This question is an interesting case:

How to prevent Sempervivum tectorum (Common Houseleek) from growing in length and not width?

Both latin name and common name are in the title and question body (and that seems fine). But what about the tags?

Three of the max five tags are taken up with Latin name, common name and family name. Possibly an inefficient use of tags. Can tag synonyms help here?

And if tag synonyms are the solution, should the Latin name or the common name be the master?


2 Answers 2


For people who will make use of tags, the master should be Latin. For people posting who are unfamiliar (but perhaps happy to learn), English synonyms requests should be created.

A problem will occur when you get into items like peppers where there are five various domesticated species included under the "peppers" tag; C. annuum, baccatum, chinense, frutescens, and pubescens. Making sure that synonyms are inclusive of in these instances will be important but not overwhelming.

  • 1
    Yes a common name can refer to multiple species, and multiple species can have the same common name. It can get quite complicated - and plenty of room for potential tag confusion.
    – winwaed
    Jun 23, 2011 at 18:15
  • Unfortunately, a latin name can also refer to multiple plants. E.g. the species Brassica oleracea is kale, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi. While some things about these plants are very similar, others are not. (For example, kale doesn't form a head, while broccoli does.) This question on harvesting broccoli shouldn't be auto-tagged as B. oleracea, that would be confusing.
    – bstpierre
    Jun 23, 2011 at 20:22
  • Also, if I want to browse broccoli for helpful answers, I don't want to be forced to wade through a bunch of irrelevant brassica-oleracea questions about cabbage and cauliflower.
    – bstpierre
    Jun 23, 2011 at 20:23
  • @bst right, that's the 'problem' I was basically referring to ; C. annuum is has at least ten commonly grown peppers in it
    – mfg
    Jun 23, 2011 at 21:33
  • @mfg - I see what you're saying. I think tag synonyms are 1(master):many(synonyms), so I don't see how you can map a single binomial names to multiple common names using the tag synonym feature.
    – bstpierre
    Jun 23, 2011 at 21:45
  • 5
    @bstpierre to your point, when it comes to ancestry, we should use the same practices as for software versions - in other words, only tag what the question actually applies to. Don't use tags as ancestral groupings. If you are asking about broccoli, you tag it broccoli, but not "brassica-oleracea".
    – Nicole
    Jun 24, 2011 at 15:51
  • And if your post is about similar problems throughout the brassica genus you'd tag as 'brassica'. And if you were asking about commonalities in the rosaceae family (apples, strawberries, roses) you could tag as 'rosaceae' or 'rose-family' for an English equivalent.
    – Lisa
    Jul 26, 2011 at 7:34

The Latin name is the most appropriate as the master tag as it is the formal name of the plant, something experts will appreciate and makes it clear this is an expert resource.

  • Except for cultivars and hybrids where the traits of the cultivar/hybrid are quite distinct from others in the species. In such a case, 'genus-species-cultivar' might be the appropriate tag, or just the common name if its distinctive in English.
    – Lisa
    Jul 26, 2011 at 7:37

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