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Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other= Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other=
Sat May 1 06:29:28 CEST 1999

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From: Shawne Penwell <shawnpenwell at PRODIGY.NET>
Subject: Re: Naming caution
Comments: To: Greg Ruckert <greg at>
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Thank you, Greg......well said!!!!!

Greg Ruckert wrote:

> I find it very sad when people make personal attacks like the following=on
> the internet!!  This is totally unnecessary!  Especially when the indiv=idual
> involved is not even on the group to defend themselves.
> >It's a real pity that Chen Yi has insisted on shipping out blatantly
> >misidentified material. It's not a problem for folks like us who take =the
> >time to key it out, but by the time that is done, it's too late. My gu=ess
> >is that it may have been a business decision-- the overseas nurseries =who
> Having dealt personally with Chen Yi  I will come to her defence and ta=ke
> the consequences that follow.
> When I first came across the Kaichen site I remember seeing a statement=that
> the species had been named by a leading Chinese botanist and that she
> believed them to be truly correct.  Was that true?
> I believe it was!  I have actually met the botanist involved.  He is on=e of
> the very top botanists in the country, in his early 70s.   He has publi=shed
> many books and is respected world wide.  So what is the problem?
> Araceae is not his field of expertise.  How many "experts on Arisaema" =are
> there in China?  I would suggest that Li Heng is probably the most
> competent,  then the expertise falls away quickly.
> But just what is involved in getting the right name?
> On last year's expedition one of my first collections was a lovely frui=ting
> specimen of what we named "Arisaema erubescens".   From the material in
> front of us Li Heng and I agreed!!  Now it has flowered.  All I can say=is
> that if the plant is Arisaema erubescens then there is a dramatic diffe=rence
> between that speciezs and Arisaema consanguineum.  This is why all my
> material was distributed under field numbers , rather than names, and t=he
> growers were encouraged to grow the plants under the numbers.  I have
> however had subscribers contact me complaining that material was only
> labeled Arisaema sp. with a number rather than a name.
> In my discussions with Chen Yi she agreed that as soon as we could put =a
> correct name on a species then she would correct it on her list  I beli=eve
> that her intentions have been entirely honourable.
> Looking at the experience and knowledge that is available on the AEG we
> still do not seem to have made much in the way of inroads on the "namin=g"
> problem, yet the Chinese supplier (for whom the Arisaema are but one pa=rt of
> the trade) is expected to get it right.
> Oh and by the way, Chen Yi has been selling these plants for many years=,
> mainly through Japan.  It is unreasonable to suggest that she is just
> putting names on plants for the greedy capitalist American and European
> nursery trade.
> >are buying in her stock for resale want a name-- any name-- to give to
> >their customers, not just a number. Some nurseries are taking the time=to
> >grow the stock on for a year to identify it (bless them...), but most
> >aren't. I just stumbled across a web site today (Dragon Agro or someth=ing),
> >that had each and every one of the Kaichen arisaemas offered for sale =(at a
> >standard ~10x markup), and had all of the bogus pictures on display.
> How is Chen Yi expected to know that they will do this before she suppl=ies
> the material?
> >I'm sure that Wilbert, Guy, Greg, and others are making progress towar=d
> >positive ID's on this material, and that the AEG shouldn't worry about
> >getting erroneous seed into distribution. Beyond suggesting an ID for =the
> >mixed-up du-bois-reymondii, Wilbert has also proposed that the materia=l
> This is exactly my point.  We must be cautious of this.  Having set suc=h a
> high standard we must not make the problem worse.  I am pleased to see
> recent correspondents using the Kaichen numbers.  I would pose this
> question.  If seed resulting from any of the Kaichen plants is distribu=ted
> through the AEG, what name will appear on the packet?
> >shipped as A. dilatatum is actually A. wilsonii. Pictures of these wil=l
> >follow later this week. Please look at them-- it's for your own educat=ion.
> >Where possible, I will also add the Kaichen number. Happy?
> Greg Ruckert
> Australian Areae Collection

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