Are these two trees the same?

davidfromdetroitJuly 13, 2014

Can someone confirm for me if the 'Alaskan Weeping Cedar' is the same thing as the 'Weeping Nootka Cypress'?

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nothotsuga

Yes, same plant. Only it is not a "cedar", but a cypress.

To call it a "cedar" is like calling a cat a dog. Cedrus species belong to the Pinaceae, while Cupressus nootkatensis belongs to the Cupressaceae.

Nootka Cypress is the original common name.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 5:58AM
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gardengal48

Don't know about "original" common name :-)) The whole thing about common names is they are just that - common names, aka plant nicknames. They vary widely by region and even from neighborhood to neighborhood. Since they are not REAL plant names, none is any more correct than another. FWIW, over the divergent areas of the PNW where this tree is both native and very widely planted, it is more or less uniformly referred to as a weeping Alaska cedar, even by those in the know as horticulturists. Just like Thuja plicata is known widely as western red cedar by nursery professionals, horticulturists and Joe Public alike.

btw, the term "cedar" is in the common name of a whole lot of conifers that have no relationship with the genus Cedrus. Just like the term "lily" is part of the common name of literally hundreds of plants that have no relationship to the genus Lilium. Not right, not wrong, it just IS!!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 4:13PM
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davidfromdetroit

Thank you both for the great insights. Very helpful. Makes me wish the word would either use latin names (not likely) or that the industry would regulate terms.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 4:16PM
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pinetree30(Sierra Westside)

Why should you be upset about a lack of uniformity? Are you missing the part of your brain that deals with unraveling complexities?
And how can anyone state that the common name of a plant is not a REAL name? Remember that the common name was there first. I remember my ten-year-old son asking me "what's that tree", and I answered "Pinus flexilis". He made a face, and retorted "Yes, but what's its REAL name". I think he was on to something.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:25PM
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davidfromdetroit

Are you missing the part of your brain that deals with social graces?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 12:01AM
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pineresin

"Don't know about "original" common name :-))"

Yes, the original and correct name from David Don in Lambert 1824.

"Since they are not REAL plant names, none is any more correct than another"

Total rubbish. A lie put out by the stuck-in-the-past creationist, boko-haram types who are hostile to scientific education because it bursts their religious bubbles. They hate accurate naming based on classification as it demands an acceptance of evolution.

This grotesque idea that vernacular names, like the Pope, can never be wrong is largely confined to English [and in particular to American English]; most other languages have standardised correct vernacular names, and do so as the assumed norm. Anything else is contrary to normal human mental processes.

"Why should you be upset about a lack of uniformity?"

No-one is worried about a lack of uniformity. But we should all be worried, and deeply so, about a lack of accuracy and honesty. Selling you a cypress labelled as a cedar is just as much a criminal lie as selling horse labelled as beef.

"He made a face, and retorted "Yes, but what's its REAL name". I think he was on to something"

Exactly. Because so many people have a (needless) phobia about scientific names, it is all the more important to ensure that vernacular names show the same level of scientific accuracy as the 'real' scientific names.

Though I must admid some surprise at a ten-year old exhibiting this phobia; children that age usually have no problem at all rattling off dinosaur names like Micropachycephalosaurus or Sinosauropteryx. The phobia usually only gets learnt later in life, probably pushed on them by the anti-education establishment.

Resin

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:33AM
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davidfromdetroit

All: Focusing on what we have in common, which is a passion for gardening or trees or landscaping of some sort, let's all agree to consider this thread closed.

I just wanted clarity on a purchase I was going to make because I didn't want to inadvertently purchase a type of tree that was different from the one I intended to plant in my yard.

Thank you all for providing me that resolution. Enjoy your summer and your gardening!

THREAD CLOSED

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:59AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey dave.. grew up i livonia.. out in adrian ...

this is a very common plant... and when you deal with common plants... sellers... have hundreds of thousands of tags made ... under name A ... unfortunately... it takes them a thousand years to use them all ... so that i how bad names are continued ...

second ... you start getting involved with the nomenclature police ... who decide.. to re-categorize the plant every 5 years or so .... so then more labels are made .. lol.. etc ...

its a nightmare ....

and to tell the truth.. i have no idea where these peeps with attitude popped out of .. whats that all about ...

if you have a spare afternoon ... and are interested in conifers... take a ride out just past tecumseh ... to HIDDEN LAKES GARDENS ... in tipton MI ... a huge.. labeled collections .... and you can have a great meal in Tecumseh .. see link ...

you will learn more about conifer variety/shape/form/color/etc ..... in one afternoon ... than you never will searching the web ...

BTW .... i call it 'Pendula' .... rather than weeping... lol .. and note.. i dont bother with the first two names.. rotflmbo ...

and double BTW .... the most common tag i have ever seen for this thing is: Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Pendula' .

the nootka part meaning alaskan ... the pendula part meaning weeping ... but on this tree.. not the main branches.. but the secondary branches off the mains ... and then of course.. they couldnt leave well wnough alone ...

so they change the Cham part to xylo something or another for a few years.. then changed to so cupressa ... its been so confusing.. i just quit changing my label ... lol .. and say.. HEY.. LOOK AT MY PENDULA ... lol...

do try to make it out to hidden lakes .... they also have an incredible hosta garden ....

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 12:00PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Common names have a life of their own that has nothing to do with Latin binomials.

No conspiracy required.

Standardized common names seem to have been adopted by birders but as is probably even more the case with common names for plants non-enthusiasts aren't likely to be paying any attention.

Accurate documentation focuses on what is and not what somebody wants things to be.

Unless that person's ideas are what is being documented.

British authors can publish "correct" common names until they are blue in the face and it will have little, if anything to do with actual general usage.

Coming on internet forums and telling people, over and over that their common names are "wrong" is more diversionary than apt or useful.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 12:46PM
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wisconsitom

In my part of the world we have plant communities known-by any and all-as "cedar swamps". They do not contain a single plant from the genus Cedrus but they are full of Thuja occidentalis. I didn't invent this convention of calling them so, but if I wish to converse with somebody-and this includes professional ecologists, botanists, DNR foresters....-I will also call them cedar swamps so that we can in fact have the conversation.

If I'm writing a professional report, I will refer to them by their proper scientific name of Thuja occidentalis. I may also use the full common name of northern white cedar, and everybody reading this report will know exactly what plant I'm talking about. Nobody gets hurt, the pace and breadth of scientific discovery is unimpeded, and if anyone cares enough to know that scientific names show genetic relationships, guess what? They will already know the scientific name.

This tired argument is well....tired. Both naming systems have utility, some of us use both, some don't know any better.....and still won't even if corrected. The world turns onward.

+oM

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 1:40PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Yep.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 2:49PM
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gardengal48

Yes, the original and correct name from David Don in Lambert 1824.

Really?? And did anyone bother to check with the indigenous Nuu-chah-nulth people that inhabited the area to which this tree is native centuries before Don appeared on the scene and egocentrically took it upon himself to decide he was the first to provide a common name? I seriously doubt they referred to it as "Nootka cypress"!! And we won't even address the concept of "correct", as when it comes to common names none are anymore correct than another....it is entirely down to regionality and the accepted vernacular of that area.

I agree that this is tired argument but I think we can all agree that really only true correct name is the currently registered botanical binomial and all common names have - or should have - equal validity based on locational preferences and conventions.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 3:56PM
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davidfromdetroit

Ken - great feed, thank you. I now live in Plymouth so Tecumseh is not too far at all - will definitely check it out.

Again - thank you for the local direction!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 5:02PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

"A lie put out by the stuck-in-the-past creationist, boko-haram types who are hostile to scientific education because it bursts their religious bubbles."

Religious problem? Really? Sipping a bit too much of the grape there, Resin? I know plenty of Creationists who adhere to the Latin binomials.

Sheesh.

tj

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 5:11PM
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pineresin

"Really?? And did anyone bother to check with the indigenous Nuu-chah-nulth people that inhabited the area to which this tree is native centuries before Don appeared on the scene and egocentrically took it upon himself to decide he was the first to provide a common name?"

They didn't speak English, so that isn't relevant to the correct English name

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 8:07PM
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noki

I've seen this bastardized "cultivar" under many different names. I've see it called "Alaskan Yellow Cedar" as well as other variations on weeping Alaskan cypress cedar falsecypress Nootka. Names should hopefully not be confusing.

And there seems to be a number of different trees out there. Some have a stronger leader. Some are weepier. Some are less regular. Some are more blue/ gray... some are more green. Pick one that looks nice to you, they are not all the same clone.

This post was edited by noki on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 22:58

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:49PM
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nothotsuga

Don't know about "original" common name

Then you need to be educated. Pineresin did just that, but you refused to read and be educated.

Since they are not REAL plant names, none is any more correct than another.

Then according to you it is correct to name a cat a dog, a whale a fish and so on.

even by those in the know as horticulturists. [...] by nursery professionals, horticulturists and Joe Public alike.

Even more people in need of education... Nurseries are only too happy to sell the same tree under different names. It happens more than once.

See also below.

btw, the term "cedar" is in the common name of a whole lot of conifers that have no relationship with the genus Cedrus.

Which is ludicrous as they all have their own unambiguous common names: arborvitae, thuja or juniper.

I think we can all agree that really only true correct name is the currently registered botanical binomial and all common names have - or should have - equal validity based on locational preferences and conventions.

It is your choice to prefer confusion and misunderstanding like this very thread is the evidence.

And what is "the currently registered botanical binomial" for Nootka Cypress as the "really only true correct name"?

There are 4 binomial names. Cupressus nootkatensis, Chamaecyparis nootkatensis, Callitropsis nootkatensis and Xanthocyparis nootkatensis. All "registered". You make fun of yourself by writing "we can all agree". And guess what? The scientific wrong name by phylogenetic considerations is the one most often used in the nursery business and which gets the more hits (about 10x more) than the others on internet.

Now I feel sorry that you need so much education.

And you are free to ask the first inhabitants of this coast what is their name for that tree.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 5:40AM
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davidfromdetroit

Man, remind me never to ask a simple question on Gardenweb again. If you guys are this emotional on the name of a flippin' tree I'd hate to see what you write on political forums...

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 9:11AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

NEVER.. and i mean NEVER ... get into a nomenclature debate ... crikey ...

and if you do.. just think to yourself.. i will call it pendula .. and be done with it ... lol

and then run.. very fast.. away .. lol ...

ken

ps: and by God.. never call anything a Cedar ... unless you are 200% sure it is one.. because that is a name commonly used for lots of different plant ... yikes ..

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 9:59AM
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wassercom(5a)

If an 'Alaskan Weeping Cedar' fell in a forest of 'Weeping Nootka Cypresses' and no one was around to hear it, would it make a sound?

This post was edited by wassercom on Wed, Jul 16, 14 at 10:56

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 10:41AM
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gardengal48

davidfromdetroit, please accept my apologies for my part in helping to turn your perfectly legitimate and innocent question into this stupid and pointless debate. As noted, it is a topic that engenders some heat......some are a little more able to respond with less confrontational and ad hominem attacks than others.

And I will openly challenge anyone to present this forum with any sort of uniformly accepted journal or publication or database of "correct" common names. One simply does not exist, therefore any presumed "correctness" is a moot point. Or held entirely in the mind of those narrow-minded enough to think their viewpoint is any more legitimate than anyone else's. In fact, of the half million or so plant species on this planet, the vast majority have NO common name.

And while the taxonomic labeling of this specific tree is under some discussion, there is only ONE accepted registered name - the others are considered to synonyms. And if one has only the most meager understanding of plant taxonomy, one would know that in this field, synonyms are not equals, but have a different status. For any taxon with a particular circumscription, position, and rank, only one scientific name is considered to be the correct one at any given time.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 3:32PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Since botanical authors often do not agree with one another what constitutes the correct botanical name at any one moment depends upon which taxonomist or other informed party you are talking to. The recent years of hashing over the preferred technical classification of Nootka cypress, resulting publishing of multiple botanical epithets, both new and old as being the correct ones is an excellent example.

Arguing over common names is like debating which colors or flavors are better than others. EXCEPT where existing usage is being used to demonstrate that a name is in fact a common name for a particular plant, or spelling customs are being pointed out, as in the tradition of the tree being a hawthorn rather than a hawthorne.

That certain Britons in particular would apparently really like it if common names for trees were standardized does not change the really truly actual fact that for perhaps millions of other people silk tree, Alaska cedar and box elder are the common names of trees they are able to recognize by those names.

This post was edited by bboy on Wed, Jul 16, 14 at 17:44

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 5:37PM
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