An intriguing Cape orchid - the distinctive forms of Disa tenuis Lindl
Plant systematics is a fluid science that continually moves forward. It is fuelled by the various botanists involved therein and is dependent upon their specific talents, observational abilities and the techniques available to them. It can perhaps be considered as a long conversation, with researchers adding their own words to it over the passage of time. We now find ourselves in an era when we can all more easily inspect these words and the materials on which they are based, thanks to the exponential growth of the World Wide Web. Information can now be accessed on such platforms as the following: biodiversitylibrary.org, for the rarest literature of long ago; plants.jstor.org, which offers a range of material including correspondence, biographies and species descriptions; data.gbif.org, which presents a useful database; and many scanned herbarium specimens from herbaria such as Paris, Kew, Hamburg, Stockholm, the Linnean Society, and the Natural History Museum, London, are freely available online.