authors names in ICBN

Moore, Gerry gerrymoore at BBG.ORG
Tue Aug 8 10:17:49 CDT 2000

SF: "I remember a thread sometime back dealing with authors names for
sub-specific botanical taxa. I remember that the consensus of the list that
for a varietal name, the author of the species name did not have to be

The general rule of thumb is to cite the author(s) who validly published the
name concerned (Art 46.1).  In this case the name concerned is "Trillium
erectum variety album" and the full citation would be "Trillium erectum var.
album (Michx.) Pursh" [Basionym: T. rhomboideum var. album Michx.].
Similarly, Example 1 under Art. 46.1 indicates the full citation of Rosa
gallica var. eriostyla to be "R. gallica var. eriostyla R.Keller" and not
"R. gallica L. var. eriostyla R.Keller".  However, the author of the species
should be cited for the autonym (e.g.,. "Trillium erectum L. var. erectum";
see Art. 26.3 Example 4, Art. 46.1 Example 1), since it is automatically
established and does not have an author (Art 26.1). The name of an
infraspecific taxon is a combination of the name of the species and the
infraspecific epithet connected by a term denoting its rank (Art 24.1). I
believe the Code consistently does not cite the author of the first name in
a combination.  Thus, the full citation for Anthyllis section Asphalathoides
(also a combination; see Art. 21.1) is "Anthyllis section Asphalathoides DC"
and not "Anthyllis L. sect. Asphalathoides DC" (see Art. 49.1, Example 2).

However, plenty of people do cite the author of the species in an
infraspecific name even when the name is not autonymic. For example, in
Harvard Herbaria's type database the trinomial Rhynchospora triflora var.
papuana Kuek. is given as "Rhynchospora triflora Vahl var. papuana Kuek."
The logic here is clear enough: giving the author of the species name helps
out in cases of homonymy.  Thus, if there were more than one Rhynchospora
triflora, the species name author citation allows you to determine that
Kuekenthal was working with the one published by Vahl.

Gerry Moore
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
8 August 2000

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