Sunday, December 4, 2016

Pretty picture: Maxillariella Maui Coconut

At some point, a new genus, Maxiarella, was split off from the genus Maxillaria. And I would just like to take a moment to boo and jeer and make rude gestures at the taxonomists who thought it would be a good idea to split one genus into two that are practically anagrams of one another.1 I'm sure you had your reasons, guys, but nobody's ever going to be able to keep those straight. If you're not going to try to make the words recognizably different, maybe just leave them in the same genus, okay? It's not like anyone will know.

And then you get the intergeneric hybrid of the two, which is Maxillariella, also very easily confused for both of the parent genera. I mean Jesus Christ, taxonomists. Is the thrill completely gone from changing the names around every five minutes, that now you have to invent new ways to upset and confuse everybody?

[noise of irritation and disgust]

Anyway. Name aside, I don't have any particularly strong feelings about this one. We've seen previous Maxi[mumble]a species in 2015 (M. cucullata), 2012, and 2014 (both M. tenuifolia) The foliage on Maui Coconut is more interesting than usual, I suppose, but the flowers are small and unshowy.

I'm pretty sure this is supposed to have a fragrance, and my notes say that I might have gotten a whiff of something coconuty at the show but I wasn't sure about that.

I'm also not actually that big a fan of the smell of coconut, so even if I were certain about the fragrance, it wouldn't improve my opinion of the hybrid much.

Maxillariella Maui Coconut = Maxillariella sanguinea x Maxillariella tenuifolia (Ref.)


1 Not quite actual anagrams, but about as close as a pair of non-anagrams could get; they differ by one letter. Both start with "Maxi," both end in "a," both contain a double-L and an "ar," but they remain one letter apart. (maxiarElla; maxillarIa)


Paul said...

*sigh*. Had not heard about that particular name change. I'm in full agreement with you as to the idiocy of the whole naming scheme.

Ivynettle said...

There was a time when I thought of taxonomists as serious scientists. Not any more, now I'm convinced they are all crazy and possibly drunk. I'd been suspecting that for a while, and then I found this site:, and spent hours laughing about it, and now I will never believe anything else.