Some words concerning Eryngium campestre (field Eryngium) on Wikipedia.en

When I was writing Balade d’été sur le Grünstadter Berg (19.7.2009) and linking „panicaut champetre „(the French word for field Ernygium) to – I had also a look to the English article on Wikipedia.en describing field eryngium . About 70- 80 % of the article was wrong, – as for example „A member of the carrot family“ – (Eryngium campestre is member of the Apiacea) – and the editing of the wrong family affiliation went back to 15. March 2007 (see revision history). I corrected the sentence, and linked the article to the article describing Eryngium campestre on webpage’s of the Botanical Society of the British Isle and the distribution map on telabotanica showing the distribution of the plant in continental France. I have not corrected the sentence concerning the gall fly, but I think that the celery fly (Acidia heraclei = Philophylla heraclei = Euleia heraclei) should be better on in the article concerning the celery (Apium graveolens). But you will not find anything concerning the celery fly in the celery articles, neither in en, de, fr. This shows clearly the problem of the reliableness of articles concerning traditional naturalist or botany articles on wikipedia. This is only one example; I guess I would find many other examples to demonstrate the problem.

The other problem is that many articles of traditional naturalist interest (botany, physical geography etc. ) are simply missing – as I wrote in the Balade d’été sur le Grünstadter Berg (19.7.2009) no article in about the Zinnkoepfle, which is not only a very interesting naturalistic site but also à notable french „Grand Cru“ (AOC Alsace Grand Cru Zinnkoepfle) ! Neither nor there is an article about the „Grünstadter Berg“ in Noting that the „Grünstadter Berg“ would also merit an English Wikipedia article – because it was during the cold war an important U.S. Missile Basis, – (the 887th Tactical Missile Squadron was based on the Grünstadter Berg ). I think most people in Grünstadt have forgotten the importance which the Grünstadter Berg had during the „cold war“ – or perhaps never known – or never wanted to know

I am not only critizeing Wikipedia – sometimes I’ll try to contribute to .de ,.fr , .en , to improve articles, sometimes even create new one. But not too much on topics where a I have a professional competence – writing on Wikipedia is not very interesting – its not valorizationing scientific competence – that’s the reason why I never intervened in Article Feuer (Umweltfaktor) – the article about fire ecology in the German Wikipedia – which in my opinion is a very good example for a bad article, an article which would need in-depth clean-up. Unlike the German fireecology article the English fireecology articel seems to be very well done, accurate citation of sources etc, – perhaps a little bit to much focused on the U.S. – because we have also forestfires outside the U.S. (and also fireecologist outside the U.S.) – but all in all a good introduction into Fire ecology.

Concerning the „Grünstadter Berg“, perhaps in some days or weeks, if until then, not some other has started an article, I will write a stub for But I prefer to collect material for a regional geography paper presenting the „Grünstadter Berg“ and to submit to a regional geography or naturalistic journal as for example Pollichia, than to write a stub for Wikipedia.

Concerning the Zinnkoeple the French botanist Emil Issler (1951, 1975) has published some papers about the Zinnkoepfle. But even Emil Issler, the French botanist who has done so much for the research of flora & vegetation of the Vosges and the Alsatian plain – he is unknown in the French Wikipedia – and in the other wikis of course too. For (germanreading) readers more interested in a new approach of the Zinnkoepfle and the vallée noble, the can read the pages 48- 51 in my MEDGROW (Neff 2000), – the book version of my PHD-Thesis, but most of the chapter is dedicated to the „Cedrus atlanitca“ (Atlas cedar) experimental plantations done by French foresters in the 1960 not far away from the „Zinnkoepfle“ – in the „forêt du Osenbühr“. And this „Cedrus atlantica“ site, where Cedrus has begun to regenerate without any human intervention, would also merit a botanical & dendroecological revisitation by myself or colleagues – because we could win some interesting findings for global change research and adaption of Mediterranean forest trees in Middle-European forestry, – but this of course has nothing to do with Wikipedia.


Field eryngium (Eryngium campestris) on xérothermique subméditerranéen grassland on the Grünstadter Berg (Photo C.Neff 19.7.2009 (Canon Powershot A720 IS)).

Literature cited:

Issler, E. (1951): Trockenrasen – und Trockenwaldgesellschaften der oberelsässischen Niederterrasse und ihre Beziehung zu denjenigen der Kalkhügel und der Silikatberge des Osthanges der Vogesen. In: Berichte der Schweizerischen Botanischen Gesellschaft, p. 664- 659.

Issler, E. (1975): Forêts et garides de la plaine haut-rhinoise. In : Saison d‘ Alsace, 61-62, p.94-113.

Neff, C. (2000): MEDGROW – Vegetationsdynamik und Kulturlandschaftswandel im Mittelmeerraum. Mannheimer Geographische Arbeiten, H. 52, Mannheim (Dissertation/PHD-Thesis). (ISBN 3-923750-80-3)

Christophe Neff, Grünstadt