Calochortus Question

David Ehrlich
Fri, 20 Jun 2008 15:00:39 PDT
What is the correct spelling for Calochortus caeruleus/coeruleus?  Wikipedia claims that coer… is an incorrect spelling and that it should be caer….  The Gerritsen & Parsons book spells it coer…, and makes no mention of an alternate (or incorrect) spelling.  The Jepson Manual also uses coer…., but IPNI uses caer….  Calflora spells it coer…, but directs you to Calphotos where it is spelled caer….
I guess this is an example of historic confusion: the ligatured diphthongs oe and ae look pretty much alike.  When the diphthong oe appears in Latin, it is frequently derived from oi in a Greek word, e.g. coelestis from the Greek root koilos meaning concave or hollow.  Caeruleus is a Latin word meaning (dark) blue.  Coeruleus makes no sense – it is an evident misspelling of caeruleus.  So, the question is: who made the first misspelling?  If it was Kellogg, should it have been corrected, or should the misspelling be perpetuated?  There should be some rules of Nomenclature to guide us here.
David Ehrlich

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