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Monday, January 30, 2012

Sed Qualis Illa Latine?


“But what is it in Latin?” With new international rules, plants will no longer have to be described in Latin.


image

The former Aster oblongifolius (now Symphyotrichum oblongifolium) has a complete description in Latin.

Photo: Illinois Wildflowers

Horticulturists, at least those fluent in English, just got a bye from the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN). As of January 1, 2012, plant scientists will no longer have to provide a Latin description of newly identified species in order to get these plants on the books, as it were. Now, such descriptions can be made in either Latin or English, and for the most part, the reaction among botanists has been very favorable.

By expanding the ways in which new species can be introduced, most experts say, discoveries in the plant kingdom can be more swiftly catalogued, speeding up research. Most critically, speeding up the international system of identification, many say, will make it possible to protect more endangered plants sooner, before they face extinction.


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Posted by Julie on 01/30 at 09:20 PM
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