Botanical nomenclatural query

John McNeill johnm at ROM.ON.CA
Mon Apr 1 14:49:06 CST 2002

It is really rather extraordinary that such a simple, if perhaps a little unusual, question should generate so much discussion.  The matter was clearly and fully answered by Tom Lammers in the first response.  Gurcharan Singh is just wrong.  In botanical nomenclature a name only has priority in its own rank -- there is nothing corresponding to the co-ordinate rank status of the ICZN.  John McNeill
John McNeill, Director Emeritus, Royal Ontario Museum;
    Honorary Associate ,Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
Mailing address:  Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR, Scotland, U.K.
Telephone:    +44-131-248-2912;  fax: +44-131-248-2901
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e-mail: jmcneill at (johnm at is also read)

<<< Gurcharan Singh <singhg at SATYAM.NET.IN>  3/30  7:51a >>>
-----Original Message-----
From: Jacques Melot <jacques.melot at ISHOLF.IS>
Date: 30 March, 2002 3:37 AM
Subject: Re: Botanical nomenclatural query

Selecting a new specific epithet for the taxon which is already known as a
variety would have been OK only if the varietal epithet would already have
been used (preoccupied at specific level) for a different species within the
genus. In the case under discussion new combination at specific level based
on the already known taxon (with proper diagnosis, typification and
publication) would be proper and ethical and should be nomenclaturally
correct and not a "nom. et stat. nov.

"nom. et stat. nov. would have been justified only if the epithet was
preoccupied at specific level

Gurcharan Singh

>>About a decade ago, a botanist published a new variety of plant, and the
>>variety was validly and effectively published, with Latin diagnosis and
>>type designated, so there is no problem with that name at that rank.
>>A few years later, a very prominent botanist decided that the taxon
>>deserved specific rank.  He decided that the varietal epithet was not
>>appropriate for the species, and coined a new epithet for the species,
>>calling it a "nom. et stat. nov."

>>He made clear and direct reference to
>>the varietal name and its publication, and the same type was used.  The
>>name was published effectively.
>>The debate has been over whether this was a valid way to publish the new
>>species name.  Things would have been simple if the varietal epithet had
>>simply been raised to the new rank, which then would have been a "comb.
>    A legitimate name must not be rejected merely because it, or its
>epithet, is INAPPROPRIATE or DISAGREABLE, or because another is
>preferable or better known [...] or because it has LOST ITS ORIGINAL
>MEANING [...]

>>Can I have opinions about the validity of the "nom. et stat. nov."?
>>(My own opinion is that it was validly published...)


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