Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oh, crap.

I have just determined that the plant I have been referring to as Cereus peruvianus for the last almost-two years is in fact Cereus hildmannianus, which I would not have realized without this post at Claude's blog Random Rants and Prickly Plants and subsequent sorta-verification ("sorta" because there seems to be a little confusion there, too) at davesgarden.com. This means that I have to track down mentions of C. peruvianus and change them to C. hildmannianus, which Blogger search tells me is likely to involve edits to at least 19 different posts, including a plant profile. There goes Tuesday.

This wouldn't be so bad, except that I've recently had to do this for Pseudorhipsalis ramulosa (previously called Disocactus NOID), Euphorbia pseudocactus (previously called E. grandicornis, though that situation was complicated by the fact that I also talk about E. grandicornis correctly in places), and Ctenanthe burle-marxii (previously Calathea concinna, more previously Calathea NOID -- though again, I was using Calathea concinna correctly in spots). If this sort of thing keeps up, I'm never going to have the time to write any new content: I'll be too busy correcting the old.

I need an intern.


9 comments:

CelticRose said...

Whenever you acquire a new cactus or succulent, go to www.cactiguide.com and post a pic in one of the identification sections of the forum. Those folks know more about cacti and other succulents than anyone I've encountered on the web.

Also, don't trust the tags on these plants -- some of the major growers are notorious for mixing up tags.

mr_subjunctive said...

I don't think I ever had a tag; I bought two 18-inchers at Wal-Mart in 2004 and that was the best ID I could come up with at the time. We did get some plants in at work that were supposed to be C. peruvianus, which matched my plants, so I figured I'd gotten it right.

Thanks for the link (again -- I think you've given it to me before, though I hadn't bookmarked it until today), though a few random clicks and now I'm questioning my ID of Hylocereus (which I'm thinking might be a Selenicereus). I'm going to have to work harder on the not caring, lest I make myself insane.

Patrick M~ said...

Why all the Latin?

mr_subjunctive said...

You know why.

Lance said...

OMG - you're human, shocking

Claude said...

Are you sure? because they're easy to confuse.

Anyway, I don't think it matters THAT much, the care for the two is about the same...

mr_subjunctive said...

Lance:

Well it's not oh crap because I'm human, it's oh crap because now I have to change it. Except . . .

Claude:

I'm not 100% certain, but I think it's more likely hildmannianus than peruvianus, and even if I'm wrong and it is peruvianus, peruvianus isn't even peruvianus anymore: it's repandus. I hear. So I'd still wind up changing it.

And no, I'm not positive about the ID, but in the cases where there's a positive ID (cactiguide.com plus the more trustworthy-seeming people on davesgarden.com), peruvianus/repandus seems to have more numerous and thicker ribs, which are usually/always strictly vertical and often have a sort of indentation below each areole. Overall kind of "puffier," for lack of a better word. Also the spines are shorter and dark brown or black.

What I'm seeing of hildmannianus is that the ribs come to more of a point, instead of being squared off like repandus, the spines are longer and redder, there aren't as many ribs to begin with, and the ribs may spiral around the axis of the plant.

The problem being that I see a lot of pictures at davesgarden.com labeled hildmannianus that look to me more like repandus and vice-versa, and I never know whether there's actually that much overlap between the species or if people are just confused about the identity of their plants and posting pictures in the wrong places. Normally I go with whatever palmbob says, but his pictures for both plants are far enough away that I can't see any real details that would let me figure out which was which.

So. Pictures have been taken, and will be uploaded to the ID forum at cactiguide.com at some point soonish. As the only thing worse than changing all the names would be having to change all the names twice, we'll wait to hear from cactiguide.com before I start editing the posts.

Caroline said...

I HATE when that happens. I have had recently had to relabel two plants that I thought were Texas natives: one, a Asclepias curassavica that was sold to me as an Asclepias tuberosa, and the other, a buddleja that turns out to be an "Orange Sceptre", a hybrid of B. stachyoides and B. tubiflora. Even worse, I purchased these plants at a very highly regarded local nursery which is known for its native plant selection and is usually really good about these things, which makes me doubt the lineage of a very expensive, hard to find architectural plant I purchased from them. I'm sorry, the care may be similar but hybrids and natives are often completely and fully different plants as far as sustainability, ability to pollinate and attractiveness to wildlife. I am no purist: I have hybrids in my garden as well as native plants and naturalized transplants. But sell me a hybrid labeled as a native plant at a native plant price, and you will Royally. Tick. Me. Off. (stepping down off soapbox)

lynn'sgarden said...

No one else would have noticed the error(s) of your labels, Mr_Subj. but I guess you'll have a clear conscience and sleep better at night...lol!