Plant Database forum: How to submit Plant Database proposals properly?

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Name: Der Thomaskantor
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bwv998
Jul 14, 2016 12:26 PM CST
Okay, two of my proposals were rejected, really my fault. D'Oh! D'Oh! I wanted to add the plant Drosera magnifica. The species is called Drosera magnifica, but magnifica is of course not a valid species name. So do I put the scientific name as Drosera Drosera magnifica?

Thank You!
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Name: Zuzu
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zuzu
Jul 14, 2016 1:27 PM CST

Plants Admin

Sorry, bwv. I'm the one that declined that proposal because the species wasn't listed in the taxonomic databases, but I should have done some simple Google research. It's a brand new species. Here's an entry for it:

Drosera magnifica

It's possible that it could be ruled invalid at some point if it's found to be a synonym of some other species, but for now we can treat it as a valid name.
Name: Der Thomaskantor
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bwv998
Jul 14, 2016 2:12 PM CST
Oh there's really no need to say sorry! *Blush* But we use binomial names meaning that the genus is in front and the species is behind. So for the plant Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy), say, if it wasn't in the database, should I put the scientific name like that or put two "toxicodendrons"? What's intriguing is that the system would separate radicans into a species, which is wrong .
The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.

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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jul 14, 2016 2:21 PM CST

Plants Admin

It's not wrong. It is a species. Toxicodendron radicans is an accepted name.

http://www.catalogueoflife.org/col/details/species/id/944e3a...

You wouldn't ever enter two "toxicodendrons," but I can see why you might think so because the common names of some plants are the same as their Latin names, so you might see entries that read:

Dahlia (Dahlia australis)

This looks like Dahlia was entered twice, but the first "Dahlia" is the common name and the second one is the genus.
Name: Der Thomaskantor
Massachusetts (Zone 6b)
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bwv998
Jul 14, 2016 2:46 PM CST
Yes, I know Toxicodendron radicans is not wrong. Smiling However, what I'm asking is why does the system do this? Confused

Thumb of 2016-07-14/bwv998/b4d8a3

The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.

— J.S. Bach
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Jul 14, 2016 3:03 PM CST
It took me a while to get the hang of entering new plants into the database and I still make mistakes at times. *Blush* I messed up when entering a bunch of plants yesterday and our zuzu had to decline many of them and correct many of them for me; I entered a few with misspelled cultivar names and also a few with a cultivar name that was actually the Genus name, all taken from a plant nursery website ... I should have caught all or most of those errors. D'Oh!

I think I remember seeing plants listed at another site like this:

Common Name: Poison Ivy
Genus: Toxicodendron
Species: radicans

But here on ATP we list them like this:

Primary common name: Poison Ivy
Accepted botanical name Toxicodendron
(Genus species): Toxicodendron radicans

So you do actually type the Genus name (Toxicodendron) twice; just on two separate lines.


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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Jul 14, 2016 3:07 PM CST
bwv998, maybe you missed zuzu's earlier post up thread where she first declined it but then added that she did more research and found that it was a brand new species? http://garden.org/thread/view_post/1212082/
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jul 14, 2016 3:08 PM CST

Plants Admin

No, Lin. You're reading this wrong. Look at the new plant proposal. "Botanical name (Genus species)" is one line, not two.

http://garden.org/plants/propose/new_plant/
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jul 14, 2016 3:12 PM CST

Plants Admin

bwv998 said:Yes, I know Toxicodendron radicans is not wrong. Smiling However, what I'm asking is why does the system do this? Confused

Thumb of 2016-07-14/bwv998/b4d8a3



It does this because you entered the binomial botanical name in your proposal, so the system naturally assumed that the first was the genus and the second was the species. Am I misunderstanding your question? I see nothing wrong with separating the genus from the species.

Your proposal also contained another error. The common name is Sundew, not Drosera magnifica.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Jul 14, 2016 3:15 PM CST
zuzu said:No, Lin. You're reading this wrong. Look at the new plant proposal. "Botanical name (Genus species)" is one line, not two.

]http://garden.org/plants/propose/new_plant/

D'Oh! D'Oh! See, I told you it doesn't take much to confuse me. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Jul 14, 2016 3:19 PM CST
This new little D'Oh! ("smack myself in the head" emoji) D'Oh! is perfect for me! Green Grin!
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jul 14, 2016 5:02 PM CST

Plants Admin

For me too! I'm going to be using that one a lot. Big Grin
Name: Der Thomaskantor
Massachusetts (Zone 6b)
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bwv998
Jul 14, 2016 8:00 PM CST
zuzu said:

It does this because you entered the binomial botanical name in your proposal, so the system naturally assumed that the first was the genus and the second was the species. Am I misunderstanding your question? I see nothing wrong with separating the genus from the species.

Your proposal also contained another error. The common name is Sundew, not Drosera magnifica.


Thank you for your reply, Zuzu. What I'm trying to ask is this:

Why does the system think of magnifica as a species? Magnifica really identifies the species within the genus but is not the species itself. (I made the mistake of thinking that the second word in a scientific name is the species name.) That's why I thought putting double Droseras would make the genus drosera and the species Drosea magnifica. Smiling


Thanks for correcting me about the common name! Hurray! Wasn't exactly sure at first because everywhere I've seen lists it as Drosea magnifica.

The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.

— J.S. Bach
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jul 14, 2016 8:14 PM CST

Plants Admin

I guess I just don't understand your question. It wasn't a mistake for you to think the second name in a botanical name is the species name. Yes, magnifica is the species name. Drosera is the name of the genus. Drosera magnifica (not Drosera Drosera magnifica) is the botanical name.
Name: Der Thomaskantor
Massachusetts (Zone 6b)
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bwv998
Jul 14, 2016 8:35 PM CST
Not an expert in botanical nomenclature, perhaps I'm even wrong, but I always thought that the second part of a scientific name is not the species — it's the specific epithet. Shrug! Smiling

"Thus Hedera helix (common ivy, English ivy) is the name of the species; Hedera is the name of the genus; but helix is the specific epithet, not the specific name."

from

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specific_name_(zoology)
The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.

— J.S. Bach
Name: Der Thomaskantor
Massachusetts (Zone 6b)
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bwv998
Jul 14, 2016 9:06 PM CST
O.K., finally found an answer to this difficult question. Our dictionary defines species as:

"The basic unit used in classifying and describing living organisms. It ranks below the genus and above the individual or specimen, and denotes a group of individuals having common attributes, reproducing according to their kind, and designated by the conventional latinized 2-word name indicating first the genus and then the species; for example, Ilex Aquifolium (English holly) and Citrus sinensis (sweet orange)."

But experts do not agree whether to call the second name of the species — the specific epithet or the species. Honestly, I'm leaning to calling it the specific epithet because a species within a species is confusing, to say the least.

Like this:

"Scientific names follow a specific set of rules. Scientists use a two-name system called a Binomial Naming System. Scientists name animals and plants using the system that describes the genus and species of the organism. The first word is the genus and the second is the species. The first word is capitalized and the second is not. A binomial name means that it's made up of two words (bi-nomial). Humans are scientifically named Homo sapiens. You may also see an abbreviation of this name as H. sapiens where the genus is only represented by the first letter."

"The first word of the binomial is the genus name of the species, and the second word is the specific epithet for the species. For example (see figure above), the scientific name for the blue crab is Callinectes sapidus. Callinectes, the genus name, is the collective term which includes many species of crabs closely related to the blue crab. The specific epithet, sapidus, describes exactly which of the Callinectes species is being identified."

"Species names are binominal (i.e., consist of two words). The first word is the generic name. The second word has been called "specific name" or "specific epithet" -- but it is not the species name. Both words together are the species name."

"Species are identified by two names (binomial nomenclature). The first name is the genus, the second is the species."

Also found this explanation on Yahoo! Answers:

"Biologists, for some reason, have never been able to agree on what to call the second word in the name of a species. It has been called the species name, the trivial name, the species epithet, the trivial epithet, etc. The problem is that the full name of a species has to include two words, the name of the genus it belongs to, and the name of the particular species, OF THAT GENUS, that it belongs to. The second word, whatever it is, does not name any species if it is used by itself. The name of a human is Homo sapiens, but the word sapiens could be used to name species of any other genus, also. Thus if you say the species of an organism is sapiens you haven't named any particular species unless it is clear from the rest of the context that you are specifically referring to the sapiens that is in the genus Homo. It happens that sapiens is not a common second word in organism names. Others are, however. The word pallidus (-a, -um), meaning pale, had by 1961 been used as a name for 107 different kinds of spiders alone. No doubt it has been used for scores of other animals, as well."

So a big apology for causing all this confusion, @zuzu!

The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.

— J.S. Bach
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jul 15, 2016 7:44 AM CST
@bwv998 When you say "species within a species" do you mean a sub-species like for instance the plant Hoya australis which has the species plant and then sub species?:
Wax Plant (Hoya australis)
Wax Plant (Hoya australis subsp. australis)
Hoya (Hoya australis subsp. tenuipes)
Wax Plant (Hoya australis subsp. rupicola)
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Name: Der Thomaskantor
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bwv998
Jul 15, 2016 8:31 AM CST
No I don't, @plantladylin. Smiling My understanding is that the NGA thinks the second word of a scientific name is called the species. But to me the genus and the specific epithet are the two parts of the species (different meaning of species).

Think about it this way…

NGA:

Genus: Hoya

Species: australis

Genus + species = species or botanical name

My way (which some biologists prefer):

Genus: Hoya

Specific epithet: australis

Genus + specific epithet = species

See what I mean now? Smiling
The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.

— J.S. Bach
[Last edited by bwv998 - Jul 15, 2016 8:38 AM (+)]
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Name: Deb
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Bonehead
Jul 15, 2016 9:39 AM CST
Seems like splitting hairs to me. Both agree that one needs two words to correctly identify a plant. Both agree that the first word is the genus. One claims the second word of the botanical name is the species. The other claims that the two names together are the species. In either event, both words are needed to accurately ID a specific plant. Rather like the old 'toMAYto or toMAHto' pronunciation debate, bottom line is it's the same plant. Interesting discussion, though.
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Name: Der Thomaskantor
Massachusetts (Zone 6b)
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bwv998
Jul 15, 2016 10:27 AM CST
The pronunciation of tomato depends on your region. Nearly everyone says toMAHto in the UK. Smiling But the question is does the NGA regard Hoya australis as a species or a scientific name? (I'm obviously not questioning whether if Hoya australis exists — I'm questioning whether if the two words make up the species, since the NGA considers australis to be the species too.


The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.

— J.S. Bach

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