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Off-topic info on P. warmingii

  • Subject: Off-topic info on P. warmingii
  • From: "ExoticRainforest" <Steve@exoticrainforest.com>
  • Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 07:51:12 -0500

It appears some were offended by my pointing out Mr. Graf had errors in his books.  Please note the things I said in the original post that I have now underlined in red.  I still have a very old copy of his book but I don't trust the names due to the known errors. 
My goal in researching my plants is botanical accuracy but if any of you are happy to use the names in Mr. Graf's texts, please feel free to do so.  Hpwever, everytime I point out these errors some try to take what I say as an insult to Mr. Graf and that I am recommending his books be trashed.  As I said in my post, HE DID A GOOD THING.  I don't believe I recommended anyone to throw away your copy.  I am quite amazed that the current publishing company that reissues his books makes no effort to correct or at least put a note with the errors.
Steve Lucas
Original post:
"There is no such official botanical name as "Philodendron warmingii" listed on TROPICOS or the International Plant Names Index.   You should be aware both Tropica and Exotica by A. B. Graf have many names that are not scientifically accepted.  Tropica was never intended to be science, instead Mr. Graf started out to just bring the world of rare plant species to collectors.  
Within Mr. Graf's texts there are numerous names that have no basis in science, someone simply made them up to sound scientific.  Some of those names contain the last name of a collector with a double i at the end and are not scientific at all.  Ever hear of "Philodendron wilsonii"?  That name was apparently invented in jest by Bob Wilson in Miami when he owned Fantastic Gardens.  The true species is Philodendron subincisum but everyone in Miami knows the plant as "Philodendron wilsonii".  One of the garden editors of the Miami Herald asked me several years ago why she couldn't find that name in any scientific text. 
Many of the names Graf chose to use never had any standing in science and were never published in any scientific journal!   As a result of Mr. Graf,  I personally spent two years chasing "Philodendron mandaianum" and could never figure out why the name wasn't in a scientific text.   Mr. Graf was not a botanist, he was a plant collector who did a good thing by introducing many of us to unusual species.   But his books are known to be filled with errors and Dr. Croat has pointed that out to us many times.
I always suggest any collector use the International Aroid Society website http://www.aroid.org/   TROPICOS http://www.tropicos.org/   or the International Plant Names Index  http://www.ipni.org/index.html  to verify if a name is scientific.  If you don't find the spelling just do a search using the genus name and an entire list of species will pop up on TROPICOS.  Sometimes you figure out you just have a bad spelling but all too often you'll learn the name (especially from eBay) just doesn't exist in science."
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