Plant Database forum→Semantics & dangling participle give false impression

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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
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Mar 19, 2018 3:00 PM CST
I was about to share a link to a parent plant entry in the database here on FB this weekend but decided not to because of the wording on the banner at the top of the page. The discussion is an ID request for a Hymenocallis and "spider lilies" is the name folks are fixing on, and as discussions about common names will invariably yield, there is confusion why one "spider lily" is so different from another. One person is confused because her "spider lilies" only bloom in the fall (which is because they are Lycoris radiata.) I wanted to share the parent entry for Hymenocallis because I did not know the species.

I did not share the link in that discussion because then the Lycoris folks would have thought the info applies to their plants too.
"This database entry exists to show plant data and photos that apply generically to all Spider Lilies."

The wording in question is in the banner at the top of this page (and every parent plant entry, if I understand correctly):
Spider Lilies (Hymenocallis)

Also of concern is the dangling participle. As phrased, it's saying all data and pics apply generically to any plant in the genus, but in practice, all photos may not necessarily apply generically to all species within a genus.

Could this please be edited to put the genus name instead, using Hymenocallis as example:
"This database entry exists to show plant data that apply generically to all Hymenocallis species, and also contains photos of any kind of Hymenocallis plants."

With this small tweak to the semantics, nobody should draw a wrong conclusion that stems from confusion about nicknames/common names, or images, because of the formatting/wording of a parent plant entry on the database here.

Thanks for reading & for your wise consideration.

Oh, and P.S. It would be SOOOOOOOOOOOOO helpful if the generic &/or parent entry was the first search result when one searches a genus name.
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Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
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Mar 19, 2018 4:18 PM CST

Plants SuperMod

You raise some good points, Tiffany. @Dave is the best one to address these, so hopefully he'll have some time soon to respond.
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Mar 19, 2018 4:40 PM CST
I agree that it's probably better to use the Latin name instead of the common name in the text at the top of those pages... just because putting "all" next to a common name is going to result in lots of mixups.

Maybe adapt Tiffany's text to say "plants" instead of "species" (since the generic entry is often a place for random hybrids) and simplify the second half?

"This database entry exists to show plant data that apply generically to all X plants, and photos of any X plants."

It would be great to see the generic/parent entry first on searches for that word.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Mar 19, 2018 4:51 PM (+)]
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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Mar 19, 2018 4:44 PM CST Admin

This is really something that @eclayne should be looped in on. He is the one who proposes the names that we use for most main plaint entries.
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
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Mar 19, 2018 6:25 PM CST

Plants Admin Emeritus

Thanks for the shout out Dave. I'll respond in a bit.

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