subspecies versus variety

Dr. Neil Snow nsnow at UNCO.EDU
Mon Jan 28 14:13:31 CST 2002


See Hamilton & Reichard, 1992, "Current practice in the use of subspecies,
varieties, and forma in the classification of wild plants", Taxon 41: 485-495.


Ellen Dean wrote:

> Dear Plant Taxacomers:
> My students often ask me about the difference between plant subspecies,
> variety, and forma.  I had been of the opinion that variety was supposed to
> encompass geographic variation that could lead to speciation but was not
> yet complete and forma was interpopulation variation.  Subspecies was used
> in the past in a similar way to subgenus and subfamily but now is used
> often interchangeably with variety.  Can you recommend any favorite papers
> or book chapters on the subject so that I can give my students better
> information?  Thank you for your help. Ellen

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