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Polygonatum multiflorum cf P. x hybridum

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Polygonatum multiflorum cf P. x hybridum

by AndyAmphlett » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:44 am


Polygonatum x hybridum (Garden Solomon's-seal) was mentioned, without a description, in the 3rd edition of CTW’s Excursion Flora (1981), and in the 1st edition of Rose’s ‘The Wildflower key’ (1981). The 3rd edition of the Flora of the British Isles (CTM 1987) gives a limited description of the hybrid and says ‘sometimes found ± naturalised and may occur wild’. It was not until the 1st edition of Stace’s Flora (1991) that a more detailed description was available to field botanists, and it was described as naturalised in woods, scrub and rough ground throughout Great Britain.

Beyond its native range, many records of Polygonatum multiflorum (Solomon's-seal) are likely to actually refer to the hybrid. For example in vc94 there has been a complete switch as to which taxon is recorded, post cf pre 2000: Polygonatum multiflorum (21 records pre 2000 cf zero records since 2000) and Polygonatum x hybridum (zero records pre 2000 cf 36 records since 2000).

I took over as VCR post 2000, and am confident that all plants found in the wild since then have been the hybrid. The question is what to do with the pre-2000 records of Polygonatum multiflorum? They certainly cannot be validated as ‘Confirmed’, and while ‘Dubious’ ie probably not correct, is accurate, the records won’t be mapped at the DDb default settings. Changing the records to Polygonatum x hybridum is most likely correct, while changing them to Polygonatum multiflorum agg is an available option in the DDb.

I am sure this will be a question that needs consideration in many vice-counties, and a consistent approach would be best. If taxon is to be changed, this would be best done via a bulk editing facility, which I think is in development?

Last edited by AndyAmphlett on Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Polygonatum multiflorum cf P. x hybridum

by qgroom » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:37 pm

Hi Andy,
you should add a new determination and change this new determination to the "preferred id". In the "id comment" field you should explain your reasoning, perhaps stating that your changing the determination based on the balance of probability, rather than direct observation of the plant.
You shouldn't change the name of the record, because it then become less obvious what the original identification was.
Alternatively, you could reject all these records, but that is a very blunt instrument in this case.
I only use "Dubious" if I want to return to the record sometime, but keep it hidden until I do.
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Re: Polygonatum multiflorum cf P. x hybridum

by admin » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:54 pm

I agree with Q that record changes of this sort should entered as a redetermination (without masking the original name). Because this is a large scale problem, it's probably best to wait for bulk editing to become available. Work on bulk-editing is ongoing at the moment and I hope will be finished within the next month.
Tom Humphrey
Database Officer, Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI)
c/o Centre for Ecology and Hydrology,Maclean Building, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon, OX10 8BB, UK.
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Re: Polygonatum multiflorum cf P. x hybridum

by AndyAmphlett » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:55 pm

Quentin / Tom,

thanks for that. Had a quick look and can see how to do this - but as you suggest will wait a while. An additional issue, is that some of the records of P. multiflorum are from MapMate. General advice is to edit within MapMate but that would change the actual determination of the record. Explanatory text can go in the Comments field, but wondering which editing route would be best for these records? In the DDb or in MapMate?

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