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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Proposal To Conserve The Name Zinnia Elegans Against Z. Violacea (Compositae)

Authors
item Kirkbride, Joseph
item Wiersema, John

Submitted to: Taxon
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 28, 2007
Publication Date: August 31, 2007
Citation: Kirkbride, J.H., Wiersema, J.H. 2007. Proposal to conserve the name Zinnia elegans against Z. violacea (Compositae). Taxon. 56(3):958-959.

Interpretive Summary: The common zinnia is one of the most frequently planted annuals in gardens around the world. It is easy to cultivate and does well in full sun and good, deep soil. A few years ago, it was determined that the scientific name for this species, Zinnia elegans, which has been used for over 200 years, must be replaced by a slightly older scientific name, Zinnia violacea. The set of rules that govern the scientific names of plants is known as the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature and allows well-known names that conflict with the rules to be used if a conservation proposal is written. To retain the scientific name of zinnia that is widely known a conservation proposal was written. The proposal to conserve Zinnia elegans against Zinnia violacea will allow the continued use of the scientific name Zinnia elegans for the common zinnia. This research will be used by all who need to communicate about the scientific name of common zinnia.

Technical Abstract: Zinnia elegans Jacq., the common zinnia, is one of the most widely cultivated garden annuals because of its wide variability, ease of cultivation, and great beauty. Jacquin established this scientific name in his Icones plantarum rariorum in late 1792. In 1792 Cavanilles published Zinnia violacea in his Icones et descriptiones plantarum, and in addendum to this publication in 1801 stated that his Zinnia violacea was the same species as Zinnia elegans Jacq. After 1984 a few correct uses of Zinnia violacea appeared in the floristic literature, but the user community has not adopted this usage as shown by the 130,000 occurrences of Zinnia elegans on the Internet versus only 1,150 uses of Zinnia violacea. Therefore it is proposed to conserve the Zinnia elegans against Zinnia violacea, so that we can continue to use the scientific name Zinnia elegans for the common zinnia.

Last Modified: 9/3/2014
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