The Stripped Mesembryanthemum Genus

Fenestraria rhopalophylla ssp. aurantiaca-Baby Toes, on 7-15-09, #22-8.

Hello folks! How have you been doing? This past week has been cloudy, cooler and rainy. I have been steadily working on the list of plants to the right. For the past few days, I have been editing what was already published or under construction because I noticed a problem. No one could leave comments so I had to go through 18 pages of pages, click on “quick edit” and check “allow comments”. That was the easiest of the two ways. When you set up your blog you can select to allow comments from the beginning and never have to worry about it. No so with “pages”. There is no place to select comments to be allowed in the setting for all pages. If you ever notice anything weird on my posts or pages, please let me know so I can fix it.

When I was working on the Fenestraria rhopalophylla subsp. aurantiaca (Baby Toes) page, I thought it was very interesting what happened with the Mesembryanthemum genus and thought I would share it with you. The first name for this species was Mesembryanthemum rhopalophyllum.

First, the above photo is a photo of the Baby Toes I bought when I was living at the mansion in Leland, Mississippi. I had bought it from Lowe’s in 2009, so it was among my first succulents. The label said it was a Fenestraria aurantiaca. Well, that name is a synonym of Fenestraria rhopalophylla subsp. aurantiaca. There is STILL some debate over whether or not it should be classified as it’s own species or subspecies. To read more about the Fenestraria rhopalophylla subsp. aurantiaca (Baby Toes), click HERE.

According to Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) website, there is STILL only one accepted species, one accepted subspecies, and one accepted variety of the subspecies in the Fenestraria genus.

I used The Plant List when I first did my research for this plant. Although it is no longer maintained, I still get a lot of information on the website. According to the 2013 version of The Plant List, the genus Mesembryanthemum consisted of 1,119 names (yep, it listed them all). There were 76 accepted species and 3 accepted infraspecific names. 126 were synonyms and a WHOPPING 914 names were STILL UNRESOLVED! Carl von Linnaeus officially named the Mesembryanthemum genus in Species Plantarum in 1753. It seems that every succulent type of plant that had flowers like the Mesembryanthemum were automatically put in that genus. Botanists, horticulturalists and other groups are trying to get them all straightened out and they have done a pretty good job so far. To view the ENTIRE list of species in the Mesembryanthemum genus on the 2013 version of The Plant List, click HERE.

Delosperma cooperi-Ice Plant on 4-24-10, #52-8.

The above photo is of the Delosperma cooperi (Ice Plant) I bought from Lowe’s in Greenville, Mississippi in 2010. It fizzled out during the summer maybe from too much water when I was watering the flower bed it was in. This species was first named Mesembryanthemum cooperi.

According to the Llifle website, there are currently 11 accepted species names in the Delosperma genus (It says 15 but I think they screwed up because five on their list are synonyms of other species on the list). There are an additional six species that have been transferred to other genera. To view their list, click HERE.

The new Plants of the World Online website lists 155 accepted species of Delosperma… Hmmm. To view their list, click HERE.

To read more about the Delosperma cooperi on The Belmont Rooster, click HERE.

According to the Llifle website (Encyclopedia of Living Forms), as of 11-15-17, there are currently 16 accepted names in the Mesembryanthemum genus and 289 have been moved to other genera… To check out the list on the Llifle website, click HERE. I wonder what happened to the other 824 names on The Plant List (NO, I am not going to check). I confused myself for a few minutes… They say 15 for Delosperma and 16 for Mesembryanthemum.

Faucaria tigrina-Tiger Jaws on 11-3-17, #389-2.

Yes, even the Faucaria tigrina (Tiger Jaws) was first named Mesembryanthemum tigrinum by Adrian Hardy Haworth in Observations on the Genus Mesembryanthemum, in two parts in 1795. To read more about the Faucaria tigrina, click HERE. (GEEZ! I have to put more photos on that page).

The Llifle website lists 49 accepted species in the Faucaria genus, but again lists the synonyms and accepted names on the same list, so there aren’t actually 49 accepted species… Should I point this issue out? To check out the list, click HERE. Several species on the list are synonyms of the same accepted name.

I checked out the Wikipedia’s article about the Faucaria genus. It says, and I quote, “Faucaria is a genus of around 33 species of succulent subtropical plants in the family Aizoaceae.”

The Aizoaceae Family:

The Llifle website lists 53 accepted genera in the Aizoaceae family, some of which are synonyms of accepted names. To view their list, click HERE.

The Wikipedia lists 135 genera and says they include “about” 1,900 species.

BUT, the NEW World of Plants Online lists 133 accepted genera in the Aizoaceae family. Hmmm… Check out their list of genera in the Aizoaceae Family, click HERE!

Well, folks… Clearly, with The Plant List being unmaintained and the new World of Plants Online not even having all their data uploaded, there is certainly a lot of confusion… The Llifle website, which is certainly reliable and possibly the most correct, also has some issues. Saying there an “X” number of accepted species and the list includes both the accepted names and their synonyms on the same list… Someone needs to count again and make a list of only the accepted names or just give a number for accepted names. The Plant List also showed graphs and showed how many were accepted names, synonyms, infraspecific names, and how many were still unresolved.

Well, here is a great example of how The Plant List described the family Aizoaceae… Even though it has not been maintained since 2013, it is still a great source of information. You can see the charts at the bottom. On top of the page is a complete list of 146 genera in the family, all can be clicked on for further research.

The problem with using the Plants of the World Online website, since they are STILL uploading data, it is listing accepted names that certainly must not be now. How could the Llifle website, that is continually and correctly updated, say there are so many less accepted names? Probably, if I go down the list of names on the Plants of the World Online site, it will say many of them are synonyms now… SO, the list is not accurate. GEEZ!!! This is going to puzzle me until I actually check the entire list and cross-reference it with the Llifle site.

Well, I am out of words and now I am a complete blank…

SO, for now, PLEASE stay happy, healthy, positive, and hopefully be prosperous. GET DIRTY whenever you have a chance even though your weather may be keeping you indoors.

6 comments on “The Stripped Mesembryanthemum Genus

  1. katechiconi says:

    Lonnie, most of this is completely over my head, but I’m in awe of the care and work you put into creating this resource and generously putting it at our disposal 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey BRo, your website is a great source for plant searches. The ice plant reminds me of a pretty plant my grandma used to have in a couple of old truck hubs next to her front gate – I finally found it online – portulaca. It grew back every year from it’s own seeds. It had similar flowers, very bright colors. I have something similar in my garden now – they suffer during the summer, but go crazy during the wet winter. Some had died completely back, but sprouted up as soon as it started to rain. So now I’m moving them from the hot spot I’d planted them and replanting them in strawberry pots in the shade. Maybe I’ll get flowers, I’ll keep you posted!

    Thanks BRo!

    Liked by 1 person

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