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I thought we were supposed to use the common names for things as well known as primroses?! Plugwash 00:54, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I think in this case it is a little more complex. While most of the members of the genus Primula are known as primroses, not all have vernacular names (e.g. Primula clusiana which grows in no English-speaking area and so has no English name), and some of those that do are not called "primrose". Thus, Primula covers a broader group of species than "primrose", including cowslips, oxslips, bear's-ear or auricle, Primula clusiana, etc.. A separate article could be created for "primrose", but it would need to read "a more or less arbitrary group of species from the genus Primula". I would be happy to see primrose as the location of the current Primula vulgaris article, with an additional note that "many other species in the same genus are also called 'primrose'", but that may not please others (Americans?) who refer to the species as "English primrose". --Stemonitis 08:25, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I must speak up against the practice of using "common names" that are no such thing. American gardening references, in particular, are filled with made-up English language names that no one actually uses. The 1930s compilation, "Standardized Plant Names", which tried to give an English language equivalent to each of thousands of plants is merely laughable while being the single worst example of this stupid practice. Moreover, there's the old, well-known issue that a given English-language name may refer to different plants in different places; "bluebell" is the common example, referring to a variety of totally unrelated plants. In the case of primulas, the common names primrose, oxlip, cowslip, and polyanthus have well-defined referents, but the rest don't. Even "auricula" isn't safe, as it may apply to Primula auricula sensu strictu, or to any of the many similar species in Section Auriculastrum, or to any of the many quite complex hybrids among species in that section. Even "primrose" is dicey because it may refer to any primula, or only to P. vulgaris. Indeed, I'm pretty sure that even "primrose" is used for plants that aren't primulas. I'm trying to find out what the practice of the American Primrose Society is; certainly, with the possible exception of oxlip and cowslip, other English speaking primula enthusiasts simply use the botanical names. I would hope that Wikipedia, at least to some extent, tries to advance the cause of knowledge. For that reason alone, Wikipedia would be well advised NOT to use common names for plants with the rare exception of common names that are historical and unambiguous. Floozybackloves (talk) 18:43, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Image in taxobox
I replaced the image in the taxobox because it was so over exposed that you cannot see any detail in the plant at all. It was reverted because my picture was not wild. I ask what is more important, that the plant be wild, or that you can see the detail in the plant? HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 13:21, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
- I have replaced it with a picture of a wild primrose without the overexposure. There's not a lot of detail to be seen on primrose petals, anyway, so overexposure isn't such a problem, but the current image satisfies both criteria. --Stemonitis 07:52, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
noticed we havn't mentioned hybrids or listed them in the species list (eg. Primula veris x vulgaris (False Oxlip))
- Is there an authoritative list of (presumably natural) hybrids to work from? That's usually the problem with these lists, people add randomly with whatever they know about, difficult from verify from source works later. Human-produced hybrids should go into a separate section I think. Stan 04:20, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Common name (continued)
The 2nd comment above, replying to the 1st, is out of chron. order. Maybe that practice has merit, but 8 years have passed, and I'd just as soon adhere to chron. order.
The long discussion in those comments is excellent. But I fault this article for still not revealing the common name used for this genus. And you can't expect writers to belabor lay readers with a triple whammy—a proper-case, italicized, scientific term. Would a newspaper be so mincing?
(With apologies to Arlo Guthrie: "There, on the page . . . in bold letters . . . all caps . . . italicized . . . underlined . . . quotated . . . read the following words: "KID . . .")
The commenters are abs. correct in insisting that a common name (e.g. primrose) is impermissible if it doesn't denote the entire genus. On the other hand, what could be the objection to a common term that is the genus name?
I mean, look at the caption on the 2nd photo. I don't know about you, but I see word "primula"—lowercase, un-italicized, non-technical-looking, as visually soothing as a tranquilizer in an old-age home. Am I wrong in thinking that all you need do is add "commonly called primula" to a top sentence of the article, and you're done?
And that it might apply to Wiki articles about other genera, where the common and genus name are the same but it's not acknowledged?