History::Kew Rule


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The first discussion in print of what was to become known as the Kew Rule appears to have occurred in 1877 between Henry Trimen and Alphonse Pyramus de Candolle.<ref name=Nicolson>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> Trimen did not think it was reasonable for older names discovered in the literature to destabilize the nomenclature that had been well accepted:<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal

Probably all botanists are agreed that it is very desirable to retain when possible old specific names, but some of the best authors do not certainly consider themselves bound by any generally accepted rule in this matter. Still less will they be inclined to allow that a writer is at liberty, as M. de Candolle thinks, to reject the specific appellations made by an author whose genera are accepted, in favour of older ones in other genera. It will appear to such that to do this is to needlessly create in each case another synonym.

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{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Expand section |date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Message box|ambox}} }} The first botanical code of nomenclature that declared itself to be binding was the 1906 Règles internationales de la nomenclature botanique adoptées par le Congres International de Botanique de Vienne 1905 that followed from the 1905 International Botanical Congress.<ref name=Nicolson/> The Kew Rule was outlawed by this code.

The end of the Kew Rule brought about considerable upheaval in botanical nomenclature. Many new species names were coined to resurrect older epithets, for example, in 1917 Willis Jepson wrote:<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref>

""The plant so long known as Brodiaea grandiflora Smith ... [was] first published as Hookera coronaria Salisbury (1806). The correct name, then, is Brodiaea coronaria Jepson, n. comb."

Names that had previously been conserved to improve the stability of well-known plant names often now no longer required conservation, and other names that had been formed using the Kew Rule and had become well known, were illegitimate. The entire previous list of conserved and rejected names was consequently replaced in 1959 with a reworked list.<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref>

Previously overlooked botanical literature has continued to yield new examples of forgotten older names for more than 100 years since the Kew Rule was banished from the International Code of Nomenclature.<ref name=Reveal/>

Kew Rule sections
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