[Taxacom] genus Primula: trim it? or bloat it further?

Ken Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Thu May 18 21:49:17 CDT 2006

Dear All,
      In an effort to cladify the genus Primula, some seem to prefer that it 
gobble up even more genera of Family Primulaceae.  Wouldn't it make more 
sense to cladify the already large genus Primula by trimming off two of its 
oddball subgenera (rather than forcing in two more oddball genera)?

    Instead of gobbling up Dodecatheon and Cortusa, simply take the related 
(and oddball) subgenera Auriculastrum and Auganthus out of Primula.  Either 
way you are going to have some name changes, but at least the second 
alternative will leave us with a more homogenous Primula (rather than making 
it even more heterogeneous).  It makes scientific sense, and the flower 
breeders already make a distinction between auriculas and primulas anyway.

    And finally it avoids the possibility that Primula could gobble up even 
more genera if recent molecular phylogenies are not totally accurate (making 
Primula even more of a taxonomic black hole).  So once again I applaud FNA 
for retaining Dodecatheon as a full genus (as opposed to a mere section 
within a subgenus of Primula).  I am generally a lumper, but when lumping 
creates such an unbalanced classification, even I will advocate cladistic 
splitting (relatively speaking) as the preferable alternative.
           Ken Kinman

More information about the Taxacom mailing list