Naming Convention

Discussion in 'Plants: Nomenclature and Taxonomy' started by Junglekeeper, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Vancouver BC Canada
    According to a book which I'm currently reading, "when a variety or subspecies is attributed to a species, the typical form automatically receives a variety name -- the same name as the specific epithet." The example given is Magnolia macrophylla var. macrophylla in which where there are other varieties such as var. ashei and var. dealbata.

    1. Is this the official ICBN convention?

    2. Is it accepted practice to refer to the typical form using the original and shorter name as a shorthand? This appears to be the case. For instance. I've never seen Osmanthus fragrans written any other way and it has many varieties.
  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
    Yes, it is. Article 26.2 in the 1988 edition "The first valid publication of a name of an infraspecific taxon that does not include the type of the adopted, legitimate name of the species automatically establishes the corresponding autonym."

    Yes, this is accepted practice, at least in non-taxonomic publications. Be aware though, that if you are talking with a taxonomist, and you mention Magnolia macrophylla, you may be asked to clarify whether you mean Magnolia macrophylla var. macrophylla, or Magnolia macrophylla in the broad sense, i.e., including all of its varieties.

    By the way, a web search reveals one instance of Osmanthus fragrans var. fragrans (and once this thread is picked up by search engines, two instances!)
  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Vancouver BC Canada
    Thanks, Daniel. I'm glad there are experts like yourself who can answer these sorts of questions in this forum. As for the naming of plants, too bad one cannot be precise without being verbose.
  4. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Magnolia Macrophylla

    Hi Junglekeeper:

    Sorry for the intrusion but to add to the intrigue there
    may be a fourth variety of Macrophylla - Magnolia
    macrophylla var. tripetala.

    Years ago when some well known Magnolia enthusiasts
    were to visit the nursery Don made sure the Magnolias
    that we purchased at a Placerville nursery were marked
    "Macrophylla Tripetala" for all to see. In my discussions
    with Don about this Magnolia he said the flower was
    closer to being like a Macrophylla than a recognized
    Tripetala is on our way home with the plants. A few years
    later we saw one of those Macrophylla Tripetalas bloom
    and it indeed was much closer to being a Macrophylla in
    flower than a Tripetala is generally considered to be.

    Also, our forms of Macrophylla does not have the reddish
    purple markings in the interior of the tepals near the base
    of the flower as the flower is as depicted in this photo below.
    Color wise this one below reminds me more of Macrophylla
    var. ashei than the species form of Macrophylla that we have
    had in the past here (I have to qualify the word "here" as
    opposed to elsewhere).

    Our Macrophylla Tripetala has more of a pink blush to the
    base but no visual markings at all in comparison to the one
    above. The number of tepals is right but the interior coloration
    is not the same as ours. The leaves are longer than a species
    form of Macrophylla is (Daniel, we did not separate Macrophylla
    and Macrophylla var. macrophylla at the nursery. This is all
    rather confusing as it is) but are not nearly as wide. The leaves
    are more rounded in shape and have a noticeable rolling curve
    (upside down "U" shape) whereby the edges of the leaves seems
    to want to curve under the leaf as opposed to our species
    Macrophyllas leaves that are much more flat in comparison.

    You bet, this is another gray area in Magnolias that needs to be
    further explored. I can only base things on what I've seen as
    opposed to what they should be or are supposed to be.

    I'll leave you alone. I caused enough trouble with the Michelias.

    By the way, sometime check out Pleioblastus, Sasa and
    Pseudosasa for your Bamboo you asked about. Bamboo
    is not a specialty area for me but I've seen your Bamboo
    before at Don's nursery. He grew it essentially indoors
    in a mini greenhouse. It will be difficult to pin down your
    Bamboo online as I gave it a shot a few weeks ago. Just
    too much stuff to sort through and then no pics of the one
    I thought yours might be. When I have more free time I'll
    try again if you would like me to after I return here in a few

  5. Magnolia macrophylla and M. tripetala are quite different, for one thing the latter has gradually tapering leaf bases while the former does not. That would be the first thing about the leaves of your plant to check. Writing the two species names together on the label implies someone in the sequence thought it was a hybrid, if it was such that could explain any intermediacy.

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