Weirdness of ICBN

Barbara Ertter ertter at UCJEPS.HERB.BERKELEY.EDU
Thu Jan 4 10:52:25 CST 1996

Laferriere wrote:
>The ICBN says that a
>trinomial consists of a species name plus the abbreviation of the rank
>(i.e. "var.") plus the infraspecific epithet. Jones, in the above
>example, coined the entire trinomial not just the epithet.

On the useful side, this answers a question that has puzzled me.  Namely,
in 1945 John Thomas Howell published as new combinations Potentilla
lycopodioides (Gray) Baill. var. megalopetala (Rydb.) J. T. Howell and
Potentilla lycopodioides (Gray) Baill. var. scandularis (Rydb.) J. T.
Howell.  As it happens, Baillon suggested but did not formally make the
combination Potentilla lycopodioides, which is accordingly a nomen nudum.
>From the interpretation of the code as reported by Laferriere, it would
appear that Potentilla lycopodioides var. megalopetala and Potentilla
lycopodioides var. scandularis are valid combinations, even though
Potentilla lycopodioides and the corresponding autonym are not!

Barbara Ertter
ertter at
University and Jepson Herbaria
University of California at Berkeley

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