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Thread: Cultivar vs. subspecies

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    What merits the difference between cultivar, var., and subspecies. I have bugged Barry Rice about this and other topic enogh today. I understand that:
    cultivar is a individual plant with distinct charicteristics which merits a special name.
    Subspecies shows a distinct difference in at least 2 populations (actually ranges) of one species.
    Var.-is a distinct difference in two populations but not enought ot merit subspecies.

    But my question is what did the recent U. reniformis cultivars get cultivar instead of var.?
    Why is D. capensis seperated into var. or cultivars instead of subspecies?
    Since S. rosea and S. purpurea ssp. venosa var burkeii are the same why can it not become S. purpurea ssp. rosea (or burkeii)? Or the same with var. montana?
    I guess my question is what distinguishes the three groups? I ahve researched but not come up with any reasonable answer.

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    I think all Sarracenias are members of the same species, so don't ask me.
    Bruce in CT

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Varieties and subspecies are formally described and published with specimens and all. Just like when publishing a species. A subspecies is a population that differs in some small but consistent way from the normal species. A variety describes an abnormal plant from the population it is found in. For an example an anthocyanin free form.

    (at least that's my understanding...)
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Treaqum @ Feb. 14 2005,8:34)]Since S. rosea and S. purpurea ssp. venosa var burkeii are the same why can it not become S. purpurea ssp. rosea (or burkeii)?
    A few people, based on research they've done, think that S. purp burkeii is different enough to be considered its own species, which they named rosea. I think the majority doesn't agree with this and still think it's just a variety of purp venosa. Who's right, who's wrong? Nobody, since species designations are just an arbitrary system of cataloguing organisms. You could easily make an argument that all Sarracenia should be the same species.

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    Current thinking goes for eight sarracenia species and various subspecies (if S. rosea is a species, then surely the rubras are separate species, and why not the flava subspecies whilst we're at it)
    No two examples of a subspecies will be exactly the same, but two examples of a cultvar will be genetically identical because it will be a division from the original single plant.
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    apple rings.. what more can i say? FlytrapGurl's Avatar
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    I believe there is species, which is a synonym for "cultivar".. for example, Sarracenia purpurea. Then there is subspecies, like Sarracenia purpurea ssp. venosa. A variation is like a subspecies, but not definitely different enough to warrant a subspecies tag, like Dionaea muscipula 'Green Dragon'.

    One question, though... for things like Sarracenia 'Judith Hindle' or Sarracenia 'Dana's Delight', is what's in single quotes considered the species name or the variation name? If it were the species name, that would make sense, but it seems like it's the variation name, since it's in single quotes and not normally italicized in scientific writing with the rest of the name, but that doesn't make sense either, since it's got to have a species name.

    ...Did that make any sense?
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (FlytrapGurl @ Feb. 17 2005,3:15)]I believe there is species, which is a synonym for "cultivar".. for example, Sarracenia purpurea. Then there is subspecies, like Sarracenia purpurea ssp. venosa. A variation is like a subspecies, but not definitely different enough to warrant a subspecies tag, like Dionaea muscipula 'Green Dragon'.

    One question, though... for things like Sarracenia 'Judith Hindle' or Sarracenia 'Dana's Delight', is what's in single quotes considered the species name or the variation name? If it were the species name, that would make sense, but it seems like it's the variation name, since it's in single quotes and not normally italicized in scientific writing with the rest of the name, but that doesn't make sense either, since it's got to have a species name.

    ...Did that make any sense?
    A cultivar is not merely synonymous with species, or subspecies, or even variant.

    Within a species, subspecies must be:
    ( a ) geographically distinct
    ( b ) a population, rather than a single individual
    ( c ) different from other geographic populations

    I'm not sure how "variant" differs from "subspecies", though.

    A cultivar is the specific set of genetic traits in a particular, individual plant, propagated by cloning. All plants of a cultivar are propagated by clone, to ensure the exact genetic traits are preserved.

    Seeds of a cultivar will generally not reproduce that cultivar.

    To answer your question, names in quotes, e.g. Sarracenia 'Judith Hindle', represent a named, man-made (can't be naturally occurring), hybrid. Cultivars also satisfy certain requirements of registration... not sure exactly what they are.
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