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Clarification of the typification of Pteris argyraea (Pteridaceae)

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Abstract

Pteris argyraea Moore (1859: 671), commonly known as silver brake fern, is originally a south-east Asian species, but now cultivated as an ornamental plant throughout the tropical regions of the world.
Phytotaxa 269 (1): 059–060
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Copyright © 2016 Magnolia Press Correspondence PHYTOTAXA
ISSN 1179-3155 (print edition)
ISSN 1179-3163 (online edition)
Accepted by Marcus Lehnert: 3 Jul. 2016; published: 29 Jul. 2016
http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.269.1.8
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Clarification of the typification of Pteris argyraea (Pteridaceae)
PIU DAS1, 2, PRASAD MADHUKAR PADHYE1 & SUDHA GUPTA2*
1 Botanical Survey of India, Central National Herbarium, Howrah 711103, West Bengal, India.
2 Department of Botany, University of Kalyani, Kalyani–741235, West Bengal, India.
*Corresponding author: sudhaguptain@gmail.com
Pteris argyraea Moore (1859: 671), commonly known as silver brake fern, is originally a south-east Asian species, but now
cultivated as an ornamental plant throughout the tropical regions of the world.
In the protologue of Pteris argyraea, Moore (1859) stated that this plant “… is a native of Central India, and was
introduced by Messrs. Veitch & Son, by whom it was exhibited”. Records of ‘Taxonomic Literature’ (Stafleu & Cowan 1981)
indicate that all the type specimens of Moore are housed at Kew herbarium (K). One herbarium specimen of P. argyraea with
barcode number K 000501423 is labeled as ‘type specimen’, but acceptance of this specimen as ‘type’ is ruled out because
J. Day is mentioned as collector in the year 1880, which is much later than the original publication by Moore in 1859.
The other herbarium specimen is barcoded as K 000501424 with the inscription ‘Hort. Veitch 1859 Nilgh. India ex
McIvor’. This labeling indicates that Messrs. Veitch & Son (mentioned in protologue) apparently got their plant from McIvor,
who was director of the Government Botanical and Horticultural Gardens, Ootacamund in Nilgiri in South India from 1854
onwards. As such, we could assume that the herbarium specimen K 000501424 is a part of the original material because it
matches with the information given by Moore in the protologue except for the collection area mentioned as “Central India”
instead of South India. It seems that Moore either had a misconception of ‘Central India’ or he was wrongly informed about
the collection site.
Walker (1960) cited the type of Pteris argyraea as follows: “HOLOTYPE: a living plant from ‘Central India’ in Hort.
Veitch 1859; fragment in Herb. T. Moore, ex India, Nilgiris, coll. McIvor (K)”. According to the current code (McNeill et al.
2012) and a recent paper by McNeill (2014), Walker’s citation of P. argyraea as ‘holotype’ cannot be treated as legitimate.
In the case of species published validly without citation of a holotype prior to 1958, any citation of a holotype done before
1st January 2001 constitutes an inadvertent lectotypification sensu Prado et al. (2015). As such, Walker’s statement should
be treated as effective inadvertent lectotypification by the ‘fragment in Herb. T. Moore, ex India, Nilgiris, coll. McIvor (K)”
because in this case the living plant cannot be considered as type.
Later, Sreenivas et al. (2013) overlooked the publication of Walker (1960) and cited the type of Pteris argyraea, as
“India, Nilgiris, W.G. McIvor s.n. (holotype, K!; isotype CAL!)”. The isotype, cited by Sreenivas et al. (2013) at CAL could
not be retrieved despite a thorough search. Considering the current status of the typification of P. argyraea, we intend to
elucidate the ambiguity by providing the correct typification as follows:
Pteris argyraea T. Moore (1859: 671)
Type: INDIA. “Hort. Veitch 1859 Nilgh., India ex, McIvor” (lectotype K 000501424, image!, inadvertently designated by Walker, 1960:
321–332; isolectotype CAL, n.v.).
Image source: http://specimens.kew.org/herbarium/K000501424
Acknowledgements
We thank Dr. Paramjit Singh, Director, Botanical Survey of India and Dr. P.V. Prasanna, Head of the Office, Central National
Herbarium, B.S.I for the facilities. We also thank Dr. K.N. Gandhi (HUH), Dr. N.J. Turland (B), C.R. Fraser-Jenkins, Dr.
Subir Bandyopadhyay (CAL), Dr. Avishek Bhatterjee (CAL), and Dr. Jaideep Majumder, Burdwan University for their kind
help and Dr. Marcus Lehnert (BONN) for his valuable suggestions. The financial grant is aided by DST-PURSE programme
of University of Kalyani and Botanical Survey of India.
DAS ET AL.
60 Phytotaxa 000 (0) © 2016 Magnolia Press
References
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1859) New garden ferns. Gardeners' Chronicle and Horticultural Trade Journal
  • T Moore
Moore, T. (1859) New garden ferns. Gardeners' Chronicle and Horticultural Trade Journal. London 1859: 671.
The genus Pteris L. (Pteridaceae) in South India
  • V K Sreenivas
  • C R Fraser-Jenkins
  • P V Madhusoodanan
Sreenivas, V.K., Fraser-Jenkins, C.R. & Madhusoodanan, P.V. (2013) The genus Pteris L. (Pteridaceae) in South India. Indian Fern Journal 30: 268-308.