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A Grammatical Dictionary of Botanical Latin

Subfamily: subfamilia,-ae (s.f.I), dat. sg. subfamiliae, acc. sg. subfamiliam, abl.sg. subfamilia, nom. pl. subfamiliae, gen. pl. subfamiliarum, acc. pl. subfamilias, dat. & abl. pl. subfamiliis; cf. family.

- species nova ab omnibus aliis speciebus suae subfamiliae foliis ellipticis differt, the new species from all other species of its own subfamily differs by the elliptic leaves.

- species nova inter species subfamiliae Leptosphaerioidearum ramis dorsiventralibus distincta, new species distinct among species of the subfamily Leptosphaerioideae by the dorsiventral branches.

- subfamilia nova a subfamilia Archidioideis capsulis exsertis distincta, new subfamily distinct from the subfamily Archidioideae by the exserted capsules.

NOTE: a noun used to describe another, and denoting the same person or thing, agrees with it in case: e.g. above: subfamilia (abl.) and Archidioideis (abl.) even though one is a singular and the other a plural noun.
  subfamilia,-ae (s.f.I), subfamily     Archidium: Archidi- +    -oideae

         sg.         pl.                 The singular and plural are the same 

Nom. subfamilia subfamiliae Archidioideae Archidioideae -oideae

Gen. subfamiliae subfamiliarum Archidioidearum Archidioidearum -oidearum

Dat. subfamiliae subfamiliis Archidioideis Archidioideis -oideis

Acc. subfamiliam subfamilias Archidioideas Archidioideas -oideas

Abl. subfamilia subfamiliis Archidioideis Archidioideis -oideis
According to the Botanical Code of Nomenclature (Vienna 2006) (Article 19.1): the name of a subfamily is a plural adjective used as a noun. One composes the name just as one might for a family (noted in Article 18.1): but the termination -oideae is used, rather than -aceae.

This is the nominative plural feminine ending corresponding to the Latin adjective suffix -oideus,-a,-um (adj.A): Boraginoideae (Boraginaceae; Borago,-inis), Pseudocrossidioideae (Pseudocrossidiaceae; Pseudocrossidium,-ii), Rosoideae (Rosaceae; Rosa,-ae); see ‘-oideae’ for more examples;

- subfamiliae novae ab Jungermannioideis perianthio lateraliter compresso differentes, the new subfamilies differ from the Jungermannioideae by the laterally compressed perianth.

NOTE: in earlier texts, the term Suborder (Subordo) was used, although the intention was the rank of Subfamily (Article 19.2). These earlier names under Suborder are to be used as the names of Subfamily (see Art.18.2), and the name is to be modified in accordance with the endings stipulated in Article 19.1 above.

For example, Bentham and Hooker (Genera Plantarum, Vol. 1) used the name “Order VIII NYMPHAEACEAE” with two suborders:

Subordo I: Cabombeae

Subordo II. Nymphaeae

Subordo III Nelumboneae.

The ‘order’ is to be changed to the ‘family:’ Nymphaeaceae and the ‘suborders’ are to be changed to ‘subfamilies’ as follows:

Subfamily I: Cabomboideae (Cabomba) Cabomb- -oideae

Subfamily II: Nymphaeoideae (Nymphaea) Nymphae- -oideae

Subfamily III Nelumbonoideae (Nelumbo) Nelumbon- -oideae [Nelumbo,-onis]

Subfamily Cabomboideae, a noun

the singular and plural are orthographically the same:

         Nom. Cabomboideae 
         Gen. Cabomboidearum 
         Dat. Cabomboideis 
         Acc. Cabomboideas 
         Abl. Cabomboideis 
- genus novum subfamiliae Cabomboideis affine, the new genus is related to the subfamily (dat.singular) Cabomboideis (dat.plural).

- species nova Cabomboidearum (gen. plural), a new species of the Cabomboideae.

- Cabomboideae ab aliis caeteris subfamiliis Nymphaeacearum foliis crassioribus differentes, the Cabomboideae differing from all other remaining subfamilies of the Nymphaeaceae by the thicker leaves.

NOTE: the Code indicates that the name of the subfamily is a plural adjective used as a noun, without specifying whether the noun is singular or plural. Assuming it is a plural adjective modifying the noun ‘planta,-ae (s.f.I),’ where ‘planta’ is understood, the verb is also in the plural.

NOTE: Pinaceae of Fernald (1950): Subfamily Abietineae (Abies, Tsuga, Picea, Larix, Pinus; Subfamily Taxodioideae (Taxodium); Subfamily Cupressineae (Thuja, Chamaecyparis, Juniperus).


A work in progress, presently with preliminary A through R, and S, and with S (in part) through Z essentially completed.
Copyright © P. M. Eckel 2010-2018

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