Changes to Malacothamnus fremontii and M. helleri

Recent morphological and phylogenetic analyses show M. helleri to be distinct but nested within the M. fremontii clade with some less clear lineages. Because of this, the 2023 Malacothamnus treatment recognizes M. helleri as a variety of M. fremontii and, due to taxonomic priority, it is given the name M. fremontii var. exfibulosus. The rest of M. fremontii is now M. fremontii var. fremontii.

The common name unfurled bushmallow is the suggested alternative for Fremont's bushmallow for those who do not want to honor someone responsible for multiple massacres of Indigenous people. Unfurled refers to the state of the corolla after flowering. In most Malacothamnus taxa, the corolla furls back up after flowering. In M. fremontii, it stays at least somewhat unfurled. This is the most useful character for identifying M. fremontii. The length of hairs on the stem is the easiest way to distinguish the M. fremontii varieties beyond geographic range. Thus, in the new treatment I suggest long-haired unfurled bushmallow for M. fremontii var. fremontii and short-haired unfurled bushmallow for M. fremontii var. exfibulosus.

At present, I have not changed the default common name for M. fremontii when no variety is used. If you have an opinion about whether the default should be changed to unfurled bushmallow or whether iNat should keep honoring Fremont, feel free to speak your mind. Both names will remain on iNat and come up in a search no matter which is set as the default.

See more details in my new treatment of Malacothamnus, which you can download for free here.

Publicado el 13 de septiembre de 2023 23:17 por keirmorse keirmorse


@sweiser @kueda @tiwane @catchang @hfabian
You all are the only ones with 10 or more observations of M. fremontii on iNat. Any thoughts on changing the default iNat common name as suggested above to the suggested common name from the new treatment? Obviously, there would be a bit of a transition period where people will be confused but isn't it better to have a common name that is useful and doesn't honor someone who did some pretty bad things? I suggested many common name changes/improvements in the new treatment but I've been rolling those out a little slower than the scientific names.

Publicado por keirmorse hace 3 meses

Happy to support your proposal.

Publicado por catchang hace 3 meses

I support the change in common name because your publication provides an excellent inflection point to justify depersonifying it.

Also, my compliments on the fantastic covers you have bestowed on your treatments. They are really classing up my hard drive.

Publicado por kueda hace 3 meses

I support changing the common name too

Publicado por grnleaf hace 3 meses

@kueda Thanks! The covers are actually partially AI generated and then edited because the AI could only do so much. I wanted cool covers and it was an opportunity to play with AI art generation. I found trying to convince the AI to give me what I wanted to be an often frustrating and hilarious process. Fun though.

Publicado por keirmorse hace 3 meses

Since, I haven't heard any dissent on changing the default common name, I'm doing it. As the peak Malacothamnus season is past for the year, that may also mean it is a good to time to make the change. Much better now than peak bloom when lots of people are making observations.

Publicado por keirmorse hace 3 meses

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