Gender of Anigozanthos

Wed Oct 25 16:52:02 CDT 1995

The following was sent to me by a colleague whom I passed the
appropriate request on to.

Gordon Rutter
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Greek nouns keep their original gender when used in botanical Latin;
when it's a compound of two or more word-elements the gender of the
last element is followed. In this case the last element is -anthos so
it has to be neuter, NOT masculine.

It is a second declension noun in Greek. What usually happens (but
not in this case) is that Greek 2nd declension -os becomes -us,
giving -i in the genitive singular. My opinion would be to use -i,
i.e. Anigozanthi. Stearn amazingly doesn't say how one should decline
nouns ending in -anthos (rather than -anthus). I would certainly NOT
make them third declension masculine like flos, floris.

Any more scholarly opinion that conflicts with mine will be
gratefully received!

Best wishes

Dr Robert Mill
Flora of Arabia Project

E-mail: robert        Ext. 240 or 449

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