[Taxacom] The Plant List: Errors and Omissions-1

Dr Gurcharan Singh singhg at sify.com
Sun Jan 27 05:32:09 CST 2013

Dear members
The publication online The Plant List, was a big relief for many of us, who
relied a lot on GRIN (which mostly covers American Plants), online Floras,
recent Floras and other publications in quest for accepted names.
Unfortunately, however, as  I consult more and more names from this list, I
find it confuses you more than it helps you. The eye sores are unresolved
names, numerous accepted names as combination without even basionym as its
synonym, wrong citation of autonyms, many missing autonyms and numerous
missing binomials (although listed in IPNI) in a database which claims to
include all published names of plants.
      In last few months I have sent several communications to the managers
of the List and propose to reproduce the contents here with the hope that
if any of the members here are associated with The Plant List, they can
ensure that revised version of The Plant List does not contain at least the
basic errors.
       Looking at several errors in the List, it appears that the List was
compiled by persons, who know little about botany or nomenclature rules.
       Here is the First communication sent more than an year ago.

1. *Spilanthes* *acmella* (L.)
 is cited as accepted name without any synonym, where as all combination
names should have basionym as synonym*. *Also no citation is given, whereas
in GRIN citation Syst. veg. ed. 13:610. 1774 is given.  In your entry
Blainvillea acmella (L.) Philipson as accepted name Spilanthes acmella (L.)
Murray is cited as synonym with same citation as for your Spilanthes
acmella (L.) L. The basionym for all these is Verbesina acmella L. All this
proves that your entry of Spilanthes acmella (L.) L. as accepted name is to
be deleted and under Blainvillea acmella the synonym should be Spilanthes
acmella (L.) L. and not S. acmella (L.) Murray. As rightly pointed out by

   - Linnaeus is author of the new names in Syst. veg. ed. 13
   - Murray was simply editor, fide TL-2 3:110, 670. 1980

2. *Kosteletzkya* *vitifolia* (L.) M.R.Almeida &
N.Patil<http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/kew-2334897> is
treated as unresolved name, whereas going through the combination in
original publication it is clear that they are suggesting new name for
Hibiscus vitifolius L. They have not properly cited the basionym as pointed
in IPNI. But it makes no relevance because their judgement was misplaced.
They offered combination on the basis of winged capsule, overlooking the
multiseeded chambers of  capsule, Kosteletzkya being characterised by
single-seeded chambers of capsule. As such Kosteletzkya may simply treated
as synonym of Hibiscus vitifolius, if necessary with a note that it is an
illegitimate combination. The unresolved names are headache for reader and
not good for the reputation of The Plant List

3. There are numerous names totally missing from the list. There may be
many many more but here are a few

   -  *Argyreia elliptica* Arn. ex Choisy, Convolv. Orient. 35, 1834
   -  *Ipomoea elliptica* Roth -- Nov. Pl. Sp. 113. 1821
   -  *Lettsomia elliptica *Wight -- Icon. Pl. Ind. Orient. [Wight] t.
   1356, in nota.
   - *Ipomoea laurifolia *Sweet -- Hort. Brit. [Sweet] 288. 1826
   -  *Argyreia** **laurifolia** *Voigt -- Hort. Suburb. Calcutt. 351. 1845
   -  *Convolvulus ellipticus* Spreng. -- Syst. Veg. (ed. 16) [Sprengel] 1:
   613. 1824 [dated 1825; publ. in late 1824]
   -  *Convolvulus laurifolius* Roxb. -- Hort. Bengal. [13]; Fl. Ind. i.
   -  *Argyreia involucrata* C.B.Clarke -- Fl. Brit. India [J. D. Hooker]
   iv. 187.
   -  *Argyreia pilosa* Wight & Arn. -- Nova Acta Phys.-Med. Acad. Caes.
   Leop.-Carol. Nat. Cur. 18(1): 356c. 1836
   -  *Argyreia sericea* St.-Lag. -- Ann. Soc. Bot. Lyon vii. (1880) 120.
   -  *Argyreia sericea* Dalzell -- Bombay Fl. 169. 1861
   -  *Argyreia strigosa* (Roth) Roberty -- Candollea xiv. 44 (1952).
   -  *Argyreia strigosa *(Roth) Roberty subsp. *minor* (C.B.Clarke)
   Panigrahi & Murti -- Fl. Bilaspur District 1: 383 (1989)
   -  *Argyreia strigosa *(Roth) Roberty subsp. *obovata* (C.B.Clarke)
   Panigrahi & Murti -- Fl. Bilaspur District 1: 383 (1989)

Dr. Gurcharan Singh
Retired Associate Professor, Department of Botany, SGTB Khalsa College
University of Delhi, Delhi-110007
Res: 932 Anand Kunj, Vikas Puri, New Delhi-110018
Phone: 01125518297; Mobile: 9810359089

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