You say Zauschneria I say Epilobium

There's a nice article on California fuschias over at the SF Chronicle.

It seems more botanical than most general interest newspaper articles.

California fuchsias are not true fuchsias, although they are also members of the evening primrose family. The name Zauschneria (named after a Professor Zauschner of Prague) is used in older books for a handful of California species with trumpet-shaped red flowers and green to furry gray foliage.

The Munz and Keck book "California Flora," published in 1959, recognized Z. cana from the Central and Southern California coasts, septentrionale from Humboldt and Mendocino counties, garrettii from the Mojave Desert and californica from much of the rest of the state.

Then in 1976, Peter Raven, renowned conservation advocate and evening primrose specialist, proposed combining Zauschneria with the fireweeds and willow-herbs in the larger genus Epilobium. Although the plants don't look much alike, Raven found similarities in their hairy seed coats and other features.

Botanists have generally accepted the change, although some are still cranky about it. Despite that snarl of consonants in the middle of "zauschneria," we were used to it.

Somewhere along the way, californica and garrettii merged into cana, and the species' genders changed to conform with the new genus. That leaves Epilobium canum and E. septentrionale as the last California fuchsias standing.

Read the whole thing at link.

No comments:

Post a Comment