Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Alsophila moorei

Walter Oates uses the botanical species Alsophila moorei, for a Tree Fern at Monserrate in 1929. This is a problematic name. The genus Alsophila was originally applied to a genus of tree ferns that is now considered synonymous with Cyathea. The problem with this name arises with the epiphet moorei that has used by several authors for closely related plants. Smith's Alsophila Moorei (a poorly identified plant) was not the same as Baker's Cyathea Moorei (which to make matters worse seems to have been used by this botanist twice!)

However the fact remains that this name was current among English horticulturists in the early twentieth century. The Royal Horticultural Dictionary 1951 (First Edition) reflects this situation. Alsophila moorei is given as a synonym for Alsophila Leichhardtiana. A. Macarthuri is also acknowledged as a synonym for the same plant. Nowdays Cyathea leichhardtiana and Cyathea macarthuri are considered two distinct species. An illustration is cited J.H. 53 (1875) 495. Date of introduction is given as 1875.

On balance it seems that Walter Oates's plant was Cyathea leichhardtiana

Cyathea moorei (Baker) F.Muell. [ nom. illeg. ]
Mueller, F.J.H. von (1882), Systematic Census of Australian Plants: 137 [comb. nov.]Green, P.S. in Wilson, A.J.G. (Ed) (1994), Flora of Australia 49: 581, Fig. 103H-K
synonym of: Cyathea howeana Domin
Cyathea moorei Baker
Baker, J.G. in Hooker, W.J. & Baker, J.G. (1874), Synopsis Filicum: 453 [tax. nov.]Green, P.S. in Wilson, A.J.G. (Ed) (1994), Flora of Australia 49: 581, Fig. 103E-G
synonym of: Cyathea macarthurii (F.Muell.) Baker CHAH (2006), Australian Plant Census
synonym of: Cyathea macarthurii (F.Muell.) Baker
Australian Plant Name Index APNI

There is also
Alsophila Moorei J.Sm
J.Sm. Publicação: Br dos Ferns. e para. 245. 1866 1866
But this plant's identity cannot be established due to poor type material.

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) gives the following listing for synonymy of Cyathea species:

Cyathea leichhardtiana (F.Muell.) Copel.
Cyathea leichardtiana Copel., orth. var.
Cyathea leichhardtiana (F.Muell.) Copel. var. leichhardtiana
Alsophila leichhardtiana F.Muell.
Alsophila leichhardtii F.Muell. ex F.M.Bailey, orth. var.
Alsophila leichhardtiana F.Muell. var. leichhardtiana
Hemitelia australis C.Presl
Amphicosmia australis (C.Presl) T.Moore
Sphaeropteris australis (C.Presl) R.M.Tryon
Cyathea australiensis Domin
Alsophila moorei J.Sm.
Alsophila macarthurii Hook.

Cyathea macarthurii (F.Muell.) Baker
Hemitelia macarthurii F.Muell.
Hemitelia macarthuri F.Muell., orth. var.
Alsophila ferdinandii R.M.Tryon
Cyathea moorei Baker
Cyathea dealbata auct. non (G.Forst.) Sw.: W.J.Hooker & J.G. Baker, Syn. Fil. 26 (1865), p.p.; H.H.Allan, Fl. New Zealand 1: 40 (1961), p.p.

No comments: