Stenomesson variegatum

David Victor
Tue, 20 Sep 2005 01:49:23 PDT
Dear all

A few days ago, I posted a photograph of Stenomesson variegatum on the 
WIKI.  Following a message from Alberto, I did some further checking on the 
current status of the plant and now write to update my earlier note.

As you will probably know, in recent years, Alan Meerow has been leading 
major research efforts into the phylogeny of the Amaryllidaceae.  In a 
paper published in 2000 ***, the group which he leads addressed the subject 
of the American part of the family, in which they showed that the American 
clade is sister to the Eurasian clade and that the former probably consists 
of two parts, an extra-Andean "hippeastroid" clade and a Andean tetraploid 

More importantly for the purposes of this note, they found that the tribe 
Stenomessease divides into two groups, one of which has petiolate (stalked) 
leaves and the other lorate (strap-shaped) leaves and that these two sit in 
different relationships with the other parts of the Andean clade.  Those 
with petiolate leaves are closely related to the Eucharideae (Eucrosia, 
Eucharis, Rauhia, Urceolina & Phaedranassa), with those with lorate leaves 
are closely related to the tribe Hymenocallideae (Humenocallis, Ismene & 

As a result of this analysis, various name changes are called for and they 
propose the following. Firstly, priority determines that the petiolate 
tribe must take the extant name Stenomesseae and the lorate tribe are given 
the next prior name  Clinantheae (derived from Clinanthus Herbert);  the 
new tribe contains the genera Clinanthus (20 species), Pamianths (2), 
Paramongaia (1) and Pucara (1).

It then follows that the lorate leaved Stenomesson (and a number of other 
species from other families) need to change their name to become 
Clinanthus.  In particular, Stenomesson variegatum becomes Clinanthus 

The question is, how to handle this kind of change in terms of the 
WIKI.  As I mentioned above, these are proposed changes and, as  noted in 
the paper, only the basionym is currently provided, pending full synonomy 
in a monograph of the genus.  Just as importantly, to my mind, other 
contemporary references elsewhere will not yet contain these revisions.  It 
seems to me that the best way, at least for today, is to leave entries for 
lorate species under Stenomesson and related genera, but to include clear 
cross references to Clinanthus against the indiviual 
species.  Incidentally, today both entries under Stenomesson (S. incarnatum 
and S. variegatum fall into the lorate group), but I have not reviewed 
other affected genera.

I am obliged to Alberto for bringing this to my attention, not least as I 
have learnt a great deal by reading the papers!

***  "Phylogeny of the American Amaryllidaceae based on nrDNA ITS 
sequences"  Meerow et al.  Systematic Botany (2000): pp708-726.

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