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The common chamomile and the scentless mayweed revisited

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Abstract:

The nomenclature of common chamomile, sea mayweed and scentless mayweed is discussed with reference to nomenclatural history, typifications, and the provisions of the ICBN. During the period 1753–1763, Linnaeus managed to mess up the naming of common chamomile, sea mayweed, and scentless mayweed, although he must have been very familiar with these species. Originally, Linnaeus intended to name the scentless mayweed as Matricaria chamomilla, the common chamomile as M. recutita, and the sea mayweed as M. maritima, but later he referred the common chamomile to M. suaveolens, the scentless mayweed to M. inodora, and the sea mayweed to M. inodora var. maritima. The major problem in Linnaeus's classification of the European Matricaria is his treatment of the common chamomile and the scentless mayweed. Matricaria chamomilla fits the scentless mayweed according to the original description, while the lectotype, Herb. Clifford 415, although uncharacteristic, is referable to common chamomile.

Keywords: LINNAEUS; MATRICARIA; NOMENCLATURE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Botanical Garden and Museum, The Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Ø. Farimagsgade 2B, 1353 Copenhagen K, Denmark

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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