Albuca question

Mary Sue Ittner
Tue, 05 Dec 2006 23:22:10 PST

I have been looking at the Kew reference that Joe Shaw gave us. I thought 
I'd see how it corresponds to the names of plants on the wiki. I got very 
confused when I started looking at Albuca. A number of years ago someone 
gave us a reference that I added to the wiki:
"In J. Manning, P. Goldblatt & M.F. Fay, "A revised generic synopsis of 
Hyacinthaceae in sub-Saharan Africa, including new combinations and the new 
tribe Pseudoprospereae", Edinburgh Journal of Botany 60(3): 533-568 (2004) 
the authors propose sinking Albuca along with 
Neopatersonia, and 
" I kept the Albuca wiki page and names but listed the proposed changed 
names as synonyms and cross referenced them on the Ornithogalum page. 
Rachel had listed the new names in one of the IBSA journals so I just 
lifted the synonyms from it for the plants we had pictured.

Kew appears to be keeping Albuca as a separate genus and those names as the 
accepted names, but is listing the Manning, Goldblatt, and Fay Ornithogalum 
names as synonyms. I received some seeds from the BX identified as Albuca 
circinata which Kew says is a synonym for the accepted name of A. 
namaquensis. My plants look like the pictures of that species and seem to 
grow at the time of year that you'd expect something from Namibia to the 
Cape to grow so maybe I need to change that one to A. namaquensis.  What 
had puzzled me was that my plants look a lot like Albuca spiralis which 
under the Manning, Goldblatt & Fay scheme became Ornithogalum circinatum. I 
could never find an Ornithogalum name for Albuca circinata so perhaps I've 
solved that mystery and what I am growing can now be Albuca namaquensis or 
Ornithogalum namaquense depending on who you want to follow. I got the seed 
from Tom Glavich. What do you think Tom?

What has my head really spinning however is that a plant that most of my 
South African books, especially those written fairly recently by John 
Manning, refer to as Albuca maxima (formerly Albuca altissima) or 
Ornithogalum maximum  under the Manning, Goldblatt & Fay system  is not 
listed as an accepted name. Instead they say the accepted name for this 
plant is A. canadensis which all my books say is an old synonym for Albuca 
flaccida, a different plant. Even the new revision of my Namaqualand field 
guide published in 2005 and written by someone other than John Manning uses 
the name Albuca maxima. The plants aren't close in the key for the Color 
Encyclopedia of Cape Bulbs since they were differentiated at least by 
color, Albuca flaccida being yellow and A. maxima white.

The Kew checklist has an interesting box you can click on to see who 
accepts and who doesn't accept a name.  Ornithogalum maximum is not 
accepted by:
Govaerts, R. (1995). World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2): 1-483, 1-529. 
Does anyone know who this is? He or she apparently must be held in high 
esteem by Kew.
This name is accepted by:
Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa: an 
annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14.: i-vi, 1-1231. National Botanical 
Institute, Pretoria.
Müller-Doblies, U. (2006). Enumeratio Albucarum (Hyacinthaceae) 
Austro-Africanum adhuc cognitarum. 3. Additions and additional notes to 
Albuca subgenus Falconera and A. subgenus Albuca. Feddes Repertorium 117: 
96-138.  and I might also add John Manning. Wouldn't a South African source 
take precedence?

By the way the name Albuca maxima was published in 1768 and the name A. 
canadensis (a strange name for a South African plant) was published in 1948 
so even if someone has recently lumped these two together wouldn't A. 
maxima take precedence?  Kew doesn't recognize A.  flaccida published in 
1791 as a synonym for A. canadensis as all my South African books do, 
although it does list it as an accepted name.

There's got to be a better way to name plants so we will all know what 
plant we are talking about. Can anyone help me with this? I don't know what 
to do on the wiki. Thanks.

Mary Sue

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