Botanical Author Names

Thu Nov 18 16:57:30 CST 1993

Arthur Chapman makes several provocative statements:

The International Botanical Code allows for the optional use of 'pre-ex
authors'.  I believe they add NOTHING to the science of nomenclature
or to the ability to separate one name from another

"science of nomenclature" ????

2. Maiden & Blakely said "possibly" over a beer or maybe in print it doesn't
matter - that "I think Bentham's var. baxteri is really a good species" or
maybe even "Bentham's var. baxteri is a new species" but never actually
published the combination "Eucalyptus baxteri".  Another possibility is that
Maiden & Blakely didn't do anything of the sort, but Black thought that they
were a great couple of guys and should be recognised, or he may of thought that
Maiden & Blakely regarded it as a new species.  Yet another possibility is that
Maiden & Blakely wrote "E. baxteri" on the specimen in the herbarium. For the
purpose of adding the information to the use of a name in a later publication,
and in particular one that gives no pretence at being a taxonomic or
nomenclatural work is, as implied by John McNeill, of little, if not misleading

3. James Black came along in his Flora of South Australia and published the
combination: Eucalyptus baxteri.

Some corrections here:

1. Maiden & Blakely DID publish the new combination.

2. Maiden had informed Black of his impending publication in correspondence
(BTW, John McConnell Black was the man's name).

3. Black followed Maiden's treatment in the Flora of South Australia, clearly
attributing the combination to M & B.

4. Maiden died, and publication of his manuscript was delayed.

5. Flora of South Australia was consequently published shortly before Maiden's
manuscript. The taxonomic work in this case was that of Maiden, NOT Black.

In this case, Black had no intention of publishing a new combination, and was
merely following the authorities of the day on the group in question.
Circumstances were such that Black's publication was earliest, and publication
of the combination has been attributed to him under the rules of nomenclatural
priority (although almost every publication since has cited M & B as the
authors). However, I think it could be argued that Black was publishing a
description or diagnosis supplied by M & B, and the citation should be "M & B IN

This merely demonstrates that there are many possible permutations in
nomenclatural citations, and that generalisation is sometimes difficult. There
is also value in consulting primary sources rather than databased summaries.

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