nomenclatural question

Steven R. Hill srhill at INHS.UIUC.EDU
Mon Feb 9 20:51:46 CST 2004

How about 'asteroides' - star-like ??  This is not restricted to the genus
Aster.  Stearn's Botanical Latin also lists allantoides [sausage-like],
deltoides [triangular, and similar shape adjectives], and I am certain
there are many, many more.  As far as I know there are no restrictions,
other than the fact that '-oides' must be a suffix of a noun, and the noun
is usually Greek because this is a Greek suffix, but I don't believe there
is any formal rule on this, just tradition.

--Steve Hill

At 08:44 PM 2/9/2004 +1300, you wrote:
>I am posting this on behalf of Michael Heads who recently noticed the
>publication of a new species named Coprosma elatirioides in the New Zealand
>Journal of Botany. In botany a name ending in -oides indicates a perceived
>resemblance to another plant or animal, but a plant dictionary failed to
>reveal any name for Elatirium. When the paper was rechecked he saw the
>plant was actually named after elatirium, Greek for 'spring' (the plant is
>springy).  Does anyone on the list know of any other examples where a plant
>name ending in -oides is based on the name of an inanimate object, not a
>plant or animal? Mike would be interested to know.
>John Grehan

Dr. Steven R. Hill (Plant Systematics)
Center for Wildlife and Plant Ecology (WPE)
Illinois Natural History Survey
607 East Peabody Drive
Champaign, Illinois 61820, U.S.A.

Phone: (217) 244-8452
Fax: (217) 333-4949
srhill at

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