General news and announcements

apple for the teacher?
Goodbye, Rosmarinus officinalis!
by Janet Prescott - Sunday, 12 May 2019, 12:57 PM

DNA is making plant names more confusing - or I suppose less confusing in the longer term, but that doesn't help those of us trying to adapt as familiar plant names change. It also doesn't help that the information trickles down to us slowly from the rarified realms of botanists.
I'd just come to terms with Aster splitting into Symphytrichum and Aster, and Sedum into Hylotelephium and Sedum, but Ken Thompson has an interesting article this week on name changes (I will post a link as soon as it becomes available online) which drops the bombshell that Rosemary is now a Salvia. 

Lavatera, Hebe, Perovskia, Nectaroscordum - all these genera have gone in the rationalisation of names according to the real DNA connections between plants - but it's going to be a wrench to start thinking of Rosemary as Salvia rosmarinus.

For those of you studying for exams, don't worry - the name change takes years to be generally acknowledged (the RHS website doesn't mention it yet) and Rosmarinus officinalis will be a synonym and so always acceptable.

For anyone who wants details of the botany and can't wait for the Telegraph article to be available, try this post from A Wandering Botanist ZmJjbGlkPUl3QVIwcnlhcjdWeWRBQVYtazFlQWdw…/…

One last blow - Ken Thompson mentions that Sorbus (whitebeams and rowans) are threatened with change, but the botanists can't agree on what to call them yet!