Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: EXCHANGE OF CROP GENETIC RESOURCES AND ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTATION FOR THE U.S. NATIONAL PLANT GERMPLASM SYSTEM Title: (1947-1958) Proposals to Reject Twelve Names Emanating from Loefling's Iter Hispanicum (1758), Ayenia Sidiformis (Malvaceae), Cofer (Symplocaceae), Cruzeta and C. Hispanica (Amaranthaceae), Edechia Inermis and E. Spinosa...

item Dorr, Laurence -
item Wiersema, John

Submitted to: Taxon
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2010
Publication Date: August 4, 2010
Citation: Dorr, L.J., Wiersema, J.H. 2010. (1947-1958) Proposals to reject twelve names emanating from Loefling's Iter Hispanicum (1758), Ayenia sidiformis (Malvaceae), Cofer (Symplocaceae), Cruzeta and C. hispanica (Amaranthaceae), Edechia inermis and E. spinosa.... Taxon. 59(4):1280-1282.

Interpretive Summary: Scientific names provide the best means for scientists to share information gathered from plant studies. A published set of globally accepted rules, the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, determines the correct name to be used for a given plant. One such rule dictates that the first name published from 1753 on, when Linnaeus first established binomial species names, is the one that must be used, so species names from the oldest references have greater importance. Pehr Loefling’s Iter Hispanicum of 1758 is one of the earliest sources of American plant names, but because of difficulties in applying his names many have been wrongly ignored by later botanists. Our in-depth analysis of Loefling’s work has uncovered twelve such names, for four genera and eight species, that could upset scientific communication on plants currently known by other names if something is not done. The names were coined for tropical American plants that are of limited economic value to temperate regions, although some may have importance as weeds or medicinal plants. Fortunately, the International Code provides a means for getting rid of troublesome names, so they can be rightfully dismissed, and this paper provides a formal set of proposals to achieve this remedy.

Technical Abstract: Pehr Loefling’s Iter Hispanicum, published posthumously in 1758 by Linnaeus, is one of the earliest sources of American plant names. However, all of these names lack original material for typification, as there were no published figures for them and Loefling’s American specimens were all apparently lost or destroyed. As a consequence many of the names have been ignored, overlooked, or intentionally suppressed. Nevertheless, as validly published names under the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature they must be taken into account when they compete with names of lesser priority. From our analysis we have determined that ten of these names could potentially threaten other names in current use. To preserve nomenclatural stability, the most effective solution for the ten problem names (four genera and six species) is to propose their formal rejection under Art. 56 of the International Code. An additional two Linnaean names based solely on Loefling descriptions are also proposed for rejection here.

Last Modified: 4/21/2015