'Such Superfluity of Genera': Ferdinand Mueller's Criticism of Generic Limits in Wendland and Drude’s 'Palmae Australasicae' of 1875

Dowe, John Leslie (2018) 'Such Superfluity of Genera': Ferdinand Mueller's Criticism of Generic Limits in Wendland and Drude’s 'Palmae Australasicae' of 1875. Historical Records of Australian Science, 29 (2). pp. 82-90.

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Abstract

Through the loan of herbarium specimens and unpublished manuscript descriptions of new palm species, Ferdinand Mueller made a contribution toward ‘Palmae Australasicae’, the foundational taxonomic work on the palm family (Arecaceae/Palmae) in Australia, published by the German botanists Hermann Wendland and Oscar Drude in 1875. In ‘Palmae Australasicae’, Wendland and Drude established twelve new genera and described eight new species, thus, in a single publication, increasing about two-fold the taxonomic and nomenclatural scope of the palm family in Australasia. For Australia (including Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island), they enumerated a total of sixteen genera, twenty-six species and three subspecies. Mueller, however, was critical of the taxonomic decisions made by Wendland and Drude, particularly concerning generic limits. Mueller’s taxonomic views on the palms were conservative and his interpretation of generic limits was relatively broad, preferring fewer genera and more species in each genus.

Item ID: 55354
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-5508
Copyright Information: Copyright or Journal compilation © Australian Academy of Science 2018
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2018 06:51
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History) @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060310 Plant Systematics and Taxonomy @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960803 Documentation of Undescribed Flora and Fauna @ 50%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 50%
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