Thursday, December 31, 2015

Lechenaultia v. Leschenaultia

Australian National Botanic Gardens website

The correct spelling of the generic name, Lechenaultia, is open to some argument. It was named after Leschenault de la Tour, a botanist who visited Australia in 1802-3. However, when Robert Brown, an early botanist first published the name he spelt itLechenaultia, omitting the 's'. The spelling without the 's' is considered valid by Australian taxonomists.

Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) website

The spelling of Lechenaultia without an "s" (as might be expected from the name "Leschenault") is a result of an error when the genus was first described.

Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) website 'What's in a Name'

Bank's French counterpart was probably Jean-Baptiste Louis-Claude-Theodore Leschenault de la Tour, who spent three years as a botanist to a scientific expedition which began in 1800. Such a grand name should belong to a grand plant, but in fact it is a group of sun-loving rockery plants that bears his name. A mixup in botanical nomenclature has Lechenaultia spelt without an "s", but no doubt he would still be glad to be remembered by the gorgeous blue-flowered Lechenaultia biloba, or by Lechenaultia formosa, with its red, orange, pink and bi-coloured forms.

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