Re: N. maxima, fusca, et. al.

Date: Fri Aug 27 1999 - 08:47:47 PDT

Date:          Fri, 27 Aug 1999 08:47:47 
Message-Id: <aabcdefg3061$foo@default>
Subject:       Re: N. maxima, fusca, et. al.

Dear Cliff,

> Finally as to recent taxonomy (here I go re-labeling my plants again),

You should perhaps wait with this step because some changes may occur
soon. Perhaps it is known among _Nepenthes_ enthusiasts that Matthew
Jebb and Martin Cheek are planning to write an account on the genus
for Flora Malesiana, and some nomenclatural changes might be effected
in connection with this monograph.

> am I to understand the following?: (1) Plants commonly referred to and
> grown as N. fusca were actually originally described as N.
> stenophylla?

This would be the conservative point of view that must be taken if the
species should be called in exactly the same way as they have been
described originally.

If, however, _N. stenophylla_ will be redescribed and retypified
(i.e. if the name will be conserved with a new type) so it would meet
the description by Danser (which was based on his *wrong*
interpretation of the protologue and an illustration; NB: Danser did
*never* see any original herbarium material of _N. stenophylla_ in his
whole life!), the situation would become quite different. This is one
of the possible nomenclatural changes that might occur.

> (2) Plants commonly referred to as N. stenophylla

Rather commonly, but ask e.g. J.H. Adam, who has quite different
ideas. In fact, the doubtful "commonness" (cf. all the literature
before Danser!) of Danser's error could be one of the major hurdles en
route to the conservation of the name _N. stenophylla_ in the non-
original sense of Danser. There is a difference between common
horticultural and scientific literature. Danser's error was in effect
propagated by Kurata and Turnbull & Middleton. All other sources can
be shown to refer (directly or indirectly) to Danser, Kurata, or
Turnbull. After Danser (and before Schlauer), apparently noone has
doubted or tried to examine the real identity of _N. stenophylla_, so
the literature between 1928 and 1990 cannot really be called
taxonomically relevant in this particular respect. But this
literature effected the spreading of Danser's (wrong) concept. There
seems to be a prevailing (and quite understandable) trend to maintain
Danser's usage of names, but in this case there is really no
alternative to conservation with a new type. Any other "solution"
will inevitably perpetuate and increase confusion.

> were originally described as N. fallax.

Yes. The earliest available name is _N. boschiana var. lowii_ but
this taxon does obviously not belong to _N. boschiana_, the name is
only valid at varietal rank, and a new combination "N. lowii" would
produce an (illegitimate) later homonym of the name for a species
that is rather well-known and very different.

> (3) Both of these plants are restricted to the Kinabalu - Crocker
> range running from N.E. Sabah down through N. Central Sarawak?

Not necessarily. But I do not know (or at least I do not remember at
the moment) specimens of _N. fallax_ outside that range. _N. fusca_
from Kalimantan might be conspecific with _N. stenophylla_ Mast. This
would of course depend on the species concept applied.

> (4) Both
> descriptions of the true N. fusca and stenophylla refer to plants, probably
> not in cultivation (at least in the U.S.) which come from Kalimantan?

It is not known exactly where the type of _N. stenophylla_ was
collected, but it is rather probable that it came from N Borneo.
Typical _N. fusca_ from G. Kemul, Kalimantan is (AFAIK) not in
cultivation anywhere.

> (5) In
> Jebb and Cheek N. faizaliana was synonomized with N. 'stenophylla' which
> should actually be N. fallax? (This I disagree with, having living specimens
> of both plants and noting differences in morphology, growth, temperature
> requirements, and coloration.

If _N. stenophylla_ auct. non Mast.: Danser (=_N. fallax_) should be
united with _N. faizaliana_, I would likewise disagree. But as they
have synonymized _N. faizaliana_ with _N. stenophylla_ Mast. (=
part of the material of "N. fusca" from N Borneo, not necessarily
from Kalimantan), this seems to be a realistic possibility (at least
I cannot dismiss it without further evidence).

> Thank's for the updates.

Almost all of the above has been discussed here already. Sorry to
those who are bored by this stuff.

Kind regards

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