ICBN conserved genus

Anna Weitzman Weitzman.Anna at NMNH.SI.EDU
Thu Jan 29 17:54:48 CST 2004

In addition, I can add the following detailed answer from the author of the website that Paul van Rijckevorsel refers to, Dan Nicolson of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian.  We are all indebted to Dan for his tireless work on this website and other nomenclatural aids!

>>> Dan Nicolson 29-Jan-2004 4:49:46 PM >>>
The answer to questions like this are to be found in my database on all proposals to conserve and reject 
However, it is possible that details added later, i.e., changes by editorial committees may be omitted, though clues are often in "Comments".

Mammillaria was proposed for conservation against Cactus (among many wholesale proposals in the list) by Harms (Notizbl. Königl. Bot. Gart. Berlin Appendix 13: 27. 1904.)
It appeared in Briquet's 1905 Synopsis of proposals (p. 146).
Harms' list was approved in the Proceedings published in 1906 (p. 137) and first appeared in the 1906 (Vienna) Code on p. 86.... of course, then without a type since the circumscription method for determining the application of a name was still in force, much to outrage of the Brittonian school which advocated the type method.
A type was suggested by Mary Letitia Green in the Proposals of British Botanists (p. 105) in 1929 to the Cambridge Congress, which approved the type method and was part of the compromises with Europeans leading the way for types, etc.
Sadly, Briquet died just after the Cambridge Congress and the Cambridge Code did not appear until just months before the 1935 Utrecht Congress which revised it. There was no Utrecht Code (due to WWII) and the conserved names (with types) sort of fell into a limbo.
After the War II the Americans put up an unoffical Code (Mammillaria in Brittonia 6: 77. 1947). Then Rickett and Stafleu began the major overahul of the conserved names, adding the types, Mammilaria appearing in Taxon 9: 68. 1960.
I'm not sure exactly what your question is but, as of now, Mammilaria Haworth 1812) is a conserved name with a conserved type, Mammillaria Stackhouse 1809 is rejected as homonym and homontypic Cactus L. is rejected (not "invalid" which has a very different meaning in Botany than it does in Zoology.
I did not bother to list every single Code in which every single conserved or rejected name appears in a different Code, which can mean that changes introduced by an Editorial Committee are not accounted for.

I now turn to your specific questions, though you may have your answers above:
1. In the Proceedings of the 1905 Congress (p. 135-137) is the discussion (in French) of this new-fangled idea of conservation of generic names. The Americans were opposed to this (upsets priority) and the Europeans were interested in getting some stability into generic nomenclature after the ravages of Otto Kuntze. In short, the battle was not over individual names but whether or not to approve Harms' proposed list of conserved names. The final vote on the whole idea of having Harms' proposed list was 118 yes and 37 no (with one correction (concerning Malvastrum)).

2. Yes Mammilaria was already proposed for conservation when Britton (who refused to accept the 1906 and 1911 Codes. However, the list did not list Mammillaria Stackhouse as rejected so Britton (as usual) had a point, even if you didn't want to agree. The rejection of the earlier Mammillaria was added in the Rickett and Stafleu overhaul (Taxon 9: 68. 1960).
3. Pilbeam and Luthy might not have cited everything correctly because it is complex and few take the trouble necessary to track and the historical nooks and crannies ... part of the reason I (who am interested in such worthless thing) decided it was worth doing.

For what it's worth, I am adding info on the rejection of Mammilaria to my database. You won't see it until the next updating (after the next issue of Taxon arrives).

Dan H. Nicolson

P.S. I announced the database in 2000 as "A new online bibliographic database of proposals for conservation and rejection of botanical names. Taxon 49: 549-554." I wanted to call it "Proposals and disposals" but the current editors didn't think that was serious enough.

>>> Paul van Rijckevorsel <dipteryx at FREELER.NL> 29-Jan-2004 2:07:31 PM >>>
An item of the Botanical Web Wish List that was realized awhile back:


showing it should be the 1905 Congress.
It also gives references of discussions (which hopefully give more detail)
Paul van Rijckevorsel
Utrecht, NL

----- Original Message -----
From: Charlie Butterworth <charlie.butterworth at CGU.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 11:07 PM
Subject: ICBN conserved genus

> The genus Mammillaria (Cactaceae) is a conserved name.  However, I
> cannot place which congress actually conserved the name.
> Pilbeam in the Mammillaria Handbook cites the 1930 Vienna congress, as
> does Luthy in his 1995 thesis on Mammillaria.  In 1923 Britton and Rose
> described the genus Neomammillaria because the cactus name Mammillaria
> (described by Haworth in 1812) had previously been used for a genus of
> algae by Stackhouse in 1809.
> The St Louis Code lists Mammillaria (Cactaceae) as conserved and the
> algal name as invalid.
> The 1930 IBC (Cambridge) lists Mammillaria (Cactaceae) as conserved for
> Linnaeus' genus name Cactus
> The 1905 IBC (Vienna) lists the same as the 1930 code for Mammillaria
> However, I have been unable to find any discussion in both the 1905 and
> 1930 congress proceedings pertaining to the conservation of the name
> Mammillaria for the cactus genus.
> This has led me to a number of questions:
> 1.  Was the proposal to conserve Mammillaria voted on or discussed?  If
> so, where is this documented?
> 2.  Was the name already conserved when Britton and Rose created the
> name Neomammillaria?
> 3.  Why might Pilbeam and Luthy have cited incorrectly, if they
> actually have done?
> I'd welcome any comments, answers or opinions.
> Thank-you
> Charles A. Butterworth
> Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
> 1500 North College Avenue
> Claremont, CA 91711-3157

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