5 responses to “Iris domestica”

  1. bev

    I realize this may not be the proper forum for this question, but perhaps you could explain to an amateur how DNA studies will affect plant classifications. Will this relatively new science completely replace phenotypic characteristics (I hope I am using the right term; I am trained in medicine rather than botany) or be used as an adjunct, or neither?
    Thanks, Bev

  2. qcronk

    DNA evidence is one of the most powerful techniques we have to correct errors in classification. Belamcanda was mistakenly separated from Iris as its inner and outer perianth parts are somewhat more similar than is usual in Iris. (Technically it is homochlamydeous rather than heterochlamydeous). However, it was an error to attach so much weight to a minor characteristic. In other phenotypic characters (and, tellingly, in large numbers of DNA characters) it is a “typical Iris”.

  3. Ken

    Classification is all about ancestry, rather than appearance, and DNA studies give the tools to determine ancestry by comparing how much DNA species have in common.

  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Bev, Clive Stace argues that “DNA data should not be regarded as inevitably of paramount importance, nor to be used at the expense of other (“traditional”) data”. I’d agree with that assessment. You can read more from Stace’s article in the latest issue of Botanical Electronic News: “Does DNA Provide All the Answers?

  5. Ron B

    Seems like recent interpretations I’ve looked at have tended to address both morphology and cytology.

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