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  News from MO - 2001 Table of Contents  

Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project

This project, based in the Botany Department of the Natural History Museum in London (BM) and partly supported by the Linnean Society of London (LINN), is headed by Charles E. Jarvis. It is designed to provide a thorough assessment of the typification of each of the approximately 11,000 generic, specific, and varietal plant names published by Linnaeus between 1753 and 1778, and to produce an annotated catalog containing detailed notes and the citation of all relevant literature for each name. The catalog is scheduled for publication in 2007, and in the meantime, selected parts of the Linnaean project’s database, along with type images, will be made available on the Internet.

Fred Barrie worked on the project in London for three years until 1993, and later continued to contribute from his Chicago base. The project has already published "A list of Linnaean generic names and their types" (Jarvis et al., Regnum Vegetabile 127), which includes the 1,313 validly published Linnaean generic names, the generitype (the ultimate type for each), and 450 new typifications. Nicholas Turland was Barrie's successor on the project, from 1994 until he came to MO in 1997, and was himself succeeded by Steve Cafferty, who continues to work on the project.

Turland published three papers with Jarvis and Cafferty in the journal Taxon newly typifying over 500 Linnaean names in the families Asteraceae, Fabaceae, and Poaceae, in addition to 27 proposals to conserve or reject Linnaean names. The Project has subsequently published further papers detailing new typifications for the families Lamiaceae and Orchidaceae in Taxon and currently has papers typifying names in the Apiaceae, Brassicaceae, and Rosaceae in advanced stages of preparation. Other families currently being studied include Caryophyllaceae, Ericaceae, and Scrophulariaceae.

In a collaboration with the Botany Department’s Curation Division, the Project has contributed to the digitization of various herbaria associated with Linnaean names, and these have also been placed online, namely the John Clayton herbarium, Sir Hans Sloane’s Jamaican collections, the Paul Hermann herbarium, and the Clifford herbarium, all of which contain many Linnaean types. The Project also has its own set of web pages where it ultimately plans to make available an online database together with images dealing specifically with Linnaean types. The first part of this process will be to make available a generitype database during the next year. Further details are available on the Linnaean Project and Botany Department web pages at the Natural History Museum.

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News from MO 2001 was created by Kathy Hurlbert, Leslie Miller, Eloise Cannady and Mary Merello (October 2001) and placed on the MOBOT webserver 1/22/02.


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