Narcissus albimarginatus

Thu, 06 Mar 2014 19:50:41 PST

I was wondering why the species epithet bestowed on the pictured
plant is "albimarginatus" and not "albomarginatus," which is more usual.

This is because of the current (entirely specious) notion that scientific 
names are actual classical Latin words, and therefore should be spelled as 
such. (The spelling "albomarginatus" apparently derives from New Latin, in 
which case it is correct. It could be argued that spelling the name 
"albimarginatus" is incorrect, since New Latin created the spelling rules, 
not classical Latin.)
But the boat carrying the idea that scientific names are real Latin words 
sailed long ago anyway, when scientists began to name things after people 
whose names could never occur in Latin, new or old, names like Darwin.

Bob Nold
Denver, Colorado, USA 

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