Plant Database forum: Antennaria tomentosa, Pussy Toes

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Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Aug 29, 2014 8:14 PM CST
I bought this from Bluestone Perennials several years ago. I want to enter it into the database. But I don't see "tomentosa" as an option. I've searched for a synonym. I came up empty.

Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Aug 29, 2014 8:22 PM CST

Plants Admin

Could it be Antennaria tomentella? That's a synonym for Antennaria rosea subsp. confinis.

Antennaria rosea subsp. confinis
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Aug 29, 2014 8:26 PM CST

Plants Admin

I found an old reference (1884) to A. tomentosa as an unresolved name in The Plant List, but it's not listed in the Catalogue of Life data for 22 August 2014, and it should have been resolved by now, so I think we have to assume that it's not an accepted species name.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Aug 29, 2014 8:28 PM CST
ok, so which one do I choose? There does not seem to be a general entry
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Aug 29, 2014 8:30 PM CST
It seems strange it is not an accepted name since it appears all over if you Google it.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Aug 29, 2014 8:31 PM CST

Plants Admin

There is now. Big Grin

Antennaria
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Aug 29, 2014 8:32 PM CST

Plants Admin

Lots of names that aren't accepted or are misspelled are found all over if you Google for them, unfortunately.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Aug 29, 2014 8:39 PM CST
On some sites I found Antennaria dioica and tomentosa listed as synonym. Well at least I think. They are in foreign languages.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Aug 29, 2014 8:51 PM CST

Plants Admin

Yes, there are some old references listing one of the varieties of A. dioica, Antennaria dioica var. borealis, as a synonym for A. tomentosa, but neither of those names is listed in any of the major taxonomic databases now.
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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KentPfeiffer
Aug 29, 2014 8:56 PM CST

Plants Admin

The taxonomy of Antennarias is an absolute nightmare, witness the near complete lack of agreement between ITIS and the Catalog of Life, and the incredible lists of synonyms for many species. It's likely that there are no (or very few) distinct species in the genus, just an endless variety of local ecotypes that bleed imperceptibly into each other.

I'd bet money that Antennaria tomentosa is a name Bluestone made up to describe a clone they selected due to distinctively wooly leaves (tomentose means "covered with densely matted woolly hairs"). It's not an unusual thing for nurseries to do, and pretty understandable given the confusion that surrounds this genus.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Aug 29, 2014 9:03 PM CST
I think I will just stay out of the fray all together! It is just too confusing and I don't need to add to the mess.

Although I don't think Bluestone made up the name since it seems to be used by plenty of other entities.

This is the kind of nitty gritty stuff that makes me feel not worthy of taking part in the database. Darn, and I was feeling so useful during the contest Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
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zuzu
Aug 29, 2014 9:11 PM CST

Plants Admin

You were highly useful during the contest, and I like the new photos you're adding today. The taxonomic squabbles will always be with us, I'm afraid, and one of the things we can do is to avoid listing names that aren't recognized by reliable authorities. Let the less discriminating websites list them, but we'll opt for accuracy whenever possible. Big Grin

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