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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Proposal to Reject the Name Ulmus Campestris L. (Ullmaceae)

Author
item WHITTEMORE, ALAN

Submitted to: Taxon
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 15, 2008
Publication Date: May 17, 2008
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/42402
Citation: Whittemore, A.T. 2008. Proposal to reject the name Ulmus campestris (Ulmaceae). Taxon. 57:656-657.

Interpretive Summary: The name Ulmus campestris should be applied to the wych elm (U. glabra) under the international rules of botanical nomenclature, but this name has a very confused history, having been used for three different elm species in the past, and modern botanists are unanimous in avoiding the name because of this long history of confusion. Accurate communication of scientific work and other information about these plants requires a stable, well documented nomenclature, and resurrecting this long-disused name would simply cause confusion in communicating information about these species. Past and present nomenclature of these elm species are examined and documented. The best solution is to formally reject the name U. campestris, and it is formally proposed that this be done by the International Association for Plant Taxonomy, the international authority for plant nomenclature. This will allow botanists to continue to use names that are well established and unambiguous, ensuring clear and accurate dissemination of information about these plants.

Technical Abstract: The name Ulmus campestris has nomenclatural priority over U. glabra and technically should be the correct name for the wych elm under the international rules of botanical nomenclature. The name Ulmus campestris has a very confused history, having been used for three different elm species in the past, and modern botanists are unanimous in not using it because of this long history of confusion. Accurate communication of horticultural information, research results, and other information about these plants requires a stable, well documented nomenclature, and resurrecting this long-disused name would simply cause confusion when communicating information about these species. Past and present nomenclature of these elm species are examined and documented. The best solution is to formally reject the name U. campestris, and it is formally proposed that this be done by the International Association for Plant Taxonomy, the international authority for plant nomenclature. This will allow botanists to continue to use names that are well established and unambiguous, ensuring clear and accurate dissemination of information about these plants.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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