[Taxacom] Source of quote on taxon ranking

Robin Leech releech at telus.net
Thu Apr 25 11:46:49 CDT 2013

Hello Mark, 
I suggest strongly that it is from the wee Iles (UK and Scotland), mainly
because we in North America do not use 
the word "hamlet".  

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Mark Hughes
Sent: April-25-13 10:23 AM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] Source of quote on taxon ranking

Does anyone have any idea who said:

"Trying to decide if a group of organisms is a species, a subspecies or a
variety is like trying to decide if a group of houses is a town, a village
or a hamlet?"

I thought it was Darwin but I cant find the source anywhere. The quote is
from (gin-soaked) memory so may deviate slightly from the original.


Mark Hughes (PhD)
Tropical Botanist (Begonia systematics)
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Phone: +44 (0)131 248 2893
Mobile +44 (0)7981423758
Fax: +44 (0)131 248 2901

SE Asian Begonia database<http://elmer.rbge.org.uk/Begonia/>
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Begonia research at

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a Charity registered in Scotland (No

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