Today I made an observation of a plant that is a hybrid between Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) and Hill’s Oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis). I assume this hybrid is somewhere in the iNat taxonomy, but I couldn’t find it. That’s due to a problem generally plaguing hybrid plant species on iNat - most are not findable if you don’t already know their botanical name. This thread is meant for discussion on how to fix this issue and also just asking if anyone actually knows where the taxon for this hybrid is.
When i add hybrid, i also add its hybrid formula in synonyms. That’s the way i’ve find to track parents and help people finding the correct hybrid.
Cirsium × subalpinum ; (= C. palustre × C. rivulare)
If you type in search bar “Cirsium palustre x” or “Cirsium rivulare x” , Cirsium × subalpinum is suggested
Is it possible it isn’t added yet? I couldn’t find it either. I was lookin’ purdy hard.
It doesn’t appear to have a published name https://www.fs.usda.gov/database/feis/plants/tree/queell/all.html
Northern pin oak hybridizes with the following species:
x Q. rubra (northern red oak)
x Q. velutina (black oak): Q. xpalaeolithicola Trel.
From the Curator’s Guide:
Given their vague morphological delineation and taxonomic uncertainty, use of hybrid taxon concepts should be avoided whenever possible. Adding IDs of higher-level taxa is usually sufficient.
There are tons of other hybrid oaks added in the taxonomy.
Regarding the statement in the Curator’s Guide that “higher-level taxa is usually sufficient” - this glosses over a lot of subtlety. Sufficient for whom?
Isn’t it the case that a hybrid, which might be identifiable and confirmable as such, if only given a genus ID (genus Quercus) or even a sub-genus id (Lobatae, for example) would not achieve Research Grade? Is it not a requirement for the ID to be species level or lower to reach RG? If so, how is it “sufficient” to use a higher-level taxon? Obviously if a major goal of most observers and identifiers is precluded, then it is not ‘sufficient’.
Also, for people who deal with hybrids specifically, this would also present problems. For those who deal with invasive species, it is sometimes the case that an invasive strain in a particular area is a known hybrid. In that case, it should be able to be named with that hybrid name and reach RG.
For casual observations, it is even more potentially interesting to include hybrids as identifiable taxa. Named hybrid cultivars are used all the time in horticulture, and are the most accurate name available for most nursery-planted stock.
It has to be at or below genus level to get RG using “Based on the evidence, can the Community Taxon still be confirmed or improved?” in the data quality section
it only needs to be below family to convert to RG if the as-good-as-it-can-be box is checked
Hi I’m a curator who does a lot of work with oaks. I have spent many hours making sure this is no longer a problem, Just search Quercus ellipsoidalis x rubra (Make sure they’re in alphabetical order) and it’ll usually appear. In this case however, no such taxa exists so you can flag Sect. Lobatae and I’ll go ahead and add it!
I don’t know about other areas of taxonomy but with oaks we just ignore that part of the curator guide. It actually makes the taxonomy more confusing because so many oaks hybridize with each other that it just becomes pointless to not have them in the system
Guidelines need to be updated - to reflect the reality on iNat.
Though it’s not always possible without creating genushybrids.
The whole matter of hybrids is fuzzy anyway. If a given oak has phenotypic characteristics of two species, is it a hybrid or just a result of the inherent variation in organisms? This question becomes more relevant the closer it is phenotypically to one of the two putative parent species. Obviously no two individual oaks are exactly alike…