Banana leaf canna nomenclature question
Tue, 02 Nov 2010 04:48:35 PDT

>Here?s where I think each name stands:
>Musaefolia: perhaps the original spelling used
>Musifolia: the above spelling corrected to current ICBN standards for words
>published under ICBN
>Musafolia: a spelling which recognizes that musa is not of Latin or Greek

Jim has clearly laid out the options here but much of what is said is based upon the idea that Canna musifolia is a nomen subnudum.  This idea appears to come from the Maas's Cannaceae of the World monograph (fortunately freely available to all via the web).  However, nomen subnudum is not a term that appears at all in the ICBN and has little value.  A name either has a description, in which case it is validly published, or it does not.  There is however one possibility to overcome this for names that have an inadequate description which might cause a disruption in that it can be taken to the General Committee for their decision on whether the name should be treated as validly published (article 32.4).

Back to Musifolia, the name is therefore valid and in my opinion the orthography should therefore follow the spelling of the ICBN.  I doubt anyway whether it really is a subnudum name as there are probably many valid descriptions of it out there for such an old name.  One of the great things about Google Books is putting in some of these old horticultural names, which previously have not been picked up by IPNI and finding old references so easily.  So a quick search on Canna musaefolia reveals a reasonable description for it back from 1862:
"Canna musaefolia: ? feuilles de bananier. - Tige de 1.50 ? 2 m?tres; feuilles dress?es, largement ovales-oblongues; fleurs orange coccin?, tr?s belles."…
Whether this is diagnostic, I cannot say but it is hardly subnudum.


More information about the pbs mailing list