Plant Database forum: Aloe entry needs merging/deletion

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Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Nov 13, 2016 12:27 PM CST
There was some discussion about this subject on the succulent forum but there are two aloes which have been confused here and elsewhere, and I'd like to sort that out. These are the two plants.

Aloe juvenna (triangular leaves, East Africa) (rather common)
Aloe squarrosa (recurved leaves, Socotra) aka Aloe zanzibarica (old name) (a much rarer plant)

Now cruising through the entries in the database, here are the relevant pages.

Aloe (Aloe juvenna)
Aloe (Aloe squarrosa)


As may be evident upon casual inspection, the third entry has to go. There is no cultivar called "Liliaceae". This has to be an error where somebody saw the family name after the species and decided it was a cultivar name.

Of the plants on the third page, all are juvenna except maybe the last one, which I would not feel confident calling squarrosa, though it could be that I guess. @purpleinopp Do you have any input here?

I would like to propose that the third page above be deleted and its photo contents merged with juvenna, except the last plant which may be good to go under squarrosa, pending closer inspection by someone more expert than myself.

If you want to get into the sordid history behind the name of the so-called "Zanzibar aloe" (which is not from Zanzibar), there's a pretty detailed discussion on this page. The word Zanzibar is a historical artifact which reflects nothing about the geographical origin of the plant.

http://garden.org/thread/go/58...

Any remaining confusion, just say the word and I will be happy to try to sort it out.

Thank You!
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Nov 13, 2016 12:37 PM (+)]
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Name: Zuzu
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zuzu
Nov 13, 2016 12:44 PM CST

Plants Admin

I've seen the discussion in the forum. I've merged the 'Liliaceae' entry with the A. juvenna entry. If purpleinopp wants to move that one photo, I'll be happy to move it to A. squarrosa.
Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Nov 13, 2016 12:47 PM CST
Thank you! I've asked that the name Aloe squarrosa "Liliaceae" be deleted as a synonym (also-sold-as) on the juvenna page, as that named cultivar does not exist, and in any case that species is not synonymous with juvenna.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Nov 13, 2016 12:53 PM (+)]
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Name: Zuzu
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zuzu
Nov 13, 2016 12:55 PM CST

Plants Admin

It isn't listed as a synonym. It's listed as an also-sold-as name. I'd gladly remove it, but what made people post their photos in the previous entry? If the plant is being sold as A. squarrosa 'Liliaceae,' the next person who buys it under that name will propose the addition of the plant to the database, and it could be added unless the name comes up in our "search" results as an also-sold-as name in the A. juvenna entry.
Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Nov 13, 2016 12:58 PM CST
The plant is not being sold as "Liliaceae". I don't know what made people put their juvennas on that page (perhaps the Zanzibar aloe name?). I don't know the history of the name as it was created and evolved in the database. There is a lot of confusion on the interwebs between squarrosa and juvenna, and we're not doing anyone a service by continuing to confuse them here. They are not and were never the same plant. (This is above and beyond perpetuating an invented cultivar name, which is a separate issue.)
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Nov 13, 2016 1:03 PM (+)]
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Name: Zuzu
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zuzu
Nov 13, 2016 1:04 PM CST

Plants Admin

An also-sold-as name does not carry any scientific weight, so it shouldn't confuse anyone. Five people had added this plant to their plant lists and several people had posted photos of it. They didn't all pull the name out of the air. They must have bought it under this name. If the name is not in the entry as an also-sold-as name, those five people (who have now been added to the six that originally claimed A. juvenna) and the photo owners will not understand where their plants have gone. That would be much more confusing.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Nov 13, 2016 1:08 PM CST
Okay, well just because a few people misidentified their plants, the search now returns those results under the wrong name. I understand also-sold-as is different from synonym. The name you don't want to delete does not apply to juvenna in any way. The species is wrong. The cultivar does not exist. Apparently it is your choice to perpetuate the errors on that original page. I respect that, you're the boss. But it does not serve the purposes of clarity. My opinion: this is one more echo in the internet echo chamber confusing these plants.

Thanks for sharing your point of view and for improving the database by moving those pictures.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Nov 13, 2016 1:27 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Nov 13, 2016 4:44 PM CST
And for the record, it's a real mistake to assume that all the people who got to that page to post pictures or add the plant to their want list did so by searching its name. I can tell you from my brief year of personal experience that they are just as likely (if not more) to get there by finding a link on the forums or noticing a new picture posted to the database. As an example, here is a picture which I aded to the database



And within relatively short order I saw 3 people had added it to their want list. I'm pretty sure none of them typed the word bupleurifolia.

http://garden.org/lists/plant/...

For what it's worth, I can also tell you from personal experience (having to move aloe pictures from the agave page and vice versa) that people who post pictures or indicate they want a plant are most definitely not always checking its ID before they take action. More than half the time they do not even respond to me when I politely post my concern about the ID of the plant, which you instructed me to do.

I am virtually certain that there has never been an aloe cultivar called "Liliaceae" (do a Google search if you want to find a whole lot of ATP and garden.org links) and the probability of anyone searching for one by that name closely approximates zero.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Nov 13, 2016 4:53 PM (+)]
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Name: Zuzu
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zuzu
Nov 13, 2016 5:06 PM CST

Plants Admin

"Wants" are one thing, and "haves" are quite another. I guess you could ask the people who said they had the plant why they chose that entry, and ask the people who contributed the photos why they chose that entry. Someone created the entry, five people then added it to their plant lists as "haves," and some others posted photos of the plant without adding it to their lists. They couldn't all have invented the name or taken these actions on the basis of existing photos in the entry. It clearly is being sold somewhere under that name. It would be wrong to assume that every nursery comes up in a Google search.

The addition of an also-sold-as name to an entry is a useful piece of information. As I said before, it will let people know that their plant has now been moved to another entry, and it will guard against the re-creation of the invalid entry in the future.

I'm sure you're right about 'Liliaceae' not being a cultivar name, and that is why it's listed as an also-sold-as name. An also-sold-as name is one that's not a legitimate cultivar name. Otherwise, there would be an entry for it.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Nov 13, 2016 5:13 PM CST
Thanks again for being so quick to respond and explain. Much appreciated!

Thank You!
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Nov 13, 2016 5:17 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Nov 13, 2016 7:51 PM CST
I added a comment to the juvenna page which ought to clarify things. Presumably any relevant searches will turn up these two threads as well, which ought to help reduce the potential confusion out there. I tip my hat to you.

Aloe (Aloe juvenna)
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
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purpleinopp
Nov 14, 2016 9:12 AM CST
Sorry for the delayed response, was away from computer. Please move any Aloe pic of mine if there is any question about its' name. I know nothing about sorting Aloes and my notes indicate my plant pictured as A. juvenna came from cactuscollection.com via WM. Many of the plants I've purchased that way have turned out to have been labeled incorrectly. TYVM for your efforts, Baja! ;)
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plantmanager
Nov 14, 2016 9:14 AM CST
I was at our Desert Botanical Garden, and noticed that most of their signs have old names or synonyms. I guess they change too often to change the expensive plant markers.
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Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Nov 14, 2016 9:57 AM CST
Given the last name change to this plant is almost 50 years old, I'd say it's probably time to swap the tags out. Smiling
Name: Thijs van Soest
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mcvansoest
Nov 14, 2016 10:47 AM CST
plantmanager said:I was at our Desert Botanical Garden, and noticed that most of their signs have old names or synonyms. I guess they change too often to change the expensive plant markers.


The problem with the DBG is that they are severely understaffed and afaik do not have an Aloe specialist on staff, so keeping up with name changes is probably low on their priority list. Most of their research staff is focused on the Desert Southwest and new world succulents.

Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Nov 14, 2016 11:31 AM CST
purpleinopp said:my notes indicate my plant pictured as A. juvenna came from cactuscollection.com via WM.


That is useful information. So there's who was selling the plant under an invented name. What a big surprise. This story is probably similar to Kalanchoe luciae, which they sold for years as K. thyrsiflora, and which continues to appear mislabeled under that entry in our plant database.

@zuzu please help here. All of the plants on this page should be moved to luciae and the whole page deleted.



"Flapjacks" is a common name for K. luciae, not something I would go so far as to call a cultivar which would be in any way different from the species per se (can any other readers confirm?). And K. thyrsiflora is extremely rare in cultivation, essentially unknown outside botanical gardens. The two can be easily distinguished by the flower but I'm about 95% certain all the images on that page are luciae. If you want to be generous about "Flapjacks" as a cultivar name, I guess you could rename the plant K. luciae "Flapjacks", but I would propose merging it with the regular K. luciae page and leaving "Flapjacks" on that page as an also-sold-as/common name. And I would guess by your earlier logic that the K. luciae page also needs K. thyrsiflora "Flapjacks" to appear as an also-sold-as.

Here are the two other relevant pages.

Flapjacks Plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora)
Flapjacks (Kalanchoe luciae)
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Nov 14, 2016 12:12 PM (+)]
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Name: Zuzu
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zuzu
Nov 14, 2016 12:12 PM CST

Plants Admin

This has been done.

Flapjacks (Kalanchoe luciae)
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
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Baja_Costero
Nov 14, 2016 12:13 PM CST
In no time flat. Thanks!

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