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Orchidaceae taxonomy and genus list[edit]

I've tried for a long time to avoid looking seriously at Taxonomy of the Orchidaceae and List of Orchidaceae genera. Both are out-of-date. The first is particularly poorly referenced, especially in regard to inline references; the second seems to be based on the now obsolete World Checklist of Selected Plant Families although the introduction doesn't make this entirely clear. Sorting this situation out looks to be quite a bit of work.

  1. My first question is whether we need two articles with lists of genera. Having two articles creates redundancy and many opportunities for inconsistency. My strong preference is to have only one article listing the genera; there can be another with a general discussion of orchid taxonomy.
  2. If there is to be only one article, how detailed should the classification be? Chase et al. (2015) at doi:10.1111/boj.12234 has a genus list down to subtribes, but is now 8 years old. APweb has a list to tribes, but seems to be based mainly on Chase et al. (2015). Are there any more recent reliable sources?

Peter coxhead (talk) 15:22, 27 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What about World Orchids? Michael Hassler keeps Orchids and Ferns as separate checklists (even though included in the world list). I assume this means some particular interest which might make them more up to date. Edit: On reflection, this doesn't answer your question as you want a subfamily/tribe classification. —  Jts1882 | talk  15:42, 27 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think there's anything more recent than Chase 2015 for the whole family. Genera Orchidacearum is older (and Chase is a co-author). Articles/taxonomy templates are almost all following Chase 2015 (NCBI follows Chase, and GRIN appears to be following older sources). I don't think we need two lists of genera, and the list could just be a simple alphabetical list (I'd suggest keeping mentions of tribes in Taxonomy of the Orchidaceae, but not listing all genera there). Plantdrew (talk) 16:29, 27 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ok, well in preparation for a single list ordered alphabetically, I've created User:Peter coxhead/Work/Orchidaceae genera. There are some redirects where the name is recognized by PoWO, and 72 articles on orchid genera that are not accepted by PoWO. I guess all of these need fixing (although PoWO generally lumps rather than splits). All assistance welcome! Peter coxhead (talk) 19:14, 28 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A bunch of the genera with articles that aren't accepted by POWO were split from Maxillaria. Chase also treats Maxillaria in a broad sense. The article says "it has been proposed that the genus should be split into several genera, proposals that have been gaining acceptance", which is sourced to WCSP. I'm not sure if Kew has changed their position on splitting Maxillaria, or if WCSP is being misrepresented with that statement (or if WCSP was just mentioning an alternative view). Plantdrew (talk) 19:37, 28 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Redirects/redlinks accepted by both POWO and Chase: Cyrtochilum, Microepidendrum, Oxystophyllum, Quechua (plant).Plantdrew (talk) 19:47, 28 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Plantdrew: stubs created on these. Peter coxhead (talk) 06:51, 30 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are also significant differences between PoWO and Chase. Ignoring nothogenera, I counted:
  • 670 accepted by both
  •  35 accepted by PoWO but not in Chase
  •  66 in Chase but not accepted by PoWO
I'm surprised by the number in Chase but not in PoWO. Peter coxhead (talk) 06:18, 29 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've gone through the taxonomy templates and moved a number of genera to the tribe/subtribe in the classification of Chase et al (2015). This shouldn't interfere with changes related to recognition by only one of Chase and POWO. One issue that came up is that there is an article on tribe Dendrobieae, which Chase recognises as subtribe Dendrobiinae in tribe Malaxideae. I added a brief update on the Chase taxonomy, but this article probably should be moved or made a redirect.
@Jts1882:, how did you manage to find that Template:Taxonomy/Waireia needed to have a subtribe parent instead of a tribe? I'm kicking myself for having left it as it was. Did you just stumble across that one, or did you use a more systematic method to detect taxonomy templates with parents less specific than given by Chase? Plantdrew (talk) 04:34, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Systematic. I use my taxonomy template browser to compare the template hierarchy with the classification being followed. Often there are genera not placed in the lowest appropriate taxon. So starting at Orchidaceae, the child taxa included five subfamilies and 19 genera. I moved 14 genera to the appropriate Chase subtribe (the other five are not in Chase). In the case of Waireia, I saw tribe Diurideae had nine subtribes and Waireia. I also look for mismatches in number of child taxa (I open and close each child of a taxon, but I might automate this one day) and compare those with the classification. Some of these are genera simply placed in the wrong taxon (which I fix), some are missing automatic taxoboxes (which I convert, although I've only found a few for orchids, unlike some crustacean taxa!), and others are due to differences in the treatment in Wikipedia and Chase. Some of the Cymbidieae have large mismatches in child taxa (e.g. Oncidiinae has 72 child templates, compared to 65 genera in Chase), and these I've leaving alone for now as I assume its differences in Chase and POWO, which is what Peter coxhead is currently working on. Small mismatches I'm checking and fixing if not following Chase (e.g. Stanhopeinae was missing Lueckelia). I'm not being totally comprehensive, as if the child numbers match I'm not systematically checking the genera (there could two errors that cancel).
One issue I've noticed is in tribe Podochileae. The template hierarchy has genera in subtribes Eriinae (23) and Thelasiinae (3) which are not recognised in Chase. If we are exclusively following Chase these need moving to the tribe. However, the subtribes have articles. Is there any other taxonomy that would justify retaining these subtribes articles and templates? —  Jts1882 | talk  09:38, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jts1882: see the Ng et al. (2018) reference at Eriinae. This is later than Chase et al. (2015), and has Chase and Pridgeon as co-authors, as well as some other very highly respected orchidologists. So I regard it as acceptable as a source. (The only complication I've found so far is that there's a muddle over the correct name and authority for Cymboglossum, which I've tried to write up under Taxonomy there, and which I have some queries out for both IPNI and PoWO.) Peter coxhead (talk) 10:00, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That seems a good source, so I'm glad I didn't move them (I note they've fixed Oxford Academic in the Wikipedia Libary at last). I'll check the taxonomy templates against this new study and keep the subtribes
There is another recent subtribe proposal, for Orchideae, in Chen et al (2017; doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.329.2.2). They propose a new subtribe Pachitinae for Pachites and resurrects Huttonaeinae for Huttonaea. I had moved {{Taxonomy/Pachites}} from Pachitinae back to Disinae, as the change was made while leaving Chase et al (2015) as the reference, but that was before I saw the new study at {{Taxonomy/Huttonaea}}. The article on Orchideae also includes the taxonomy in this newer study, so I think this should be used as well. I'll revert my change with the new reference. —  Jts1882 | talk  10:30, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Orchideae needs some work; the list of genera is only the genera in subtribe Orchidinae (which needs an article) that were sampled by Jin (2017). See Talk:Orchideae, Plantdrew (talk) 16:59, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The taxonomy in Ng et al (2018) is strange. The abstract says the "generic circumscription of Eriinae s.s. (excluding Podochilinae) is revised, and 21 genera are accepted" and then the paper recognises a 24 genus Eriinae sensu lato (table 1), which includes the three genera in a nested Podochilinae. As the tribe is Podochileae, shouldn't this larger clade be Podochilinae sensu lato, even if it includes many former Eria species?
Another thing I noticed is the article for Eria has Eria stelata as the type species in the taxobox. POWO does't contain an entry for the species, even as a synonym. —  Jts1882 | talk  12:42, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are some other cases (though none come to mind at the moment) where e.g. tribe Fooeae has subtribe Barinae, which contains Fooia and Baria. The first name published at subtribe rank typified by any of the included genera would have priority even if that makes the tribe and subtribe names inconsistent. Eria stellata is the correct spelling; it's a synonym of E. javanica (having a type that's a synonym is another counter-intuitive aspect of nomenclature). Plantdrew (talk) 16:34, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What I'm trying to do at present is to go through the redirects in the list at User:Peter_coxhead/Work/Orchidaceae genera#PoWO genera to see whether they should actually be articles, and create them if so. Then, even if they are not moved or redirected, at least the PoWO name needs to be found for all those listed at User:Peter_coxhead/Work/Orchidaceae genera#Article but not in PoWO. All assistance will be extremely welcome, as there's a lot of work to do.

Additional genera accepted by neither POWO nor Chase with articles: Acianthella, Hylaeorchis, Jennyella, Orthochilus, Phymatochilum. Chase has some discussion regarding Orthochilus and Eulophia; Chase's genus concept of Eulophia may be paraphyletic if Orthochilus isn't recognized, but POWO apparently solves this by lumping other genera recognized by Chase into Eulophia. Plantdrew (talk) 02:23, 9 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Chase described Nohawilliamsia in 2009, and didn't mention it in 2015; weird. Chase (2015) also doesn't mention Archivea, which is understandable as according to Stanhopeinae, the type is a watercolor painting; however, POWO accepts it. I'm going to look into Archivea a little more (illustrations can be acceptable types, but on the surface of it, I'm baffled why anybody would decide to erect a new genus in 1996 on the sole basis of an illustration) . Plantdrew (talk) 03:01, 9 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sorbus intermedia[edit]

Hi all, the taxon Sorbus intermedia (Q27980) is supposedly the same as Borkhausenia intermedia (Q41550410) and Scandosorbus intermedia (Q95988426). Is it necessary to have three distinct Wikidata items? Besides on Commons we have the category Borkhausenia intermedia and the gallery Borkhausenia intermedia but the Wikipedia article is still Sorbus intermedia. Can we fix this mess?-- Carnby (talk) 21:32, 14 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Carnby: we cannot fix the mess involving Wikidata. As explained at User:Peter coxhead/Wikidata issues, contrary to what the Wikidata description claims, their "taxon" items are instances of taxon name not taxon, so there should be multiple items per taxon.
Editors here can move Sorbus intermedia to Scandosorbus intermedia and can also go over to Commons and make or ask for moves there. Peter coxhead (talk) 06:13, 15 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So most sources now identify the plant as Scandosorbus intermedia and that should be the title?-- Carnby (talk) 06:23, 15 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
POWO accepts the new name, with the others as synonyms, so I agree the page should be moved. POWO is the favoured source for organising article titles and taxobox classification, but the alternatives should be discussed in the text. Not sure if most sources recognise this combination yet. WFO and Tropicos don't recognise genus Scandosorbus. I assume the difference is because it's a relatively new genus (2018), although World Plants recognises xScandosorbus and xScandosorbus ×intermedia.
I've added other identifiers to the taxonbar in Sorbus intermedia. Curiously the taxonbar collapses in preview mode (because it has four identifiers), but not on the saved page. —  Jts1882 | talk  07:50, 15 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's now been moved. POWO splits Sorbus into several genera. Under that circumscription, intermedia is an intergeneric hybrid between Torminalis, Aria, and Sorbus which is why the genus name Scandosorbus is needed for it. But the intermedia article refers to the parent species as Sorbus. There is quite a bit of work needed to implement the split of Sorbus on Wikipedia.
@Jts1882:, Tropicos isn't proactive about adding names that aren't relevant to the expertise of a taxonomist affiliated with Missouri Botanical Garden, or to a geographical region where MOBOT doesn't have a research program. Europe is not an area where MOBOT is going to have a research program (there are plenty of other institutions doing European botany). Tropicos picked up a lot of names not particularly relevant to MOBOT in the process of building The Plant List, but you should expect that Tropicos will often lack records of names of European species published after The Plant List. Plantdrew (talk) 19:39, 24 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Importance ranking at Pitaya[edit]

A question has been raised at Talk:Pitaya#Importance ranking about this project ranking the importance of the acticle as "Top". Donald Albury 14:37, 15 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Importance ratings aren't very important, and I don't worry about them much. Theoretically, if a WikiProject had collaborative efforts to expand articles, those efforts would focus on articles with higher importance ratings, but there really isn't a history of collaborative efforts to expand plant articles. Distribution of importance ratings follows (more or less) a power law: 75 Top, 698 High, 8,608 Mid, 83,731 Low, which I think is appropriate. Maybe it should not be (approximately) a power of 10, but it should not be 4 equally sized buckets of ~20,000 articles.
Pitaya was the 17th most viewed article last month (and been pretty consistently around that rank in other months). While I think page views should play some role in determining importance ratings, they shouldn't be the only consideration. Most of the articles rated Top importance are very basic topics in botany. The only other Top importance article about a particular plant (as opposed to a broad group like moss, flowering plant, etc.) is Arabidopsis thaliana, which I'd be inclined to demote to High importance.
Many of the most viewed articles are tropical fruits, or plants that have only recently become available and trendy in English speaking countries. That makes sense, people go to an encyclopedia to learn more about topics they are unfamiliar with. But I don't think pitaya is more important than wheat or rice, even if it does consistently get more page views. Pitaya shouldn't be Top importance. Either High or Mid would be reasonable. Plantdrew (talk) 16:44, 15 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A couple of years ago I went through most of this Project's articles and assessed them. I set Pitaya to High because it gets 3000 pageviews a day. Somebody put it to Top, Mid is too low. Abductive (reasoning) 20:52, 23 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What should happen with List of publicised titan arum blooms in cultivation? Cultivated titan arum blooms were once a rare event. Now they are something where a bunch of institutions have multiple blooms per year. These events do still draw crowds, but the list is very incomplete. There is a list of blooms through 2008, which I guess is pretty comprehensive (it has 157 entries). Should the list be renamed to have 2008 as a cut-off date, or should it be redirected to Amorphophallus titanum with some discussion about how blooms in cultivation used to be rare (that article is suffering from spammy additions of not particularly notable recent blooms)? I don't think maintaining the list as it is now is really feasible. Plantdrew (talk) 19:02, 16 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would argue that although such bloomings were once notable, they aren't now, so the article is not encyclopedic and should be deleted. The topic but not the list should be discussed in the species article. Peter coxhead (talk) 07:45, 17 August 2023‎ (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Peter coxhead I disagree mildly about it not being encyclopedic. The fact that they were hard to cultivate did make it notable and I think it remains somewhat notable because it gives good information about where and when the problems of the cultivation and learning about the exact requirements of this extraordinary plant took place. There also is some degree of interest in blooms even now, but I think that condensing the information down to something like, "In the decade following at least as many plants bloomed in cultivation as did in the first 100 years." 🌿MtBotany (talk) 17:51, 17 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Calasterella californica[edit]

Where does he go? New plant: SpookMew (talk) 14:49, 17 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't think its a new plant. It's a proposal for new genus and subfamily for Asterella californica. If the proposal is accepted, then the article should be moved. In the meantime, a statement could be added to the taxonomy section to present this new alternative classification. —  Jts1882 | talk  15:39, 17 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ooooh, thank you for the information! SpookMew (talk) 15:50, 17 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ive also seen this flower doesn’t have a page, I’m looking theough new species for 2023 atm. I dont know much about plants SpookMew (talk) 15:53, 17 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are more than 300,000 species of plants. Wikipedia has articles for 64,000 of them. Finding plant species that don't have articles isn't much of a challenge. Plantdrew (talk) 16:26, 17 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposal to merge bramble into Rubus[edit]

See Talk:Rubus#Merging_"Bramble"_with_this_page. Thanks. Hemiauchenia (talk) 22:19, 17 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is a requested move discussion at Talk:Achillea millefolium#Requested move 24 August 2023 that may be of interest to members of this WikiProject. Wikiexplorationandhelping (talk) 03:49, 24 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Juniper berries and arils[edit]

I'd appreciate if someone more familiar with botany would help answer my query at Talk:Juniper berry#Arils?, specifically regarding the relationship between juniper berries/galbuli and arils. – Scyrme (talk) 15:32, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Interwiki-linking of grasses?[edit]

Apparently the German as well as a number of other Wikipedias combine members of poales with a grass-like appearance into an article such as de:Gras. These articles are linked through grass (Q643352) which erroneously refers to True grass in the English Wikipedia.

The English Wikipedia as well as a few other Wikipedias on the other hand have an article Graminoid which appears to have a similar scope but cannot be linked through grass (Q643352) as these are already linked in Graminoid (Q12363071).

What to do? KaiKemmann (talk) 09:50, 31 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's a well know limitation of Wikidata that it only allows one-to-one linking of wikidata items with language wikipedias. English Wikipedia links Poales (Q28502) with Poales, Poaceae (Q43238) with Poaceae, which is logical enough, and then links grass (Q643352) to the redirect true grass (which links to Poaceae). The problem lies with grass (Q643352), which is an item about grasses, an instance of organisms known by a particular common name (Q55983715). The cause of the problem is that the common name can be used broadly or narrowly, at least in English. The links to the broad grass article on German wikipedia and the link to the narrow grass article on English Wikipedia are both valid links, even though they cover different scope. I wouldn't say the English wikipedia link is erroneous, just because the link to the German wikipedia article has different scope. You could equally argue that the German wikipedia de:Gras should be linked to Graminoid (Q12363071) so it corresponds to the sitelink for the English wikipedia Graminoid. I'm not sure there is a solution, we just have to pick the least wrong one. —  Jts1882 | talk  12:02, 31 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for you comprehensive answer, Jts1882.
Well, it seems to contradict the stringency of Wikidata to link true grass (= Poaceae) to grass (Q643352), which in general (i.e. in probably most of more than two dozen connected language wikipedias) seems to be about a number of poales species (of which true grass is only one).
This minor issue aside, I find it somewhat unsatisfactory that grass (Q643352) and Graminoid (Q12363071) coexist without apparent reference to each other.
Grass and true grass both redirect to Poaceae which probably does not reflect the concept of most people where "grass" is "anything that looks like grass".
Provided that we can agree on this definition (and maybe fall back onto "true grass" as a common synonym for "Poaceae") I would suggest to
Thus at least the English Wikipedia and my native Wikipedia would be linked through the Wikidata mechanism and other wikipedias could follow suit.
Any reservations about this?
Alternatively de:Gras and the respective articles in other language wikipedias could be entered manually as interwikilinks into the source code of graminoid. This would save some time but these interwikilinks would then need to be removed again if an article de:Graminoide for example would be established later on. (Or do the Wikidata-links automatically supercede the manual interwikilinks?)
KaiKemmann (talk) 13:22, 1 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Type species sourcing[edit]

I was reviewing edits like this and was wondering... what is the best source to find the correct type species of a genus? I looked in POWO but didn't see anything. Steven Walling • talk 20:33, 6 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

IPNI or Tropicos are good for type species. Plantdrew (talk) 03:48, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Category: Taxa by author - a hoary old problem?[edit]

Seem to me that some editors have difficulty distinguishing between "taxa named by X" and "species named by X" (as for example here), when creating categories (eg. Category:Taxa named by X). Is there guidance somewhere to assist with an explanation of the difference? Gderrin (talk) 04:28, 16 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • As I wrote at Talk:Sambucus australasica, I don't think there is a distinction between "taxa named by X" and "species named by X" – species are just one kind of taxon. A real issue is the difference between the nomenclature codes in how they handle transfers of species to another genus. The ICZN is only interested in the original author; the ICNafp takes account of the transferring author. So Sambucus australasica (Lindl.) Fritsch could be categorized:
  1. Only in "Taxa named by John Lindley"
  2. Only in "Taxa named by Karl Fritsch"
  3. In both these categories
There's a case for (1) – consistency across nomenclature codes – and a case for (3) – all authors cited with the taxon – but in my view no case for (2). Personally I prefer (1), since it's then consistent with "Plants described in YEAR" (except for replacement names), as well as with ICZN names. Sambucus australasica was described and named by John Lindley in 1838 (as Tripetelus australasicus), so should be categorized in "Plants described in 1838" and "Taxa named by John Lindley".
A problem with also using "Taxa named by <transferring author>" is whether current acceptance is enough to privilege one synonym of the basionym over others. In the very broadest sense a species has been named by any author transferring it to another genus. It's cleaner to categorize based on the basionym only. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:48, 16 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I mildly prefer (3) because it is almost like a collaborative naming, just across time instead of like with a more recently named taxon where multiple authors are given credit. But I have been doing (1) because that what I have seen other editors doing. And I think I have failed to properly add the "named by" category on at least one article I wrote where the species does have two authors. Have to fix that when I'm back at editing next month.
Thanks for your comment, a very good summary, as usual. 🌿MtBotany (talk) 17:52, 16 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Possibly, but it would need a wider discussion across ToL WikiProjects, I think. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:58, 16 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This discussion seems to reoccur with regular frequency ... maybe it's time to finally have this discussion and iron out some explanatory text to go on the category page?

There is a requested move discussion at Talk:Floral emblem#Requested move 14 September 2023 that may be of interest to members of this WikiProject. – MaterialWorks 16:58, 21 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Distribution categorization of monotypic genera and species redirects[edit]

There seems to be a divergence of practice as to where to put the distribution categories for monotypic genera whose only species is described on a page with the genus as the title. I've consistently interpreted the guidance at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Plants/World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions#Using the categorization hierarchy

"Taxa of the lowest rank are always included (species, subspecies, varieties). Higher taxa are included only if endemic (for example, a genus endemic to Western Australia could have the genus article itself included in that category)"

to mean that the species redirect is always categorized, and the genus article is categorized only if endemic. So, for example, I would put both Scaraboides and Scaraboides manningii in Category:Endemic flora of the Cape Provinces. On the other hand, I would put Pentaglottis sempervirens in Category:Flora of Southwestern Europe but wouldn't put Pentaglottis in a distribution category.

I was prompted by the recent removal of a distribution category from Scaraboides manningii to look at examples to try to find out what the usual practice was. It seems to me that there isn't any consistency and I can't find any explicit guidance. I wonder if we could agree on how to handle distribution categories for monotypic genera and species redirects. Peter coxhead (talk) 19:07, 26 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]