[Taxacom] typification knot

Mark Egger m.egger at comcast.net
Wed May 10 18:32:27 CDT 2006

Alright all your I.C.B.N. fans, here's a nomenclatural mess (at least 
in my mind) about which I would greatly appreciate your comments.

This regards both the validity and the typification of the name 
Orthocarpus australis Benth. (DC. Prodr. 10: 537), which in recent 
years has been regarded as a superfluous synonym of the 
earlier-published Castilleja laciniata Hook. & Arn. (Bot. Beechey 
Voy.: 40). The typification of C. laciniata is straightforward, as 
only one collection is cited, from Concepcion, Chile. However, 
Bentham confused matters by citing three specific collections as 
syntypes, in addition to citing C. laciniata as described by H.& A. 
It is on the basis of the latter citation that Keck and later Chuang 
& Heckard regarded the name O. australis as superfluous.

Now, here comes a possibly complicating factor I'm not sure how to 
handle. After closely examining the relevant type sheets at K, GH, 
and NY, as well as a significant number of non-type collections from 
Peru and Chile, I have come to the conclusion that the syntypes of O. 
australis are not all of the same species, a fact that appears to 
have been overlooked in Chuang and Heckard's paper on annual 
Castillejas in the central Andes (Syst. Bot. 17: 417-431, 1992). Two 
of Bentham's cited syntypes are from Chile and DO appear to be of the 
same species as the type of H. & A.'s Castilleja laciniata. However, 
the first syntype cited by Bentham in describing O. australis is 
Mathews 460, collected at Huamantanga, a locality in the Andes to the 
east of Lima, Peru. This particular collection appears to be of the 
species described in Chuang & Heckard's paper as Castilleja profunda 
T.I. Chuang & Heckard, which is a "good" species, separable from the 
related C. laciniata by several apparently consistent characters. 
Also, the ranges of the two species appear to be no more than 
parapatric, with the region above Lima being the center of 
distribution for C. profunda, while true C. laciniata is limited to 
coastal Chile between Santiago & Concepcion and a disjunct population 
cluster in the southern Andes of Peru, limited to Dept. Cusco. This 
is confirmed by Chuang & Heckard's range maps & specimen data and by 
my own examination of herbarium specimens.

So here are my questions:

1. Were Keck & Chuang & Heckard correct in assuming that the name "O. 
australis" was invalid because of Bentham's citation of H. & A.'s C. 
laciniata, along with the three syntype collections? I assume this is 
so, but I'd like to hear it from other sources.

2. Does the fact that the syntypes of O. australis are not all of the 
same species have any impact on the interpretation of this situation? 
In other words, would there be any justification for establishing the 
Mathews collection as a lectotype, separate from C. laciniata, 
especially as it is the first-cited collection in Bentham's 

3. If O. australis were to be lectotypified with the Mathews 
collection, would this have any impact on the validity of the much 
later name C. profunda, to which the Mathews collection belongs?

Thanks much for any comments you might provide, and please pardon me 
if my lack of experience in such matters is glaring!


Mark Egger
Seattle, WA
mailto:m.egger at comcast.net

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