[Taxacom] conv. or convar.

dipteryx at freeler.nl dipteryx at freeler.nl
Sat Feb 13 03:56:41 CST 2010

Van: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu namens Capers, Robert
Verzonden: za 13-2-2010 3:59
An anthropology professor here at UConn is looking for information on the meaning of the abbreviation "conv." as in Triticum turgidum L. subsp. turgidum convar. durum (Desf.) MacKey. It apparently refers to particular tetraploid land races of wheat. The appreviation "conv." doesn't appear in the ICBN or Taxonomic Literature but is apparently a variant of "convar." which also refers to land races of cultivated plants, as in zucchini (Cucurbita pepo convar. giromontiina), cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. convar. capitata (L.) Alef.) and an Italian landrace of flint maize (Zea mays L. convar. mays). It's something like a cultigen or a cultvar, only different. Does anyone know what "conv." or "convar." means?

This is a little out of my area of interest, but I can make a few notes:
* "convar" and "conv." will both be abbreviations of the same term 
(just like "ssp." and "subsp." are abbreviations of "subspecies").
* the fact that it is not listed in the ICBN does not prove anything;
the ICBN does not limit the number of possible ranks in any way: 
see Art. 4.3.
* Apparently "convar." has been (and still is) in use as a rank above 
that of "var.", for certain cultivated plants. Thus, it is not comparable 
to "cultivar" which has belonged to the province of the ICNCP from the
first. (A "cultigen" is not a rank in any way, but rather a term 
indicating the presumed origin of a plant.)
* Using "convar." does not appear to be best practice; the 2004 ICNCP uses 
the category "Group" for such a unit (in the 1995 version "cultivar-group"); 
see http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?406896
which indicates the preferred form should be either:
** Triticum turgidum L. subsp. durum (Desf.) Husn. (if treated under the ICBN)
** Triticum turgidum Durum Group (if treated under the ICNCP)
* However, it is a matter of taxonomic judgement, how to treat the taxon, 
under what Code, at what rank, and with what name. It is not necessarily wrong 
to use "convar.".

Paul van Rijckevorsel

More information about the Taxacom mailing list