Please enlighten my ignorance 8-)

Zebitty zebitty at australis.aunz.com
Thu Jan 11 05:27:17 EST 2001


CEREOID at prodigy.net (Cereoid) wrote in
<93jphr$2t2m$1 at newssvr05-en0.news.prodigy.com>: 

This has been most informative so far and I thank all 
contributors.....however,

>You ask complex questions about topics that require several years of
>schooling to explain and understand. 

I'm a fast learner...try me!!!

You touch on nomenclature, plant
>taxonomy, cladistics and DNA studies. They are not subjects that can be
>covered in this forum. That is unless somebody else would like to try.

Come on now....where's your sense of adventure? From my point of view this 
forum is far cheaper and much more interesting than a textbook!!!!
>
>Never said that the phylogeny of plants does not follow a "family tree".
>Its just the important characters used in plant classification are
>different from those used to classify animals.
>
>Of course, DNA studies have been used in plant taxonomy. Its the
>interpretation of the results that have been problematic in many cases.
>Who knows what DNA studies will eventually reveal? They are still
>on-going. It is hoped that DNA studies will confirm classification based
>on morphology but that is not always the case.
>
>I am not aware of any current DNA studies in the genus Euphorbia.
>
>Don't know which specific name changes to which you allude.

Well, it would seem that there are hundreds but to quote another respondant 
to this discussion

Edwin Hutton wrote

"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."

Given that "aceae" is a suffix basically meaning "family of" (or something 
similar) why were these familial names not just changed to cruciferaceae, 
leguminaceae, umbelliferaceae and compositaceae respectively?   
>
>Many plant in the horticultural trade have long been misidentified. One
>real concern is that the plants used in DNA studies are correctly
>identified. 

This is rather disparaging for some-one trying to learn....to find out that 
even supposed experts cannot agree!!!! 







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