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Public Request: Please Use the Proper Naming Conventions

This is a discussion on Public Request: Please Use the Proper Naming Conventions within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Without pointing fingers, we seem to be getting sloppy in our documenting of plant names ...

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  1. #1
    raybark's Avatar
    raybark is offline Senior Member
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    Thumbs up Public Request: Please Use the Proper Naming Conventions

    Without pointing fingers, we seem to be getting sloppy in our documenting of plant names lately.


    • if it's a species, the genus is capitalized, and the specific epithet is not. Genus species
    • if it's a hybrid, both the genus and the hybrid epithet are capitalized. Genus Hybrid
    • if the cultivar is named, that name is enclosed in single quotes. ​Genus species 'Cultivar' or Genus Hybrid 'Cultivar'
    • if it's awarded, that follows in all capital letters.


    That saves a lot of confusion, and makes it easier for others to give advice, help with issues, or know what to look for!

  2. #2
    Chris in Hamilton's Avatar
    Chris in Hamilton is offline Senior Member
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  3. #3
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    I'm way too much of a novice to know any of this. I just type what's on the labels. No disrespect intended.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheryl View Post
    I'm way too much of a novice to know any of this. I just type what's on the labels. No disrespect intended.
    Me too!

    I went through that in the Koi World, and in my younger age I was serious about knowing all I could about "Nishikigoi". And what started out to be a hobby became a lot of work. I became a judge learning from one of the best Judges around. Grant Fujita. I don't want to go through that again!

    Not to offend anyone, but I now just want to enjoy the orchids I get, and what's most important to me is keeping them alive and healthy.
    I just need to know the basics ie: Is it a Cattleya, Dendrobium, Vanda and their names, and like Sheryl, I just type what's on the label and a lot of my orchids that I've gotten from neighbors and friends have NO labels ... So I ask the members.

    Peace Bro!

  5. #5
    Chris in Hamilton's Avatar
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    It is difficult for the reasons the Sheryl and Kauaiguy brought up. Often the tag that came with the plant is incomplete or the seller put there own little twist on it. Also a lot of people get plants (my wife) because they're pretty or (myself) on sale and those are usually missing the tag. Some tags I have no Idea what they mean. Especially what I think are florist tags looking like this. What the heck do they mean!!!

    Name:  Den. tags.JPG
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  6. #6
    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    There is no useful or meaningful identification on those tags except the genus, Den, Dendrobium. Catalog numbers, production codes, distribution codes, colors, trade names perhaps - but no actual identification of the plant. They are probably tags from the wholesaler or middle-man producer, rather than the source of the seedlings or the final seller. A good example of the problem. Even if the company producing the seedlings in the first place actually knows and identifies their product, the information is lost along the way with mass market plants. Such plants hold no more interest for me than cut flowers - I might buy them if they are cheap and attractive enough - but they are completely disposable. I honestly don't understand why anyone would acquire many of them and keep them long term, and have no interest in knowing what they really are.

    I understand Ray's frustration, but I also do understand the difficulty presented to beginners, and that many will not be interested or motivated to learn names, or have the experience to decipher the information that might be on the tag. What I don't understand is the active hostility when I gently make a correction to a name or identification and get nasty messages from people who haven't even participated in the thread. At least realize that a complete and correct name can be useful to someone looking for the same thing, or to pinpoint care for something that isn't one of the most common mass market throw-away plants. I admit that I lose patience with the constant whining about name changes when someone doesn't even realize the change they object to happened 25 years before they ever owned an orchid.

    In a mixed audience forum like this we all have to be tolerant. We have people who never owned an orchid or any plant until the day before they joined, and people with decades of professional or academic experience, and everything in between. Of course we all have different knowledge and needs and interests. I'm sure no one expects perfection, but some effort to accurately communicate the information you do have is reasonable to expect. And if the tag is a mess you can't decipher, saying so certainly aides communication. Why are we here if not to communicate?

  7. #7
    Chris in Hamilton's Avatar
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    I didn't think there was.These would be my wife's choices Eric. She hates some of my orchids. When a miniature Dendrobium or anything else with tiny flowers blooms she asks why I don't get rid of it. Even in the garden she doesn't care if it suites the landscape as long as it's pretty. I like to know the history and genealogy of a plant mainly because I'd like to know how to grow it but only started collecting orchids about 5 years ago. At 63 I will never have the experience and know how that others who have been growing for 30 or 40 or even 50 years have acquired. I do wish that I had started 50 years ago! Although I would love to know how to cross orchids to see what comes out, when you factor in that it might take 7-8 years from seed to flowering plant, I feel that I probably don't really have a lot of time to do that. I myself do not resent the corrections that Ray, yourself and others have made to my posts. I learn volumes from you and and amny other members who participate.

  8. #8
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    Lou posted an article that appears here and in our forum book, ORCHIDS THROUGH OUR EYES, that helps people understand their orchid label. Orchid Names and Naming | River Valley Orchidworks (when the label follows convention... haha..

    Cheers
    BD

  9. #9
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    Speaking only for myself, there was no frustration, impatience, or intolerance felt or intended, and I certainly didn't expect anyone to apologize.

    Every environment has its own "lingua franca," if you will, and by folks sticking to it, communication becomes far more direct, easy, and understandable.

    My attitude about participation in forums is one of learning from one another, and my request was seizing a "teaching opportunity." Sorry if it was taken otherwise.

  10. #10
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    First off let me say I don't mean to make waves as this should be a site for learning, but I have for awhile felt that somethings should be said and this is the perfect thread to do so.

    I am no expert and I don't claim to be one, I go with what has worked for me in my environment even if it is the correct way or not. Sometimes it is the way a correction or suggestion is stated, I have seen comments that I felt were condescending and down right rude, we are all here on this board to learn but I am not here to be talked down too! For those of you that have received messages degrading, just think they might have felt the same way with your comments even it they were not meant for them personally. I would think that there are more beginners on this board then experts, they are here for information and to learn, giving that information should be done in a way to teach not to be condescending. I am sure a miss typed name is an error due to what is on the tag, personally I could care less if I have the correct name, its the plant and the flower that I am interested in not a name. To read that some orchids are completely disposable is not the best way to teach beginners or those who have only had orchids for a short amount of time, as a beginner most do not want to spend a lot of money so what you consider disposable is probably perfect for a beginner, let them determine if they want to keep it or not. I bought my first orchid back in the 80's and in the beginning I was, like most, more interested in the bloom not the name, only with time did I learn what those names stood for and how to properly care for that orchid. With time those first starting out will also learn.

    So my suggestion is to remember that those of use who post replies we are doing so to teach, it is how you say it that matters!

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