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Naming Crotons and the true experts

Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by fawnridge, Jan 15, 2011.

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  1. fawnridge

    fawnridge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Western Boca Raton
    I will accept on face value that there are people out there who know the names of the original varieties of Crotons, i.e. the ones in The Book, the Dreer Catalog, and Exotica. I will also accept without question that there are new varieties appearing on the market on a regular basis that have been named by the person who first found the seedling or sport. Likewise for those lucky enough to cross-pollinate two known varieties.

    So what I'm wondering is this, is there some way that all the original known varieties, let's say up to the date of publication of The Book, can be verified in our wiki by the true experts? I've never met Bob Alonzo, but enough people here who I respect say that he is a true expert on the original varieties. Can we get him in front of a computer screen to put the stamp of approval on our photos? And if there are other true experts of this caliber, can we get a second opinion on our photo collection? At least that way, we can say to the world, here is a verified collection of the original Crotons.

    This gets even more important for original varieties that were never put in any book or photographed for posterity. I have Crotons, Lillian Stofregan for example, that's not in The Book or my copy of Exotica. (I've never seen the Dreer Catalog.) But yet these old varieties exist and we have them in our wiki. What if we're wrong?

    As far as any Croton propagated after the cutoff date, as long as the originator can be found and make a claim, then we're done with any further naming controversies. Well, not really, there's always going to be is it an X or a Y or a Z? But as long as we have a certified database to compare to, it should be a much less complicated problem setting a name to a Croton someone has found in a back alley, a Home Depot, or a nursery deep in the 'glades.

    I'll leave this task up those who know Bob Alonzo or Dr. Brown or any of the other archivists of Croton history. But if this database is to have any true value, it's a task we should all consider as a requirement.
     
  2. Jeff Searle

    Jeff Searle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,738
    Location:
    South Florida, USA
    Ricky,

    I know both of these gentleman extreamly well and hold the upmost respect for both of them. Bob Alonzo is not a computer guy, and has said time and time again that he has no desire to sit down in front of one. Frank Brown, is over 90 years old and frankly has lost alot of his keen identification skills that he once had. And understandably so. But, collectively there are others that can certainly contribute a wealth of good information.

    Jeff
     
  3. fawnridge

    fawnridge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Western Boca Raton
    Then lets put them together and certify our database. I only named Bob and the doctor because, well, those are the only two I know for certain.
     
  4. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,846
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Ricky,

    This is one reason I am so keen on getting good clear photos into the wiki. We can even accept higher def versions if desired. This gives us (or the experts) the opportunity to make good IDs from a computer screen that much easier - if you can zoom in closely for more ultra clear detail.

    Many of you have not yet realized the versatility of the wiki. When a photo is uploaded there, many things can be done with it. As you were eluding to, a page can be created for an expert to look at with whatever photos we want to put on it. Then if we can get those positively IDed we could easily create a sub-section of "The Original Crotons of the Brown Era" or something of the sort.

    I am available to help anyone learn how easy it is to "play around" with the wiki. It is a much more valuable tool than most realize. JungleGal did wonders with it in a short time. And if more were willing to give it a go, I think it could become an awesome resource.
     
  5. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    It was my pleasure to meet Bob Alonso at the Glock's Holiday Social. I was afforded the opportunity to speak with him regarding dentification of cultivars. My comment to Bob was that unless I am actually growing a particular variety, I will hesitate to make an ID attempt.

    It is very difficult to make an ID from a picture. As wonderful as Dr. Frank Brown's book is, they are photos of mature specimen plants at their colorful peak. As our seasons change so do our plants and they do not always appear the same as in the book. I see what my plants look like from season to season so I know what they look like at that particular time of year.

    When I observed Bob Alonso looking at the plants that were brought to the last meeting for him to ID. He took his time, looking at the older leaves, checking texture and thickness of the leaves. He also brought Mark who possesses a croton eye and who Bob says is very knowledgable on the old cultivars.

    We will never be 100% on ID's but we are getting better and better. As Mr. Stager is so fond of saying: Onward through the fog. :)
     

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