new names for already described taxon

Karen L. Wilson karen_wilson at RBGSYD.GOV.AU
Thu May 14 10:09:38 CDT 1998

Yes and no, to Dr Metzing's questions!
One is at liberty to choose a new (plant) epithet rather than use an existing
varietal or subspecific epithet that is applicable to the same taxon. However,
in that case, the varietal or subspecific name is NOT the basionym! And the
species would be regarded as a sp. nov.; the holotype could be the same as for
the lower-ranked name but equally the author could choose a new type altogether
(and often that is a good reason for treating the name of the taxon in this way,
if the type of the lower name is poor or ambiguous in some way).

Karen Wilson

               Karen L. Wilson
               Special Botanist
               Royal Botanic Gardens             email:karen at
               Mrs Macquaries Road               Fax: 61-2-9251.7231
               SYDNEY   NSW 2000, AUSTRALIA      Phone: 61-2-9231.8137

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: new names for already described taxon
Author:  METZING DETLEV <metzing at HRZ1.UNI-OLDENBURG.DE> at mailgate
Date:    13/5/98 10:55

In a small botanical journal I found several new names for taxa of
Cactaceae. In some cases these new species names were used for taxa,
which were already described as varieties of other species. But the
author did not make a new combination, eg. he transferred Planta
mirabilis var. neglecta L. to Planta neglecta (L.) Miller, but he
choosed a new name (e.g. Planta viridis) although the former variety
is listed as basionym.
Is this a correct way in the sense of the ICBN? I know, that a nomen
novum may be choosed, when a transfer from one species to another
genus would result in an illegitime name, but may a nomen novum also
used for the example mentioned above?

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