Notho x

Lee Poulsen
Tue, 08 Jun 2004 23:18:55 PDT
On Jun 8, 2004, at 9:17 PM, wrote:
In a message dated 6/8/2004 11:46:37 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> writes:
>> Was Jane McGary pulling our legs when she said that the x used with 
>> these
>> names is the multiplication sign rather than the letter x? Is there a
>> difference?
> Jane is not pulling any legs on this. It is especially noticed when 
> cited in
> text that is set in a serif font (letters that have the little 
> tails/hooks on
> them) rather than a sans serif font like this. In the serif font, the 
> Notho x
> does not have serifs.
> Bill Lee

I think that even though it is a multiplication sign that is supposed 
to be used for hybrids, since the X is much easier to access in most 
fonts (and some fonts don't even have a multiplication sign), it is 
what is commonly used by most people when typing. (However, a common 
font that contains the multiplication sign that probably everyone has 
access to is the Symbol font.)

It makes more sense (that it is a multiplication sign) once you learn, 
as I did just a few days ago, that if a hybrid is produced by 
pollinating two different species (of the same or of different genera) 
then the multiplication sign is supposed to be used. However, if the 
hybrid is created by grafting two different species together (something 
I'd never heard of before that is called a 'graft hybrid'), then you 
are supposed to use the plus sign between the two species, and if they 
are of two different genera and you create a new intergeneric hybrid 
name for this, then you put a plus sign in front of the name rather 
than a multiplication sign. The example I read about (from googling 
'graft hybrid') is Laburnum anagyroides + Cytisus purpurea which 
produces +Laburnocytisus 'Adamii'. 
(<> gives this and a few other 
examples.) (Also, <> has 
a fairly concise description of the basic rules for scientific names of 

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena area, California, USDA Zone 9-10

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