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Botanical anagrams

Stephen J Bungard sbungard at zenecabp.demon.co.uk
Mon Jan 9 16:23:30 EST 1995

In article <jsp.5.788007054 at nlh.no> jsp at nlh.no "Jan Wesenberg" writes:

> A comment to resta at iei.pi.cnr.it (Giovanni Resta)'s list of botanical 
> anagrams:

For some reason I did not see this - perhaps accidentally erased before 
reading.  So apologies if the list below adds nothing new.

> The list is very interesting. One can read from it the history of several 
> nomenclatural revisions. Indeed, most of the anagrams from the same family 
> are certainly results of taxonomical revisions, where an author has 
> constructed an anagram from an earlier generic name in the prosess of 
> splitting a large genus into several minor ones. This seems to have been a 
> favorite way of making new generic names, especially among taxonomists 
> with a sence of humour (and of linguistics as well). The "Filago" group of 
> names, for example, are not typos, as suspected by Resta, but a result 
> of revisions of the Linnaean genus Filago: at least Logfia (and I think, 
> also the two other ones) by the French taxonomist A. H. G. de Cassini (1781-
> 1832). Similarly, the name Leymus was invented by the German taxonomist C. 
> F. Hochstetter (1787-1860) for a new genus established from the Linnaean 
> genus Elymus. One should be able to track down the history of the other 
> anagrams as well, using the author index of a flora which has such an 
> index (or a book like Mabberley's Plant Book).
> Perhaps it would be useful to make a version of the list indicating the 
> original names and the derived ones, as well as the authors. And maybe there 
> are more anagrams to be found if one searched from a larger database?

OK, here is a start:

Hermannia   Mahernia    Linneaus 1767 (obviously , omitting a 'n'
Alchemilla  Lachemilla 
Allium      Milula    Muilla
Arabis      Sibara
Ardisia     Sadiria
Argemone    Enomegra
Aristida    Sartidia
Ascyron     Norysca   Roscyna
Bouchea     Ubochea
Cyconia     Docynia
Elvasia     Vaselia
Elymus      Leymus
Filago      Gifola   Ifloga  Lifago   Logfia   Oglifa
Goldfussia  Diflugossia
Hariota     Haitora
Liatris     Litrisa  Trilisa
Mitella     Tellima
Monardella  Madronella
Myginda     Gyminda
Pandorea    Podranea
Sauvagesia  Vausagesia
Tacazzea    Zacateza
Tephrosia   Ophrestia

Maingola is a sectional epithet in Magnolia

Phlebiogonium = Goniophlebium

Jacaima is a deliberate anagram of Jamaica, as is Lobivia of Bolivia.

All the above from "Botanical Latin" by William T Stearn, Pub. David & 
Charles.  Further examples can apparently be found in Stearn (1992): 
Stearn's Dictionary of Plant Names for Gardeners.

This practice was described as "such scandalously childish, bald and
witless trickery with names...such base name-coinage" by Rev R T Lowe
in 1868.

Again, apologies if I have added nothing new.

Stephen J Bungard      aka  sbungard at zenecabp.demon.co.uk       |   DO NOT   |
 If there are opinions in the above, they are mine, all mine..  |THROW STONES|
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