There is a beautiful shy Australian called ‘Sturt Desert Pea’. I just
included it in my ebook, and I try to be accurate when adding
botanical names. Strangely, this one is ‘Clianthus formosus’ in some
books, but ‘Swainsona formosa’ in others. I chose the latter because
it seems a more recent naming. I found that in 1999 yet another
classification was suggested but “…rejected by the scientific
Question: who exactly determines a plant’s classification?
Thanks for replies – Klaus
On 8/25/12 9:56 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
For a long time, flowering plants were classified mostly by the forms of
their flowers, including microscopic examinations. Other
characteristics were also used, but flower form was the primary
In recent years, however, the advent of DNA sequencing has led to using
that as the primary (almost sole) basis for classification. Two
different plants with very similar DNA are now classed as closely
related and might thus be separate species in the same genus or even
separate varieties of the sam species. This has led to (1) a major
reclassification of plants and (2) the creation of new genera and species.
For the botanical names of plants in my garden that I indicate on my Web
site, I rely mostly on Sunset's "Western Garden Book", which might be
considered the "gardening bible" for the U.S. and Canada west of the
Rocky Mountains. Australia, of course, is outside the scope of that
reference except for imports of some North American native plants into
Australia and (more likely) exports of Australian native plants into
A new edition of Sunset's "Western Garden Book" is published every few
years. I currently have four different editions. When I get a new
edition, I check all the botanical names shown on my Web site to see if
any require updating. Often, the book parenthetically indicates prior
botanical names when there has been a change. The book generally does
not have botanical names for vegetables and fruit trees but does have
botanical names for ornamental varieties of those.
Where the book does not list botanical names, I resort to Wikipedia.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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