Where to sow
The value of a plant collection is not only determined by the number of location plants, but more also by their quality and by the way the collection is registered and labeled. The naming may change over the years by changing insights, its field number is and remains/stays tied to the plant or the harvested seed.
Its our goal to make our report as accurate and verifiable as possible for a particular individual plant of a species, therefore have we chosen to use the field number as the most important characteristic. That does not mean that a correct description is of less importance. A specialist-collector can't work with the description only. A valid description of the plant type is not reversible as one can't say that a plant with the characteristics of the described species is the described species. An error made too often.
A field number alone does not mean anything it is at best a reference for the related field explorer. Field numbers with geographical habitat information and date are very valuable. They give undisputable information about the discovered plant.
The often endless discussion if the plant is or is not of that species, has become less urgent for the collector. For he has a plant from the reported location and future will learn what kind of species will come out of it and then he can correct the name without problems. The field number indicates often information about the field explorer. The letters represents usually an abbreviation or the initials of the person(s), sometimes the year is included in the figures.
In the present chaos of denominations in the cacti world are we still capable to make distinction between the available field number listings.
reliability of the field number is directly related to the character of
the person or persons doing the field exploration. Therefore is it necessary to
know the motives or reasons behind the allocation of the number.
Information like: Is the person known to be consequent and numbers every
different looking species. What is his or hers knowledge of the taxa. Is the person known as a 'lumper' or 'splitter'.
All items which you could adhere to a group of field numbers in order to
draw the conclusion about the plant found.
The minimum information written on the label is the collection number. With only this information it suffices with a small label and a catalogue, but that does not contribute to the knowledge about the origin of the plant. A good label could look like the following:
The first part is the number of the collection preceded by the initials of the owner and the year that the plant is included in the collection followed by the number of the plant. Each individual obtains a unique number. Next follows the field number and the first letter of the genus, Next comes the name of the species. On the bottom line or on the back side the location or province of the location where HU 343 was found.
We have arrived at the last item, the listing of all plants in our data list. A listing of the collection of plants is evident. Just to exchange between friends and or collectors. It should be up to date and sufficiently informative. A collection listing could held a lot of information but should at least include the following information: