December 23, 2019

Categories: Daffodil Types, Science, Species, Taxonomy

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IT is great to see a real discussion once again appearing on Daffnet. It has left me a little confused. I first exhibited daffodils about 65 years ago and got really involved through the seventies. I believed that the wild forms had been well researched and that all individual species had been described and accepted. In more recent times those that were the same had been reclassified back to their original species. Now I am reading of species that I had never heard of. It seems that Rafa is saying that new species are still mutating and stabilizing in exponential numbers. In some ways that may make sense as nature does not stop changing

I once asked John Blanchard how come so many new species were being found and described. John’s reply was simple – ” Well David you have to do something to get your PhD.” I wonder how many of these new species will later be found to be variations of an existing species as in the case of N cordubensis? Bring on the DNA.

7 responses to “Species”

  1. Rafael Diez, Spain says:

    David, I will replay the same as Blanchard.  Just in 2018 it has been discovered not one, not two but three!!! new species just in Portugal!!, as everybody know it is bigger than Russia so there is space for many species each year…(ironic mode).  I really doubt these new speceis really exists.

    For example, in 2019 many other new species and hybrids have been discovered just in Spain. One of them Narcissus lacildulensis https://www.ipni.org/n/77198141-1 That grows in Grazalema. The only Jonquillae that grows there, are N. assoanus subsp. assoanus and N. jonquilla subsp. cerrolazae. You can also see in Grazalema N. x koshinomurae (N. fernandesii x N. panizzianus), but  N. fernadesii is not present in Grazalema and N. panizzianus is an invalid species,it is N. papyraceus. Two years later Blanchard published the same hybrid with the correct parents (assoanus x papyraceus) but it seems nomeclature rules benefits the bad science and no mater if it has been described an hybrid with wrong parents. You can find an hybrid for example,  N. rupicola x N. cantabricus, you can even say that it is very possible they were the parents without having seen them. When the the hybrid is really found with the parents, the name is currently registered. This is the case of N. x romoi, described as N. fernandesii supposing x N. cantabricus,(which is not present in 20km arround) and in addition it was described in the type locality of N. x tuckeri. So when a person has really found N. fernandesii x N. cantabricus, the name is currently registered.

    These are a couple of examples of how the number of species and hybrids increase every year, truly delirious… So don’t beleived much in what you see in KEW, RHS etc… it is better to verify by yourself what is published.

  2. Gerd Knoche, Germany says:

    I once have read:

    The number of species (not only daffodils) depends on the number of experts which are dealing with that genus.


  3. Rafael Diez, Spain says:

    In narcissus genus it is not really necessary many of them, just one with his own journals

  4. Ross Hornsby, Alabama Ross Hornsby, Alabama says:

    Classification of species is one of the ways I think science resembles medieval scholasticism. I remember reading in Thomas Aquinas whether the virtue of humility should be separated into twelve degrees. One authority said it should be twelve, another authority said there should be seven, another had three, another said it should not be separated into degrees, and finally one authority said it should be separated into degrees, but some of the twelve were better moved to be degrees of other virtues. Ah, there’s nothing new under the sun!

  5. Melissa Reading says:


    Sent from my iPhone

  6. Harold Koopowitz, California Harold Koopowitz, California says:

    Please remember folk that there is no legal definition of what is a species. The biological definition of species is different from the taxonomic definition. This leaves everything very fluid and plastic. So there is lots of room for argument. In Narcissus the fact that these hybridize so readily helps to confuse the issue too.


  7. Kathleen Simpson, West Virginia says:

    Ross – Your comment is deliciously funny.