Unpublished botanical names

Mary Barkworth Mary at BIOLOGY.USU.EDU
Sun Oct 5 10:29:54 CDT 2003


In listing the names that we had come across when preparing maps that
are used in Flora of North America vol. 25 we inadvertently included
some of these herbarium names - for which I apologize. In the next
volume, they will be clearly labeled as unpublished and the comment at
the top of the index involved will state that they should not be used.
Why list them at all? So that people working with specimens may see
under what name the taxa are treated under in the FNA 25.  Of course, we
may have been wrong - we did not examine the specimens concerned.  It
generally seemed fairly obvious how they were treated - but the
operative word here is seemed.    

Another problem with unpublished names involves the herbarium database.
We were dutifully recording the name and authors as they appeared on
each specimen, together with the fact that the name was not published.
Doing this was easy in our original database because it kept the name in
a separate field from the authors - and "ined." was added after the
author's name(s).  In converting to other herbarium databases, we have
found this approach is difficult to adopt because standards source of
"legal" names in North America  embed the author name into the plant
name. This becomes a problem when the name on our specimen was
published, but by authors other than those indicated on the label -
which we have found to be a relatively common situation, partly because
Cronquist adopted a different rule for citing authors from that
recommended in the Code if "ex" was involved.  We can, of course, add
the name manually - but it is messy.  We now do it only if the name
itself was not published. In such cases, the current identification,
which has to be a published name, is an annotation.  If the name has
been published but by different authors than on the label, we assume
that the author given on the label is simply a goof and not worth
recording in the database - unless the identification itself is
incorrect according to the concept used by those publishing the name.
Then the specimen has to be re-identified and annotated.
Mary




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