Plant Database forum: Cultivated plants, but we don't know the cultivar for?

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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Oct 1, 2011 8:40 PM CST
I have some wonderful pictures of Rudbeckia which have been naturalized in my garden for over 30 years. Some are single, double, a variety of colors. I'm zone 5 and they are somewhat perennial. I don't know a cultivar name as they are volunteers. Here is a sample. Any suggestion? Is there room for ones which aren't a specific cultivar? I was able to post some delphinium pictures as there was a listing which didn't call for a specific cultivar.
Thanks for your good work. This is fun!
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Linda
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quietyard
Oct 1, 2011 8:43 PM CST
I have the same question about some plants I have that I do not know the cultivar of. Confused
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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Oct 2, 2011 4:23 AM CST
Rudbeckias cross pollinate and change easily from generation to generation. I had some that I loved but they had no cultivar name either, so I didn't enter those into the database either. I also have some coleus which have developed into sports but I didn't enter those because again, they don't match that cultivar category any more. I think we all have mutts of some kind in our yards.

I was assuming these wouldn't be wanted in the database. Is that correct?

Karen
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Oct 2, 2011 12:10 PM CST
I would think we'd WANT that sort of information in the database. After all, if you're trying to identify a plant that isn't a specific cultivar, how are you going to find it? And the fact that Rudbeckias cross-pollinate freely is the sort of information that should be included in a general entry.
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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Oct 2, 2011 4:14 PM CST
I don't know. Could you weigh in on this Dave? And what would we fill in the cultivar field?

Karen
Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
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Danita
Oct 2, 2011 4:30 PM CST
There is a generic Rudbeckia hirta listing where you could post your pretty photo:

Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia)

Smiling

Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Oct 2, 2011 5:12 PM CST
I have looked at that listing but was concerned that it was for the older smaller single yellow Black Eyed Susans whci were the ancestors of today's larger fancier ones.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Horntoad
Oct 2, 2011 5:23 PM CST
Paul2032 said:I have looked at that listing but was concerned that it was for the older smaller single yellow Black Eyed Susans whci were the ancestors of today's larger fancier ones.


I would agree with you on that. I don't think cultivated varietys should be listed under the native plants name.
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[Last edited by Horntoad - Oct 2, 2011 12:48 PM (+)]
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Oct 3, 2011 10:16 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

I'll weigh in here:

This is a challenge that seems to plague all online plant databases/encyclopedias.

On the one hand, you have a cultivated plant with hundreds or sometimes thousands of cultivars, but there is also an entry in the database for the main plant (without cultivar shown).

For example, "Tomato". We have an entry for "Tomato (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)" so do you upload a photo of Cherokee Purple to that entry, or the Cherokee Purple entry? What if no Cherokee Purple entry exists and you don't feel like adding the entry? Or what if you have a photo of a tomato seedling and it doesn't really matter what variety it is? Or what if it's a generic tomato and you have no idea what variety it is? You just plop your photo into the generic "Tomato" entry and let that be that.

People want to talk about a plant type in general (leaving comments that are applicable to all tomatoes, for example) so you create a catch-all entry in the database for that plant, but then you have all the other entries for all the cultivars.

Trish and I have discussed this at length and we think the solution is to have both: a main generic plant entry and also all the cultivars with their own entries.

But the main plant entry should have additional features. For one, it can be made into more of an encyclopedia entry, with a free form field for an article-length description of the plant. Then people can upload photos into that entry and then others can propose they be moved out into the various cultivars once the identity is firmly established.

Additionally, on those generic plant pages, we can feature the thumbnail images of the most popular cultivars of that plant (judged by which ones get the most thumbs-ups, for example).
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Oct 3, 2011 2:04 PM CST
YES!!!! Thumbs up
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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RickCorey
Oct 3, 2011 6:33 PM CST
dave said:...
People want to talk about a plant type in general (leaving comments that are applicable to all tomatoes, for example) so you create a catch-all entry in the database for that plant, but then you have all the other entries for all the cultivars.
...
But the main plant entry should have additional features. For one, it can be made into more of an encyclopedia entry, with a free form field for an article-length description of the plant.



That sounds REALLY good to me. If I understand, you are creating a special record for a species-with-no-cultivar. Hurray!

Is this generalizable?

Could there be a special entry for the genus-with-no-species? The idea of article-length or encyclopedia-entry-length, link-rich contributions for "Salvia" or "Penstemon" or "Iris" would make me dance with glee. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

I can imagine that such "genus articles" would rapidly become collaborations as people make suggestions, merge their contributions, and link to other online articles.

Generalizing it to the Family level might be carrying it too far, and I think you've said that "Family" classifications are too volatile to be easily tracked. That seems more literally to be a collection of scholarly articles than database entires.

Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Oct 3, 2011 6:52 PM CST
That was sort of what I was envisioning. Just like you mentioned with Salvia, most varieties of Ipomoea benefit from a bit of "scratch and soak," Petunia seeds need light to germinate and there's an optimum time to sow before last frost.....just lots of generalities that would be exhaustive to enter for each species and/or cultivar.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Oct 3, 2011 7:06 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Rick, yes you're completely seeing our concept.

RickCorey said:Could there be a special entry for the genus-with-no-species?


Right indeed. This would have to be flexible enough to support a variety of rulesets that would support several scenarios. The idea would be to have these article-type entries for various top-level plant types, whether that means a genus-species (no cultivar) or genus-no-species.

RickCorey said:I can imagine that such "genus articles" would rapidly become collaborations as people make suggestions, merge their contributions, and link to other online articles.


You're seeing this exactly as we do. Thumbs up
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Oct 3, 2011 8:01 PM CST
Oh, wow! My fondest desire is exactly what you were planning to do?

I think I should go home while I'm ahead.

Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
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Trish
Oct 4, 2011 10:06 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

I'm grinning from ear to ear that you all think this is just as good of an idea as we do!!

Big Grin Big Grin

This is going to be HUGE! (need dancing banana smilie here!)
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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Oct 4, 2011 11:21 AM CST
It is HUGE and I love it because I have so many plants that traveled from the woods of east KY to west KY and over nearly 40 years have merged with their WKY cousins, becoming sometimes freckled or striped. It's hard to find a place for them.

But, Trish, I've never seen a dancing banana smilie.
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Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
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Trish
Oct 4, 2011 11:34 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Dave will have to show you. It's in his Super Secret Stash, and even I can't get to it!
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Oct 4, 2011 11:55 AM CST
Hereby known as Dave's SSS. Never to be seen.
Oh sigh.
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Oct 4, 2011 12:20 PM CST
Blinking We don't get to see the SSS dancing banana? Crying

I love this idea. That would mean all of us with NOID sempervivum would have a place in the database to show these beauties. We would never be able to place an identification on them, but it's a great way to showcase them.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Oct 4, 2011 1:27 PM CST
Dancing bananas!
Dancing bananas!
Won't you come dancing, Banana, with me?

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