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WikiProject Plants

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WikiProject Plants (Rated Project-class)
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Move discussion at Lychnis chalcedonicaEdit

See discussion on the talk page regarding moving the article Lychnis chalcedonica. —Hyperik talk 18:58, 4 August 2020 (UTC)

World Flora OnlineEdit

What's the current sitch with World Flora Online? Abductive (reasoning) 03:52, 6 August 2020 (UTC)

Eh? It works for me. Or do you mean the quality of the info? Working on Protea, I'm not impressed. They are taking their info from TPL (which had problems), including recognition of subspecies which are no longer recognised in PoWO or, since the 1970s, the regional floras from Africa. Leo Breman (talk) 18:21, 6 August 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, the quality of the info. It seems to me that they only have a subset of what PoWO and TPL have. But I could be wrong. Abductive (reasoning) 03:40, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
It's a work in progress, although possibly behind schedule (2020 target?). It's supposed to be a successor to TPL. Given some known problems with the TPL it's probably best that they haven't imported everything and are doing it selectively. Plantdrew gave a useful rundown of the plant databases and made the intriguing comment that "Kew got impatient and decide to release POWO on their own". Not sure what that means about the collaboration or if it has implications for WFO, which is the broader ranging project. —  Jts1882 | talk  07:00, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
WFO is intended to fulfill goal #1 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, which has 2020 as a target date for the goals. #1 is the easiest to achieve, so I would've expected some announcement signed by Kew, Mobot, et al. before December 31st that WFO was at least ready to use (if not complete). But with COVID, I'm not sure what to expect now. I don't have any deep inside knowledge about Kew and WFO vs. POWO; from what I understand, Kew remains committed to WFO, and isn't employing anybody to develop the POWO database further. An update to The Plant List was certainly needed, and POWO fulfills that need for now. Plantdrew (talk) 19:24, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
People tell me, "just use PoWO and nothing else", and now it's not going to be maintained? Abductive (reasoning) 12:05, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
@Abductive:, I asked somebody at Mobot who goes to WFO meetings, "what's the deal with Kew and POWO"? That would've been sometime prior to the thread Jts1882 linked above; at least 2 years ago. POWO has stayed up and running. It's maintained, but I wouldn't expect any new features to be added (the programming team that created the database probably got paid quite a bit more than most horticulturalists and botanists employed by Kew; no need to keep them on once the database does what it needs to do).Plantdrew (talk) 17:02, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
So, new taxa are added and corrections are made? Abductive (reasoning) 21:36, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
Yes it's updated regularly. Issues I've pointed out to them are usually updated within a week. —Hyperik talk 22:21, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
What do they need to make a correction? The right answer from you, or just a query about something looking wrong? And how does one ask? Should I ask you and you ask them? Abductive (reasoning) 00:24, 9 August 2020 (UTC)
You can provide background/references, then they make an independent assessment. The contact email is —Hyperik talk 03:23, 9 August 2020 (UTC)
So, too soon to put it on taxonbars? Abductive (reasoning) 07:15, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
It is already on taxonbars. Perhaps Wikidata isn't getting updated. Have you an example where it is not appearing in the taxonbar where there is a WFO entry? —  Jts1882 | talk  07:25, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
Sure, I just went to my List of Prunus species and the second one down, Prunus aitchisonii is on WFO but the WFO link is not on Wikidata. Ditto with Prunus amplifolia, Prunus annularis, Prunus argentea, Prunus brachypetala.... So it is safe to assume that it is not completely updated on Wikidata. Abductive (reasoning) 11:33, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
Prunus aitchisonii has status ambiguous on WFO and isn't listed on the Prunus page. Similarly for Prunus amplifolia, Prunus annularis and Prunus argentea. That might be why they haven't been entered on Wikidata, if the bot only adds accepted taxa. You can add them manually as the information is still valid. —  Jts1882 | talk  13:42, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
You should have kept going, Prunus brachypetala is a regular species. In any case, the bot should put all WFO entries into Wikidata because it is important that they think a species is ambiguous. It's data. Abductive (reasoning) 20:26, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
And Prunus brachypetala has a WFO entry in the taxonbar. I note that the Wikidata claim was added on 30 July by SuccuBot, so that would be the place to request other names get added. —  Jts1882 | talk  05:54, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
Nah, nobody does anything they're asked to on Wikidata. There's no policy over there, just independent operators. Abductive (reasoning) 12:02, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
Succu seems reasonable and does a lot of this work (hence the bot). There are a few others who see their role as a priesthood guarding the flame of the sacred identifier. The discussion over adding POWO online comes to mind, where resistance included phrases like over my deadbody (embellished slightly). Reason eventually prevailed but I haven't checked the body. —  Jts1882 | talk  12:16, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
There was resistance to adding PoWO data to Wikidata? Please explain. Abductive (reasoning) 12:23, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
POWO uses the IPNI identifier for consistency across databases. The identifier gods at Wikidata considered this the same identifier and not worthy of its own claim. The identifier had a value, which was considered the important thing, even though it is used to point to different items on different databases. —  Jts1882 | talk  12:31, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
Cart before the horse thinking, typical. It's strange how Wikidata claims that anyone can add any structured data to Wikidata, then says data is bad and can't be added. "Heaven forfend that disgusting data gets added to our database of everything, maybe if we ignore those pesky users they'll go away." Abductive (reasoning) 12:42, 8 August 2020 (UTC)

Low-res imagesEdit

I think images are important to illustrate meanings at List of descriptive plant epithets (A–H) and List of descriptive plant epithets (I–Z), and the more the better ... the trouble is, if I keep adding similar images, both lists will go over Mediawiki's file limits and crash. What would be perfect would be some nice, tall, lower-file-size illustrations ... they don't have to be perfect, they just need to illustrate some of the epithets. Can anyone point me to a good source for low-res illustrations of species? (Commons is kind of hit and miss, but I wouldn't mind pointers to Commons.) - Dank (push to talk) 16:09, 7 August 2020 (UTC)

@Dank: Are you sure it will crash? I'm on a slow connection right now but those pages load fine for now. Doesn't mediawiki load a thumb sized version rather than the full size image which is rescaled on the fly? If you really do need low resolution images, then it wouldn't be too difficult to write a script to pull them from commons, resize and reupload. SmartSE (talk) 16:58, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
Jonesey ran a test for the file sizes here, working off an earlier estimate. The tests seemed to indicate that we need to be careful; OTOH, the lists are slightly smaller now. - Dank (push to talk) 17:10, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
The test was for combining all the lists and the file size was only 15% of the allowed total. If you partially transclude a template, the whole template size counts towards the post expand include size, but images must be handled differently. Many pages use thumbnails of large images and the 2MB limit would soon be breached if the whole image size counted. —  Jts1882 | talk  06:01, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. - Dank (push to talk) 10:54, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
Why not just break the lists up further, A-C, D-H, I-P, Q-Z or whatever? Abductive (reasoning) 12:27, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
That's certainly an option. The second half of the list will be up at WP:FLC in a day or two, and I really have no idea how that's going to go ... if FLC doesn't work, then I'll be chopping these up into smaller pieces and adding enough narrative (about the people and the process, say) so that I can get them through WP:GAN. FLC reviewers would prefer as few pieces as possible. - Dank (push to talk) 13:05, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
Can a List be a Good Article? Abductive (reasoning) 13:34, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
Probably, if it reads like a Good Article before you get to the list. Btw, I don't have any strong preference on images ... anyone who wants to pick some illustrative images for the list is welcome to go for it. - Dank (push to talk) 13:37, 8 August 2020 (UTC)

Hederopsis maingayi / Macropanax maingayiEdit

Hello ! It ssems that the article Hederopsis maingayi needs to be updated and renamed Macropanax maingayi. TED (talk) 00:45, 8 August 2020 (UTC)

  Done Good one! It looks like the IUCN is making a really stupid mistake here, and Polbot, well, is a bot. I'll get rid of the conservation status template too, as that is obviously spurious... Leo Breman (talk) 08:25, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
The IUCN assessment is 1998, so maybe when they next assess it. —  Jts1882 | talk  09:08, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
Regarding those 1998 IUCN assessments trees in Peninsular Malaysia, this is not the first time they've made a mistake due to taxonomic confusion. Also most of the conservation status was rough guesswork based on known habitat. The Malaysian Forestry Department came out with its own regional red list which is much better done, but never seem to have published more than a few families. Leo Breman (talk) 11:48, 9 August 2020 (UTC)

"Page not found" on PoWOEdit

I've come across a few instances of a taxonbar link to PoWO that leads to a page that says, "Page not found". An example is for Silene viscaria. The IPNI page still exists; Presumably this indicates that PoWO thinks that there is a more serious problem than merely saying "This is a synonym of Viscaria vulgaris Röhl." or "This is a synonym" or "This is an unplaced name". In any case, is there any automated way that such instances of "Page not found" could be made into a list? Just asking Wikidata to remove the linkrot would be a solution, but I would rather see a list of Wikipedia articles with the bad PoWO links first. Abductive (reasoning) 21:31, 10 August 2020 (UTC)

Given that there's still an IPNI entry, my guess is an oversight at POWO rather than an intentional suppression of the name. (There are occasional entries at IPNI that are not "real" names—i.e., a name attributed to X who was really just using, and perhaps misapplying, that name as earlier published by Y—and those do get suppressed when brought to the attention of the staff. The identifier persists, but they don't come up in the search.) I'd run them through POWO feedback as you come across them. Choess (talk) 22:34, 10 August 2020 (UTC)
Typically these are in cases where a taxonomic change has been made recently. So the evidence supports a deliberate deletion of the PoWO page, with Wikipedia and Wikidata not keeping up with the change. That's why I want a list, not be forced to deal with this things one at a time. Abductive (reasoning) 00:02, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
It seems just as likely that it's a software tooling issue with POWO, where formerly accepted names are getting deleted instead of put into synonymy when a new name is accepted instead. If the example you gave was really a deliberate change, it's not getting reflected by IPNI, so there's a problem there. I think it would be better to send this (and other examples you may come across) to the POWO feedback address. If it's accidental, the problem will be fixed upstream where it needs to be fixed; if not, the staff at Kew will presumably tender some rationale for having done so. But I'd like to see confirmation from them that this is deliberate before we start tackling the issue here on Wikipedia (rather than pushing it back towards POWO). Choess (talk) 02:21, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
Let us know what PoWO says when you tell them about this one. I want to fix errors on Wikipedia, and these PoWO pages are clues that taxonomic errors exist on Wikipedia. If all the errors are corrected by PoWO, then they will have to be accidentally discovered and maybe fixed of the next decade or two on Wikipedia. Abductive (reasoning) 06:07, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
The POWO claim was only added to Wikipedia on 19 June 2020 and the Wayback machine failed to find a POWO entry on 21 June 2020 and has no earlier entries. So why did Succubot add the claim then (is this the source of error) and why did the Wayback machine looked when it did, when it had never looked before? I see no evidence that the POWO page ever existed. —  Jts1882 | talk  07:07, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
Okay, here's one created by User: Peter coxhead on Oct 13, 2019 and explicitly cited by him, only to disappear from PoWO. Abductive (reasoning) 07:41, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
Strange. The Wayback machine failed to find the page on the day the citation was made.
POWO does have a current entry for Botrychium lanuginosum but with a different ID number. The current functional number is 17291050-1, the number in the taxonbar is 17061220-1, and the number added in the citation is 7291050-1 (the current number without the leading 1). —  Jts1882 | talk  08:02, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
Thusly was an error on Wikipedia found. Do you see why I want a list? Abductive (reasoning) 08:58, 11 August 2020 (UTC)

The Botrychium lanuginosum problem was a combination of two different issues. Firstly, my old typo, now corrected. Secondly, IPNI and POWO using different IDs. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:41, 11 August 2020 (UTC)

I have queried before with Succu on Wikidata whether the bot assumes that IPNI and PoWO use the same ID and (as I remember) been told that it doesn't, but I've seen cases like this before where the Wikidata item has links with the same ID, but either the databases are using different ones or the entry doesn't exist in one of them.
My understanding is that Kew staff have been furloughed and so are not legally allowed to work on PoWO or IPNI, so PoWO has not been maintained. However, there are IPNI editors in the US (like Kanchi Gandhi) who are able to work, and I have had IPNI issues fixed lately. Peter coxhead (talk) 12:11, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
I think there may be a (temporary) PoWO issue. See my post at Succu's Wikidata page. I've found some more discrepancies, all affecting 2019–2020 names. Peter coxhead (talk) 12:51, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
That one is (sort of) an IPNI problem. While the entry is incomplete, B. lanuginosum Wall. probably comes from Wallich's numerical list, a catalog of specimens without validating descriptions which created a pile of nomina nuda. Some of these were validated by later authors, which is why POWO links (correctly) to B. lanuginosum Wall. ex Hook. & Grev. The former name should really be annotated as a nomen nudum in IPNI.
I think the staff may be back from furlough now; the site notice has come down, anyway. Choess (talk) 17:49, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
@Choess: yes, but the real point is that IPNI uses ID 17061220-1 for the authorship "Wall. ex Hook. & Grev." whereas PoWO uses this authorship with ID 17291050, which is the one for which IPNI just uses "Wall.", so it's PoWO that is using the wrong ID, albeit the right authority. Peter coxhead (talk) 18:07, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
Ah, interesting. But in "other data", they link through to 17291050-1—they should probably just be using 17061220-1 in POWO. That is interesting. Choess (talk) 18:49, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
Here's another anomaly: the PoWO page for Crataegus says there are 264 accepted species but the list actually contains 311 if you copy and paste it into Excel or just count them. It appears to not count the hybrids. Abductive (reasoning) 22:52, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
I'd noticed that as well. If you were using excel to format a species list you could use {{format species list|PASTE LIST HERE}} and substitute it on the page {{subst:format species list|PASTE LIST HERE}} . It will substitute wikitext on the saved page (preview isn't helpful, so you must save it) and that wikitext can then be edited normally. —  Jts1882 | talk 
It's also another reason not to state an exact number of species in a genus article. Abductive (reasoning) 09:04, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
Going back to the missing PoWO entries, Succu at Wikidata confirms that the bot created entries based on a dump of PoWO as it existed then. It seems pretty clear that new 2019 names have disappeared. As another example, the taxonbar at Inversodicraea koukoutamba shows a PoWO ID in Wikidata but the entry is not now in PoWO. Also look at the PoWO entry for Coleus species: they've obviously entered the transfers from Plectranthus up to C. decurrens and not got any further, and there are none of the new combinations that are in the original paper (and at List of Coleus species). So it's not worth trying to make a list of missing entries right now, as I'm sure PoWO will be put right when they are back to full time working. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:23, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
I have noticed a long term trend of taxonomic work trailing off alphabetically. Probably goes back to Linneaus. It's one of the reasons I proceed reverse-alphabetically most of the time. Heck, I'm sure you've all heard that faculty hiring committees have been shown to have a bias towards earlier names in the alphabet. Woe betide Ulrika Younggren as she tries to beat out Brian Aldaine and Carlos Bristed for the position. Abductive (reasoning) 09:02, 12 August 2020 (UTC)

Move discussion for gooseberryEdit

This is a pretty popular article; see the move discussion I opened here: Talk:Gooseberry#Requested move 12 August 2020. —Hyperik talk 03:05, 13 August 2020 (UTC)

Some open category discussions that affect plants too: Castanea and Fagus. —Hyperik talk 13:09, 15 August 2020 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2020 August 16#Achillea ambrosiacaEdit

Just a pointer to a redirect deletion discussion. - Dank (push to talk) 20:09, 16 August 2020 (UTC) (I've been told that we don't generally redirect from missing species pages ... but I see there's some disagreement, so a discussion might be helpful. I don't have a preference.) - Dank (push to talk) 22:16, 16 August 2020 (UTC)

I note that the species list in the Achillea article has a number of other redirects back to itself (e.g. magna, setacea, squammosa, tenuifolia). There is also Achillea maritima, which redirects to another genus article, adding an inconsistency. I think this redirect is correct, as it is to a monotypic genus, and the species list is from TPL, which raises the question of whether it should be removed or not (this list follows the source, but is outdated). Quite a few other species links in Mount_Olympus are redirects to large genera.
The point of the redlink is to highlight a potential article. With these large genera how much potential is there for articles? Perhaps the redlinking should be more selective. —  Jts1882 | talk  07:34, 17 August 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, accepted species redirects should definitely be removed, though the common conclusion of these redirect discussions is that someone ends up creating the article... :) —Hyperik talk 12:05, 17 August 2020 (UTC)

Progress report on missing genera from PoWO, AugustEdit

It has been two months since I created the list of missing genera from PoWO. In that time 128 stubby articles (and 2 mistaken redirects) have been created, mostly by me. That is 3.7% of the 3416, which means that at this rate the list will be finished by November 2022. Abductive (reasoning) 21:54, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Species or genus templateEdit

Would a template be useful to link to the species where an article exists or its genus otherwise? I've mocked one up in a sandbox. For missing articles I've suggested the format [[Genus]] [[Genus species|species]], e.g. Viola aetolica, but that could easily be changed, for example to Viola aetolica* as used in List of descriptive plant epithets (I–Z). The template adjusts automatically if an article is created or deleted, like {{ill}} etc. Certes (talk) 22:28, 23 August 2020 (UTC)

Hiding redlinks of species is not something I would like to see more often; I see it all the time. Users, often in articles on national parks, discover that there is no article on a species found in the park. Embarrassed, they pipe to the genus to get a bluelink, basically guaranteeing that nobody will ever write the article, and then years later, even when the article has been created, nothing links to it. Redlinks encourage article creation, and they also appear in "What links here" report (example). Abductive (reasoning) 08:12, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
Agreed, the redlinks have an important purpose. However, I think that is the idea behind only blue linking the genus and leaving the species epithet as the redlink. It both provides the most relevant link and leaves the "article needed" message. I only wonder if it might be a bit confusing with the the name parts linked separately. —  Jts1882 | talk  08:16, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
If only there was a way to get a bot to find all species piped to genera, then insert the proposed template with blue for the genus, red for the species.... Abductive (reasoning) 08:19, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
Hi Certes, thanks for the thoughts about this. I have to agree completely with what Abductive said. Anything that hides species redlinks or encourages people to do so should be discouraged. I've also seen the same often in articles about parks... annoying. If only there was some way to search these incorrectly piped links. I do understand that maybe some people might want to quickly check the genus if the name is unfamiliar, so your two-colour suggestion is not without merit. If the link to the genus disappears after an article is created, I am not adverse to this. Leo Breman (talk) 10:10, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
The bot idea sounds feasible. It could work through a list of genera (is that available?) doing the API equivalent of WhatLinksHere and checking the text for [[Genus|Genus something]] or [[Genus (qualifier)|Genus something]]. I'm not sure how it would work out whether "something" is a species. Perhaps we can assume that if it's linked to a genus and isn't a species then the link is already wrong and that's not the bot's fault. Certes (talk) 10:59, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Unfortunately the search facility doesn't allow you to use regex captures (or I couldn't get it to work), which could find links of the form GENUS|GENUS SPECIES. It might be possible with AWB. A tool that might help find such links in passing is to colour the redirects using custom CSS (see WP:Visualizing redirects). —  Jts1882 | talk  11:03, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
Am not very technical. Don't really get what Jts1882 -well, it sounds hard. But even I can understand Certes's bot suggestion, only it is likely that the piped link GENUS|COMMON NAME would occur. Leo Breman (talk) 11:23, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
The common name is a complication and makes it very difficult to find, unless there is some category to latch on to. —  Jts1882 | talk  11:43, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
Take a look at List_of_sequenced_plastomes, which does something like this manually (but not completely consistently). Lavateraguy (talk) 10:40, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
Yes, that's the format I had in mind. It seemed far too obvious to be novel but I hadn't found examples myself. Certes (talk) 10:59, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict) One problem there is the linking to the genus when there is a species article (e.g. Marchantia polymorpha). You can't see two links so might get the genus article when you're expect the species article. While the proposal above with the redlinked species epithet doesn't have this problem, it would after the species article was created. —  Jts1882 | talk  11:03, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
This is the main problem; the link to genus should disappear when there is a species article to link to. The link to genus should be conditional. Doesn't {{ill}} do that? Leo Breman (talk) 11:26, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
Now I look at the sandbox template, I don't think this is a problem. It looks to see if the page exists. If it does it links the binomial, if it does not exist it creates the two links. When the article is created it would then output one link to the species article, as desired. —  Jts1882 | talk  11:43, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, this might be a pretty good idea. Leo Breman (talk) 11:57, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
Just to clarify: I'm not proposing that any redlink be hidden. All current redlinks would continue to appear though they might, depending on the chosen format, be shorter (i.e. link less text to the same target). Certes (talk) 10:59, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
Bluelinkgenus + redlinkspecies is visually messy to me, and makes the species appear to be two things, when really it is one taxon. Even with the asterisk design, if it were automated in any way, that could be a whole lot of unhelpful asterisks, e.g. on a page like List of Syzygium species. I probably wouldn't use the template myself since I'm mostly editing within pages about taxa already rather than other pages that link to taxa. But interested to hear other perspectives. —13:45, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
What would you prefer to see? A simple redlink to the species with no genus link? That is certainly appropriate in many cases and doesn't need a template. Another option, which I avoided earlier as I presumed it might be unpopular but should perhaps mention, is a single link which diverts to the genus until the species article appears: {{Species link|Salvia|azurea}} → [[Salvia azurea]] but {{{Species link|Salvia|rosa}} → [[Salvia|Salvia rosa]]. Certes (talk) 14:16, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
Yes I'm okay with the status quo as the default. :) I wouldn't support an option that hides redlinks to potential species articles. —Hyperik talk 14:27, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
Links from a binomial to the genus are a total pain. They hide the fact that a species article is needed, and just go round in a circle to confuse readers who click on a species link in a genus article. WP:REDLINK applies. Since all species are inherently notable, red links to species are correct. Peter coxhead (talk) 14:59, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
Just a quick note to say: I didn't intend the Viola aetolica* format to be used any place other than that one list ... I'm inexperienced at FLC, I know they don't like large numbers of red links, and I wanted to have a ready defense if someone complained. The asterisk probably won't be necessary in future lists. Also: what would be wrong with re-coding how red links to species work, so that we don't need to do any editing to fix this problem (or perceived problem)? That is, if MediaWiki somehow detects that a user has clicked on a red species link, it would bring up the usual page prompting them to create the species page, but it would also give them a link to the genus in case that's where they want to go. - Dank (push to talk) 15:28, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
Thanks to all who took the time to comment so quickly. If consensus prefers a redlink with no route to the genus, which is already handled perfectly by the basic link syntax, then there's nothing to fix. However, the idea and rough implementation are there if anyone has a use for them.
As for improving piped links to genera where a species article exists, WP:Bot requests may be able to help. Quarry can't find cases for improvement, as it can only access the link target, not the link text. A simple search can check an individual genus, but that's a lot of searches. Certes (talk) 20:25, 25 August 2020 (UTC)
My initial concern was about the blue-genus and red-species epithet being confusing, but I think this was just the unfamiliar appearance. It's the only way of both providing the most appropriate link (to content on the genus) and indicating a potential article (the redlink).
One possiblee addition is an optional |authority= parameter. Species lists often include the authority in the small template, so one template for genus species authority would simplify the coding. —  Jts1882 | talk  07:18, 26 August 2020 (UTC)

Nomination for deletion of Template:ScheffleraEdit

 Template:Schefflera has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for discussion page. —Hyperik talk 03:09, 28 August 2020 (UTC)

Identifying line artEdit

As before, a fruit whose name begins with 'P'. Based on the leaves, is this more likely to be a peach, a plum, or something else? DS (talk) 17:08, 29 August 2020 (UTC)

A rounded, grooved, fruit, would suggest a peach rather than a plum (plums are usually somewhat elongated). The leaf also matches; plums have the lateral veins directed more forwards. Lavateraguy (talk) 18:32, 29 August 2020 (UTC)

Redirect discussion re: Vernonia fasciculataEdit

The discussion at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2020 August 31#Vernonia fasciculata may be of interest here. Along the lines of the above-mentioned Achillea ambrosiaca discussion. Declangi (talk) 23:55, 31 August 2020 (UTC)

Should Royal Horticultural Society links be added to Wikidata items on species?Edit

It seems to me that the Royal Horticultural Society pages on species are relatively stable, and take a standardized URL form such as Should these pages (or the ID number) be added to Wikidata so that they appear as links in the Taxonbar? It seems preferable that only existing Wikidata items on species should be given the links, since I am sure there are examples of RHS retaining old horticultural names, and there are certainly gobs of cultivars and hybrids that don't have Wikidata items. There are probably less than 10,000 species listed by the RHS. Importantly, they are not always in agreement with Kew, providing some extra value to their listing. Abductive (reasoning) 19:48, 1 September 2020 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea to me. Info about horticulture not found elsewhere. While you're at it, how about Manfeld's, that has lots of unique info on economic botany. For that matter, the Belgian Tervuren also has tons on (African) ethnobotany (Dr. Duke's is/was similar). Another website/database with unique and trustworthy horticultural info, and stable urls, is PlantzAfrica (only South Africa though). Leo Breman (talk) 12:16, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
Isn't PlantzAfrica the same as the SANBI identifier already in {{taxonbar}}? —  Jts1882 | talk  13:41, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
Seemingly not. The redlist and pza entries are different: and —  Jts1882 | talk  13:16, 3 September 2020 (UTC)


I am not a botanist but occasionally create/expand articles on plants. My interest is not on the plant's taxonomy but on its general interest. While creating Mucuna urens, I could not find a decent botanical description, so I looked to foreign language Wikipedias and found that the Spanish Wikipedia had a description, which was referenced to Tropicos. When I looked there, I found there was no general description, but that each of the herbarium specimens had a size indicator and few words of text. Is it permissible when writing articles to write descriptions based on images, and extrapolate from the herbarium specimens as to dimensions? Cwmhiraeth (talk) 09:17, 6 September 2020 (UTC)

Hi Cwmhiraeth. People discussed this here not too long ago, consensus was not to use specimen vouchers. I protested because I do it all the time, hehe. Especially with obscure tropical plants there is often little online, and there is often cool info on the sheets. I got altitude ranges or tree heights from going through all the specimens on GBIF, for example. It's basically how floras are written anyway. In this case though I can type up a description for you from Fruits of the Guianan Flora... actually, I'll type up the whole piece on your talk, then you can put it in your own words. Leo Breman (talk) 10:53, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
The problem is with WP:PSTS. Herbarium specimens are very "primary". Yes, it's how Floras are written, but Wikipedia policy is to reproduce what secondary sources say, not what primary sources say, so we can use information in Floras, regardless of where they got it. If you extrapolate dimensions, then there isn't even a written primary source. (Don't shoot the messenger!) Peter coxhead (talk) 15:39, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
I am unlikely to hit. Yeah, measuring dimensions yourself is maybe too much, but linking to types, or using some info from the labels should be okay when done carefully? I just finished doing that here Protea intonsa. Collection locality should be fine. I'd like to have a better source for the involucral bracts colours as these may differ among pop.s, but I don't right now. Hopefully in the future a better reference will come along and this reference can simply act as back up for verifiability. If people want to delete it I wouldn't complain (well, I will), but right now it is more useful to have cited info about these things then nothing, no? Leo Breman (talk) 17:25, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
@Leo Breman: I can only repeat "don't shoot the messenger" and leave you to draw your own conclusions as to my views and/or actions. There is of course WP:IAR... Peter coxhead (talk) 09:02, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
OK, I see from the page that Peter Coxhead linked that a herbarium source is a primary source. It's a pity though! In this instance, Leo Breman has provided me with a secondary source for my description. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 17:36, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
Wikipedia's primary policy is verifiability, that information can be verified. Non-controversial stuff doesn't even need a source. I don't see that the policy preferring secondary sources over primary sources overrides this basic policy. I think if a voucher provides the information to satisfy Wikipedia:Verifiability then it should be used as a source. If it says the plant has green pointy leaves, it doesn't need a secondary source to say that. It's when the information is controversial or has conflicting sources that secondary sources are necessary. —  Jts1882 | talk  09:34, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
@Jts1882: well, I would agree with that view, but you need to be aware that the first pillar, WP:5P1, has been interpreted by many as underpinning the detail of WP:PSTS, i.e. an encyclopedia is a compendium of information from secondary and tertiary sources. Fierce debates and edit wars over WP:PSTS issues seem to have died down at present, but were very active when I started editing, and some of my editing was firmly "corrected" in the past. So I don't assume that the present degree of tolerance will continue.
It's important, I believe, exactly how the information is written up. Saying that a given specimen has petals that are yellow or about x cm long may be acceptable; saying this about the species based on the specimen definitely not. (Worst of all is saying things about the species based on a Commons photo whose identification is unverified – and I have seen this.)
There's also a loophole in the apparent contradiction between "All analyses and interpretive or synthetic claims about primary sources must be referenced to a secondary or tertiary source, and must not be an original analysis of the primary-source material by Wikipedia editors" (in WP:PSTS) and Wikipedia:About valid routine calculations. I would certainly support the view that determining a measurement on an image based on a scale bar is a "routine calculation". (As an example, I used "routine calculations" in the past to defend, successfully, presenting the total data for "banana" and "plantain" production in the table at Banana#Production and export.)
Anyway, enough from me. I think we all understand the issues; I'm just recommending caution. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:08, 7 September 2020 (UTC)

Alstroemeria pulchellaEdit

There seems to have been some confusion at Alstroemeria pulchella, mixing content related to Alstroemeria psittacina and Alstroemeria pelegrina. Help in sorting this out would be appreciated. See Talk:Alstroemeria psittacina#Merge. Klbrain (talk) 20:00, 12 September 2020 (UTC)

World Plants, World Ferns and World OrchidsEdit

Michael Hassler's new database is now online at The World Ferns section is essentially an updated version of CFLW, which has been teasing the new site since April. I assume World Orchid is an update of his orchid site. These are now integrated into a single site for all vascular plants. It says it covers 349,230 species including 335,339 angiosperms so looks fairly comprehensive.

You can search the database interactively with dropdown lists for order, family and genus, as with CFLW. One advantage of the change is that a url to the record can now be made with an ID, which was impossible with CFLW and made convenient citations difficult. Alternatively the site can be navigated from the plant, fern and orchid checklists of genera. —  Jts1882 | talk  10:37, 13 September 2020 (UTC)

  • How long do you reckon it will take to be ready for it to be used on Wikidata? For example, I note that on its front page, the "How to Cite" says "Version x.xx; last update xx.xx.xxxx. Last accessed dd/mm/yyyy", which looks like it is under construction. Abductive (reasoning) 11:14, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
Now I've looked a bit closer, it's clearly under construction. Apart from missing sections, the search function doesn't work (at least for me). The interactivity in the order, family and genus articles is nicely done so it already works as an upgrade on CFLW.
As for Wikidata, I'm not sure it will. I spoke too soon mentioning the IDs. While changing the genus does change the anchor number in the URL box of the browser, the numbers are not consistent, and the links don't work. As there was no linking in CFLW, I'm now not sure it will be added. On the other hand, those anchor numbers must have some meaning, so it could be a first step towards developing specific links.—  Jts1882 | talk  12:07, 14 September 2020 (UTC)


In the article it states that "Dodonaea is recognized as the largest genus of Sapindaceae." Isn't the genus Acer larger? This looks to be a bit of information from prior to inclusion of Aceraceae in Sapindaceae, and perhaps it should be reworded as "the largest genus in Dodonaeoideae" (subfamily). Refiner (talk) 16:25, 14 September 2020 (UTC)

No takers? Dodonaea viscosa, interesting plant, one produced fruit last year, but it doesn't like Northern European winters indoors (I had both sexes from seed, but the males died). Yes, it's probably a sentence stemming from pre-APG taxonomy. I don't see that particular sentence in the reference provided. I will correct the info. Cheers, Leo Breman (talk) 18:45, 15 September 2020 (UTC)
APWeb has 126(-150) for Acer and 70 for Dodonaea. However it also has 230 for Serjania and 220 for Paulinia, and a confusing 1-255 for Allophyllus. Lavateraguy (talk) 22:46, 16 September 2020 (UTC)
I thought there were more Acers. Guess I was wrong. I changed the sentence to "one of the most" numerous, that should hold true. Leo Breman (talk) 23:07, 16 September 2020 (UTC)
What does 1-255 mean? A genus split by some authorities? Anyway I took this as an opportunity to test the new World Plants website, which gave 131 species and 5 hybrids for Acer, 71 species for Dodonaea, 249 for Serjania, 184 for Paulinia, and 187 for Allophyllus. Easy to use and quick. It will be interesting to see how it gets assessed for quality of data. —  Jts1882 | talk  07:19, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
Interesting to compare with PoWO: Acer – 150; Dodonaea Mill. – 72; Serjania – 252; Paullinia – 193; Allophylus – 209. The differences are why I think a list of species should always be headed "As of DATE, DATASOURCE accepted ...". Peter coxhead (talk) 08:19, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
Regardless, it seems that Dodonaea as the largest sapindaceous genus was never right. Lavateraguy (talk) 09:32, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict) And WFO: Acer 168, Dodonaea 67, Serjania 208, Paulinia 167, and Allophylus 212. Agree about the lists. I always add a dated reference, sometimes stating the source in text, but rarely the date. The trouble is people often update lists without updating the reference or just add another reference so you don't know which. Perhaps explicitly writing "As of DATE, DATASOURCE ..." would make people more aware of the need to say where they got the updates from. A little bit of nudge psychology. —  Jts1882 | talk  09:44, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
All these numbers going all over the place is rather a reason to view databases with mistrust. The number 150 for Acer in APWeb is cited to this 2019 paper: Maple phylogeny and biogeography inferred from phylogenomic data. This an update from Li's 2016 phylogeny paper (link broken). There is Suh from 2000 (also ~150 spp., this paper is unimportant, just quoting others), de Jong from 1976 (111 to 150 spp.), 1994 (~150 spp. in the classic Maples of the world), and 2004 (156 spp. (+ new discoveries)), Delendick 1990 (?), and earlier there is a monograph by Murray 1970 (120 spp.) and Ogata 1967 (?). The low count in Murray is apparently mostly a number of "micro-species" not being recognised in the USA, A. floridanum & A. douglasii, and in Europe different forms of A. campestre.
Li (2019) is the most trustworthy with regards to research techniques, and his data corroborates de Jong nicely. So where are the other numbers coming from?
In the case of WFO it is likely due to the recognising of synonyms due to non-rational meshing of the Tropicos data ... 126 spp. in APWeb is likely from Murray + the 6 new spp. But why World Plants would have 131? Leo Breman (talk) 18:26, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
I don't see why a database should be distrusted any more than a checklist or a primary source. It depends on the quality of the curation. While having different databases to choose from presents some problems, it also means that no source has be relied on absolutely. I've done a comparison of recognised species for Acer in POWO, WFO and WP.
  • POWO recognises 158 species (including 8 hybrids which don't get counted in their stated total)
  • WFO recognises 164 species (including 6 hybrids)
  • WP recognises 136 species (including 5 hybrids)
However it not just the numbers that are different.
  • Combined, POWO and WFO recognised 201 species
  • 121 species are recognised by both POW and WFO (with minor differences in authority, e.g. Maxim. ex Miq. instead of Maxim).
  • Add in WP species and the total number species recognised by one of the databases is 211
  • 111 species are recognised by all three database.
So if we take those 111 species as certainties, WP recognises an extra 25, POWO an extra 47, and WFO an extra 53. I'm not sure Li et al (2019) should be taken as a source for the number of species (152) as they just use the numbers from Xu (1999). A lot can have changed since then. I think these large differences in numbers and choices mean that Peter coxhead's suggestion of using "As of DATE, DATASOURCE recognises xxx species" should be adopted as policy for species listings by the project. —  Jts1882 | talk  08:42, 18 September 2020 (UTC)
The really dangerous thing is if editors combine species lists from different sources, without thorough checking, since usually the "extra" species in each source contain a large proportion for which different synonyms are being used, so following red links in the species list will lead to the creation of multiple articles on the same species under different names. This used to be a real problem – I think when there were more inexperienced plant editors around. (It was, of course, a major problem with The Plant List, which imported multiple synonyms, particularly from Tropicos.)
If there's a choice in the scientific literature between a single large monophyletic genus and many smaller monophyletic genera, whether the curators of the database are by nature "lumpers" or "splitters" can be relevant. It seems to me, for example, that the curators of PoWO are inclined to be lumpers in this situation.
I also think that responsiveness to queries and corrections matters. The curator(s) of the database underlying PoWO and WCSP are, in my experience, very responsive, although PoWO is only slowly updated from this database whereas WCSP normally updates rapidly. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:16, 18 September 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Peter Coxhead's formulation and intent, no doubt. Where editors just don't know "the following is a list of selected species" is acceptable, to me. But Jts1882, respectfully, the different numbers I think prove why one should distrust databases -A species exists if the majority of relevant people agree that it does. A monograph is an expert spending a significant portion of his career studying a genus. A database should be getting their taxonomic decision -the subjective existence of a taxon or not- from a source, and this is totally opaque in almost all databases except WCSP. Personally, Li et al (2019) looks like the good source. If you dig around a bit, you see he/she has been working on maple phylogenetics for a quite long time, with dozens of papers on the subject. It's actually sort of funny, in more than one paper the intro introduces the subject as if it is going to be useful for the herbal supplement industry, then immediately veers off into phylogenetics -funding is a b%^&*! You say "just use the numbers from Xu (1999)", as far as I can tell, both are mostly following de Jong in Maples of the World (1994). At least initially, de Jong relied highly on floral morphology to differentiate taxa, and Li basically confirms his stuff with DNA, So Maples of the World + Li's works is what I would find the most trustworthy authority, as opposed to just a name in a database.
Admittedly I did go to a reading 20 years ago at the nursery (I got some more maples there last month ...A. buergerianum, looking good!) where many of the seeds were sent in preparation for that book. Apparently the authors travelled the world to see each of the 150 species in situ. So my opinion might be coloured... Leo Breman (talk) 11:26, 18 September 2020 (UTC)
I'm not sure I'm clear about what you are disagreeing with. There is a significant disagreement between the number of Acer species recognised by different database sources. You take this as a reason to distrust databases in general, whereas I take it to mean there isn't a good recent authoritative source for the them to follow. I think everyone would agree that a monograph by a taxonomic expert examining up to date evidence, including morphology and molecular evidence, is what is needed.
You seem to be suggesting Li et al (2019) as a suitable source (I can't find a Li et al, 2016). However, that work is not making taxonomic assessments on what are valid species. It states a number of species (152) in the abstract and introduction, citing Xu (1999), but that is it. The paper is on the phylogenetic relationships between different sections and series within the genus. While these findings might have reasonable agreement with de Jong (1976), they don't say anything about the validity of the species recognised in the older work. That work also has uncertainty in the number of species, assigning to 111-157 species to various sections and series (the uncertainly is due to possible synonyms). Coincidently the 111 is the same number as seen in all three databases (see above), but unfortunately the overlap is poor. De Jong plus the three databases recognise a total of 246 species with only 88 recognised in all four sources.
This leaves us with a problem if we want to list the species in the genus. All we can really do is describe the uncertainty and choose a source for the listing. —  Jts1882 | talk  15:16, 19 September 2020 (UTC)
@Leo Breman: however, like it or not (and I don't always), you have to take into account WP:PSTS. Policy is clear that we should avoid using primary sources except to support information in secondary sources. However, sometimes there is no alternative but to use a monograph or other primary source for ranks not covered by secondary sources, such as subfamilies, tribes or sections. The nature of the source then matters; e.g. using the Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group paper with 90+ listed authors for fern classification overall (and hence for subfamilies, etc.) is different from using a paper by one or two individuals. But I don't see that primary sources can be justified in terms of Wikipedia's policies and guidelines for a genus like Acer where good secondary sources exist.
A list of "selected species" cannot be in line with policies and guidelines, since such a list, as a whole, cannot be sourced. It usually amounts to a random set of species with no source to clarify whether members of the set are synonyms of each other. (Sourcing each member of the set separately doesn't solve this objection, because it doesn't ensure that the sources are not using different names for the same species.) In any area that I'm particularly working on, I would always replace such an unsourced list by a properly sourced one, which would be fully justified by WP:RS. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:15, 18 September 2020 (UTC)

Peter, if we simply choose a secondary source database out of the many named above, and each has a different number of species, isn't it all arbitrary? Why choose the 150 spp. one instead of the 200 spp. one? And if the sourcing to the database is off/missing, how can we be sure the data is trustworthy? Why are the numbers so radically different? If anyone actually knows how many species there are (or at least has the most educated opinion on the subject), it would be an expert, not the guys doing data entry, no?

And if we are referencing Li who is referencing de Jong, bam, secondary source.

While I agree with you in principal about the "selected species" sentence, there are just very many people who don't know enough about taxonomy and the different sources out there, so I cannot really fault people for using this construction. These type of lists often came about organically when Wikipedia was new and people just added the species for which there were articles. I don't use the construction myself, of course, but it's just not a sentence I feel is so incorrect that I need to start editing a page where it occurs if I come across it. Unlike misuse of the word 'endemic', for some reason that really bugs me. But sure, 100% agreed, eventually, all this must go. In the meantime, there is still much genera/species/botany which isn't even covered at all yet, so this is all still a bit triage. Leo Breman (talk) 16:41, 18 September 2020 (UTC)

  • Chiming in, it seems to me that no Wikipedia article should be comparing sizes of genera against each other or stating exact numbers at all. The reason is that most readers don't care or understand why a genus being speciose is interesting or important, and if it is interesting or important, then the reason why it is speciose should be explained and cited, not the raw number. My take on why any reader is even looking at a genus article is that they hope to find a species, either one they can't remember the name of, or perhaps exploring species related to one they are familiar with. For instance, two of my most viewed genera articles are Armoracia and Eutrema, which I guarantee is because readers are coming from the Horseradish and Wasabi articles, looking for related species that they can eat or buy or plant in their gardens. Abductive (reasoning) 08:18, 19 September 2020 (UTC)


On the subject of Eutrema, Wikipedia has an article for Eutrema penlandii, which POWO treats as a synonym of Eutrema edwardsii. We can't just do a redirect, as the article is specifically describing the Colorado populations. FNA doesn't recognise this either, and furthermore contradicts the article by recognising a 3rd species, whose range moreover extends to the lower 48.
Also the Eutrema article has one misspelt epithet, and one obvious duplicate (orthographic variation) species. (Those errors are sourced to Tropicos - someone, somewhere, treated the genus as female rather than neuter.) POWO treats these correctly, and has about 10 additional species. Lavateraguy (talk) 11:38, 19 September 2020 (UTC)
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