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Accepted abbreviations for subspecies, varieties and forms

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

The PlantFiles administrators and I have been working with Dave to standardize all PlantFiles entries with the following abbreviations:

variety = var.
subspecies = subsp.
forma = f.

If you're formatting an entry, please be sure you use these abbreviations. I occasionally spot a new entry slipped in with "v." or "var" for variety, and "ssp." for subspecies. Unfortunately those small differences can create duplicate entries, since the system is looking for an exact match.)

Any questions, comments suggestions? Are there any other abbreviations we should look at standardizing?

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Thanks, Terry. That's very helpful. Trying to keep the entries in the same language makes search so much easier.

Spokane Valley, WA(Zone 5b)

This would be a nice note to include alongside the entry boxes (for family, genus, species, etc.) on the "Add a New Plant" page, and updated as the list evolves.

It could also help all of us "nip it in the bud", so to speak, in using the standard terminology for PlantFiles rather than other similar terminology provided on a plant label or in a reference book. ;-)

But then, I'll imagine you've already thought of that!

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Would it be possible to "sticky" this message? I don't usually have anything fancier than a simple genus/species/cultivar to add, but this once I did and I had to go searching for this message so that I could make sure I entered it correctly (luckily I remembered there was such a message--I'm sure many people who don't know this thread exists probably put stuff in all the time without knowing what the rules are).

Churchill, Victoria, Australia(Zone 10a)

Thanks Terry, I have been through BugFiles and made the appropriate changes (3 ssp. changed to subsp.).

One more abbreviation is just sp. for a species identified down to genus only. I am accepting this in the BugFiles, are there also examples in PlantFiles?


Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Ken, we stopped accept "sp." entries a few years ago...it was a transition we made when PlantFiles became large enough that most genera had several species or cultivar entries listed, we began phasing them out. (They still crop up in a new entry every now and then, and there may be some stragglers lurking in there ;o)

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Terry, thanks for "sticky-ing"!

Churchill, Victoria, Australia(Zone 10a)

Thanks Terry. I think sp. is nevertheless acceptable for BugFiles, because the identification problems are even greater than for plants and it is instructive to have the images available when they can be identified at least as far as genus,


Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

ecrane, you're very welcome. Ken, I agree with your approach. At some point, you may find BugFiles needs to be "pruned" of those "sp." entries as well, but then again, maybe not. As you said, getting insect ID's can prove more difficult than plant ID's.

Faversham, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

I have always used the following in my research: variety = var. subspecies = ssp. forma = fo.

I do a lot of cut/copy and paste. I apologies if any have slipped through and will double check all my postings in future.


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