cassia taxonomy

Anita Cholewa anita at MOZART.CBS.UMN.EDU
Wed Apr 9 09:57:50 CDT 1997


Taxonomy question for the day...
I recently was confronted by our agronomists here who are
"struggling" with the taxonomy of Cassia/Chamaecrista/Senna.
Cassia hebecarpa (I think that's the correct spelling) is
being used in experiments dealing with nodule formation.  I
can not find this name in current floras.  Is this an older
name for C. merilandica?  Was it once a Chamaecrista?  Is
Chamaecrista separated from Cassia as Cronquist indicates?
If one separates Chamaecrista from Cassia from Senna, what are
the characters used?

General point to ponder for the day...
By way of hearsay, these same agronomists maintain that
this particular plant is not a legume because it does not
produce nodules.  I tried to explain to the grad student that
that is not the basis for the familial categorization and that
"legume" is a vernacular name given to all the members (I think
the student understood).  I makes me wonder about our educational
system in the universities, if this kind of fundamental item is
misunderstood (or maybe even unknown) by other plant-based researchers

Thanks to whomever can help with #1

ANITA

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