Calochortus Question

Nhu Nguyen
Sat, 21 Jun 2008 13:22:04 PDT
Thanks, Giorgio for the nice references to the epithet that uses *coeruleus*.

I highly trust the folks who put together the Jepson Manual. They are some
of the best botanists out there, and the manual is a fantastic resource for
both the science community and the public.

Searching through Flora of North America (which is another fantastic
resource) I found this:*

Calochortus coeruleus* (Kellogg) S. Watson, Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts. 14: 263.
1879 (as caeruleus).

  Cyclobothra coerulea Kellogg, Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 2: 4. 1863;
Calochortus coeruleus var. fimbriatus Ownbey; C. maweanus Leichtlin ex Baker
So it seems to me that it was first described as *Cyclobothra coerulea*,
then was redescribed as *Calochortus caeruleus* by S. Watson. I can only
guess that he changed the epithet spelling and treated it as an *orthographic
error *according to the Code. However, the Code also has a very strong rule
on precedence, which states that only in blatant mispellings should be
corrected and treated as orthographic errors (ICBN, Vienna Code: Div. II,
Chap. VII, Sec. I, Art. 60.1). Since both *caeruleus *and *coeruleus *is
common in latin literature, and is "accepted", the rule of precedence should
be observed. So if you're a stickler for "correct" spelling then you can
spell it *caeruleus*, but the name accepted by the Code is *coeruleus*.

Hope that helps. Thanks for the exercise in etomology :)


On Fri, Jun 20, 2008 at 3:00 PM, David Ehrlich <>

> What is the correct spelling for Calochortus caeruleus/coeruleus?
> Wikipedia claims that coer… is an incorrect spelling and that it should be
> caer….  The Gerritsen & Parsons book spells it coer…, and makes no mention
> of an alternate (or incorrect) spelling.  The Jepson Manual also uses
> coer…., but IPNI uses caer….  Calflora spells it coer…, but directs you to
> Calphotos where it is spelled caer….

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