outramps's picture

Ficinia truncata St Blaize

Observed: 29th May 2011 By: outramps
Botanical Society of South AfricaCustodians of Rare and Endangered WildflowersGarden Route Botanical GardenMountain Club of SA (South Cape)OutrampsProtea Atlas Project
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Ficinia truncata St Blaize

Robust, grey-green tufted perennial to 20cm

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Riaan Stals's picture


Common name "Sedge" in Likely ID wrongly triggered genus Carex in UKSI dixionary. Should the identification be repeated now that the SANBI dixionary has been activated? Preferably without using only "Sedge" as common name ...


Charles Stirton's picture

Limestone sedge not very helpful ...

... as there are a number of limestone endemic sedges that all look very different! So not particularly helpful here.

Tony, I do not see why you have added another identification? I sort of follow Riaan's reasoning andagree sedge not especially helpful as a common name.

Tony Rebelo's picture

iSpot issue

The first ID links to the CoL dictionary which is not what the southern African community uses.
The second ID links to the SANBI dictionary which allows the observation to link up with all the other observations for this species.

Please change your allegiance!

Common name irrelevant: Riaans point was that in ID 1 iSpot ignored the Scientific Name (could not find it in the dictionary) and so made the ID on the common name.
Note the links: iSpot is saying that this is a Carex: very confusing. But unless you think that this is a Carex you should not be agreeing with the ID, even though the user ID is correct: the iSpot ID is wrong.

Tony Rebelo's picture


Carex is wrong and Sedge is too vague.
The users ID to species is correct: we just need to link it to the SANBI dictionary.

(note just added in case people get confused).

Charles Stirton's picture


Just discovered that if you click outramps' name Sedge (Ficinia truncata) one gets a new page with the entry " This taxonomy group doesn't seem to exist within our records" on the UKSI button. Also two others Col and SANBI not highlighted. Does it appear on Uksi because outramps uploaded it to the UK site? Not sure what COl and SANBI stand for, presumably dictionaries. Why 3 dictionaries then? Most users I am sure will be confused by this.

Cassine's picture


If there is a species that occur from Cape to Europe, and England, then one has to select SANBI to see the SA specimens, COL, to see the rest of Africa (and/or Europe or Asia) specimens, and finally UKSI to see the UK specimens. R.

Tony Rebelo's picture


I have argued that the dictionaries should not be visible to users. As with any language, users should never have to know about them until they want to or think that they need to.

So, iSpot should automatically give you only those species for the area your locality is in (southern Africa SANBI and UK UKSpeciesInventory do this at present: anywhere else and you see all species in the world on the Catalogue of Life (CoL)). This applies to filters, projects, adding data, surfing, quizes. Anthing where iSpot groups observations using taxonomy.

But otherwise you should not be aware that the dictionaries exist.
Unfortunately, as Cassine states: you cannot use one filter or project across the three dictionaries: anything you select via a dictionary is only for a single dictionary. So please do not try any project across communities - you will only get data for one of them. (we have called this the Elephant Problem). This will get worse as more and more communities use their own dictionaries (Why look at 200 000 plant species when your Chile community has only 3000?)
(there are other incompatibility issues: SANBI goes to subspecies, SANBI uses "subsp." for animals instead of trinomials, etc.)

We have asked for this to be changed so that any selection of a taxon for a filter or project will be across ALL communities, but it wont be for quite a while.

Tony Rebelo's picture

Elephant Problem. definition

We will design a project selecting taxonomy = elephants. We want to map where elephants are still to be found in Africa. You may need to adjust your map polygon slightly.

Create the project in the southern African community: it will use the SANBI dictionary and you will discover than elephants are extinct in northern and eastern Africa.

Create the project in central Africa from the Global Community: it will use the CoL dictionary and you will discover than elephants are extinct in southern Africa.

So remember: choose your project carefully depending on what results you want.

When iSpot shows elephants throughout Africa then our problems will be solved.

Cassine's picture

It would be

1. Ideal to be able to select or use more than one dictionary. There are many migratory birds and alien plants that occur everywhere. Most genera and families are cosmopolitan.
2. The search functionality in maps (old ispot) was good to find obs. It is now impossible, unless you want to click in increments of 2000 obs. It takes forever. I suppose the idea was to create a project. But I do not want to create a project for just a simple (distribution) search! .

Tony Rebelo's picture

2. old iSpot

The old iSpot only showed you observations for the area: you could zoom in and see everything.

Now if you zoom in most of the screens are blank because the 1000 observations that iSpot is showing are elsewhere: Ridiculous!!!

Charles Stirton's picture

This all makes sense now

Thanks for both your comments. Full of sense. Obviously still lots to do on the dictionary front especially regarding issues around species with global distributions, weeds and invaders, and migratory animals.