Plant Database forum: Aloe spinosissima

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Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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csandt
Feb 2, 2017 9:24 AM CST
Does Aloe spinosissima go by another name?

Thumb of 2017-02-02/csandt/1af5be

Carol H. Sandt

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Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

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plantladylin
Feb 2, 2017 9:37 AM CST
I checked the Catalogue of Life and found 0 results with that name/spelling.

This site: http://succulent-plant.com/fam... says it's probably an interspecific hybrid (A. humilis x A. arborescens)

San Marcos Growers site shows it as a hybrid Aloe x spinosissima: http://www.smgrowers.com/produ...
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[Last edited by plantladylin - Feb 2, 2017 9:59 AM (+)]
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Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Feb 2, 2017 9:48 AM CST
@mcvansoest may have an answer.
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Feb 2, 2017 9:57 AM CST

Plants Admin

Moved to the Plant Database forum, lets see if @zuzu can help. It's listed all over the web.
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Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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csandt
Feb 2, 2017 10:12 AM CST
I would like to add a photo of this plant (and a new entry, if appropriate) to the database.
Carol H. Sandt

“Unlike writers of passing fame, a classic author speaks a new word in every generation." -- Daniel Ritchie
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Feb 2, 2017 10:38 AM CST
Aloe x spinosissima is understood to be a hybrid between arborescens and humilis. It is not a species name.

We have discussed the issues related to hybrids like this, and they do not get their own database entries. Try adding the photo to the generic aloe page instead, and place the name in the comment field.

Aloes (Aloe)

Here is a thread where some of the discussion took place.

The thread "Aloe arborescens "Dwarf"" in Plant Database forum

When in doubt about a plant, try searching this site for its name and relevant threads like the one above will appear in the search results.

https://garden.org/search/inde...
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Feb 2, 2017 10:43 AM (+)]
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Feb 2, 2017 11:17 AM CST
It may not be a valid species name according to the catalog of life, but it is considered a validly described and recognized garden hybrid by many taxonomists who specialize in Aloes. It is listed in 'The Aloe Names book' and afaik was described in the early 20th century.

Given how Garden.org has no problem listing oodles and oodles of daylily cultivars, that are most likely all in some way or form garden hybrids, similarly with all the different Echinopsis hybrids, I find it baffling that the admin people here refuse to create a specific entry for Aloe x spinosissima, its parents are even known, and it is an easily available and commonly utilized xeric landscape plant.

Anyway, this argument is playing out in the thread that Baja lists and it may be all that we are ever going to get for this plant here at garden.org.

Here is the plant's entry at Agaveville.org:
http://www.agaveville.org/view...
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Feb 2, 2017 11:31 AM CST

Plants Admin

oodles and oodles of daylily cultivars, that are most likely all in some way or form garden hybrids


FYI, yes, some may have originated as "garden hybrids", but legitimate daylily breeders take their work seriously, as do many daylily hobbyist, all the daylilies in the database, (with a few exceptions) are all registered with the American Hemerocallis Society.
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Feb 2, 2017 12:09 PM CST
The exclusion of this common hybrid aloe (yes, there is a gap in the search results) does not really serve the database or its users, in my opinion. As judged by these new threads on the subject, for example. It does serve consistency, which has been the main focus of the discussion, and the reason to justify it.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Feb 2, 2017 12:18 PM (+)]
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Feb 2, 2017 4:44 PM CST
Calif_Sue said:

FYI, yes, some may have originated as "garden hybrids", but legitimate daylily breeders take their work seriously, as do many daylily hobbyist, all the daylilies in the database, (with a few exceptions) are all registered with the American Hemerocallis Society.


Sorry, I did not mean to offend or belittle those efforts - I actually think they are great -, but I think you are missing the point I was trying to make. However seriously achieved, those Daylily cultivars and the Echinopsis cultivars are 'man-made' as in not occurring in nature hybrid plants, just like Aloe x spinosissima, which after its creation has been specifically propagated for the trade and has been published on in the early 20th century, and is considered an accepted hybrid by people working at Kew gardens, the Smithsonian, and by research institutes in South Africa where much of the research into Aloes takes place.

Instead of simply creating a database entry for a commonly sold plant that has an accepted scientific name, and has known parentage, garden.org keeps adhering strictly to the CoL as the only true source for correct plant taxonomy (while ignoring that it is just as good or bad depending on how you view it as a multitude of other lists of plant taxonomy, and depends on the efforts of a small number of people to stay current and up to date no matter how often 'the last updated' date gets updated). The result is that A. x spinosissima, now is listed under the generic Aloe entry and its name has to be added in the comments of the photo, but will not come up in the most obvious search that people would do to find a plant: the plant name search, it has to be a generic search of the site.

As this thread clearly demonstrates that is a recipe for confusion...
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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KentPfeiffer
Feb 3, 2017 3:49 PM CST

Plants Admin

mcvansoest said:

garden.org keeps adhering strictly to the CoL as the only true source for correct plant taxonomy


There's no such thing as a true source of correct plant taxonomy. The Catalog of Life does have two attributes that are unmatched by any other publicly accessible source we might use for the Plants Database. It is extremely comprehensive at a global scale and is kept reasonably up to date.

Frankly, as a plant ecologist, I have many points of disagreement with the CoL. However, since I can't offer up a source of information that would better serve the purpose of the Plants Database, I'll just have to live with it.

If you want to see confusion, watch what would happen if we were to knuckle under with this issue. Every botanist/plant nut has his/her favorite source of information on taxonomy, none of which are in complete agreement with each other. It would be chaos and these types of discussions would never end.
[Last edited by KentPfeiffer - Feb 3, 2017 9:56 PM (+)]
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Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Feb 3, 2017 6:24 PM CST
KentPfeiffer said:There's no such thing as a true source of correct plant taxonomy. If you want to see confusion, watch what would happen if we were to knuckle under with this issue. Every botanist/plant nut has his/her favorite source of information on taxonomy, none of which are in complete agreement with each other. These types of discussions would never end.

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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Feb 3, 2017 6:55 PM CST
For what it's worth, the CoL has been pretty backward on the subject of agaves, which is one of my main interests. A couple of steps behind on certain subjects. I can work with the master database concept, but I must point out along the way they have made some ill-advised choices on the subject. Whoever's in charge of that department must be relatively remote from the subject matter. Smiling
Name: Deb
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Bonehead
Feb 5, 2017 11:04 AM CST
I follow these types of threads with interest rather than knowledge. My take-away is I am so thankful that so many active members do take the time to ensure that our database is as accurate as possible. I appreciate these courteous taxonomy discussions and try to learn something from them, even though most are WAY over my head. Carry on...
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Feb 5, 2017 1:53 PM CST
KentPfeiffer said:
If you want to see confusion, watch what would happen if we were to knuckle under with this issue. Every botanist/plant nut has his/her favorite source of information on taxonomy, none of which are in complete agreement with each other. It would be chaos and these types of discussions would never end.


To my ears the choice of the term "knuckle under" is somewhat telling in itself. My interest in including a specific, reasonably common plant in the database has to do with serving the needs of the users. If knuckling under means finding a way to include the plant somehow, it also means serving the users of the database. I totally understand the consistency argument (and agree with it as such) but I must point out the very existence of this thread (plus its twin in another forum) is informative about the element of confusion that omitting this plant from the database generates.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Feb 5, 2017 6:11 PM (+)]
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