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  #1  
Old 06-14-2012, 11:17 PM
DavidCampen DavidCampen is offline
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Default Orchid taxonomy and naming authority?

Is Kew/RHS the generally accepted authority for for classifying orchids by genus and species? Where are these decisions published?

What got me wondering is I recently purchased a Cattleya deckeri but Orchidwiz stubbornly insists that this is just a pseudonym for Catleya skinneri and cites KEW/RHS as the authority for this.

OTOH, Carl Withner in "The Cattleyas and their Relatives, Vol. I" clearly considers deckeri to be a distinct and separate species.
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  #2  
Old 06-15-2012, 12:51 AM
gnathaniel gnathaniel is offline
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David, I use Kew's World Checklist of Selected Plant Families site to see what they're currently calling something. They cite which publications they've used to determine nomenclature, but they don't include them so you'll need another means of looking them up if you want to dig further. Here's where they indicate who actually reviews publications and compiles the list, if you're curious.

--Nat
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  #3  
Old 06-15-2012, 08:51 AM
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Ray Ray is offline
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Orchid taxonomy and naming authority?
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David, as far as I can tell, there is no single "authority". Taxonomists are free to lump/split/assess/reassess as they see fit, and the acceptance is pretty much one of peer review and acknowledgement.
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  #4  
Old 06-15-2012, 10:17 AM
Magnus A Magnus A is offline
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David, I think Ray is close with his remark but it is depending on the situation. From a Scientific botanical point of view Ray is correct but from a award point of view it is the organization that judge that has to decide which source should be the authority.
Then you have the commersial growers that seldom correct misslabels from their source and us ordinary orchidgrower that have no possibility to follow the scientific community and usually use the name we aquired our plants under...
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  #5  
Old 06-15-2012, 01:15 PM
BruceP BruceP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidCampen View Post
Carl Withner in "The Cattleyas and their Relatives, Vol. I" clearly considers deckeri to be a distinct and separate species.
IIRC (and I probably don't), C. deckerii was determined to be invalid based on the plants described actually being C. guatemalensis. Therefore, the name for the fall-flowering species without the white disk in the throat reverted to C. patinii, which was then moved into the new genus Guarianthe.

Found this at selby.org:
Nomenclatural history of this species is complex with several name changes occurring within the last 40 years. Cattleya patinii was once known in horticulture as a variety under the name Cattleya skinneri Batem. var. autumnalis P.H. Allen (1) when it was believed to be a mere fall flowering variety of C. skinneri that flowers in the early spring. There have also been permutations as C. skinneri var. deckeri (Klotzsch) A.D. Hawkes (2), and C. skinneri var. patinii (Cogn.) Schltr. (3). But its distinct lip color, lower elevation preference, flowering time, and sympatric distribution without intermediates required recognition as a species distinct from C. skinneri. As a species, the name Cattleya deckeri described from plants originating in Mexico became accepted for the fall flowering species based on the recommendation of A. D. Hawkes. But R. L. Dressler (personal communication) showed that our species is absent from Mexico, and could therefore not be C. deckeri (Cattleya ´guatemalensis). The next and apparently only other available name is Cattleya patinii Cogn. described from Colombian plants. This name should remain permanent, unless an earlier synonym is discovered, or DNA studies force yet another name to remember!
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  #6  
Old 06-15-2012, 03:34 PM
DavidCampen DavidCampen is offline
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Default Cattleya Taxonomy.

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful replies. This will provide me the grist for a lot of entertaining research.

Two years ago when I first started my collection I had no idea what the focus would be except, perhaps, mostly species. But now it definitely seems to be focusing on the Cattleya alliance (Laeliinae). Out of 80 plants currently in my catalog I see that I have 14 Cattleya species, and more on order, along with several each of Laelia, Prosthechea and Brassavola species as well as a number of hybrids of this alliance.
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:01 PM
goodgollymissmolly goodgollymissmolly is offline
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Ray is basically correct. Taxonomists author their descriptions in certain accepted botanical magazines (as of this year they can be web published and in English or Latin). These follow strict protocol controlled by the ICBN.

After unstructured peer review, some of these are accepted by many taxonmists as correct (all proper descriptions remain in the literature whether they ever become the name of choice or not). Several organizations publish what they believe to be the latest correct names...KEW, IPNI, Tropicos etc.

KEW is the best known among orchidists and AOS has chosen to follow KEW. KEW has a panel of worldwide experts that guide its choices. All properly described names are valid, just not the accepted name of the organization under consideration. Notice that KEW gives all homotypic and heterotypic names in its database.

The author name is listed after the plant name and should be used in proper nomenclature. Thus you see a name like this (this is fictional)

Cattleya jimii Rchb. f. (1851) Gard. Chron. Vol 12 No 1

So when a name is used you know the name, the author, the year, and the publication. We don't normally include all that info but it is on KEW.

Plants change names for valid reasons so just because Withner cited a deckeri in 1980, doesn't mean it's recognized as a separate species today. Scientific understanding marches on.

Last edited by goodgollymissmolly; 06-15-2012 at 04:03 PM..
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  #8  
Old 06-25-2012, 08:27 PM
tropterrarium tropterrarium is offline
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If you are interested in learning more about species descriptions etc., try Winston (1999) Describing Species. I would not start with ICBN/ICN, because it is written in an amazingly dense, close to impenetrable fashion. Over the last month I've been looking at ICBN as a veteran zoological systematist (dozens of species and genera described) and I still have a really hard time figuring out how ICBN ticks.

Rather start out with a less formal, but inclusive overview to get a basic orientation for the field. Once you get a solid understanding about typification, priority, and all the "publication" requirements, then dive into ICBN/ICN.

Just on a lark, here's a ICBN problem I have.
Author B introduces a new species name when transferring a species by Author A from another genus (following the old "Kew Rule").
First: the B species is not specimen based, so is it a nomen nudum and also nomen illeg. [due to bad Kew Rule], or can one assume that illustration from A is the iconotype of B, so A and B become objective synonyms?
Second: If the introduction of a new species epithet is wrong [nom. illeg.], is author B still credited for transferring the species into the new genus?
E.g. Genus species (A) B?
Kew listing is ambiguous, because B did multiple publications, and the year of the transfer action is not included in the full genus-species-authors name. [And even Kew listings can be wrong.]

Any takers? Any pointers to specific ICBN Arts./Ex./Recs.?
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  #9  
Old 06-29-2012, 10:39 PM
got ants got ants is offline
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Interesting discussion, and well above my pay grade, but where are we on the C. dowianas. Are they still grouped together? Or is the Costa Rican variety separate from the Colombian var?
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:51 PM
lambelkip lambelkip is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tropterrarium View Post
Just on a lark, here's a ICBN problem I have.
Author B introduces a new species name when transferring a species by Author A from another genus (following the old "Kew Rule").
First: the B species is not specimen based, so is it a nomen nudum and also nomen illeg. [due to bad Kew Rule], or can one assume that illustration from A is the iconotype of B, so A and B become objective syno nyms?
transferring does not involve a complete new description. the species still has the same type specimen, and the two names are automatically considered synonyms. The name is not considered a nomen nudum or nomen illegale.
A nomen nudum is a name which has never been associated with a valid botanical description.
A nomen illegitimum is a name that is invalid for some reason, usually because that name has already been used for another species.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tropterrarium View Post
Second: If the introduction of a new species epithet is wrong [nom. illeg.], is author B still credited for transferring the species into the new genus?
E.g. Genus species (A) B?
B is only credited with the creation of the invalid name. The species is not considered a part of the new genus until it has a valid name in that genus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tropterrarium View Post
Kew listing is ambiguous, because B did multiple publications, and the year of the transfer action is not included in the full genus-species-authors name. [And even Kew listings can be wrong.]
I don't know what you mean. a Kew listing like the following clearly shows the year of the transfer:
Cymbidium sinense (Jacks.) Willd., Sp. Pl. 4: 111 (1805).

the species was first described in 1802:
Epidendrum sinense Jacks., Bot. Repos. 3: t. 216 (1802).
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