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WikiProject Plants

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Dracaena americana/Dracaena ghiesbreghtii

POWO has apparently discovered an obscure earlier published name for Dracaena americana, Dracaena ghiesbreghtii. A copy of my comments from the talk page:

Apparently this is a recent change in POWO. Wikispecies cites POWO (as of 2019) for D. americana, and iNaturalist has a record for D. americana (they also follow POWO). WFO accepts D. americana, and their record is based on WCSP (another Kew resource). POWO's record for Dracaena ghiesbreghtii is messed up; it cites Tropicos as a publication, and Tropicos doesn't have any record for D. ghiesbreghtii (!!!); POWO also cites Flora Mesoamericana, but according to Tropicos the name in Flora Mesoamericana is D. americana. D. ghiesbreghtii was described from material from Mexico, and that publication predates the publication of D. americana. So if there is a single Dracaena species from Central Americana (which doesn't seem to be disputed), D. ghiesbreghtii has priority. But it does seem like a situation where a proposal to conserve D. americana against D. ghiesbreghtii would probably be successful.

Digging a little further, I found that German Wikipedia de:Drachenbäume cites POWO as of 2 February 2022 in treating D. americana as a synonym. So I guess it's not a super recent change. Google Scholar doesn't have any results for Dracaena ghiesbreghtii; I do have a hard time seeing using that name as a title as being at all helpful to anybody searching for information on the Central American Dracaeana. Plantdrew ( talk) 00:35, 22 April 2023 (UTC) Reply reply

Best to just move it and mention the more used name as (syn. Dracaena americana). It was created on 21 April 2023 (probably off WP:PAR), and User:Hadal is an admin who started editing in 2003, so they won't be too shocked. Abductive ( reasoning) 05:11, 22 April 2023 (UTC) Reply reply
For the record (and if it matters!) I don't have any objections to moving the article, should this WikiProject deem it appropriate. For my own part, as an outsider as it were, I was not aware that POWO took supremacy over other databases. (For the sake of future contributors, perhaps this should be made more explicit?) As Plantdrew noted, the taxon record on POWO seemed a little strange; and all recent scholarship used D. americana. In the end, this was mostly a gnome's attempt at getting back into article creation after many years, starting with what I thought would be an uncontroversial subject! Thanks to everyone who has improved on it already. -- Hadal ( talk) 13:30, 22 April 2023 (UTC) Reply reply
I am not sure why we use POWO, but what I have run into with every source of authoritative plant names is they all have areas where I go “well that’s weird”. Or they have incomplete coverage. I came to this conclusion when I started working on Penstemon (which still is a bit of a mess, but is at least better). The differences in usage between PLANTS, FNA, WFO, and POWO, are interesting. Also mildly frustrating.
I also missed the fact that we follow POWO here on Wikipedia when I first started editing plant articles. I just assumed that all sources were more or less co-equal and so cited USDA PLANTS on the assumption they were fairly authoritative. It was digging into other good articles to see what I’ve been used on them that finally clued me in that I should use POWO. MtBotany ( talk) 15:08, 22 April 2023 (UTC) Reply reply
Other points of view need to be covered in the article, but we need one source to determine what gets articles, what they are called, and what goes in the taxoboxes. If this got decided on an article basis, it would be a mess. POWO seems to be the one with the most up-to-date curation and respond to questions and fix errors. There is no reason other specialist sources could not be used for some plant groups if there was consensus. POWO isn't used for ferns and World Plants/Ferns is used as they follow the PPG classification.
In this particular case, POWO is a bit of an outlier. It might be a case where we delay the page move to see if any other sources follow their lead or if they change back to americana.. —   Jts1882 |  talk  15:50, 22 April 2023 (UTC) Reply reply
Nah, just move it and move it back if it ever gets resolved. It's clear that Dracaena ghiesbreghtii is older ( Google Books search), and why suspect POWO of an error of commission? I also note that Dracaena americana has only 134 Google scholar hits and only 35 observations on iNat; it is not a particularly important plant, and nobody will be upset if they get redirected. Abductive ( reasoning) 23:58, 22 April 2023 (UTC) Reply reply

Thlaspi caerulescens and Noccaea caerulescens

The two datasets and look to me like they refer to the same plant. I cannot be certain that this is true and don't know how to merge them anyway. Can anyone help me? 2001:4BB8:2A7:A427:790B:F9E:F2AC:C790 ( talk) 11:17, 23 April 2023 (UTC) Reply reply

They should not be merged. Regardless of the fact that such Wikidata items say they are instances of "taxon", they are not. They are instances of taxon names. If you look at the taxonbar at the bottom of Pseudognaphalium gaudichaudianum, you'll see how Wikidata has entries for multiple synonyms of the same taxon. Peter coxhead ( talk) 07:00, 24 April 2023 (UTC) Reply reply
I see, thanks for the explanation. I brought this up because the wiki articles for this plant seem to be connected to the datasets. If you check the wikipedia links for both, it is clear that they refer to the plant, not the taxon name. But there are two datasets and an article can only be linked to one of these. This has led to roughly half the articles linking to Thlaspi, the other half linking to Noccaea. For example, /info/en/?search=Thlaspi_caerulescens and should be the same plant, but they are not interwiki-linked. I cannot get these two language groups to link to each other, wikidata won't let me: "The link dewiki:Gebirgs-Hellerkraut is already used by Item Q163035. You may remove it from Q163035 if it does not belong there or merge the Items if they are about the exact same topic. If the situation is more complex, please see Help:Sitelinks." -- 2001:4BB8:2A7:A427:790B:F9E:F2AC:C790 ( talk) 23:48, 24 April 2023 (UTC) Reply reply
See User:Peter coxhead/Wikidata issues for an explanation of Wikidata issues with taxon items. You have to choose one of the two taxon items and move all the language links to that one. Peter coxhead ( talk) 09:33, 27 April 2023 (UTC) Reply reply
Although I cannot help resolve the Wikidata issue and add the inter-language link to the German article, I have merged the two English Wikipedia articles as they are synonyms. Noccaea caerulescens is the senior synonym as per PoWo. Loopy30 ( talk) 15:35, 25 April 2023 (UTC) Reply reply
Thanks! Peter coxhead ( talk) 09:33, 27 April 2023 (UTC) Reply reply

Citations to the Global Compositae Checklist

Asteraceae articles quite often have citations to the Global Compositae Checklist (or Database) with URLs beginning with something like Such URLs no longer work. I've created {{ Cite GCD}} as a replacement; it does not embed the URL in wikitext, so can be updated if the URLs change again. The template is new, so let me know if there are any problems with it. Peter coxhead ( talk) 07:46, 17 May 2023 (UTC) Reply reply

Thank you for the work and the information. It happens that I am working on Microseris so I'll make use of it this week. MtBotany ( talk) 16:09, 17 May 2023 (UTC) Reply reply
The GCD is now hosted on the WoRMS infrastructure. Strangely accessing it using the WoRMS interface seems to get a more up to date version. For instance, Xerochrysum gudang, described in 2022 and added to the database by Maartin Christenhusz on 23 December 2022, is not available via the Global Compositae Checklist interface (see Xerochrysum). The addition does suggest this database is going to be actively curated. —   Jts1882 |  talk  08:17, 18 May 2023 (UTC) Reply reply
@ Jts1882: interesting. If you look at the WoRMS entry for Xerochrysum alpinum, it cites the GCD, implying that this entry was taken from there on 15 Aug 2021. Whereas the entry for Xerochrysum gudang doesn't mention the GCD, suggesting to me that Christenhusz entered it directly into WoRMS. So does WoRMS automatically update from the GCD? Curious. Peter coxhead ( talk) 10:04, 18 May 2023 (UTC) Reply reply
Investigating a bit more, all the entries in GCD that I looked at are in WoRMS, but as Jts1882 showed, the reverse isn't true. It appears that although the common entries look very similar, they are using separate underlying data sets. So should we use WoRMS instead of GCD, given that WoRMS seems to be more up-to-date? It seems strange to use the World Register of Marine Species for composites! Peter coxhead ( talk) 13:04, 18 May 2023 (UTC) Reply reply
I was wondering if the WoRMS site has the primary database that is dynamically updated and the site a mirror that is updated periodically. It could allow them to have a versioned releases.
The Aphia system was developed for WoRMS and the Flanders Marine Institute seems happy to host other databases using it (e.g. IRMNG). There are six marine species of Compositae, but I assume the GSD are just taking advantage of a stable platform to host their database and allow their editors to update it.
It would seem strange to have citations to linking WoRMS, so it would be best to use the site, if possible. Unfortunately there is no indication of when it was last updated or how often this will occur. —   Jts1882 |  talk  13:50, 18 May 2023 (UTC) Reply reply

Casuarina range map question

Could people familiar with what is wanted for range maps please check this talk page? For invasive species, should a range map show only the native range? Nadiatalent ( talk) 08:11, 26 May 2023 (UTC) Reply reply

Range maps for plant species are always problematic, although they can be of value in giving a sense of where a species occurs. We can only be confident that a plant occurs in a particular location, if it has been recorded at that place by an expert botanist. Sometimes a map showing where a species has been recorded is useful (as for example here), but even then, may include records in botanic gardens, or misidentifications. Plants of the World Online dodges the problem by including the whole of a country or state, when the species has only been observed in a small part of it (as for example here). The distribution map on the Casuarina page incorrectly includes East Africa and Madagascar in the distribution, but not the Top End of the Northern Territory. On the other hand, it does not include all countries where it (actually Casuarina equisetifolia) has been introduced. It appears to have been drawn "by hand" using information from a book that I can't access. On balance, a better map is needed, and I will delete the present Casuarina distribution map unless I read a read a contrary opinion here. Gderrin ( talk) 10:37, 26 May 2023 (UTC) Reply reply

Plant articles by quality log

Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Plant articles by quality log stopped adding new updates a few days ago. It's a useful reference. Anybody know what's going on? Tom Radulovich ( talk) 02:00, 29 May 2023 (UTC) Reply reply

Did you mean the table: User:WP 1.0 bot/Tables/Project/Plant? The log's page history shows daily updates, but the table hasn't updated in several days. It's probably due to the issue discussed at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)#Unrelated_replag. PetScan has been giving me outdated results over the same time frame. Plantdrew ( talk) 16:29, 29 May 2023 (UTC) Reply reply

Festuca pseud(o)eskia

Festuca pseudeskia is spelled Festuca pseudoeskia in all the Taxonbar sources except for POWO (but including IPNI, with the same database ID as POWO). iNaturalist does have records for both spellings. The original spelling includes an "o". Is there any grammatical or code-based reason to eliminate the "o"? Plantdrew ( talk) 20:28, 31 May 2023 (UTC) Reply reply

Well, if there is a code-based reason then it would be in Art. 60.10. If the -o- is meant to be a connecting vowel between pseud- and -eskia, then it's wrong because it should only be added if the second element begins with a vowel. Compare the genus name Pseuderanthemum or the epithets in IPNI found in this search. On the other hand, this search shows that IPNI has many more epithets with the o before an e.
Stearn's Botanical Latin gives both pseud- and pseudo- as combining forms and has examples with and without the o before a vowel. So my guess is that PoWO is wrong to change the original spelling. Peter coxhead ( talk) 22:01, 31 May 2023 (UTC) Reply reply
A bit more from Stearn: "Before a vowel the final vowel .. is normally elided. Special cases are provided by neo- .. and pseudo- .. which in classical usage sometimes occasionally retained their terminal o even when followed by a vowel". [1] Peter coxhead ( talk) 06:21, 1 June 2023 (UTC) Reply reply


  1. ^ Stearn, W.T. (2004), Botanical Latin (4th (p/b) ed.), Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, ISBN  978-0-7153-1643-6, chap. 19, p. 260