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Re: [IGSROBIN] what's in a name?

Dear Alby,

Indeed, the world has become more complicated. For instance, I hear that
even the orchid people who went to such difficulties for years to record
all crosses faithfully like they do for racehorses and pedigree dogs,
may be having their difficulties. The reason is simple. The number of
orchid species is gigantic - some think as many as 100,000 species.
There are uncertainties with some of them. Some believe quite a few are
just forms of another species. Thus, when a cross between two supposedly
known species takes place it is important that the form of the species
is recorded. Alas, that does not appear to have been done consistently.
Thus, we have uncertain bloodlines in a number of cases.

So, the world of geraniums is not the only one where there are a few
black sheep. Who knows what is really going on? I see seedlings pop up
each year that look like zonals but are they P. inquinans instead? I see
seedlings of the ivy-leaf P. peltatum appearing in places with flowers
varying from pale pink to mauve. What's the story there? And now that I
have a few Erodiums growing am I going to be cursed by crosses between
them and the dreaded E. cicutarium?

While there is a need for cataloging species and crosses we just have to
be careful not to take the nomenclatures too seriously. On that note let
me ask an embarrassing question - how pure is the seed of the IGS seed?
I was collecting some from my own species plants and, while I collected
from plants that were well separated, I was wondering how careful were
the providers of much of that seed. I'd not be at all surprised to see
'natural' crosses from members of the Otidia, for instance. What do you

San Diego, California

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