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The usage of the alternative names of eight flowering plant families

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Article 18.5 and Art. 18.6 of the present International Code of Botanical Nomenclature authorise the use of alternative names in the following eight cases of families of flowering plants: Compositae/Asteraceae, Cruciferae/Brassicaceae, Gramineae/Poaceae, Guttiferae/Clusiaceae, Labiatae/Lamiaceae, Leguminosae/Fabaceae, Palmae/Arecaceae, and Umbelliferae/Apiaceae. The first name in each of these pairs is not based on the name of an included genus, and permission to use these names under the Code has become increasingly controversial in recent years. Our present note looks briefly at the history of the alternative usages and then aims to indicate the extent to which the two alternatives are used in the literature today, laying a basis for any potential discussion of future action. A strong case is noted for maintaining Leguminosae rather than Fabaceae when this family is treated in a broad sense.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AE, U.K.

Publication date: 01 November 2003

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