duplicate publication of plant name

JeF Veldkamp veldkamp at RULRHB.LEIDENUNIV.NL
Fri Feb 5 08:34:44 CST 1999

Dear Joe,

   What you are describing are isonyms, a concept not directly dealt with by
the ICBN. For a proposal to do so, see

Veldkamp & Sosef, A proposal regarding isonyms. taxon 47 (1998)


Date:          Thu, 04 Feb 1999 06:14:45 -0700
From:          "JOSEPH E. LAFERRIERE" <josephl at AZTEC.ASU.EDU>
Subject:       duplicate publication of plant name
To:            Multiple recipients of list TAXACOM <TAXACOM at CMSA.BERKELEY.EDU>
Reply-to:      "JOSEPH E. LAFERRIERE" <josephl at AZTEC.ASU.EDU>

I have a hypothetical question for the ICBN experts
in the crowd.
   Suppose, hypothetically speaking, a name were published
in two places by the same author with the same type, with
no reference in either publication of the other publication.
I have seen this happen, for example, in early editions of
Curtis's Botanical Magazine when authors start quoting
unpublished manuscripts of their colleagues. If, for
example, Ker-Gawler were to say "My distinguished colleague
Mr. Brown describes this plant as "Folia ternata purpurea
lanata lagomorphomorpha," [i.e. Leaves ternate, purple,
woolly, rabbit-shaped] according to our late-20th-Century
ICBN Brown is the authority, and the plant is to be cited
as "Brown in Ker-Gawler."
   Suppose, however, that the distinguished Mr. Brown then published
this same plant name in his own book, with no reference to
Ker-Gawler's paper in Bot Mag. Technically, if you want to
get picky, his name is both a conspecific synonym and an
illegitimate homonym. It is likely that many workers
would cite Brown's publication as the original place of
publication, ignoring Ker-Gawler's previous note.
   My question is: what difference does this make? What
problems would be caused by people citing the later
publication with the same name by the same author with
the same type? By my reading of the ICBN, the only
difficulty would be if someone were to use Brown's name
as basionym for a new combination. Even then, one could
argue that citing the later work would be fine because of
the clause in the ICBN saying "Errors in citation of
basionyms do not invalidate publication" or something
to that effect. Can anyone think of any other problems
citation of the later publication would cause?
   This question is purely hypothetical. Honest.

Dr. Joseph E. Laferriere
"Computito ergo sum ...  I link therefore I am."

JeF Veldkamp

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