I’m in the midst of writing, measuring and researching plant descriptions for the fall Plant Delights Nursery catalog and keep coming across on-line references to Penstemon schmidel. The only problem is that this is not, nor has ever been the the name of a Penstemon species. Kasimar Schmidel is the 18th century botanical physician that named the genus Penstemon. Not only did an array of reputable nurseries fail to catch such a obvious error, but one of our top horticultural trade magazines and the US Patent office all revealed what a sloppy job they do in fact checking, the latter accepting the non-existent species in a recently approved plant patent. Doesn’t anyone care about accuracy any more, or are we all just willing to reprint the same errors? No wonder we have such a wealth of misinformation in our industry…shame, shame!
I know what you mean. Years back when ordering plants ( for a nursery I work in ) from a producer in Florida, it was nearly impossible to get the names of the Passiflora hybrids they were offering. The producers in question were not small, they were specialized in exotic plants that were hard to find, and I would speak to the actual producer, or sales director. The best these ( several places ! ) could do was refer to hybrids as ‘the purple one, the blue one or the red one’. If these people producing the plants for collectors did not take the time to at least write the names down….
Not only in the horticultural area, but in society in general. It is too bad. Keep the faith and keep them straight.
This problem goes far beyond horticulture and nurseries. But, please rant quietly because inaccuracy, laziness about sourcing and citations, and of course, the wholesale belief that Wikipedia is the Ultimate Authority keeps my business thriving which funds my plant obsession.