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This is a discussion on Names may change again - Laelia within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Originally Posted by wetfeet101b That is interesting information Mycologist. It is refreshing to know that ...
I think it is entirely unique to have a separate naming process where man-made crosses are given this sort of official treatment. The scientific process includes all species of organisms, and all plants and fungi are covered under the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. It is very thorough and rigorous, and works very very well for keeping the scientific names in order. Remember, these are names that are based on complete peer reviewed Latin descriptions with representative specimens preserved permanently as the "type". The code cannot be compromised to accommodate orchid breeders as it covers a huge number of other organisms. I would argue that the only way to make it easier would be to change how the registration process handles changes (I admit I understand nothing about how orchid crosses are named etc. or who sanctions this, but it is not the ICBN). Also, the correct original description must be given priority - it is really not an ego thing. It prevents duplicate names for separate species if the types and descriptions do not match. Sure credit is deserved where credit is due, but in true science ego takes a back seat (hopefully) and the authority is primarily just the reference to the one correct published description and corresponding type material. Species names are almost never changed (just genera and higher), and having a species named after you by a colleague is the only true honor in the system (unless it is for example Phallus ravenellii).
Whoever registers the orchid crosses seems to employ combining true generic names. In this process, they need to propose a clearcut synonimization protocol such that once a specimen is properly tagged that name never looses its meaning (hence they do not have to be re-tagged unless the grower wants to demonstrate that they are appraised of the adjustments that were made in the scientific community). These protocols are already in place for the scientific names and will not change, so it should be tenable. Basically the registry would just have to keep a list of accepted synonyms (old names) and these could never be used for something new. Then every tag that ever referred accurately to a specific cross will always maintain its full meaning.
Keep in mind that there is a revolution going on right now in all kingdoms. It has complicated things incredibly in the fungus world too. Because plants and orchids can hybridize in nature, the phylogenies (lineages) can introgress and become ambiguous. However, after centuries of struggling to understand natural relationships the flood gates have opened so we have to try to appreciate that we get to experience this period. It will be easy (and relatively boring) again in the future.
Last edited by mycologist; September 25th, 2008 at 04:34 PM.
scientific testing ability has come a long way in the last 50 years. We are now capable of genetically looking at the plant and getting a better idea of relationship among species in a genus. That is why all the changes are taking place. It is not just a random decision to seperate a genus.
Yes, the species name rarely changes except the ending of the word may change to coordinate with the genera name...like flava or flavum.
Do to splitters and lumpers having issues there is a constant debate going on. I first thought that the original hybrid names would stand but they haven't. Orchid hybrid registry is done through the Royal Horticultural Society. They have changed all the intergeneric hybrid names on their site. This has been based on the movement of hybrid background species being moved to different genera.
CITIES is another issue and I do have problems with it for conservation reasons but I can understand, particularly after being a first hand observer of the Phrag kovachii situation.