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New Names Proposed for Cynanchum Species Endemic to Madagascar


In Madagascar, Cynanchum L. is the most species-rich genus of the dogbane family (Apocynaceae). About 80 species are known there and most of them are endemic. Among these species, C. leucanthum (K. Schumm.) K. Schumm. is a fairly frequent and widespread endemic one, and is currently classified with two subspecies, C. leucanthum subsp. leucanthum and C. leucanthum subsp. elongatum Liede.

During taxonomic studies on Cynanchum, researchers from Wuhan Botanical Garden found the long-used name C. leucanthum (K. Schum.) K. Schum. published in 1895 was an illegitimate later homonym due to the existence of an earlier name C. leucanthum Gmel. published in 1791.

According to the rules of the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants, researchers proposed a new name C. neoleucanthum Cai F. Zhang, G.W. Hu & Q.F. Wang for this Madagascar species, and a new combination, Cynanchum neoleucanthum subsp. elongatum (Liede) Cai F. Zhang, G.W. Hu & Q.F. Wang, for the subspecies.

The paper entitled “Cynanchum neoleucanthum (Apocynaceae), a replacement name for the later illegitimate homonym Cynanchum leucanthum (K. Schum.) K. Schum” has recently been published in the journal Phytotaxa.

This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Hubei Provincial Science and Technology Innovation Talent and Service Project, and the Sino-Africa Joint Research Center, CAS. Dr. ZHANG Caifei is the first author, and Prof. HU Guangwan is the corresponding author. (Published: 2023-05-17)

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