A cultivar does NOT have to have any botanical or cultural merit: it can be butt ugly, but if it is going to find distribution then it needs to be placed centrally where others can be made aware of its form. *There is no stated or implied requirement in the ICBN protocol that a specimen to be registered must have any "merit". *Merit is a subjective quality, and once these cultivars are standardized the community can judge their horticultural merit, and assign awards, just as is the case with orchid growers. *This isn't about "pretty" *Growers want to grow EVERYTHING, it all has some merit to them. *If it has enough merit to collect, then it has enough merit to be grown and distribute, and the rest follows. "Sp." material carries with it, from its initial collection to its ultimate establishment in mass confusion the implied suffix "I DUNNO".
As far as growers not being able to identify their plants: how on earth is someone going to identify a plant that has no recorded identity? *What are they supposed to use as a standard of comparison if there is no literature or photo? Taxonomy keys are not the end all answer: even the holotype is an isolated example in a sea of variation: a best guess. *Also not many growers have any inclination towards taxonomy, and attempting to use the science of taxonomy to define isolated orphans from a population is like using an oxyacetyline torch to make popcorn! *As regards the bogus "Sp." material that has absolutely no centralized reference, its like going to the bookstore and asking for them to order a book that you don't know the title of, nor the author, "But its 9 inches tall and 7 inches wide, blue cover, and was written in Brasil, maybe"!
I applaude that you are willing to do the work in helping ID this material for horticulturalists, but you are not eternal. *Consider posterity please! *You can write about this material all you want in your travelouges, but that is not going to be enough for growers 30 years from today to be able to make any determinations *unless* there are some published details regarding form and a detailed photo! *If you lack the time to do the deed, then please consider appointing someone as a responsible agent to do this, there are many who would be happy to take the time. *I would be happy to (and not just to get free plants either!).
As for the spelling issues, we are all guilty at times. *I certainly misspell my share, esp. when in private communications, where I know the person I am speaking with understands the refferent. *In public posts or publications I make an effort to be more focused and correct, but even here I am not perfect. *It is everyones responsibility to correct each others orthographic errors. *I welcome such corrections. *I have never met a grower who did not appreciate me taking time to make a correction. *It is bad form to take offense at anyone making such a correction. *Some people just don't care, and they probably never will, unless we can convince and educate them.
I do have a problem with bogus Sp. names, and since there is no central publication, drift in the spelling of such material is inevitable as there is nothing to compare the names with, so it hardly matters, does it? *Bogus is bogus is bogus! *If the names were registered, it would be different. *I also have problems with people NOT correcting their bogus names when presented with evidence of the error because "I've already distributed so much of this that it would only cause confusion now to change the name", and I rather doubt that you approve of this either. *Statements like this are absurd no matter who makes them. *Bah!
Sorry if I appear to be harsh in this, but I honestly believe in the registration of bogus material introductions before the ID mess gets worse than it already is. *I fully agree that growers should confirm their plants identity by consensus with their source for the material, but what if the source is likewise incorrect? *Anyone seeking confirmation of Matt's "Chapada Diamantina" would no doubt find consensus: but does that make the plant genuine? *Had there been a instrument of registration in place back when (and if) you collected this, and had you (or whomever) utilized it, this mess would have never happened. *We would know what it looked like, its salient features, and even who collected it. *Now, any material carrying this name is suspect whether genuinely from the area or not...and there is still no way of sorting it out, except through you! *Now that there is such a tool, it should be employed.
You mention your genetic study being skewed by the use of mislabeled material? Well, I am not surprised. *I wonder if it would be possible to do such a study based on material taken from the type collections? *I am leaning towards this notion in my seed testa research, and plan on going to the source. *Relying on anything in private collections is risky. *Even esteemed botanical garden directors are error prone with what they grow, no matter how many letters they have after their name.