Systematic Botany
Chapter 3 


Ô assignment of names to plants
Ô involves principles governed by rules
developed and adopted by the
International Botanical Congresses
Ô rules formally listed in the International
Code of Botanical Nomenclature
Ô nomenclature and classification are
different but inseparable

International Code of Botanical
Nomenclature or ´Codeµ
Ô ultimate goal is to provide ONE correct
name for each taxon
Ô the rules are subdivided into articles
which must be adhered to, and
recommendations,, which are optional

Basis of Scientific Names
Ô the present system is the result of a
historic series of changes that gradually
become formalized
Ô oldest plant names ± common names
used in ancient Greece and Rome
Ô present names ± Latinized spelling
Ô before 1753 ± polynomials
Ô Linnaeus¶ ?  
binomial nomenclature

Scientific Names versus
Common Names
5 reasons why botanists use Latinized scientific
names (SN) instead of common names (CN)
1. SN is universal and are recognized throughout

the world
2. CN usually do not provide information indicating
the generic and family relationships
3. A wellwell-known plant may have several common
4. Sometimes, two or more plants may have the
same common name
5. Many species, particularly rare ones, do not have
common names

Consists of three elements:
1. Generic names
2. Specific epithets
3. Author¶s name

Ô a singular Latinized noun or a word treated
as a noun
Ô always written with an initial capital letter
Ô may not consist of two words unless they are
joined with a hyphen
Ô may be taken from any source, and it may
commemorate some person of distinction
Ô customarily underlined when written or typed;
when printed, they are in  

Ô may be derived from any source and may
honor a person, or they may be derived from an
old common name, a geographic location, or
some characteristic of the plant
Ô often an adjective illustrating a distinguishing
feature of a species
Ô may consists of two words but must be
Ô usually agrees with the gender of the generic
name (if adjective)

Ô if named after a person, (1) ending in a vowel
or ± , 
, the letter  is added, (2) ending in a
consonant, the letter  are added, (3) for a   

female, it ends in  
Ô when derived from geographical names they 
are usually terminated by   
Ô must be written with a small initial letter
Ô customarily underlined when written or typed;
when printed, they are in  


Ô a source of historical information regarding the name
of the plant
Ô may be abbreviated or full name
Ô may consists of two names, with the first in
parentheses indicating the person who first described
the plant, and the second name indicate the name of
the person who made the changes
Ô name changes should be made only after careful
consideration of taxonomic relationships and must
follow the requirements of the ICBN

îules of Nomenclature
Ô Linnaeus in 1737 and 1751
Ô 18th century, priority or the use of the oldest name was
recognized as the cornerstone of nomenclature
Ô AP de Candolle ± detailed set or rules on the process
of assigning names, thus evolving the ICBN
Ô Linnaeus ± synonymy of names
Ô §     

  ± Steudel (1821, 1840
1840--41) an
index of plant names; useful for checking names and
synonyms; forerunner of   
Ô 1867 ± 1st International Botanical Congress in Paris
followed by 1892, 1905, 1907 and 1910

îules of Nomenclature:


Botanical nomenclature is independent of zoological
The application of names of taxonomic groups is
determined by means of nomenclatural types.
The nomenclature of a taxonomic group is based
upon the priority of publication.
Each taxonomic group with a particular
circumscription, position and rank can bear only one
correct name, the earliest that is in accordance with
the rules
Scientific names of taxonomic groups are treated as
Latin regardless of their derivation.
The rules of nomenclature are retroactive unless
expressly limited.

îules of Nomenclature:
ÿetailed procedures based upon these principles
are divided into î  î   

î  î   
.. The
Code states, ³the objective of the Rules is to put
the nomenclature of the past into order and to
provide for that of the future; names contrary to a
rule cannot be maintained.´ the Recommendations
dealing with minor points provide guidance and
uniformity in plants. However, names that are
contrary to the Recommendations cannot be
rejected for that reason.

îules of Nomenclature:
îanks of Taxa
ÿivision ĺ Class ĺ Order ĺ Family ĺ Tribe
ĺ Genus ĺ Section ĺ Series ĺ Species
ĺ Variety ĺ Form

îules of Nomenclature:
The Type Method
Ô Taxonomists use the type method as a legal
device to provide the correct name for a taxon
Ô type specimen ± a single specimen or the plants
on a single herbarium sheet
Ô type of a genus ± a species; type of a family ± a
Ô nomenclatural type ± not necessarily the most
representative of a taxon; it is the specimen or
specimens with which the name of the taxon is
permanently associated; no way reflects the
typological concept of an idealized specimen

îules of Nomenclature:
The Type Method
Several kinds of types:
1. holotype
2. isotype
3. lectotype
4. syntype
5. paratype
6. neotype

îules of Nomenclature:
Priority of Names
Ô Priority ± concerned with the precedence
of the date of valid publication and
determines the acceptance of one of two or
more names that are otherwise acceptable
Ô Legitimate versus illegitimate
Ô       ± conserved names
based on the International Botanical

îules of Nomenclature:
Effective and Valid Publication
A. Effective Publication

distribution of printed matter to the general
public or at least to botanical institutions with

B. Valid Publication

a name must be effectively published in the
form specified by the Code
must be accompanied by a description or a
reference to a previously published
description for that taxon

îules of Nomenclature:
Citation of Author·s Name
Ô To be accurate and complete, the name of a
taxon should include a citation of the author or
authors who originally described that taxon
Ô Purposes:
Ô expedites locating the original plant description
Ô distinction between two names
Ô can aid botanists in tracing the transference of
species from one genus to another

îules of Nomenclature:
îetention, Choice & îejection of


A change in the diagnostic limit separating the taxon
from its relatives is not justifiable cause for a change in
the name of the taxon.
When a species is described in one genus and later
transferred to another genus, the specific epithet, if
legitimate, must be retained.
When two or more taxa of the same rank are united,
the oldest legitimate name or epithet is selected.
A legitimate name or epithet must not be rejected
merely because it is inappropriate or disagreeable, or
because another is preferable or better known, or
because it has lost its original meaning.
Hybrids must follow the same rules of the Code.

îules of Nomenclature:
Cultivated Plants
Ô Retain the names applied to the same taxa in
their native habitat
± denotes an assemblage of cultivated
plants that is clearly distinguished by any
characters, and that, following reproduction,
retain its distinguishing characteristics
Ô International Code of Nomenclature for
Cultivated Plants (Brickell, 1980)

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.