Good idea Julius.
Here is a list of
some of the sources I use almost daily. Some will only confirm or deny
the validity of a scientific name while others will give more detailed
information. Everyone should be aware that not every plant name will
always show up on some of these lists since those names are either
recently published or works in progress which have not been published
at all. And much worse, MANY of the names used on internet plant
discussion groups and sources such as Wiki are totally "made-up"
(that's Dr. Croat's term!). One of our youngest members Taylor Holzer
(14) who is quickly becoming a whiz at aroids found one last night
called "Philodendron Katak" on a website that is a completely bogus
name! The plant they were showing is Philodendron martianum
Engler. He also found a plant on one site which was using the name of
a Philodendron species and the plant was obviously an Anthurium!
Taylor immediately knew they had the wrong genus name! You see, Taylor
loves to read about aroids and keeps me on my toes all the time! But
what we all have to deal with as a result of the internet is you can
rarely trust ANY name of a plant discussion group! I've actually found
people putting their own last name with "ii" at the end!
One major point of interest if you are trying to learn about an aroid
species! Dr. Croat frequently publishes his field notes on TROPICOS,
you just need to know how to find them! Follow this procedure: 1) Go
to the TROPICOS site and type in the scientific name you are seeking
information regarding. If the name you typed does not pop up you need
to check to see if you misspelled the name. The TROPICOS system will
often try to correct your spelling or suggest proper spellings as you
work. But if all else fails then type in only the genus name (i.e.
Philodendron). A complete list of species will pop up but you should
be aware this list will also include all valid names plus any synonym
names. You need to go to that page and look at the headers to see if
the name is a synonym for another plant! Click on "synonyms" and the
site will tell you if it is valid or a synonym of another species.
Then, after you have located a valid name click on "specimens". A list
of the collected specimens will pop up. You can see to the left of the
page where the specimen was collected and to the right you'll see a
list of collection numbers including the author. If you find any with
Dr. Croat's name on them as the collector click on the number. Then
you will be able to read his field notes about that particular
collection. READ THEM ALL! You will often find additional info in
other collection data. I often go through the entire list to find
information on the color or details of an inflorescence,
characteristics of the petiole, stem, blade, cataphyll and other
important facts you can use to determine the characteristics of a
TROPICOS which is a service of the Missouri Botanical Garden
The International Aroid Society. You'll find tons of good info here!
The Aroid l Index. To use this try typing in the name of the plant and
then click on all the years. The system will search for any
discussions of that species from the beginning of Aroid l
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\Aroid l achieves search.mht
The International Plant Names Index which is a service of the Royal
Botanic Garden Kew in London. This is considered the ultimate source
by many but rarely lists details and only confirms the validity of
Kew Monocot Checklist. This site sometimes contains good info about
why a plant is a synonym instead of the currently accepted name.
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\Kew World Monocots Checklist
The Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
In addition, look up any of the major botanical garden websites.
Sometimes you will find the information you need.
Of course, you should add all of Dr. Croat's journals on Philodendron,
Anthurium and other genera you are interested in learning about to
you library. Be certain you own a copy of Deni Bown's book Aroids,
Plants of the Arum Family. One of the ultimate scientific source
books is The Genera of Araceae by Mayo, Bogner and Boyce. Many
of you often read Pete Boyce's material right here! Julius and I both
depend on that text heavily since you can learn very detailed info that
is rarely available in other sources. You can order just about all of these from the IAS.
By the way, have you paid your 2009 International Aroid Society
renewal? If you're not a member go to this link and join RIGHT NOW:
http://www.aroid.org/ The info you'll receive in the mail is well
worth the small cost!
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 12:17:24 -0600
Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Duckweeds and Other Aquatic Aroids
Dear Walter and All,
Just a quick note to back up what Steve explained well here--Wikipedia
is pretty usless from a scientific point of view, ANYONE can post
anything, and even if you know better, and do some well intentioned
editing of the posting, the original poster of false information can
and usually will edit it BACK to his original false information. This
is not only in their Botany section either!!
Ask Steve for other more reliable (but not as yet foolproof!) sources
of information on aroids.
Walter, I'm not familiar with the
species so I can't comment there. However, many times I've found gross
errors on Wikipedia that appear to sound scientifically accurate. I
did some research on that "encyclopedia" and actually found that anyone
can post anything on Wikipedia and it is rarely edited unless by
another contributor who also may or may not have scientific
background. I actually know of a teacher who did an experiment and
edited a Wikipedia post on the brain just to see if anyone would change
what she wrote and to this day her purposely false information is still
on the site (as far as I know)!
I research aroids almost every day of the year and constantly find
made-up or bad names on plants on that site all the time. The
information on there is often horribly wrong if compared to a
scientific journal. As for me, I don't trust Wikipedia for much of
anything and always try to find other sources before even looking
something up on Wiki. I once edited a post on Wiki with a direct quote,
word for word, from one of Dr. Croat's journals and it wasn't a week
until someone edited my post back to the way it was before. I gave
There are so many "plant experts" out there that don't give a rip about
science, they only care about plant myths which is exactly why I
stopped posting on UBC or any other plant discussion forum other than
Aroid l. There is one guy on UBC who has made over 10,000 posts and
when I bothered to read them I found bad info all the time. Whenever
I'd ask for a source he'd point to A.B. Graf which any of the botanists
on this forum will tell you his books Exotica and Tropica are filled
with errors. Mr. Graf's books haven't been edited for many years it is
scary. But people often believe what he wrote above the scientfic info
written by our most knowledgeable and gifted aroid botanists! If you
use Wiki, triple check the info!
Walter Turner wrote:
Ted and others,
Is this the current thinking? The article seems to have been
written by someone knowledgeable, perhaps writing under the name
Zeamays (I don't have enough experience with Wikipedia to be sure). Is
that a member of our group?
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