Dryopteris species confusion

Discussion in 'Plants: Nomenclature and Taxonomy' started by Luke Harding, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. Luke Harding

    Luke Harding Active Member

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    Westonbirt Arboretum, Great Britain
    As a relative newcomer to the world of ferns, I'm struggling with the naming of one (or two) species of Dryopteris.

    The Fern in question is Dryopteris atrata. Some websites seem to suggest this is the new name for what was formerly known as Dryopteris cycadina. Other sites suggest it should be known as Dryopteris atrata Cycadina. Then to really throw me, a well known and trusted RHS publication has listed both as seperate species.

    Can anyone shed any light on the matter?
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    It seems there is both a Dryopteris atrata hort., a misapplied name used in horticulture (and actually Dryopteris cycadina (Franch. & Sav.) C. Chr.) and the true Dryopteris atrata, Dryopteris atrata (Wall. ex Kunze) Ching.

    Occasionally something gets introduced into the trade under an incorrect name, and the incorrect name gets propagated over time and space to the point where it is difficult to correct.

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