Hippeastrum or Amarillys? More controverse

Alan Meerow miaam@ars-grin.gov
Thu, 01 Apr 2004 13:17:23 PST
Ravenna is up to all his usual tricks.  He publishes in his vanity press,
and thereby escapes juried review; he ignores papers that conflict with his
egoistic view, and rushes into print ANYTHING that he thinks someone else
may be working on.  The case is closed, as  Germán suggests.  The 14th
Botanical Congress declared that Hippeastrum will forever be applied to the
American amaryllis, no matter what anyone else digs up.

Alan W. Meerow, Ph.D., Research Geneticist and Systematist
USDA-ARS-SHRS, National Germplasm Repository
13601 Old Cutler Road, Miami, FL 33158 USA
voice: (305) 254-3635   fax: (305) 969-6410
email: miaam@ars-grin.gov

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Germán Roitman" <ggroiti@agro.uba.ar>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2004 1:32 PM
Subject: [pbs] Hippeastrum or Amarillys? More controverse

Hello all:

Here is an article recently published by P. Ravenna in his own Botanical
Leaflets, ONIRA.

I would like to share his controversial opinions with all of you. The
article is longer but i only add here the Hippeastrum-Amarillys part, and
the references of the hole paper.

I must admit i dont agree with his statements and i would like to know what
do you think about them.

Looks like he didnt consider the Fourteenth International Botanical
Congress in 1987.

Best wishes




Pierfelice Ravenna

Abstrac. Datation of a specimen of Brunsvigia rosea in the Clifford
Herbarium at BM, revealed that it was pressed around 1794, and not earlier
than 1744,As it was argued by several authors, this sheet had supposedly
been studies by Lynnaeus during the specimen had been inserted much later
than 1737, when  this work was published and cannot be considered type of
Amaryllis belladonna L. The last argument of those who wanted to hold
Hippeastrum falls before this new evidence. At this stage, it is definitely
proved that the latter name is a synonym  of the New World genus Amaryllis.
On the other hand, new species of the genera Amaryllis, and Habranthus
(Amaryllidaceae), namely A. buccinata Rav., A. lavrensis Rav., H.
amambaicus Rav., Hauratus Rav. Hcaaguazuensis Rav., H.calderensis Rav.,
Hlilaceus Rav., and Hminor Rav., are decribed. In addition, A.guarapuavica
Rav., Myostemma bifida
(Herb.) Rav., Habranthus teretifolium (´C.H Wr.)Tr. & Mold., H.tubispathus
(L`Her.) Tr., and Hymeocallis niederlenii Pax, are reported as novelties in
the Paraguayan flora. Synonymy of the treated species is revised and


          Amaryllis L. is the proper botanical name of a showy neotropical
genus. This designation is in accordance with the International Code of
Botanical Nomenclature,and to several relevant works, some of them recent,
by Traub (1954, 1970: see pp 46-47), and Tjaden (1979,1981).These authors,
especially the latter, contributed whit new evidence that demolished the
ficticius and inconsistent positions of Baker (1878,1888). Sealy (1839),
Dandy & Fosberg (1954), which concur with

Hebert´s(1837) arbitrary concept that the name Hippeastrum should prevail
for  the neotropicl species. According to these authors, Linnaeus
supposedly applied the binomial Amaryllis belladonna to a South African
species wich, as would be several, perfectly recognized species. As the
reader will see, the matter originated from an ill- intentioned
nomenclatural fraude. Sealy´ ststements are notr based on facts but on
supposed circumstantial considerations. He ellucubrated on what Linaeus had
thought when naming Amaryllis belladonna. Seally failed in stating that the
protologue phrase '' Amaryllis spatha multiflora corollas campanulatis
aequalibus genitalibus declinatis'', was used by Linnaeeus for the first
time in 1737. He based it including the genus name from pre-Linnean
authors. Under nr. 4 of his statements. Sealy remarks that '' the seconds
species to which Linaeus  referred in this note is the one he named A.
Belladonna in 1753''.But the ''second''  actually refers to the Guernsey
Lily, Nerine sarniensis,as Tjaden (1981) has fully demonstrated, not to
Amaryllis belladonna. Actually, Miller (1755), was the first who confused
the New World plant for the African now called Brunsvigia rosea; he was
followed by L´ Heritier (1788). Sealy realized on the existence in the
Clifford Herbarium of specimen '' immediately recognizable as the Cape
belladonna. The specimen bears noname or identification, and therefore (he
suitably argued)  there is no ground for stating either that it is the
basis of Amaryllis belladonna, or that it is the plant which Linnaeus
looked in the Clifford Garden, for the specimen may have added to the
herbarium after Linnaeus had left Holland. ''By exposing different mixed
viewpoints. Sealy appears as showing equanimity. An expert eye will see,
however, that his statement are tendentious and misleading. In his last
conclusion (nr. 4) he states: ''We may therefore say that the name A.
belladonna should be retained for the Cape Belladonna, and the specimen in
the Clifford Herbarium may well be accepted as the lectotype. "By this he
contradicted his previous appraisal (see it in bold types). The presence of
this specimen appears therefore as the last heavy argument for maintaining
the name Amaryllis belladonna for the African plant.

            Dyer´s and Dandy´s & Fosberg´s papers appear superficial and
equally misleading a Sealy´s. In their last remark, the latter authors
state: " The fact that every one agrees that Amaryllis must by typified by
A belladonna L, makes it follow that the generic name must by applied  to
the African, not to the American genus." No comments to this sophism.

             The  last argument for retaining the name Amaryllis belladonna
L for the African plant now called Brunsvigia rosea (Lam.) Hann., fallsdown
before the evidence that this specimen, a scape in flower, was pressed well
beyond 1737, the year of publication of Hortus Cliffortianus. In fact, the
writer obtained  a 3- mm- long piece from the scape base, and sent it to
Geochron Laboratories datation company, a division of Krueger Enterprises,
of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mr. Harry Krueger, Manager, informed that the
C14 procedure on the AMS sample, revealed that the specimen was alive on a
date between 1744 and 1844, on account of the markerd date. Therefore,
hardly could Linnaeus had examined this material when he elaborated Hortus
Cliffortianus. Who inserted the specimen in the Clifford Herbarium? Who
could had special interest in doing that? The reader may judge.

Hippeastrum was declared nomen genericum conservandum against Leopoldia

This was a trick, since the latter is a nomen ambiguum and nomen
provisorium, and therefore invalid. This action does not affect the status
of the previous, validly published genus Amaryllis L.


Arroyo- Leuenberger, S. 1996. Amaryllidaceae, in F.O. Zuloaga & O. Morrone
(Eds.) Catálogo de las plantas vasculares de la Republica Argentina. Miss.
Bot. Gard.

Baker, J.G. 1878. Genus Hippeastrum; Trimen J. Bot. 16: 8-84.

--------------- 1888. Handbook of the Amaryllidaceae, 428 pp. G. Bell &
Sons, London.

Dandy, J.E., and F.R. Fosberg 1954. The type of Amaryllis belladonna L;
Taxon 3: 231-232.

Dyer, R. A. 1954. The Cape Belladonna Lily ; 3 : 72-74.

L´Hiritier de Brutelle, Ch. 1788. Sertum Anglicum, seu., 36 pp, 34 tab.
Typ. Didot, Paris.

Miller, Ph. 1760. Figures of the most beautiful plants described in the
Gardener´s Dictionary 1: 73, tab. 110.

Herbert, W. 1837. Amaryllidaceae, 428 pp. J. Ridgway & Sons, London.

Ravenna, P. 1970a. Nuevas especies de Amaryllidaceae, Notic. Mens. Mus.
Nac. Hist. Nat. Santiago 269 : 1-7.

---------------  1970b. Contributions to South American Amaryllidaceae III;
Pl. Life 37: 73-103, figs. 18-25.

---------------  1972. Latin American Amaryllidis 1971; Pl. Life 28:
119-127, fogs. 28-30

--------------    1988. New species of South American Habranthus and
(Amaryllidaceae); Onira 1 (8): 53-56.

------------  2003. Elucidation and systematics of the Chilean genera of
Amaryllidaceae; Bot. Austr. 2, 21 pp., 12 pls.

Sealy, R 1939. Amaryllis and Hippeastrum ; Bull. Misc. Inf. Kew (2): 49-60.

Tjaden, W.L. 1979. Amaryllis belladonna and the Guernsey Lily: an
overlooked clue; J. Soc. Biblphy. Nat. Hist. 9 (3): 251-256.

------------ 1981. Amaryllis belladonna Linn.- An up-to-date summary; Pl.
Life 37: 21-26, figs. 3-5.

Traub, H.P. 1954. Typification of Amaryllis belladonnaL; Taxon 3: 192-111.

------------  1970. An Introduction of Herbert´s "Amaryllidaceae, etc."
1837 and related works. Verlag von J. Cramer, 3301 Lehre.


Ing. Agr. MSc Germán Roitman
Cátedra de Jardinería FAUBA
Av. San Martín 4453. 1417. Buenos Aires
ICQ: 1837762


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