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Q: Inter-species crossing

Roger Van Loon roger.vanloon at ping.be
Thu Sep 2 14:43:42 EST 1999

Stephen M Jankalski wrote:

> Wasn't this already settled or did you just ignore the answer?
Oh my - temper, temper. You probably mean: anything that you
settles everything?
> A hybrid is a hybrid regardless of the taxonomic ranking of the two taxa
> involved.
At last, a definition for a hybrid (is it?)
> Just look it up in the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature,
> appendix I on the naming of hybrids.> http://www.bgbm.fu-berlin.de/iapt/nomenclature/code/tokyo-e/Contents.htm
Didn't you read my answer to that one - or did you just ignore
the answer?

But Stephen, rest assured - I throw in the handkerchief. 

If you have read some of my postings, you will probably know that
they were mostly based on the definitions in the many many books
in my library, such as:
- The RHS Dictionary of Gardening:
""Hybrid: a plant raised by crossing 2 species""
- The Collingridge Encyclopedia of Gardening:
""Hybrid: ...For the purpose of botanical nomenclature, the term
confined to the progeny of crosses between distinct species or
- Rhododendrons and Azaleas by Marvyn Kessell:
""A hybrid can be a cross between two species; two hybrids; a
species and a hybrid; or, less commonly, two genera.""

But, apparently, the botanists have once again changed the rules.
I have since learned that in the most recent edition of the RHS
Dictionary the definition af a hybrid has changed to:
""Hybrid: the offspring of genetically dissimilar parents.""
So who am I to disagree with such a definition which has clearly
been brought up to date?
Therefore, you're right. 
Every existing plant is a hybrid - and every existing animal too,
I suppose. My parents sure were genetically dissimilar (weren't
So, speaking as one hybrid to another - thanks to the botanists
for making the chaos more complete. I think the term "hybrid" has
no meaning anymore.


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