Why taxonomy is fun and confusing … on the naming of roses.
For years we have grown a truly splendid red-leaved species rose that is hardy to zone 2 (that’s really hardy). When we first knew it, it was named Rosa rubrifolia but in recent years it has been renamed Rosa glauca. Takes a bit of remembering and getting used to , but I think we are there now. I finally decided to find out the reason for the name change and after a lot of searching came across the following explanation. Sadly it had nothing to do with DNA profiling or any of the other modern and abstruse taxonomic arts, just good old-fashioned precedence.
[Quote} “The familiar name R. rubrifolia (1789) is antedated by R. glauca Pourret (1788). It is arguable that the latter name, although the earliest, should be discarded as a source of confusion, since the name R. glauca Vill. ex Loisel. (1809) has been widely used for another ally of R. canina. However, even if the name R. glauca Pourret for the present species were to be rejected it would be impossible to maintain the name R. rubrifolia, which Villars rendered illegitimate by citing his own earlier-named species R. ferruginea as a synonym. This was a taxonomic error, since his R. ferruginea, with leaflets hirsute on both sides, was clearly not the same as his R. rubrifolia, which always has perfectly glabrous leaflets. The illegitimacy of the name R. rubrifolia means that if the name R. glauca Pourret were to be left in abeyance it would be necessary to take up the next legitimate name in order of priority, which would appear to be R. rubicunda Hall.”
This is an adaptation of a recipe culled from a baking blog (thanks Emily for the link) the URL of which I omitted to save. I have been playing around with various methods of making focaccia and I think this one comes the closest to my personal ideal of what the bread should look and taste like. Not [...]
How time does fly — just over a year ago I was inspired by a fine naturalist from England (thanks Tom) who had set himself the challenge of identifying 1000 UK species — birds, grasses, spiders, whatever. I had a couple of exchanges with him was assured that the concept was not trademarked, and so I thought to [...]
Almost the end of February and a light snowfall overnight coated everything with a covering of snow and ice. The sun came out, the temperature was not many degrees below zero. In three or four weeks most of the snow will be gone (though more could arrive) and there will be a couple of weeks of mud [...]
Clearing out the basement, well, truthfully, a corner of the basement a few days ago I uncovered a three hole pipe which, for those readers who are not into folk music, is the blown half of a pipe and tabor - the original "one man band". Once upon a time I learned to play a single tune on [...]
Getting right to the point ... the focal point I like to do macrophotography - getting really close in on small features such as flowers and insects. But it has always had a significant limitation - depth of field. Not all of your subject is guaranteed to be in focus. I use a 100mm macro lens on a [...]
Candlemas - Imbolc - Lupercalia February 2 this year is the festival of Candlemas/Imbolc/Lupercalia and marks the half way point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Solstice - without a doubt this is a date to celebrate. Any reason for a drink and a good meal is worth making note of. Appropriately, the traditional symbol of this [...]
I wonder if I might solicit your comments please on some pairs of photographs ... well, actually on the software that edited them. This week, after a sadly lengthy wait while the slow boat arrived from China, I finally took delivery of a spiffy new computer (Apple MacBook with the new super-powerful M1 chip if you are interested) and [...]
We have created an interactive trail map for visitors following the Main (Orange) Trail in the Morgan Arboretum. This map is full of interesting information for walkers taking the trail during the winter months – a spring/summer version will be published around Easter time. Use the map on this page to plan you walk – and then [...]
18 January, and after a weekend of heavy snowfall we went out to enjoy the countryside on the West Island. Considering this in Montreal, it's very pleasing to have such places within a very short distance from home. Lovely deep snow with a thin and crisp topping to wade through - thank goodness for snowshoes. There were [...]
Even the woodpecker owes its success to the fact that he used his head. —Author Unknown Continuing with the theme of occasional “Naturally Speaking” accounts of species you can encounter on the West Island of Montreal I am going to introduce a another bird. Botanists and entomologist friends of mine need not fret - there will [...]
Species Accounts Richard Gregson PhD MPhil CBiol FRSB - West Island Wildlife - Snow Buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis) Introduction: I have been sharing a few photographs and some very basic information daily for almost a year now about assorted species of wildlife and plants that can be found in the leafy western suburbs of Montreal. There's a [...]
If you are not a keen birder this will perhaps not be of great interest - unless you have decided to really take up birding with the start of a new year and wan a target to aim for. Anyway, assuming you plan to read on ... here is what we saw in the garden during 2020. [...]