They are using old information, I guess. At this time I would no be so presumtuous as to give a number of species. I just have not seen enough of the latest information to make such a decision. I know of no scientific paper that gives the number as ten. It would be interesting to know who the consultant was for the encyclopedia. Index to Garden Plants published in 1995 has 40 species, Encarta has nothing on hostas on the CD, Index Kewensis, THE authority on plant names has 45 or so by eliminating all the synonyms, varietal names and old names, superceded names. Ben shows 23 species on the basis of pollen viability and DNA content. And so it goes on. I feel that my comments on population studies are valuable because had it not been for Barry Yinger exploring Taehuksan and Myong Chung Tolsan-do we would not have H. yingeri and H. jonesii to add. There will never be a good fixed number because new discoveries are made all the time and unless we cover the native habitat like the proverbial dew we will not have a complete picture. H. nigrescens is a good example of a taxon which was found in the wild in Iwate Prefecture (Rykuchu) and I examined a herbarium specimen from that area. This hosta has been known in Japan for 125 years but no one seems to have procured any population data nor found the wild habitat. Geographic location on old specimens is sketchy or missing altogether. Most of Maekawa's specimens were from cultivated sources. It may be an interspecific hybrid population (low fertility), but a population nevertheless because Japanese flower arrangers have use this hosta for a long time. In modern days these may have come from cultivated plants but there was a population (or still is) somewhere in northern Honshu. Fujita's concept of declaring H. montana to be H. sieboldiana is strange because H. montana occurs all over Japan, the green "sieboldiana" in southern Japan and the classic, grey H. sieboldiana is nowhere to be found. I would like to see population data for the latter before I accept this arrangement. They are no doubt related but such an arrangement does not fit the recognition concept of a species.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, March 01, 2002 8:12 PM
Subject: Re: DNA and pollen viability in hosta
In a message dated 3/1/2002 5:06:12 AM Central Standard Time, email@example.com writes:
Dear Mr Schmid
I did read with interest your treatise on species
I happened to be at a library today and found ( Ich habe mich daran gefunden) myself at the Reference section while I waited for a computer. Picked up the H volume of Encyclopaedia Americana, published in 2000. Turned to "Hosta." It read : A genus of 10 species.
Why does this happen? Many respected encyclopaedias make this mistake--OR is it a mistake? Could a competent botantist/taxonomist validly claim that there are but 10 species in the genus?
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