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Aroid-l] Duckweeds--Wikipedia

  • Subject: Aroid-l] Duckweeds--Wikipedia
  • From: ExoticRainforest <Steve@exoticrainforest.com>
  • Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2009 10:50:00 -0600

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 species.

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 names.

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 Series.mht

The Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families

Cate Araceae

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!

Steve Lucas

ju-bo@msn.com wrote:

Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 12:17:24 -0600
From: Steve@ExoticRainforest.com
To: aroid-l@gizmoworks.com
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 up! 

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!

Steve Lucas

Walter Turner wrote:
Ted and others,
After reading your discussions, I was looking at the Wikipedia entry on Lemnaoideae. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemnaoideae
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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