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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section

Freire-Fierro, Alina [1], Landale, Alicia [2].

North American Polygala (Polygalaceae) and Nuttall: A nomenclatural tale.

The original goal for this REU-Summer 2008 project was to verify the type status of approximately 100 Polygala types deposited at the PH Herbarium. The PH herbarium at the Academy of Natural Sciences (Philadelphia, PA) is the oldest on the American Continent. It holds a considerable number of very early botanical collections, many of them types. This, combined with the fact that there is a scarce current published taxonomic literature on North American Polygalaceae motivated us to initiate this project.
Due to time constraints, we focused our work on ten species of Polygala, eight of them described by British botanist Thomas Nuttall in his publication "The Genera of North American Plants" (1813). The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia was his home institution while he worked on this publication and thus there is a high probability that his type specimens are deposited at PH.
Study of herbarium sheets and/or their digital images deposited at PH and other herbaria (A, B, BM, CGE, CM, COLO, DS, E, F, GH, K, L, MANCH, MICH, MIN, MO, NMC, NY, P, POM, PRC, RM, TEX, UC, US, VT, YU) together with the literature/archival information deposited at the Academy's Ewell Sale Stewart Library and/or in online databases (e.g. TL-2, Botanicus, Tropicos, IPNI) allowed us to lectotypify the specimens of Polygala acanthoclada A. Gray, P. alba Nutt., P. ambigua Nutt., P. attenuata Nutt., P. balduinii Nutt., P. brevifolia Nutt., P. pubescens Nutt., and P. watsonii Chodat deposited at GH, NY, and PH.
We provide recommendations for involving non-expert students in similar projects about taxa that have not been studied yet due, in many cases, to the decline of the number of taxonomic experts in botany.

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1 - Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Botany Department, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA, 19103, USA
2 - High Point University, 833 Montlieu Avenue, High Point, NC, 27262, USA

PH Herbarium

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Session: 3
Location: Maybird/Cliff Lodge - Level C
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2009
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: 3001
Abstract ID:743