Intergeneric Hybrids
Tue, 08 Jun 2004 22:37:47 PDT
The mathematical multiplication symbol should be used, and not italicised,
before the name of a hybrid genus, and in any case where a hybrid is
implied. Think of it as a 'cross' or 'times' and the appropriateness is
apparent. It should be placed adjacent to the capitalised first letter of
the name in a nothogenus, or lower case first letter of a nothospecies, but
is never italicised. According to Stearn's Botanical Latin, the root of
notho- is the Latin word nothus: false, not genuine, mongrel, hybrid. So
false as a definition is correct for e.g. Nothofagus, the false beech, or
Notholirion, 'not quite a lily,' but nothogenus simply means hybrid genus,
and should not impy anything phoney about it.

In speaking, a nothogeneric name is best rendered 'times Amarygia' or 'times

The x of normal fonts is used for convenience because of the difficulty of
coaxing most computers to provide the multiplication sign! If anyone can
tell me what combination of keys will produce it in Microsoft Word 2000 I
should be immensely grateful!

John Grimshaw

Dr John M. Grimshaw
Garden Manager, Colesbourne Gardens

Sycamore Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP

Tel. 01242 870567
Mobile 07 919 840 063
Fax (Estate Office) 01242 870541

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim McKenney" <>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 4:28 AM
Subject: Re: [pbs] Intergeneric Hybrids

> The technical term used (in , for instance, the International Rules) for
> these "hybrid genera" is nothogenera.
> This word nothogenera is a sly dig at the nature of these combinations:
> word nothogenera can be translated into plain English, somewhat freely, as
> phoney genera. And that is apparently what many botanists think of them.
> 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? Are the other mathematical symbols which superficially look
> like letters really something else? Inquiring minds want to know!
> Here's an editorial question: does one write "the nothogenus xAmarygia" or
> "the nothogenus Amarygia"? The former strikes me as redundant.
> Jim McKenney
> Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, zone 7, where I'm beginning to wonder if
> I'm becoming a nothobotanist or a nothophilologist - in either case, high
> aspirations for a gadfly!.
> _______________________________________________
> pbs mailing list

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