The history, nomenclature, classification and relationships of the genus Hapaline (Araceae) are discussed. Seven species, one, Hapaline celatrix, new to science, are described and illustrated and a key is provided.


Hapaline is a genus of seven species occurring from Burma (Myanmar) and China (Yunnan) to Brunei. Schott (1857) published Hapale for a small, tuberous-stemmed herb collected by Wallich in Burma almost 30 years earlier. Later, Schott (1858) altered the generic spelling to Hapaline to prevent confusion with the zoological Hapale Illiger (1811), a genus of South American marmosets. Nicolson (1981) pointed out that under Principle 1 of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (Stafleu et al. 1978) 'Botanical nomenclature is independent of Zoological nomenclature' and that the name Hapaline was illegitimate (superfluous) under Art. 63.1 of the Leningrad Code (Stafleu et al 1978) (= Art. 52.1 of the Tokyo Code, Greuter et al. 1994)). However, taxonomists had universally adopted the name Hapaline. The matter was resolved by the conserving of Hapaline over Hapale (Eichler et al. 1984, Greuter et al. 1988).