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Lacistemataceae Holistic Database Neotropical Plant Families Database U.K. Communities of Woodland & Scrub Species 2000 University of Reading Herbarium RNG, University of Reading, U.K.

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The Family name:
Is it Lacistemaceae Mart. or Lacistemataceae Mart.?

To find out which is correct a historical literature analysis of the family name and genera is essential.

The new genus of Lacistema is named by Olaf Swartz in 1788 and...

is joined by a new species epithet myricoides in his book entitled Nova Genera & Species Plantarum seu Prodromus descriptionum vegetabilium, maximam partem incognitorum quae sub itinere in Indiam Occidentalem annis 1783-87.

As you can see from the protologue below Swartz has renamed Piper aggregatum as Lacistema myricoides as he determines that the flowers bear no morphological similarity to Piper species.

1788 Swartz original document

The genus name Lozania is provided by Jose Celestino y Mutis but he dies before he can publish this new genus himself, so it is published in Continuacion del Semanario del nuevo Reyno de Granada, Memoria 3a (1810) by Francisco Jose de Caldas.

In 1826 the Linnean family name Lacistemearum appears in Nova genera et species plantarum quas in itinere per Brasiliam annis 1818-1820 by Dr. Carl F P de Martius. Sleumer (1980) suggests that Lacistemearum becomes Lacistemaceae although there is no actual mention of the word Lacistemaceae in the document below.

1826 Martius original document

Lacistemaceae is incorrect as it is inconsistent with the rules of botanical Latin (Stearn 2004). Any neuter noun of Greek origin ending -ma as in Lacistema becomes -mata, thus the correct name for the family is Lacistemataceae. Furthermore my discovery on 08 October 2008 that Lacistema is of Latin and not Greek origin Lacistemaceae should be the correct name. However, the The International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants have placed nomen conservandum (conserved name) on the family name and therefore officially remains as Lacistemataceae.

As far as I am aware the first correct usage of the name Lacistemataceae does not appear in plant classification until 1959 in Die Evolution der Angiospermen by Armen Takhtajan.

Sleumer (1980) placed Lacistemataceae in Flacourtiaceae as tribe Lacistemeae, but the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group have since returned Lacistemataceae to a family in its own right. Morphological and genetic research is ongoing as to whether Lacistemataceae ought to be incorporated into Salicaceae or remain a family in its own right.