Yes, and the burden is on whoever is doing the naming and describing
to throroughly check the existing literature on the group to make sure
the organism hasn't been known before under some other name. With
plants, this usually means collaborating with whomever is/are the
expert(s) with the family or genus. It also usually entails long
hours of looking through herbaria to see if the organism has been
collected before and if so, under what name.
In my case (new plant from a well-collected temperate zone), the
1. Wonder if I had something new
2. Read a lot of literature
3. Contact an expert or two or three and set up a collaboration
4. Look at herbarium sheets to see if anyone else had ever found it
(they had, but the specimens were all misidentified)
5. Collaborator checks karyotype, seed anatomy, and uniform garden
6. Do field surveys to determine range and take many, many
measuremnts from many, many individuals to fix the characters of the
7. Take the plunge and be ready to assert that we had a new species.
8. Decide on a name and check numerous books and databases to make
sure the name hasn't been used in the genus before. Our plant was
definitely a member of an existing genus, so all we had to choose was
the specific epithet
9. Find someone to write a Latin diagnosis
10-12. Write, rewrite, submit, edit
>From the first inkling in the fall of 1990 to the publication in 1993,
this process involved two countries, thousands of plants, three field
seasons, lots of phone calls, a ton of mail, and a good deal of "What
if we publish and everyone laughs?" No one did.
In the case of a new species from the tropics, where the discoverer
*is* the expert in the group and already has a thorough knowlege of
existing literature and herbarium holdings, the above would be
>> I'm not a taxonomist, but I think you publish the information in a scholarly
> journal making sure you follow the guidelines set forth by the Botanical
> Code of Nomenclature.
>> Richard Brooks wrote in message <9q3mum$ihq$1 at newsg2.svr.pol.co.uk>...
> >How does this process happen and where does one go to, to find out if the
> >plant variant exists and can be given a name?
> >Many thanks,
> >Richard Brooks.