is a plant encyclopedia from a gardeners point of view. Obviously, the overlap with wikipedia articles is great, but also obviously, the articles serve a different purpose, with cultivation, zones, propagation and pictures being of primary importance. There are thousands of articles already, but many more are needed. Anyway, what I'm wondering is how does a site become a "sister site" to wikipedia - somewhat like appears to be? It would be an ideal way to leave the encyclopedic aspects of the plants to wikipedia, while drawing gardeners to the site at the same time. Here's an example article: - anyway, any direction regarding "sister sites" would be appreciated! --RaffiKojian (talk) 20:50, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Inappropriate page changes[edit]

For some time now, I have noticed on-going improper edits and page changes by User:Verisimilus, and would appreciate some help explaining correct article separation to him. In particular, he often merges one taxon into a taxon of a different level (such as an order into a class), even when the circumscription of each taxon is quite different from the other. This is at odds with WP:PLANTS practice. The latest problem is that he insists on taking the perfectly good article on the genus Lepidodendron and converting it wholesale into an article about the order Lepidodendrales (which includes several other genera). This needlessly replaces the hard work of other contributors with his own work on a different topic. I have tried to explain this on previous occasions, but he doesn't seem to get it. I have the strong impression he doesn't understand taxonomy or nomenclature. Could some others help? --EncycloPetey (talk) 21:55, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

My own run-in was over some tag-hanging; see [2], Talk:Spermatophyte#There are lots of molecular suggestions, and User talk:Verisimilus/Archive 4#spermatophyte and gne-pine. I got the impression, based on a quick browse of his contributions, and his lack of response to my question about his tag, that he was the kind of editor who just makes a lot of edits and doesn't spend much time on each one. That he actually complained on the talk page about the Lepidodendrales thing is, perhaps, a step forward. As for where the article(s) should be, both of you seem to have some precedent/policy on your side (see the paragraph or two starting at "Not all species need have separate articles." at WP:TOL), although the biggest problem with this kind of reorganization, for me, is that it is easy to half-reorganize things and end up with something which is disorganized or just plain wrong (because statements accidentally get attached to a different group than what they were written for). On the plus side, he seems to actually be trying to do something about fossil plants, mention of which has been sorely lacking in articles like Spermatophyte. I also suspect that a different mindset may be needed for fossils than for living plants in terms of how we approach taxa: for example paleontologists have lots of ichnotaxa (and quasi-similar things for plants, like taxa for cones which haven't been matched to the rest of the plant). Kingdon (talk) 16:02, 24 April 2008 (UTC)


A few of the Reference Desk volunteers got roped into trying to fix up the article Rosette (botany), and we're doing our best, but we don't know what we're doing. It would be great if a botanist type would take a quick look at it and the article's talk page and straighten us out. --Milkbreath (talk) 14:16, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

I've responded at Talk:Rosette (botany). Thanks for the work y'all have put into this. Kingdon (talk) 05:06, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Amelanchier alnifolia[edit]

I just reverted a cut and paste move of this article back to its common name, which seems to be against consensus. Some of the user's other contribs look questionable, but I'm not an expert on the plant name guidelines, so I'm pointing it out here in case someone wants to check it out. Happy botanizing! Katr67 (talk) 19:36, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

User:TheEditrix2 seems to be on a rapidfire tear of bad cut-n-pastes, I blocked so we can sort things out. Stan (talk) 20:12, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I went through the contributions and corrected all the bad cut and paste moves that I could find. The user also created Category:Berries and placed several strawberry articles into it. Should we remove those and treat the category as the botanical definition of a true berry (thus also creating Category:False berries), or should we go with common conception of the term, meaning mostly anything with "berry" in the title? --Rkitko (talk) 22:52, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Botanical berry, as useful as it is as a term in the description section of particular articles, doesn't seem like a very useful category to me. I don't see why we'd want a Drupe category either. Popular/culinary/whatever berry might be a category which helps readers, but as you point out I'm not really sure where we'd draw the line ("any of numerous small and pulpy edible fruits" is what the first dictionary I consulted said, which seems to agree reasonably well with the non-botanical definition at Berry). Kingdon (talk) 00:27, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Stan, I had noticed one of the edits and the "don't interrupt me while I'm editing" note on the talk page, and wasn't sure what to do (but then I thought it was just policy disagreement/ignorance; I hadn't noticed the cut-and-paste moves which are a whole different level). Asking the user to slow down long enough to discuss the matter seems like an eminently reasonable tack. Kingdon (talk) 00:27, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with the actions of TheEditrix2 (talk · contribs), but wouldn't a note to her talkpage have been appropriate, before a block? I'm not seeing any warning. Last comment to her page was on April 17, and then the next note was today, telling her that she'd been blocked for 3 hours.[3] Per WP:BLOCK#Education and warnings, a cautionary note is recommended unless there's an urgent problem. --Elonka 07:10, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
In this case I think that there was an urgent problem. She was engaging in a unilateral restructuring, contrary to an agreed policy, of large chunks of article space. Lavateraguy (talk) 08:14, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
No, there's a naming convention guideline, which is not a policy, and further, the guideline even says that it is different from common practice everywhere else on Wikipedia. See WP:NC(flora). I think that folks here in the WikiProject should remember this, and give the benefit of the doubt to other editors. As near as I can tell, TheEditrix2 was genuinely operating in good faith, fixing things that she thought were broken. She's a longterm editor with thousands of edits. She shouldn't have been blocked without warning. See WP:AGF. --Elonka 08:37, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't think anyone thought that TheEditrix2 was not acting in good faith. But acting in good faith shouldn't give one carte-blanche. I don't want to second guess Stan's judgement with regards to a block rather than a warning, but I do think it would have been better if he had explained the problem in more detail at the time. Lavateraguy (talk) 10:52, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

I have posted a full report on the situation at User talk:TheEditrix2#Uninvolved view. I hope that the members of the WikiProject here will review it, as a cautionary tale, as I don't think that TheEditrix2 was well-treated by this project. I sincerely hope that this was a one-time miscommunication, and not representative of a pattern? --Elonka 09:11, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with Elonka's view. The purpose of blocking is to protect Wikipedia, and from Stan's description, that's just what he did. When tolerating lost page history and broken redirects is more important than possibly hurting a long-time editor's feelings, it's hard to imagine a good outcome. And it would be interesting to look at the cumulative editing time of all the editors who took care with those articles and their redirects, and whose feelings were not considered by Elonka at all.--Curtis Clark (talk) 14:07, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I've learned my lesson - next time it's going to be somebody else's problem. 1/2 :-) Stan (talk) 12:55, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Need feedback on quality or lack therof on article[edit]

Hello everyone,

I have created an article about the Hairy Puccoon and was wondering if I needed more information, less information, or if it is just fine the way it is. I realize it is a minor article and does not rate high on any scale, yet I am using it as a template for other plant articles to see how to make them in the future. Any help will be appreciated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vancali (talkcontribs) 23:20, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Hi Vancali, here are some suggestions:

  • Plant articles are generally titled with their scientific name - see WP:NC(flora) for full details:

>Lithospermum caroliniense

*In the text body, "var." should not be italicised >Lithospermum caroliniense var. croceum. Also take out '"the" before latin names

*Taxobox -add variety and trinomial name - example in this article: Banksia spinulosa var. collina

  • Description

-The description should be in your own words, rather than quoting someone else's description

  • "Cultivation and Uses"

>"Cultivation and uses" per Wikipedia:Manual of Style

Its worthwhile having a look at the featured plant articles in Category:FA-Class plant articles as a guide. Melburnian (talk) 01:26, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

  • In the text capitalise Midwest and Great Lakes
  • In the text capitalise either both or neither of hairy puccoon (there may be a convention for capitalisation, but I don't know it)
  • You don't need piped links (A|B) when A and B are the same.

(I've copy edited the cultivation and uses paragraph.)

Lavateraguy (talk) 08:42, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

ID needed[edit]

Could someone ID this flower please? Thanks. Viriditas (talk) 10:09, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Nymphaea. Hesperian 11:09, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Wonderful. That confirms my initial observation, but can we tell which species? Obento wants to label it. Viriditas (talk) 12:07, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I suspect it may be a hybrid of Nymphaea, of which there are a formidable number of cultivars [4] Melburnian (talk) 12:23, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I see the problem.  :) How would you recommend labeling Image:Purple_Flower_-_2006.JPG? Please make the necessary changes. Thanks. Viriditas (talk) 12:52, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I've updated the image page description --Melburnian (talk) 13:32, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Much obliged. Viriditas (talk) 13:57, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Another ID Request[edit]

I was wondering if someone could help me identify the flower in these two photos? I assume it's some type of phlox, but I simply don't know enough about the subject to identify the species. I'll be uploading the first of the two pictures to Commons, I just wanted to ID the plant first so I could get the filename correct. Thank you. Ken Thomas (talk) 14:33, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Not Phlox. It looks more like a viola, but I cant tell. How tall are the plants and when were they blooming? Hardyplants (talk) 14:37, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I took the photos yesterday while trout fishing on the Gauley River in WV, so I guess the When? would be Now. As for the height of the plants, I can only give you an estimate, but I'd guess they averaged between 6 and 8 inches. - Ken Thomas (talk) 15:04, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Its a Viola species. you have more violas that I have here so can't be that helpful in the species with out a picture of the folaige....I also need some help. I toke this picture and lost the notes for it....its a tropical hanging vine. Could it be a thumbergia?

Forgotten Vine

Hardyplants (talk) 15:10, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

The flowers of the tropical vine look like dead ringers for those of a plant I photographed some years ago. That plant was labelled as Thunbergia grandiflora. Lavateraguy (talk) 16:11, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Thank you lavateraguy, it looks like it is an aggressive weed in diverse parts of the world. Hardyplants (talk) 17:26, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

OK, your tip about the flower being a Viola species was what I needed to find them. Looks like they're Birdsfoot Violets (Viola Pedata). Thanks for the help. - Ken Thomas (talk) 22:41, 27 April 2008 (UTC)


Hi. I just made stubs for 10-20 white and blue flowers found in Norway. Having compiled a list of wanted articles, maybe two years ago, I just grew tired of waiting and created the articles. The point: Someone might want to review the contributions, as I'm not very knowledgeable in this field. Punkmorten (talk) 21:13, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I glanced at a few of them, and didn't see problems. Thanks for your contributions, and thanks for letting us know. (If anyone wants to look more closely than I did, please feel free. As these are stubs, there is plenty of work if anyone wants to take it on). Kingdon (talk) 00:54, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Guaba of Ecuador[edit]

The Taxobox for Guaba of Ecuador needs to be filled out by someone who knows about such things. Thanks. GregManninLB (talk) 21:17, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Could it possibly be Inga edulis? A variation of the alternative name given in the article popped up on this page. --Rkitko (talk) 21:45, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
What does the word dendroculture mean? -- carol (talk) 00:03, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
WOuldn't that be tree cultivation? Circeus (talk) 00:18, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
It is not in the dict server dictionaries and a search gave less than a page of results for the word (no link to a definition) and those pages were mostly about orchids or web logs (maybe even web logs about orchids). Is that evidence of invention? -- carol (talk) 13:04, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
There appear to be only 3 independent usages of dendroculture found by Google, with three different meanings. (The orchid page is a red herring - the only occurrence there is in the file name, where it represents an abreviation for Dendrobium culture.) One occurrence is an self-acknowledged neologism for the keeping and breeding poison arrow frogs of the genus Dendrobates in captivity (coined by analogy with words like aviculture and pisciculture). The use in the blog appears to be equivalent to a tongue in cheek usage of arboriculture. Which leaves the use in WikiPedia. That might mean sylviculture, arboriculture, or even horticulture or permaculture - more context is needed to pin down the usage. For further investigation material on the use of Inga edulis by Amazonian cultures needs to be studied. Lavateraguy (talk) 15:07, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
I've re-written that sentence to say more about what people grow the tree for. We don't really need to guess about what the wikipedia author meant by "dendroculture" when we can just consult the cited source (which is online and moderately specific). Kingdon (talk) 15:57, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Heh -- let me know if anyone finds an incidence of a tongue in cheek use of a word that means the keeping and breeding of poison spear frogs and I will do what I can to rewrite that ;) -- (thanks!) carol (talk) 16:06, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it appears to be Inga edulis Melburnian (talk) 07:25, 1 May 2008 (UTC)