good web site

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Chantal

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good web site
« on: August 08, 2011, 09:36:04 AM »
I do see a reference to Wikipedia in some posts. And I was wondering if it was a good reliable source for information about plants.
Chantal Guiraud
Montpellier-France
MGS Seed Coordinator

"The flowers of spring are winter's dreams told in the morning at the table of the angels" (Khalil Gibran)

David Bracey

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Re: good web site
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2011, 10:49:41 AM »
Good question, Chantal.
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

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MikeHardman

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Re: good web site
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2011, 12:09:53 PM »
Informaton found on Wikipedia, like most web sites, needs to be corroborated with information from other sources in order to obtain some confidence. Of course, in the process of looking at multiple web sites, you may find information which conflicts rather than agrees. In principle, this is nothing new; nothing web-specific; the same things can happen when you research in libraries or ask learned colleagues. Sometimes there is genuine lack of agreement; other times mis-informaton (eg. mis-identified plants) can lead to apparent lack of agreement.

Back to Wikipedia: I find it has become more reliable over the last few years.

But I always pay heed to the motto of the Royal Society: 'Nullius in verba' ('Take nobody's word for it').

When it comes to finding information about specific plants, it is very important to identify the plant correctly. That may mean correcting the name on the plant label where you bought it (eg. a nursery) or saw it (unfortunately, even learned botanical gardens can mis-label plants). Some of those mis-labellings may be due to botanists/horticulturists renaming plants after they were labelled. One has to cut the nurseries and gardens a bit of slack for that.

For correct plant names, I refer you to:
- The Plant List - http://www.theplantlist.org.
To quote from the home page:
Quote
"The Plant List is a working list of all known plant species. Version 1 aims to be comprehensive for species of Vascular plant (flowering plants, conifers, ferns and their allies) and of Bryophytes (mosses and liverworts).
Collaboration between the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden enabled the creation of The Plant List by combining multiple checklist data sets held by these institutions and other collaborators.
The Plant List provides the Accepted Latin name for most species, with links to all Synonyms by which that species has been known. It also includes Unresolved names for which the contributing data sources did not contain sufficient evidence to decide whether they were Accepted or Synonyms."
Relationship to Index Kewensis and IPNI (which are of some renown): The Plant List "builds on the original work of English naturalist Charles Darwin, when in the 1880s he started a plant list entitled Index Kewensis that contained 400,000 names of species with an average of 6,000 species being added to it every year since it was first published." It also incorporates the International Plant Names Index (IPNI).
- The RHS Plant Finder, especially for cultivars - http://apps.rhs.org.uk/rhsplantfinder
« Last Edit: August 08, 2011, 12:24:57 PM by MikeHardman »
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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JTh

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Re: good web site
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2011, 03:09:32 PM »
Sometimes there is a wealth of information to be found on Wikipedia, and often more updated than any other sources, but as Mike writes, you have to corroborate it with other sources. I seldom specifically search for info from Wikipedia, but it quite often pops up high up on the list when I search for something.
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

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Alisdair

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Re: good web site
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2011, 07:38:12 AM »
Another point to remember is that Wikipedia's information on plants comes from world-wide sources. So be especially wary of what it says about cultivation for particular plants, particularly water needs. As mediterranean-climate conditions (dry warm or hot summer, mild damp winter) are so specific, Wikipedia cultivation information based on where those plants are usually grown - perhaps temperate maritime areas, perhaps even tropical or sub-tropical ones - may be quite inappropriate for our conditions.
(The same general caveat applies of course to using many standard horticultural works such as the excellent RHS Dictionary of Gardening).
The Plant List is now an essential tool for anyone wanting the latest taxonomic status of a plant name, as this Kew/Missouri Botanic Garden brings together world-wide research. It is very much a work in progress, so of course there are continuing adjustments and improvements (click here to see an example), but it is extraordinarily helpful.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2011, 07:41:30 AM by Alisdair »
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

Chantal

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Re: good web site
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2011, 08:12:40 AM »
Yes, we must adjust ourselves to our particular climate. But only for 2 topics : water irrigation and situation (sun or shade).
For the rest, I was very reluctant in looking at Wikipedia. Perhaps it is a question of translation into french. I will have a look on the english web site now.
Of course, I must refer to the excellent RHS data base for the "nomenclature" when I work on my seed list.
But, thank you very much for giving me this web site, the Plant List that I did not know. Sometimes, very rarely, I don't find a name on the RHS data base.
In french, we have a very good source for plants information for amateur gardeners : nature.jardin.free, but I don't think it is translated in english.
Chantal Guiraud
Montpellier-France
MGS Seed Coordinator

"The flowers of spring are winter's dreams told in the morning at the table of the angels" (Khalil Gibran)

David Bracey

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Re: good web site
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2011, 08:42:42 AM »
Chantal, suggest you post something in French; this may attract more French viewers and even some postings. David
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

Chantal

  • Jr. Member
Re: good web site
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2011, 07:49:36 PM »
OK, it will be easier for me and quicker too.
Chantal Guiraud
Montpellier-France
MGS Seed Coordinator

"The flowers of spring are winter's dreams told in the morning at the table of the angels" (Khalil Gibran)