Botanical Code question

Mark Egger m.egger at COMCAST.NET
Thu Feb 26 02:13:24 CST 2004

Thank you very much for this clear and logical 
explanation -- now I understand the apparent 
paradox.-- stemming from my poor abilities in 
rendering Latin...

Thanks again,


>I would suspect that the latin word 'Typus' 
>here, as commonly way back in 1919, did not 
>nesesserely mean what we today mean with a type 
>specimen. In classical Latin 'Typus' rather 
>means a picture of something and in medeaveal 
>Latin it was used in the meaning of 'a kind' or 
>'a form' of something. Thus, I would interpret 
>the diagnoses here concerned as if the Cusick 
>collection is the true original material and the 
>Sucksdorf collection is only mentioned here 
>since the author has realized that it differs 
>(as described) from the main form of his new 
>taxon. ("Typus (Suksdorf n. 6047! e monte Padds 
>[=Mt. Adams], Washington) minor est, foliis 
>trifidis floribusque majoribus condensatis." may 
>then be translated as ''A form represented by 
>Suksdorf n. 6047 from Mt. Adams is smaller [than 
>the taxon described above] with crowded trifid 
>leaves and major flowers'').
>/ Torbjörn Tyler
>At 06.39 +0100 on 2004-02-26, Mark Egger wrote:
>>  Hello,
>>  In my research on types within the genus Castilleja, I've come across
>>  a puzzling situation that I hope someone out there with more
>>  experience in the fine points of the I.C.B.N. may be able to clarify
>>  for me.
>>  The question involves the typification of Castilleja oregonensis
>>  Gand., traditionally treated as a synonym of C. rhexifolia Rydb. The
>>  protologue reference is Bull. Soc. Bot. France 66:119, 1919. The mode
>>  Gandoger employes to describe this taxon is very odd. It starts with
>>  the species name, followed immediately by a Latin diagnosis,
>>  distinguishing it ("Differet a"...) from C. oreopola Greenm.,
>>  presently treated as C. parviflora Bong. var. oreopola (Greenm.)
>>  Ownbey. The text of the diagnosis describes well the characters one
>>  might now use to distinguish C. rhexifolia from C. parviflora var.
>>  oreopola.
>>  Next comes the "Hab." description, which consists of a somewhat
>>  mangled Latinization of the collection label for a Cusick specimen
>>  from the Wallowa Mts. of NE Oregon, which is cited in parentheses at
>>  the end of the paragraph (Cusick 2443). This fairly well distributed
>>  collection (F, LY-GAN, NY, OSC-ORE, WS) appears in catalogs of
>>  several herbaria as the type collection for C. oregonensis, and it is
>>  listed as such, in synonymy under C. rhexifolia, in the Vascular
>>  Plants of the Pacific Northwest and in the Intermountain Flora.
>>  But now comes the complication. The final paragraph of the protologue
>>  reads in its entirety, "Typus (Suksdorf n. 6047! e monte Padds [=Mt.
>>  Adams], Washington) minor est, foliis trifidis floribusque majoribus
>>  condensatis."  There are THREE peculiar aspects to this, as I read it.
>>  1. Gandoger seems to be distinguishing the "Typus" for this name from
>>  the Latin diagnosis he just wrote in the first paragraph of the
>>  protologue.
>>  2. He uses a collection from Washington state to apparently typify
>>  the name "C. oregonensis", immediately after citing an apparent
>>  paratype that was collected in Oregon (of course, this fact, alone,
>>  is of no nomenclatural's just odd!).
>>  3. The Suksdorf collection (LY-GAN, WS, WTU and probably other
>>  herbaria), apparently cited as the type, is of typical C. parviflora
>>  var. oreopola, the same species from which the first part of the
>>  Latin diagnosis attempts to separate the new taxon! In effect,
>>  Gandoger first distinguishes his new species from C. parviflora var.
>>  oreopola with a good description of and specimen citation for C.
>>  rhexifolia, then immediately indicates as type a collection of C.
>>  parviflora var. oreopola!
>>  After puzzling over this for some time, I wonder if the word "Typus"
>>  starting the final paragraph of the protologue, was SUPPOSED to
>>  follow the citation of the Cusick collection, which ends the
>  > immediately preceding paragraph? Of course, this is totally
>>  conjectural, but it would  explain several odd features of the
>>  protologue, especially by accounting for the strange manner in which
>>  the Suksdorf collection is distinguished from what came before (in
>>  other words, listing it as an atypical paratype of the new species.
>>  So, my question has two parts:
>>  1. From the wording of the protologue, must one interpret it
>>  literally and treat the Suksdorf collection as the type? Or can one
>>  use the fact that the first and main part of the diagnosis much
>>  better describes the Cusick collection to justify a
>>  lectotypification(?), using that specimen? The St. Louis Code (9.17)
>>  says that a lectotype or neotype choice can be "superseded...if one
>>  can show is in serious conflict with the protologue....",
>>  but this option does not appear to be available in the case of an
>>  original holotype citation, at least I could not find such a
>>  statement for holotypes.
>>  2. The answer for the first question should basically answer the
>>  second: should C. oregonensis be treated as a synonym of C.
>>  rhexifolia (based on the Cusick collection and listed in several
>>  regional floras as the type), or must it instead become a synonym of
>>  C. parviflora var. oreopola (the Suksdorf collection)?
>>  Whew, a lot of writing to explicate what is, in the end, a fairly
>>  trivial matter, but I love this stuff,  and I would greatly
>>  appreciate any clarifying comments from the nomenclatural gurus of
>>  the TAXACOM community!
>>  Thanks in advance,
>>  Mark Egger
>>  Research Associate, WTU
>Torbjörn Tyler   /  Projekt Skånes Flora
>Department of Ecology
>Plant Ecology and Systematics
>Ecology Building
>Sölvegatan 37
>SE-223 62 Lund
>tel. +(0)46-222 09 10
>fax + (0)46-222 44 23
>e-mail: torbjorn.tyler at
>Private address: Bredgatan 12B, SE-243 32 Höör (=Hoeoer), tel. +(0)413-23123.

More information about the Taxacom mailing list