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Taxonomic and nomenclatural puzzles in Indian Curcuma: the identity and nomenclatural history of C. zedoaria (Christm.) Roscoe and C. zerumbet Roxb. (Zingiberaceae)

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Abstract:

The identity of Curcuma zedoaria (Christm.) Roscoe and its nomenclatural history are explained. Roscoe wrongly interpreted the basionym of this name and applied his combination to a different taxon, which is not even involved in Christmann's protologue. The first lectotypification applied the name to the species upon which Rheede's description of Kua was based. Study of living material reveals that the name C. zedoaria (Christm.) Roscoe is currently applied to several superficially similar taxa in different parts of India and SE Asia and there are no grounds to propose conservation of the name with a different type. To avoid more confusion, the identity of the plant representing C. zedoaria in the sense lectotypified by Burtt (1977) is explained here and a colour plate depicting its morphology is provided. The plant described and depicted by Roxburgh as Curcuma zerumbet Roxb., a name usually cited among synonyms of C. zedoaria (Christm.) Roscoe, is found to represent the taxon that Roscoe had in mind while publishing his combination C. zedoaria (Christm.) Roscoe. Curcuma zerumbet Roxb. is illegitimate, however, and as there is no other name available for this taxon it is described here as Curcuma picta. The nomenclatural history of Amomum zerumbet J. König nom. illeg. and Erndlia subpersonata Giseke, names which are involved in the illegitimacy of C. zerumbet Roxb., is explained.

Keywords: AMOMUM ZERUMBETH; CURCUMA OFFICINALIS; CURCUMA PICTA; CURCUMA SPECIOSA; CURCUMA ZEDOARIA; CURCUMA ZERUMBET; ERNDLIA SUBPERSONATA; NEW SPECIES; NOMENCLATURE; TYPIFICATION; ZINGIBERACEAE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: The Herbarium, Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569, Department of Botany, Charles University, Benátská 2, Prague 12802, Czech Republic; jana_skornickova@ seznam.cz 2: Department of Botany, National Museum in Prague, Zámek 1, Průhonice 25243, Czech Republic 3: Department of Botany, Calicut University, 673635 Kerala, India 4: Department of Botany, Charles University, Benátská 2, Prague 12802, Czech Republic, Institute of Botany, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 14, 845 23 Bratislava, Slovak Republic

Publication date: 2008-08-01

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