Orchid names are contentious. The reasons appear to be complex but whatever the reasons the situation exists whereby some orchidologists are naming species that may or may not be accepted by others. The result is that there are publications using different names for the same species. And of course, in the midst of it all, are those names that have been accepted for previous species with phrase names or manuscript names.
Whatever the name, it is helpful then to be able to match them up. Last week’s blog covered South Australian names but in the same week Andrew Brown published on the Western Australian Native Orchid Conservation Study Group Facebook an updated list of WA orchids whereby he has linked them with significant WA Orchid field guide books.
Andrew has kindly given permission for this list to be published. Other lists are also included and these are available on the NOSSA’s Orchid eBook page.
It is worth reading Andrew’s introduction in ALIGNMENT of WESTERN AUSTRALIAN DIURIS AND PTEROSTYLIS NAMES.
The object of this exercise is to align the phrase names in these three publications with names published in recent taxonomic papers. Please note that most, but not all, currently recognized (described and undescribed) Western Australian Diuris and Pterostylis are included. There are other taxa that may be considered worthy of recognition but have not been included at this time as we feel further research is required.
In the case of phrase names, these are added and removed for taxa as new information comes to hand and should not be thought of as the final view. Rather, these should be thought of as current thinking that may change in the future. Taxa are only formally recognized as being distinct once their scientific names are published. Even then, later thinking may result in further changes.
Given that phrase names are a work in progress, some may think that we should not be promoting their use and that they should not be included in popular books. However, I think it is worthwhile putting them out to the wider audience so that their distinctiveness can be debated. Having a large group of people looking for (and at) these taxa provides us with a great deal of information and opinion based on firsthand experience in the field, that we may not otherwise have obtained. Then, if and when the taxon is formally described, it will be done on a much more informed basis.
As I am sure you are aware, the naming plants is an evolving process and there will be further changes as new information comes to light.