Compositae vs. Asteraceae ??

Jensen, Douglas douglas.jensen at
Wed Aug 8 10:51:31 EST 2001

As I understand it, the code allows 8 of the old descriptive family names to
be used as fully acceptable alternatives to their modern synonyms.  

Palmae=Arecaceae (Although the pronounciation is similar to Ericaceae, the
families are very different.  Nevertheless, pronounciation is not
nomenclaturally specified)
Guttiferae=Hypericaceae/Clusiaceae (I don't know if anyone uses this

These are some of the most readily recognisable families in the world, they
are very large, and their descriptive names point out the specific traits
that many people use to identify them on sight.  I teach both names to my
students, because both are useful.


-----Original Message-----
From: Cereoid* [mailto:cereoid at]
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2001 8:19 PM
To: plant-ed at
Subject: Re: Compositae vs. Asteraceae ??

The phrase "except in specified cases." in Principle IV refers to conserved
names not the eight obsolete Jussieu family names.

The family names Arecaceae and Ericaceae are neither homonyms nor are the
pronounced the same.

"Donna I. Ford-Werntz" <diford at> wrote in message
> I'm with Bryan on this one (as I previously replied privately with the
> answer).  The Asteraceae/Compositae duality is one of eight families that
> qualify under the Principle IV exclusion "except in specified cases."
> However, it is true that in many cases the older name is falling into
> disuse.  One that will be long-standing I believe is Palmae rather than
> Arecaceae (vs. Ericaceae).
> Donna I. Ford-Werntz     West Virginia Univ.
> Herbarium Curator (WVA)  Box 6057
> Assoc. Prof. Biol.       Morgantown, WV 26506
> 425 Brooks Hall          (304)293-5201 X2549
> email: diford at    fax: (304)293-6363
> Web site at
> ---


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