valid varietal names

Tue Dec 3 06:12:21 CST 1996

Since noone has answered the question a few days ago concerning
valid publication of infraspecific plant names, allow me to
provide an answer to the best of my understanding.
    In order to be validly published, an infraspecific name
must contain a validly published specific name. The specific
name does not have to be legitimate; it merely has to be
valid. In other words, it must have been published with a
description (in Latin if after 1935, in Latin, English, Swahili,
Klingon, or any other language before 1935) and a type
designation (if after a certain date, 1958 unless memory
fails me). Thus if I publish the following

Zea mays Laferr. sp nov.

Folia ternata cylindrica caerulea. Typus: I.M.A Richman 1040

Zea mays Laferr. var. nonsaskatchewanensis Laferr., var. nov.

Petala 7 alba oblanceolata. T: U.R.A. Poorman 15-20 (FBI).

the varietal epithet nonsaskatchewanensis is perfectly
valid and can be used in recombinations. The species Zea mays
Laferr. is valid but not legitimate inasmuch as it is a
homonym of Zea mays L.
  Thus the answers to the two questions are yes and no,

Joseph E. Laferriere
Tucson, Arizona, USA
JosephL at

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