Field of Science

Oh, no, they done it again, Fragaria disappears!

One of TPP's greatest annoyances is when new data results in changes to taxonomy, particularly the loss of long familiar generic names. This sometimes produces problems in terms of herbarium curation as well. In those cases where TPP has decided to refile genera, a marker-pointer is left so that when the old memory, or old field guide, leads someone to the old name, something points them to the correct place.
It was quite a surprise when TPP found our that the genus Fragaria, strawberries, was transferred to Potentilla! Apparently there are reasons aplenty, but that's not the point. This is most distressing because Fragaria, based on the same root as fragrance, is a very familiar genus, as is Potentilla, but TPP has different mental images of each; now they the same?  Well, this is why herbaria have curators.  Curiously, in a day an age when many largish genera are fragmenting (Did you know that N. America, including New England, no longer has any Asters?) Potentilla is getting larger and more diverse as it taxonomically sponges up these smaller genera. Hmm, so what about Duchesnea, Indian strawberry, the notorious lawn weed?  More questions to answer.  Sorry, a handy link has not presented itself, but the article is easily found by googling on Mabberly (the author) and the two generic names.  

No comments: