Names and citations of authors

Robert Mill R.Mill at RBGE.ORG.UK
Fri Jan 12 15:20:01 CST 1996

Hilger & Podlech (Pl. Syst. Evol. 148: 303 & 305 (1985)) published
two new forms of a Boraginaceous species, Microparacaryum intermedium
(Fresen.) Hilger & Podl. (with authors indicated after only the final
epithet) as follows:

p. 303 Microparacaryum intermedium var. intermedium f. paracaryoides
Hilger & Podl. based on Omphalodes papillosa DC. lectotypified by
Schimper 123 from Sinai.

p. 305 Microparacaryum intermedium var. stellatum f. paracaryoides
Hilger & Podl. based on Paracaryum stellatum Riedl (type: Rechinger
28434 from Afghanistan) which is also the basionym of their new
varietal combination M. intermedium var. stellatum (Riedl) Hilger &

Here we have a case of two simultaneously published homonyms at the
forma level: M. intermedium f. paracaryoides [of var. intermedium]
and M. intermedium f. paracaryoides  [of var. stellatum], and hence
if one accepts forma level for these taxa one will have to be given a
nom. nov. (ICBN Art. 53.5 and Ex. 18). Presumably there is no
obstacle to renaming f. paracaryoides of var. stellatum, f.
stellatum, since it contains the type of the latter variety. But see
final paragraph re autonyms.

Editors and referees please note, to avoid this sort of thing
appearing in future!! It is so easy to forget, as I almost did when
checking these two names, that the final epithet of a long series of
infraspecific ranks is associated with the SPECIES name, the
intervening ranks being irrelevant. My thanks to Jacques Melot's
message which in part alerted me to the error I am giving here as an
example not to be followed.

One thing I have never been clear about: when one establishes a new
variety/subsp. one establishes the corresponding autonym, i.e. Planta
alba var. pulchra establishes the autonym P. a. var. alba. But, if
one then establishes Planta alba var. pulchra f. major, as well as
thereby establishing the autonym P. alba f. alba does one also
automatically establish the autonym P. alba f. pulchra within P. alba
var. pulchra? (I have used var. and f. because of the Hilger &
Podlech "mess" above; but one could substitute P. alba subsp.
pulchra/subsp. alba, and P. a. subsp. pulchra var. major/var.
pulchra). The Code seems to imply that the autonym rules only apply
to taxa containing the type of the name of the species, but it would
seem logical to extend them to infraspecific taxa NOT containing the
type of the species if I am right in thinking that the autonym
provisions do not extend to such names in the present Code. It is
one area of the ICBN I have found rather hard to follow - do others
agree? If the autonym rules DO apply in such instances, then the
fact that Hilger & Podlech also established M. intermedium var.
stellatum f. mattiastroides Hilger & Podl. would thereby have
automatically created the autonym (M. i. var. stellatum) f.
stellatum, which under the rules would then antedate any "f.
stellatum (Riedl) Bloggs", or other new name, that would otherwise
need to be proposed under Art. 53.5 as mentioned above to replace M.
i. (var. stellatum) f. paracaryoides nom. illegit. Any clarification
will be most welcome!

Robert Mill

      (Dr) ROBERT R MILL
      Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
      20a Inverleith Row, EDINBURGH EH3 5LR, SCOTLAND, U.K.

      Electronic Mail:   R.Mill at OR robert at
      Telephone:         + 44 131 552 7171 exts. 240 or 449
      Facsimile:         + 44 131 552 0382


More information about the Taxacom mailing list