Ferraria/Spelling rules

Marilyn Pekasky
Wed, 10 Dec 2008 13:23:09 PST
Mary Sue:

I don't have Bothalia, but I did find this in a Google search of books:…

Hope it helps, even if the entry is short.


From: Mary Sue Ittner <>
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 8:10:06 AM
Subject: [pbs] Ferraria/Spelling rules

I've been working on the wiki Ferraria pages thinking to add a species we 
saw in 2006 in Namaqualand.…
I have the revision from 1979 so thought I could spend some time pouring 
over it and figure things out. Of course it wasn't so simple since there 
have been changes since 1979. The plants we saw that were considered in the 
revision to be a subspecies of Ferraria uncinata were elevated in 2004 to 
species level. This species, Ferraria macrochlamys , has pale yellow 
flowers and distinctive leaves, which have strongly crisped or wavy margins.

Audrey Cain gave me permission to add  pictures of Ferraria schaeferi 
clearly showing it to be much different from some plants I grow by that 
name that I had decided were really F. crispa.

I've added some pictures of some very dark Ferraria crispa flowers we saw 
in Tulbagh and at Lion's Head. One of the pictures if you look closely even 
has a fly pollinating the flowers.

My next challenge was learning that in 2005 Goldblatt and Manning named a 
new species, Ferraria variabilis,  that apparently was considered a 
subspecies of F. divaricata. Both have a wide cup. The new species was 
published in Bothalia 35: 73 (2005). If anyone has access to this I'd be 
interested in understanding more about it. I found online the Corrections 
and Additions to Cape Plants updated in May 2008.…
I'm always thrilled when information like this is added free to the public. 
I have the book so it is nice to see what has changed since it was 
published in 2000. The additions state about F. divaricata, "revised 
species circumscription and range." This species is described as having 
flowers that are brown to maroon with lighter brown margins or golden brown 
with darker margins and the range is northwest and southwest from 
Hondeklipbaai to Langebaan.

F. variabilis flowers are described as dull yellow, yellow-green or brown, 
with banded or speckled markings and darker margins. The range is wide for 
this species:  S. Namibia to Clanwilliam, Caldedon to Little Karoo.  These 
descriptions led me to conclude that pictures we took at Villiersdorp and 
on our way to Middelpos had to be this species instead of F. divaricata as 
we thought. I'm concluding the same about one of Cameron's pictures as 
well.  I'm wondering if most of the plants we grow as F. divaricata are 
really this species and would like to better understand how they are 
different. Does anyone think the beautiful close-up picture I added from 
Alan Horstmann and the plants we saw at the Karoo Desert National Botanical 
Garden pictured on the wiki are F. variabilis instead of F. divaricata?

Finally I noted that Kew is spelling one of the species differently than it 
is spelled in all my books, including the Iris book that was just published 
and the revision where it was named. This species is spelled Ferraria 
densipunctulata by Kew and Ferraria densepunctulata by every one else. I 
emailed a question about the spelling and got this response:
"The "i" is correct. The code states that a connecting vowel should be 
corrected to "i"
Rafaël Govaerts"
If you do a Google search you will find that almost all of the hits you 
will get spell it as it was published. Some names are changed later to the 
original spelling. Babiana vanzijliae was quoted in the Babiana revision as 
the correct spelling since that was how it was first published even though 
most of the books have been spelling it as Babiana vanzyliae.  If as a wiki 
administrator I can be allowed a rant... it seems to me that if the purpose 
of having a botanical name is so we will all know that we are talking about 
the same plant, changing the spelling later so that the same plant is 
spelled slightly differently just brings about confusion.
eg. Besides my earlier example there is always Tropaeolum tricolor  versus 
Tropaeolum tricolorum

Sorry this has gotten so long, but for those of you who are still with me 
and can help I'd appreciate help with the F. divaricata pictures and 
understanding about the spelling rules. Thanks.

Mary Sue 

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