Re: [IGSROBIN] what's in a name?
Sorry I haven't got back to you sooner. Have been rather pre-occupied on
other things for a little while.
As to the purpose of Sub-genera, yes it is the territory of botanists who
decide the inter relationships on what appear to be mysterious bases. I do,
by the way, give a description of the various differences between
Pelargonium families/sub-genera on my web page in the introduction to "the
Family". As a hybridizer the grouping together of certain species does
give a degree of confidence into potential crosses that may be worth
pursuing and most successful crosses have arisen within sub-genera. There
have been and all ways will be the oddity that occurs.
As hybridizers and the bees have failed to cross zonals and regals without
success for 200 years ( maybe 1000years) I would think the chances are
pretty remote of it occuring so in this instance it would seem that the
botanists got it right.
With respect to Cynthia's learned historian, his formula for the creation
of regals is only one of many many theorems most at least agreeing on
cucculatum and its so-called forms,, as being the principal parent.
P.grandiflorum is certainly a species not included in the
Pelargium/pelargonium sub-genera but then there was also a cultivar
P.Grandiflorum which is nothing like the species and there was supposedly a
P.Superbum significantly involved. Early nurserymen liked using latin for
naming their plants in the forgotten past, thank goodness it is on longer
permitted under the rules of nomenclature. I doubt fulgidum is in regals
as most of its offspring hybrids are sterile.
As to the useage of P.Domesticum and P.Hortorum I agree and it cannot
happen these days. As I said earlier it is a carry over from the "good old
days" when life was supposed to be less confused and simpler than today.
Geraniaceae Is All Around The World
> From: Andrew <awilson@FDA.NET>
> To: IGSROBIN@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU
> Subject: Re: what's in a name?
> Date: Wednesday, June 02, 1999 2:50 PM
> Dear Alby,
> If I opened the can of worms I'm sorry. In any event, I appreciate your
> work in preparing that exposition resulting from digging out the wisdom
> of Linnaeus. I've thought about the matter for a few days, so let me
> The difficulty I had, and still have, was not with the distinctions of
> family, genus and species, for these are pretty well understood and
> accepted by now. The difficulty I had was with the sub-genera or
> sections. What purpose do these serve in the context of the question
> asked? If they served to say, for instance, that you cannot cross a
> member of sub-genus A with a member of sub-genus B then I'd agree that
> they provided a really good purpose of classification. However, it seems
> that this is not the case. The Regals resulted from multiple crosses
> between three sub-genera, and possibly more. Therefore, why should we
> even mention the sub-genus when we are trying to describe their
> background lineages of Regals, for instance? It serves only to confuse.
> It seems to be far simpler to simply list the species involved. I must
> assume the sub-genera are useful for some other reason but for genetics
> it sounds as though they do not.
> On your second topic, that the reporting of Regals and their parentage
> is questionable, I agree fully that it is a pity the lines were not kept
> accurately. The orchid people did it better. But there we are, Pel
> growers were freer spirits or perhaps it was the wealth and prestige of
> orchid growers over the years that kept a tighter lid on the pot. We
> cannot rewrite history and, even with DNA, it is very difficult to go
> back through many generations with all of the crosses and back crosses
> and be sure what the originating parents were. All we can do is to
> exclude many possibilities.
> To get back to the original question it sounds to me that it cannot be
> definitively said that a cross of a Zonal with a Regal is impossible
> since the full plantlines are uncertain. If the species that Cynthia,
> for instance, lists are the only ones in the Regal lines then it seems,
> from what you say, that we would really have to have a better handle on
> the species makeup to be sure. It is true that the cross has never
> succeeded and that basis alone may be the best reason we have to say it
> is not possible. At least it is simple and avoids the arm-waving that
> comes in by introducing sub-genera to the discussion. However, under
> such circumstances, don't you think that giving the pseudo-botanical
> title P. x domesticum seems to be a bit presumptuous? Why do we need it?
> San Diego, California
> Alby wrote:
> "By the way, there is considerable doubt about the so-called crosses
> used in
> creating the Regals. Much of it is guesswork rather than factual.
> Hybridizers tended to tell "fibs" in the good old days trying to keep to
> themselves the truth about the hybrids they produced. As I said in my
> earlier e-mail, its a pity that a fair dinkum registrar of hybrids was
> kept. These days DNA tests can help to substantiate the ancestary of
> plants as in humans and many "species" are being re-tested to determine
> their proper status."