09 de septiembre de 2019


Excerpted from:
Fern and Orchids of the Mariana Islands
Lynn Raulerson and Agnes F. Rinehart
Published by Raulerson and Rinehart
© 1992

Spathoglottis carolinensis Schlechter

Spathoglottis carolinensis was found among grasses and ferns in a sunny field on Rota. petals and sepals are pale lavender and bracts glabrous. Most have a heart shaped lip that ranges from pale to bright reddish-lavender with bright reddish side lobes. Flowers are larger than those of S. plicata and more erect. The seed capsules of S. plicata are generally more abundant than those of this species. The shape of the lip, posture of the plant and the paucity of seed capsules all serve to differentiate this species from S. plicata to such a degree that it can easily be identified from a moving vehicle. S. carolinensis has also been found in Palau.

Spathoglottis micronesiaca Schlechter

Spathoglottis micronesiaca is similar to S. plicata. It is characterized by a white flowers with a heart-shaped lip, and narrower, shorter leaves. Hairy bracts are also present but the hairs do not become evident until the plant is dried and viewed under a microscope. The authors have not found Spathoglottis micronesiaca occurring naturally on Guam, but have been told that ornamental plants in yards have been cultivated from wild plants. The species is more common in Palau and Yap.

Spathoglottis plicata Blume

This almost ever-blooming herb can be seen in sun and shade along roadsides and on the savannas; it is not at all unusual as an epiphyte; and is variable in size and color. The pleated, oblong-lanceolate leaves are 60 cm (or more) long. The inflorescences may reach to 150 cm in length. Flowers were 2-3 cm wide, rose-lavender in color but ranging to pale lavender and even white. The bracts are glabrous with a pinkish tone. The individual flowers are not long-lived, but they are produced in profusion and open successively over a long blooming season, giving the appearance of an almost ever-blooming plant. Seed capsules are large and contain thousands of dust-sized seeds that appear to germinate easily and reach maturity rapidly. Spathoglottis plicata ranges from the Ryuku Islands south to Australia, and from the Malay peninsula east to the Caroline islands. In the Mariana islands it is found on Guam, Rota, and Saipan. It has become naturalized in Hawaii and recently in southern Florida.

Publicado el 9 de septiembre de 2019 03:48 por danaleeling danaleeling | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de junio de 2019


Just a place to gather random URLs and information on Lantana, information for my own future reference.

Lantana bahamensis
Habit: Lantana bahamensis grows as a medium size shrub 1- 2 meters in height. The leaves are arranged oppositely with a crenulated leaf margin. The leaves are about 1.5 - 2 cm long. While the stem becomes woody the species does not form large trunks.
The flower is zygomorphic with a 2 lobed calyx. The corolla is 5 lobed and orange turning reddish with age. The fruit is a drupe that turns black and shiny at maturity. The flowers are arranged in a corymb.
Habitat: Lantana bahamensis grows in disturbed areas along roads and old farm areas as well as sporadically through out the Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations (Coppice) in both limestone and sand substrates.
Distribution: Lantana bahamensis grows through out all of the islands of the Bahamas as well as in parts of Cuba.
Cultural usage: There are many cultural uses of Lantana bahamensis and a closely related species L involucrata. The leaves are often boiled for use in strengthening and aphrodisiac teas as well as to treat types of dermatitis (added to bath water). They have also been used in the horticultural trade as a landscape plant because of their beautiful flowers and pleasant smelling leaves.

Lantana balsamifera
Habit: Lantana balsamifera grows as a low shrub up to 0.5 m in height spreading to form low mounds. New vegetation is pubescent. The leaves are arranged oppositely, up to 1 cm long/wide, round, with crenulate leaf margins, and an attenuate leaf base.
The zygomorphic, perfect, complete flowers are arranged in a cymose fashion with involucral bracts. The calyx has 4 fused greenish sepals. The zygomorphic corolla has 4 fused, white to pink petals with a yellow center. There are 4 stamens that are fused to the corolla. The ovary is superior, two-celled, and becomes a drupe at maturity.
Habitat: Lantana balsamifera grows in Silver top palm dominated Dry Broadleaf Evergreen formation - Woodland (coppice).
Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Lantana balsamifera is endemic to the Bahamian Archipelago occurring in the southern and central Bahamas.
Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Lantana balsamifera is not used medicinally in the Bahamas.

Lantana × callowiana

Lantana camara, Lantana strigocamera
suggests that many global L. camara plants should be Lantana × strigocamara. Abaxial hair lengths and characteristics. Differences might be too subtle to determine photographically. "the identity of individual specimens constituting the hybrid plexus found growing outside cultivation today cannot be unraveled by morphology alone, and it maybe recalcitrant even to molecular genome analysis" (Sanders, 2012, https://sci-hub.tw/https://www.jstor.org/stable/41972430)

Lantana camara confetti
See also: https://gpnmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Lantana-Havana-Sunrise-Dummen-Orange-copy-800x413.jpg

Lantana camaras that are florally similar to L. urticoides

Lantana canescens

Lantana demutata
Habit: Lantana demutata grows as a low shrub up to 2 m in height. New vegetation is pubescent. The leaves are arranged oppositely, up to 1 cm long/wide, on the upper half, an abrupt leaf base, a crenulate leaf margins. They are round and very aromatic.
The zygomorphic, perfect, complete flowers are arranged in a cymose fashion with involucral bracts. The calyx has 4 fused greenish sepals. The zygomorphic corolla has 4 fused white petals with a yellow center. There are 4 stamens that are fused to the corolla. The ovary is superior, two-celled, and becomes a blue drupe at maturity.
Habitat: Lantana demutata grows in Silver top palm dominated Dry Broadleaf Evergreen formation - Woodland (coppice).
Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Lantana demutata is endemic to the Bahamian Archipelago occurring in the central and northern Bahamas.
Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Lantana demutata is not used medicinally in the Bahamas.
The flowers are very attractive to butterflies and the fruits for birds. L. demutata does well in coastal areas and could be used in the horticultural industry.

Lantana depressa
"While the native pineland shrub verbena (L. depressa var. depressa) always produces bright yellow flowers, if it hybridizes with L. camara, the flowers may be the same yellow and the plant might pass for the native.... He says there are certainly hybrids out in natural areas, but a couple of identifying clues are in the leaves: native pineland shrub verbena’s foliage is tapered as it meets the stem, or petiole, while Lantana camara’s leaves flare out towards the base. The native’s leaves also tend to roll inwards at the leaf margins, while camara’s are flat."

Lantana horrida, Lantana urticoides, Lantana × urticoides

Informative commentary on these species: https://www.inaturalist.org/flags/267442

Lantana horrida and Lantana urticoides as synonymous and are thus both "Texas lantana"
https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=laur2 Lantana urticoides Hayek

Lantana horrida, Lantana urticoides as separate species
http://theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-108080 Lantana horrida Kunth is an accepted name
http://theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-108340 Lantana urticoides Hayek is an accepted name

Lantana horrida, Lantana × urticoides as separate species
http://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:863305-1 Lantana horrida Kunth This species is accepted
http://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:135351-2 Lantana × urticoides Hayek This species is accepted

Lantana × urticoides is Texas lantana

Lantana × urticoides images
"Time spent in the Devil's River/Del Rio/Amistad area in the past year allowed us to see native Lantana urticoides in its natural setting, far from any L. camara influence."
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=405&subview=grid&taxon_id=164425 Posted by gcwarbler
RG only: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=405&quality_grade=research&subview=grid&taxon_id=164425
Detailed views including bractlet shape spatulate: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/8761492
"I don't usually go by leaf shape, per se, but rather by the relative size and number of the teeth on the margins. Here the teeth are pretty prominent and number about 7 or 8 on each side of the leaf. In true L. camara, the number of teeth typically range from 12 to 20+ and are much smaller. I've also added an additional image which shows the linear-lanceolate to spatulate bractlets under the individual flowers on this L. urticoides, a key feature mentioned in the N-C Flora." - gcwarbler

"...the teeth are pretty prominent and number about 8 to 10 on each side of the leaf, so that is going to put this in L. urticoides! In true L. camara, the number of teeth typically range from 12 to 20+ and are much smaller. There is certainly variation (and probably hybridization) in horticultural varieties. I may go back to this plant and look at the shape of the bractlets under the flowers." - gcwarbler https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/8830775
See also: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/16070813

Lantana montevidensis
http://latejanatreesales.com/plants/perennials/lantana/ includes "purple" and white "alba" variants

Oranges may be Lantana camara cultivars


Peaches may be Lantana camara cultivars


Lantana rugosa
Conical purple fruited with long almost lanceolate leaves. Extant in Africa if not globally.

Lantana trifolia "popcorn" cultivar
A purple-lavender fruited variety

Lantana undulata
Flowers light violet some with yellowish-white throat

Whites and near whites

Lantana achranthyfolia Desf. http://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:324301-2
Lantana hirta Graham http://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:30105602-2
Lantana involucrata L. http://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:135206-2
Lantana macropoda Torr. synonymous to Lantana achyranthifolia http://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:863345-1
Lantana undulata Schrank http://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:863474-1
Lantana velutina M.Martens & Galeotti http://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:863478-1

"L. velutina has leaves with highly-textured upper surfaces and small, rounded teeth along the leaf margins. L. achyranthifolia doesn't have that visual texture on the upper side of the leaves and the marginal teeth are a bit bigger and pointed, not rounded. L. achyranthifolia is also a good deal more common in this area than L. velutina." - joshua_tx comment on an observation made is Los Álamos 812, Los Álamos, 26240 Cd Acuña, Coah., México.

iNaturalist range data for whites
L. achyranthifolia and L. velutina are primarily identified in the main body of Mexico with some spread north and south, but a clear focus in Mexico.
L. involucrata is primarily identified coastal Yucatan, coastal Florida, and the coastal Caribbean islands
L. hirta, L. macropoda, and L. undulata are rare identifications with L. undulata being a single Brazilian ID.

White camaras away from native range may be L. camara cultivars


The monocolor inflorescence suggests this is the New Gold Lantana cross. New Gold was developed at Texas A&M, so the location of this plant in Texas is not surprising.


TL;DR: Thoughts on distinguishing from a photograph the various Lantanas including Lantana camara, Lantana horrida, and Lantana × urticoides; especially in locations where their ranges overlap and other thoughts on the complex Lantana complex.

I have read the comments at https://www.inaturalist.org/flags/267442 and read, with a sense of despair as voiced in that flag, https://sci-hub.tw/https://www.jstor.org/stable/41972430.
"As suggested by Sanders (2006), the identity of individual specimens constituting the hybrid plexus found growing outside cultivation today cannot be unraveled by morphology alone, and it maybe recalcitrant even to molecular genome analysis," suggests that photography alone cannot sort these out (Sanders, 2012, https://sci-hub.tw/https://www.jstor.org/stable/41972430).

I rather lost hope when the author noted, "On the other hand, if one considered the differences in length of the adaxialeaf-surface trichomes an inadequate species criterion ad submerged L. hórrida within L. camara , then subsp. glandulosissima would need to be segregated as a distinct species." and yet also noted " Lantana camara subsp. glandulosissima differs from subsp. camara only in the strong development of stipitate glands in place of filiform hairs on twigs, peduncles, petioles, and leaf surfaces and in the longer bracts and corollas. Because the development of glandular hairs is variable within several other taxa in sect. Lantana, this trait is viewed as insufficient grounds for recognition at the species level."

When I step back and think about this more broadly, the key feature of L. camara is that the plant is rather variable in appearance which may reflect soils, environment, climate, and broad variability among individuals. I am left thinking that a position noted early in the paper, and then discarded, "While some workers might prefer the convenience of recognizing a single highly variable species, Lantana camara L.,..." is perhaps the most reasonable place to retreat to for Lantana.

The answer seems to be that one cannot photographically distinguish Lantana horrida and Lantana × urticoides, they may vary in response to soil, climate, pests, and other factors such that the range of physical forms overlap. The strong smell of L. horrida or the length/type of abaxial hairs may be a response to the environment. At the end of the day one is left noting that this might be a splitting/lumping issue with the emotional desires of not losing names that have historical value.

This is also why, for me personally, I do not identify to Lantana strigocamara nor Lantana × strigocamara. This determination seems to require identification of the strigose hairs on the underside of the leaf. A fall back position of automatically identifying Lantana camaras not found in their native range as Lantana × strigocamara feels artificial, a circular loop that reinforces itself without observable differences.

One could retreat to the position that the situation is hopeless and that one should leave every Lantana in the "confusing complex" at the Genus level. Yet something in me rebels at tossing in the towel that way. I work in other languages that can look at a plant and name the plant, with stability, reliability, and repeatability. That science cannot name a plant by seeing the plant feels inadequate, and naming to the Genus feels incomplete. Too, range maps at the genus level for lantana would tell one nothing about the ongoing global spread of invasive L. camara/L. strigocamara. One wants meaningful range maps for the complex. Thus I arrive at identifying L. camara outside of its native range as L. camara.

That said, misidentifying a non-camara as an L. camara will not have a significant impact on the L. camara range map. Misidentifying a camara as a less common lantana would have a disproportionately larger impact on the range map, especially if the number of observations is small (there are Lantanas with only a single observation. That is, there is less harm in identifying in error to L. camara than identifying in error to rarer species. And the proliferation of commercial variants of L. camara predate Linnaeus.

Someday perhaps our photographic equipment will use bandwidths of non-visible light to reveal characteristics that allow identification with more assurance. Or smartphones with portable DNA analysis capability... the proverbial Star Trek Tricorder.

I realize I am in error and am likely to be shot down but then Taxonomy is described sometimes as a science and sometimes as an art, but really it’s a battleground - Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything


"Lantana is in the throes of an identity crisis. Linnaeus (1753) described briefly, in Latin, prickle-less, red-or-yellow-flowered Lantana Camara [sic],and prickly, red-flowered L. aculeata from an array of garden and horticulturally-selected plants taken from gardens in Europe (although he stated their habitat to be tropical America). " Alan Urban 2011
Urban goes on to support the concept that the globally invasive, weedy Lantana is not Lantana camara but rather a hybrid that should be identified as Lantana strigocamara or Lantana × strigocamara. In this he agrees with Roger Sanders 2006.

"Linnaeus’ concept of L. camara was developed from an array of cultivated and horticulturally selected plants." - Roger Sanders, 2006. Roger refers to this as a broad Linnaean concept.

In the Lantana complex with only a glimpse of the leaf margin, I am left with the flower color as a guide, a rather weak fall back position. I must admit to finding an affinity for what may have been Linnaeus' position as outlined in Roger Sanders 2006 paper as being a broad definition of the species.

Publicado el 1 de junio de 2019 23:14 por danaleeling danaleeling | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

31 de mayo de 2019

Scaevola taccada Scaevola sericea Scaevola plumieri

This post is simply a place to collect various notes and random information relating to the beach naupaka complex for my own future reference and to help guide my decisions as I identify these plants.

There was a taxonomic change made for Scaevola taccada by Kew and the Kew taxonomy is used by iNaturalist. S. taccada has apparently been split into S. plumieri and S. Sericea. S. taccada is now a synonym for S. plumieri. S. plumieri and S. sericea are said to have precedence over S. taccada. I would note that I was confused and had the temerity to write to Kew and ask about the change, and to my surprise Kew wrote right back:
"The references [to the taxon change] can be found here:

What you call Scaevola taccada with white fruits is probably now correctly known as S. sericea:

Regards, Rafaël Govaerts
Senior Content Editor – Plant & Fungal Names, Biodiversity Informatics & Spatial Analysis, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Jodrell Laboratory, Kew Road, TW9 3DS, United Kingdom"

The Kew herbarium sheet for S. plumieri http://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:384294-1 notes "Fruit blue or black, sub-globose, 10–15 mm. across, very fleshy, drying warty."

The City of Sanibel Vegetation Committee has a good publication on distinguishing Scaevola plumieri:
"Scaevola plumieri, is an erect to trailing, herbaceous evergreen shrub which can grow to four feet in height. These plants often form dense clumps, and the alternate, glossy green, thick leaves cluster near the branch tips. Inkberry prefers a dry, sandy habitat and is an ideal plant for the beach zone as it is salt and drought tolerant. The trailing succulent stems help to trap sand and acting as a beach stabilizer. Although, this plant is most often found near the beach, it will grow in a variety of soils. Inkberry tolerates full sun, flowers most of the year, and its dense growth provides excellent shelter for birds and mammals. The small, fan-like, whitish colored flowers with a yellow throat grow in clusters among the terminal leaves, followed by glossy black fruits eaten by birds."

The publication goes on to contrast the inkberry to the non-native Scaevola, referred to as Scaevola taccada in the publication, "The non-native inkberry.. is a weedy, fleshy variety, forming dense mounds of shiny green leaves. The white half-flower is followed by a white berry. "
Source: https://www.mysanibel.com/content/download/23790/147551

Another note came in from Robert Archer at the South African National Biodiversity Institute:
"The names S. sericea and S. taccada have been very frequently been debated over the last 70 years or more. This all depended on a strict application of the code at the time or a less strict application. So much so that an effort has been made to conserve the name S. taccada as it was the most frequently used name at the time. This application was not accepted as instead the code was adjusted and by using this name as an example (Art 41.4 ex 10 (https://www.iapt-taxon.org/nomen/pages/main/art_41.html?)). Therefore as I am not aware of any new or recent (re-)application of the names and as the references on POWO are not very recent or not available to me, or I did not try to find it. The statement that S. taccada is now a synonym of S. plumieri needs to be clarified and till then cannot be followed by iNat. Apart from the white fruit, the thicker stems with the prominent leaf scars and the rounded leaves with its prominent midrib and venation distinguish this species. The type of S. sericea and hence S. taccada ssp. sericea when it was published by St John in 1960 was from the "Savage Island" (Niue). Would this be worth keeping in the Inat database. Probably not."

The note at IAPT states in example ten:
"Scaevola taccada was validly published by Roxburgh (Hort. Bengal.: 15. 1814) solely by reference to an illustration in Rheede (Hort. Malab. 4: t. 59. 1683) that is associated with a description of a species. Because the same illustration was cited in the protologue of the earlier name Lobelia taccada Gaertn. (Fruct. Sem. Pl. 1: 119. 1788) and the two names apply to the same species, S. taccada is treated as a new combination, S. taccada (Gaertn.) Roxb., not as the name of a new species, even though in Roxburgh’s protologue there is no reference, either direct or indirect, to L. taccada."

As of the writing of this edit of this post (May 2019) other databases do not accept S. sericea:

As iNaturalist follows Kew and a curator could run the swap at any time, I see value in at least keeping the white fruit species from being merged into S. plumieri by IDing them as S. taccada subsp. sericea. For now I consider that the key photographic distinction may have to be the fruit color. White will apparently be S. sericea, black or blue will apparently be S. plumieri. Note that as of the writing of this post, the taxon swap has not yet occurred in iNaturalist, thus there is no option at present to ID the white fruited S. taccada as S. sericea, only as S. taccada ssp. sericea. S. plumieri, on the other hand, is an available ID in iNaturalist. I suspect there is also the matter yet to be sorted out that Pacific island beach naupaka does not have leaves covered with fine, silky hairs (sericea), but is glabrous.

Perhaps someone will publish a paper against the 2012 resurrection of S. sericea and retain S. taccada as per the IAPT code adjustment.

As a post-script R. Archer notes that identifications should only be made S. taccada and not the subspecies:
"[That S. sericea is not listed as accepted] is because of two issues. The first is the nomenclature issue, where it is established in the above-mentioned websites that S. taccada is the accepted name with C. sericea as a synonym. Note that the Theplantlist.org is the precursor for the Kew POWO. The second issue is taxonomy. Are there more than one subspecies or even varieties? The ssp. sericea is an attempt by St. John in 1960 published this as well as other varieties but he presumably did not follow up to publish a revision of the group. The presence of hair is obviously one character but as you mentioned it seems to vary. Therefore the best practice would be to use Scaevola taccada only."

"Taxonomy is described sometimes as a science and sometimes as an art, but really it’s a battleground."

  • Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything
Publicado el 31 de mayo de 2019 08:26 por danaleeling danaleeling | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

08 de mayo de 2019

Araucaria columnaris versus Araucaria heterophylla

I have long felt confused by Araucaria columnaris and Araucaria heterophylla. Allertonia Volume 10 October 2010 Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Pohnpei, National Tropical Botanic Garden lists the trees on island as Araucaria columnaris. Jimmy Hyane, who worked for agriculture back in the day, says they are Araucaria heterophylla. I am now fully convinced that the tree here are A. columnaris - the Cook island pine species. The page The Araucaria Family: Past and Present has convinced me of this. Note that there is a sign in the local botanic garden that refers to the trees as Araucaria heterophylla, adding to the confusion. There is no record of who made that label nor what the label was based upon.

Publicado el 8 de mayo de 2019 05:26 por danaleeling danaleeling | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

04 de mayo de 2019

Growth in User IDs is exponential

Note to self only. I was looking for a statistics problem involving a regression and started rummaging through trying to determine the number of users on iNaturalist by year end as measured by user ID number. This does not produce an accurate result due to suspended accounts and deleted accounts. That said, the results approximate the growth of users on iNaturalist. I manually searched for the user ID nearest to the end of the year and treated that value as the number of users on the platform. The result is nicely exponential relationship as seen at https://www.desmos.com/calculator/g2ugf2c9nm

By my projections, iNaturalist is headed towards 2.7 million users by year end. Now to find something more linear for my introduction to statistics final examination.

Publicado el 4 de mayo de 2019 07:14 por danaleeling danaleeling | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario