Submitted to: Taxon
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 25, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Communication about economic vascular plants depends directly on accurate scientific names. The scientific names of plants are governed by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. On occasion the scientific name currently in use conflicts with these rules and technically the names should be changed. However, because the name is widely used, that name is proposed for conservation over the name that should have priority. In this paper the scientific name for the plant commonly known as "tall fescue" is proposed for conservation. Tall fescue is common in temperate habitats worldwide and the name Festuca arundinacea is deeply entrenched in the literature. The history of the scientific name and the conflict with the Code is presented in this paper as well as an argument for its conservation. This article will be published and discussed among the community of plant taxonomists and, eventually, a Committee will determine whether or not this recommendation should be accepted. The conservation of this scientific name will stabilize the use and ease of communication of this plant
Tall fescue is common in temperate habitats worldwide, being widely grown commercially, widely seeded for various applications and uses, and the name Festuca arundinacea is deeply entrenched in the literature and minds of users from agriculturists to veterinarians, ecologists to taxonomists, and landscape and lawn care business people. The epithet arundinacea occurs frequently in, and provides a thread of continuity through, a vast taxonomic, cytogenetic, ecological, genetic, hybrization, and agricultural literature. Two competing homonyms were published in Schedonorus under variant genus spellings. "Schendorus" was an error initiated in the index to Palisot de Beauvois, Ess. Agrostogr., and this was followed by Roemer & Schultes in their generic account and in the main index. It would be disadvantageous to lose the use of the epithet arundinaceus when tall fescue is acccepted in the genus Schedonorus. To date, only three literature references have used the name S. phoenix so this unfamiliar name has not yet proliferated widely in the literature. This is the time to conserve the name S. arundinaceus (Schreb.) Dumort. against S. arundinaceus Roem. & Schult., and thereby avoid the name change to S. phoenix (Scop.) Holub.