Gender of Anigozanthos

Karen Wilson Karen_Wilson at RBGSYD.GOV.AU
Fri Oct 27 12:23:08 CDT 1995

     There have been varied replies about the correct gender and therefore
     ending of the plant genus name Anigozanthos when used as an epithet.
     However, this case is simplified because the International Code of
     Botanical Nomenclature actually specifies what to do with compound
     generic names ending in Greek -anthos (Latin -anthus)!

     In the new ICBN (1994), Article 62.2(c) sets out that names ending
     thus are to be 'treated as masculine in accordance with botanical
     tradition', despite the neuter gender of the noun 'anthos' in
     classical Green. In addition, if you go to Stearn's 'Botanical Latin'
     edn 4 (1992), the treatment of botanical generic names ending in
     -anthus as masculine is mentioned on pp. 69 and 264.

     So, in fact, Michael is correct in suggesting that the ending of the
     genitive singular should be -i ('anigozanthi') but for the wrong
     reason. To sum up, botanical compound nouns ending in -anthus or
     -anthos like Anigozanthos are treated as *second* declension masculine
     (*not* 3rd declension), with the genitive singular ending in -i.

     BTW, the meaning of the name is given by Steve Hopper in the Flora of
     Australia vol. 45 (1987) as:
     "probably, on the basis of Labillardiere's comments in the protologue,
     from the Greek anisos (unequal) and anthos (flower), alluding to the
     unequal lobes of the perianth, with the g and z inserted for euphony"
     In creating new names, Labillardiere often did grammatically unusual
     things (like inserting the g and z) to create a more euphonious name,
     and fortunately he often wrote notes on his reasoning on the type
     specimens (held in FI, Florence), thus obviating argument on the
     origin of his names.
     Karen Wilson

     Karen L. Wilson
     Royal Botanic Gardens               E-mail: karen at
     Mrs Macquaries Road                          Fax: 61-2-251.7231
     SYDNEY  NSW 2000,  AUSTRALIA               Phone: 61-2-231.8137

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Gender of Anigozanthos
Author:  Murray Fletcher <fletchm at AGRIC.NSW.GOV.AU> at mailgate
Date:    25/10/95 11:42 AM

Dear Taxacomers,

The following request is posted on behalf of Michael Priest, Curator of
the Mycological Herbarium at BCRI Rydalmere (HERB-DAR):

In ascribing a new fungus occurring on the genus Anigozanthos [Haemodoraceae]
I have a problem with the correct genitive singular ending. The root,
"anthos", is Greek and neuter. The copout is to treat it as masculine and
use "-oris" or "-eris" (as in corpus or genus). If one sticks to the
neuter, is the ending simply "-i"? I look forward to opinions from the
classical scholars amongst us.

With thanks
Michael Priest
NSW Agriculture
BCRI Rydalmere (pro tem)

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