Please enlighten my ignorance 8-)

Edwin Hutton e.hutton at
Thu Jan 11 04:15:52 EST 2001

Zebitty wrote:
> CEREOID at (Cereoid) wrote in
> <93hnb0$6vnm$1 at>:
> >Whenever one tries to compare the classification of plants with that of
> >animals, they will always get themselves into trouble. They are
> >completely different systems that follow completely different rules.
> Ahh, well.....that in itself explains alot of my difficulties. But if it
> doesn't follow a diverging "tree" as in the animal kingdom, what does it
> follow?
> >Plant classification is based primarily on the structure of flowers and
> >flower parts but differences in vegetative parts often play a role in
> >distinguishing closely allied species.
> >
> So are they truly related gentically or only structurally? (I realize that
> this is not necessarily mutually exclusive). Does anyone do plant genetic
> studies purely for the purposes of taxonomy? If so has it had much effect
> on the nomenclature? Something else I have noticed is that plant names seem
> to be changed this due to new information or reviewing old
> information with new techniques (such as genetic analysis)
> Thanks again

The many changes in plant nomenclature over the last few years have
been due as far as I know to a review of the names with respect
to the rules adopted for assigning them. For example, some time
within the last 20 years at least four family names have been changed
simply because the old ones did not end with 'aceae'
(cruciferae->brassicaceae, leguminosae->fabaceae,
 umbelliferae->apiaceae, compositae->asteraceae)
The new names use a typical genus name as a basis in accordance
with the conventions adopted in other families, but
the old names were much more descriptive.

This sort of thing is most irritating, but if you want real trouble
study the fungi kingdom where things are worse.

Edwin Hutton

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