Gender of Anigozanthos
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 L. Wilson
Royal Botanic Gardens E-mail: karen at rbgsyd.gov.au
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
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.
BCRI Rydalmere (pro tem)
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