Selling species (from today's Science)

Thomas Lammers lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU
Wed Feb 9 07:24:32 CST 2000

At 11:30 AM 2/9/00 +0100, you wrote:
>>     But I suspect Linnaeus would frown on naming species after people, even
>>for prominent biologists (which I believe began in the latter 19th Century),
>>rather than the descriptive names he used.
>But he certainly named some genera in a non-descriptive way: e.g the
>plant genus Linnea which he obviously named after himself...

Yes, if Linnaeus and his contemporaries did not name many species for
people, it was because they had so many genera available for the
honor.  Linnaeus was (in)famous for naming genera for patrons and
benefactors (e.g., Rudbeckia) as well as for folks who crossed him (the
vile weed Sigesbeckia).

By the way, in christening Linnaea, Linnaeus made a big deal of how it was
a low, humble, prostrate plant, "from Linnaeus, whom it resembles."

Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA

e-mail:                     lammers at
phone (office):         920-424-7085
phone (herbarium):  920-424-1002
fax:                         920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and
biogeography of the Campanulaceae s. lat.
"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
                                                 -- Anonymous

More information about the Taxacom mailing list