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[Aroid-l] Anthurium regale and the Issue of Botanical Specimens

  • Subject: [Aroid-l] Anthurium regale and the Issue of Botanical Specimens
  • From: ted.held@us.henkel.com
  • Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2007 08:58:26 -0500

Have you folks been following Steve Lucas's developing story about the Anthurium regale bloom? The point that interests me here the most is the morphological and color changes that this inflorescence has displayed over the LONG bloom process.

What happens if a scientifically-minded collector happens upon such a plant in the early stages of bloom? Let's assume she secures a specimen and describes it with perfect accuracy. Later, another collector makes a hike into the same area, finds an exact clone of the first specimen in bloom, but at a maturation date six weeks later than was available to the first collector, when the inflorescence is a completely different color and when all the little "naughty bits" have morphed.

How does the taxonomist know that the two plants are the same?

It seems to this untrained observer that only a painstaking record such as that on Steve's site would be adequate to describe a species and avoid the ambiguity.

Here is the address in case you have not seen it yet:

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