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  Typhoniums linked
From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2003.02.04 at 16:34:17(9921)

The species of Typhonium on the IAS website are now linked to their picture
pages. Have fun.

From: "MJ Hatfield" mjhatfield at oneota.org> on 2003.02.05 at 00:41:10(9923)
The Typhonium photos are wonderful. Great to have them linked.
But what do you mean..."Sauromatum may be resurrected?"

From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2003.02.05 at 15:28:11(9927)
Sauromatum, dear, was finished off by me and Peter Boyce in Aroideana. Don't
you read your literature??????? In my introduction on the Typhonium page, I
state that Typhonium may have to be cut up in smaller groups and that means
that T. venosum may end up being a group of its own again, in which case the
name Sauromatum has to be re-instated.


From: Rand Nicholson writserv at nbnet.nb.ca> on 2003.02.06 at 15:42:35(9935)
Dear Lord P.:

Speaking for those of us who still have their old Sauromatum labels
laying about on their benches ...


I'm glad people don't have to name their kids the way taxonomists
name plants. ;-)

Still: "A rose by any other name would ..." er never mind.


From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2003.02.06 at 17:35:24(9937)
Ranting Rand,

You are absolutely right. Us taxonomists make life complicated at times. On
the other hand, plant people are inherently conservative in this, not
appreciating the scientific dynamics of taxonomy, which after all IS
science. What would happen if scientific developement stopped? (I don't
expect a smart-ass answer to this!!!!!!! o.k.!!!!!)

Congrats with your Sauromatum labels! Don't throw 'em away just yet!!!!!!!!


Lord P.

From: Rand Nicholson writserv at nbnet.nb.ca> on 2003.02.07 at 16:22:03(9941)
Your Lordliness:

I subscribe to a few other lists, notably an orchid and carnivorous
plants list, where the naming of names is sometimes discussed by
knowledgeable people with hammers and battleaxes a-flailing, though
usually more civilized. Although sometimes fun from an onlooker's
point of view (I keep very still and try not to make eye contact),
one can appreciate the underlying seriousness of what is being
attempted. Many times it has been brought home, the importance of
getting it right amongst a sometimes bewildering (to me) confusion of
criteria, historical inaccuracies, various schools of thought (ie:
Lumpers and Splitters) and , of course, the personal take of some
involved regarding the rules and guidelines of taxonomy itself. So, I
do not mock the science or the attempt to classify things as they
should be in order to allow me to say for certainty that my A.
fargesii _is_ indeed A. fargesii and not A. franchetianum (which, by
the way, it turned out to be - I think).

Typhonium venosum (see, I said it! Hardly hurt at all.) came to me as
a "Voodoo Lily" with a burbling exhortation of how it would "flower
hugely and gorgeously on your windowsill from the naked bulb without
being potted into soil!" Who amongst us could resist that? And it
did what they said.

After I regained consciousness I found out everything I could, which
was _very_ difficult at that time, (my email was still a decade away
in the early eighties) about the amazing beast, my first bulbous
Aroid, and decided that Sauromatum guttatum was a keeper (much to the
disgust of my friends and family who had witnessed the event).

You see, I had a lot invested in the name as well as the plant which
still lives on today, happily flaunting its inflorescence each spring
like clockwork _out_ of doors in fresh moving air in a nice roomy pot
with some of its offspring. Now the place is crawling with various
Aroids and I could not be happier. I bend a knee before your phalloid
wisdom m'Lord and If you find that you must rename any of them I will
dutifully make the appropriate labels and use them freely, as I have
a large supply of markers and labels are cheap. And I actually do
want to know what I have, am growing, and be able to find good
information on them. Names are, indeed, important.

(I should also get points for restraint in complying with your
expectations regarding any answer to your question. Significant
restraint, when one considers possible responses, which, of course, I

You will forgive me though, I trust, if I dance The Aroid Dance of
Joy _if_ an old friend returns? And have a bit of fun with this along
the way?

Best Regards,

Rantless Rand

From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2003.02.08 at 08:48:15(9945)
Oh Good Ran(d/t) of Canada,

Your well-prosed reply concerning the names of the beasts has struck me
deep. I resign as taxonomist. I surrender myself to the Law of the Labels,
The Scepsis of the Sellers and the Protests of the Public. I am doomed,
trodden, trampled, trashed and whatnot. Until I will resurface from the soil
where I will look for Times Eternal to Elysean Fields of tubers of
Sauromatum, once thought to be Typhonium, I greet you.

O.k., so much for my alter ego. Now it's my turn.

Of course you are right (you are?). Name changes also can cause stirs,
especially in plant groups that are economically important. Of course, names
for a minor, insignificant group of people who like such afwul creatures as
aroids and are joined in an insignificant clubette called the IAS, are not
worth considering by taxonomists at large.....

Wait, this is not the beginning of a proper answer.......this is too soft.

No, serious, name changes are good and bad. Good is that they do indeed
(SHOULD indeed) reflect progression in taxonomic thought. These days
taxonomists are by and large of the opinion that names should reflect
evolutionary relationships as that is the great adagium most biologists work
with, despite the fact that there are areas in the world (even in the
western one) prohibiting (the children of) their inhabitants to think that
evolution is happening.

From: "Balistrieri, Carlo" cbalistrieri at nybg.org> on 2003.02.10 at 13:35:12(9960)
Actually Wilbert, I've split Homo sapiens. Plant people are obviously
another species entirely: I go with Homo dementus.

For one who's interested in plant nomenclature and taxonomy, albeit not
formally trained in either, this discussion is another fascinating look at
how these things get done (undone, and done again). Being trained as a
lawyer, the only righteous indignation I can arouse is when someone doesn't
follow the rules--or stretches them to the point that logic fails.

Whenever I get in a muddle about taxonomic/nomenclatural matters I fall back
on my short list:

1. get the best information you can

2. try to understand the reason for the proposed change.

3. just for yucks, form your own opinion and see which side of the fence
you fall down on.

4. remember that all this stuff is invented by us. NOTHING had a name until
man came along.

5. the plants don't care.

6. the plants don't care.

7. the plants don't care.


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