Plant names cut by over half a million

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
September 22, 2010



Researchers expect to strike out some 600,000 plant species names from taxonomy lists, representing over half of the names in current lists which stretched to nearly a million. The names cut are duplicate monikers for the same plant: for example, researchers discovered an astounding 800 different names for the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). Researchers are once-and-for-all weeding out alias names in an attempt to create a single definitive list of plant names.

The more utilized the plant, such as the popular tomato, the more names have been attached to it according to researchers.

"On average, one plant might have between two and three names, which doesn't sound a great deal, but if you're trying to find information on a plant, you might not find all [of it] because you're only looking at one name," Alan Paton, Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, said in a statement.

The task is a joint effort by Kew and the Missouri Botanical Gardens. The organizations hope to have 'The Plant List' completed by the end of the year.







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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (September 22, 2010).

Plant names cut by over half a million .

http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0922-hance_plant_names.html