[Taxacom] Why character-tracking doesn't happen?

Thomas Lammers lammers at uwosh.edu
Sun Sep 14 09:11:51 CDT 2008

----- Original Message -----
From: Steve Manning <sdmanning at asub.edu>
> This reminds me of a perhaps apocryphal story 
> about a situation in which a taxonomist, 
> investigating herbarium specimens, placed three 
> different collections from the same individual 
> tree (not knowing they were from the same tree) 
> into three different genera.  

The version of this story I have heard (probably from Richard Pohl in his plant taxonomy course at Iowa State ca. 1975) ascribd it to Charles Sprague Sargent, and said that he unknowingly based three new species of Crataegus off gatherings from the same individual.  I have not been able to track the source of the story; does anyone know a reliable published source for the story? Sargent named so darn many species of Crataegus (a genus characterized by predominantly uniparental reproduction) that it is certainly plausible.

Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Curator of the Herbarium
Department of Biology and Microbiology
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh


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