Latin nomenclature
Thu, 11 Dec 2008 13:11:58 PST
I have been following this discourse with considerable interest as I have recently [hopefully] completed the Index of Lily synonyms for my book with the result that there are currently in excess of 650 synonyms for some 120 + taxa at species and subspecies level, a small number of taxa may change in due course. However, in looking out for a specific reference for a particular lily, picking through an number of different books and journals I landed up on NALS's Index for 1992-1997 in their volume for 1998 and nearly fell of my perch on accessing page 124, second line down on the right for those with a copy, where I read the following :- 

Lilium auratum, spelt correctly and in italics, followed by >> McCranthun << [sic].  Now as a Scot I am fairly familiar with our nation's surnames, many of which are now found in North America and elsewhere all around the world following emigration from  the old country but there isn't any such name as >> Mc or Mac Cranthun << either with italic or non italic letters, the patronymic element has no close, or even distant, orthographic equivalent in the Gaelic or Latin languages.

After a short flicker of paniced intake of breath I double checked both the new Synonym Index and the new Lilium Botanical Species Index, however verily low and behold there in the Botanical Species Index was the name, ah but I see you're ahead of me !   >> Lilium auratum var.macranthum <<.  Verily are we introduced unto interesting works of botanical interest, even the poor unsuspecting "m" found itself transliterated to a blameless "n" .  The case for detailed Indexes in Lilium had been made.

Brightened me up no end on a grey mid winter's day at - 8 C.


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