Favorite inaccurate terms

David R. Hershey dh321 at PGSTUMAIL.PG.CC.MD.US
Mon Aug 26 22:44:32 EST 1996

Ross Koning's mention of a few favorite inaccurate botanical terms 
prompted me to ask others for their favorites. A few of mine are

Pollination, dioecious, monoecious - all often defined in terms of 
flowers, yet all can also apply to gymnosperms. The latter two could also 
apply to some seedless plants.

Hydrotropism - an obsolete theory which still persists in way too many 
botany/biology texts.

Cultivar - usually missing, misdefined, or misused in botany textbooks. 
Many cultivars originated in nature but are maintained in cultivation. 
Cultivar names are capitalized and enclosed by single quotes. 

The Crop Science Society of America has a 1400-word glossary of terms 
which contains standard definitions and a list of obsolete terms. Perhaps 
botanists should develop something like this. 

David R. Hershey
Snail mail: 6700 Belcrest Road #112, Hyattsville, MD 20782-1340

Adjunct Professor, Biology/Horticulture Department
Prince George's Community College, Largo, MD 20772-2199

Email: dh321 at pgstumail.pg.cc.md.us

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