Changing Genera

The march of scientific progress sometimes necessitates changes in long-treasured scientific names of commonly grown plants, usually much to the chagrin of the horticultural world, whereupon many diligent growers are told they are wrong when referring to outdated information. How, exactly, is one to know if one doesn't keep up with the taxonomic literature, which is often hidden from mere mortal eyes unaffiliated with an academic institution and an excellent botany library?

Beats me. But here resides a list of recent changes related to commonly grown plants, with brief explanations and links to papers. May it vigorously affect the labels of growers, enthusiasts and nurseryfolk worldwide in their search for scientific accuracy.

Albert Huntington, Oct 2016

  • Alocasia 'Hilo Beauty' ➜ Caladium praetermissum

    Long thought by horticulturists who didn't look critically at the inflorescence to be an Alocasia, this beauty is actually a Caladium, as indicated by Hetterscheid, Bogner and Boos in 2009.

    Hetterscheid, W.L.A., J. Bogner & J. Boos, Two New Caladium Species, Aroideana 32:126-131.

  • Alocasia hyponsa Englerarum hypnosum

    Alocasia hypnosa became Englerarum hypnosum in 2013. Genetic analysis and a protracted leafless resting phase say it must be true. Not to mention it being visited by Staphylinid beetles rather than the Colocasiomyia attracted by all actual Alocasia.

    Nauheimer, L., & P.C. Boyce. Englerarum (Araceae - Aroideae): a new genus supported by plastid and nuclear phylogenies. Plant Syst. Evol. 300(4): 709-715.

  • Arum pictum Gymnomesium pictum

    This one is not official yet, but it's been strongly implied that this must happen since 2008.

    Mansion et al., Phylogenetic Analysis Informed by Geological History Supports Multiple, Sequential Invasions of the Mediterranean Basin by the Angiosperm Family Araceae - Syst. Biol. 57(2): 269285 (2008).

  • Caladium lindenii Xanthosoma lindenii Phyllotaenium lindenii

    Eduardo Goncalves claims the paper has been submitted. It makes perfect sense that the reason nobody could find a good place to stick lindenii was because it was in its own genus.

  • Colocasia gigantea Leucocasia gigantea

    Though it's not yet official, it's everything but. Starting in 2012 Nauheimer et al. strongly suggest that Colocasia gigantea should be transferred to Leucocasia in no less than three papers.

    Nauheimer, L., P.C. Boyce, & S.S. Renner. Giant taro and its relatives: a phylogeny of the large genus Alocasia (Araceae) sheds light on Miocene floristic exchange in the Malesian region. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 63: 43-51.

    Nauheimer, Metzler & Renner. Global history of the ancient monocot family Araceae inferred with models accounting for past continental positions and previous ranges based on fossils - New Phytologist 195(4): 938–950 (2012).

    Nauheimer & Boyce. Englerarum (Araceae, Aroideae): a new genus supported by plastid and nuclear phylogenies. Plant Syst. Evol. 300(4) 709-715 (2014).

  • New World Homalomena Adelonema

    It has long been a mystery why the new world and old world shared the genus Homalomena. Luckily for us, Wong, Meerow and Croat have resurrected Adelonema and placed all the new world Homalomena in it. Plus they added a few.

    Homalomena allenii, Homalomena crinipes, Homalomena hammelii, Homalomena kvistii, Homalomena moffleriana, Homalomena peltata, Homalomena picturata, Homalomena roezlii, Homalomena speariae, Homalomena wallisii, and Homalomena wendlandii are now respectively Adelonema allenii, Adelonema crinipes, Adelonema hammelii, Adelonema kvistii, Adelonema moffleriana, Adelonema peltata, Adelonema picturata, Adelonema roezlii, Adelonema speariae, Adelonema wallisii, and Adelonema wendlandii.

    Wong S.Y., Meerow, A. & Croat, T.B. Resurrection and New Species of the Neotropical Genus Adelonema (Araceae: Philodendron Clade). Syst. Bot. 41(1) DOI: 10.1600/036364416X690732

  • Psuedodracontium Amorphophallus

    Everything Pseudodracontium is, as of 2012, now Amorphophallus. Blame Hetterscheid and Claudel if you want, but you try writing a key to distinguish the two.

    Hetterscheid, W.L.A. and C. Claudel, The End of Pseudodracontium N.E. Br., Aroideana 35:40-46.

  • Sauromatum Typhonium Sauromatum

    After a brief sojurn amongst the Typhonium since 2000, our beloved Sauromatum venosum has finally been returned to its comfortable haunts as of 2010. It brought some of its other friends over from Typhonium as well. The new Sauromatums: Sauromatum brevipes, Sauromatum gaoligongense, Sauromatum horsfieldii, Sauromatum venosum, Sauromatum brevipilosum, Sauromatum diversifolium, Sauromatum giganteum, Sauromatum hirsutum, Sauromatum meghalayense, and Sauromatum tentaculatum.

    Hetterscheid, W.L.A. & P.C. Boyce. A reclassification of Sauromatum Schott and new species of Typhonium Schott (Araceae). Aroideana 23: 48-55.

  • Schismatoglottis Rupestris group ➜ Apoballis

    Wong and Boyce brought back Apoballis in 2009 to encompass what was previously the Schismatoglttis Rupestris group after molecular analysis showed it to be that way.

    Schismatoglottis acuminatissima, Schismatoglottis belophylla, Schismatoglottis brevipes, Schismatoglottis grandiflora, Schismatoglottis hastifolia, Schismatoglottis javanica, Schismatoglottis longicaulis, Schismatoglottis mutata, Schismatoglottis okadae, Schismatoglottis ovata, Schismatoglottis rupestris, and Schismatoglottis sagittifolia are now Apoballis acuminatissima, Apoballis belophylla, Apoballis brevipes, Apoballis grandiflora, Apoballis hastifolia, Apoballis javanica, Apoballis longicaulis, Apoballis mutata, Apoballis okadae, Apoballis ovata, Apoballis rupestris, and Apoballis sagittifolia.

    Wong S.Y. & P.C. Boyce. Studies on Schismatoglottideae (Araceae) of Borneo IX: A new genus, Hestia, and resurrection of Apoballis. Bot. Stud. (Taipei) 51: 249-255.