Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #172145


item Kirkbride, Joseph
item Wiersema, John

Submitted to: Taxon
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/2/2005
Publication Date: 5/28/2005
Citation: Kirkbride, J.H., Wiersema, J.H. 2005. Proposal to conserve the name Centrosema pubescens (Fabaceae) with a conserved type. Taxon. 54(1):209-210.

Interpretive Summary: Accurate scientific names of plants are essential for communicating about them especially for plants of economic importance. The International Code of Botanical Nomenclature is a set of rules that govern scientific names of plants. These rules may be broken if doing so will 'save' a name that is widespread in its use. This is the case for the forage crop plant known as butterfly-pea or centro in the pea family. The scientific name of this plant has remained the same for more than 150 years. However, a recent discovery in the scientific literature would require changing the scientific name by which this crop plant is known. This research proposes to save the scientific name of butterfly-pea. By doing so, misunderstandings in communicating about this crop will be prevented.

Technical Abstract: For more than 150 years the scientific name Centrosema pubescens has been misapplied to the widespread legume forage crop referred to by the common name of centro. To maintain current usage, a formal conservation of Centrosema pubescens with a conserved type is proposed. If accepted, the scientific name that has been in use for more than a century can continue to be applied to this forage crop.