Using the database

Things to note when using the database.

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Where a Flora Zeylanica number is indicated, but no specimen image is provided, this means that the name was cited by Linnaeus in his Flora Zeylanica but that no specimen has been traced in the Hermann herbarium.

No Flora Zeylanica number

Some specimens are not annotated with a Flora Zeylanica number and cannot therefore be correlated with that work. Generally speaking these cannot be correlated with a Linnaean name either although many do carry determinations and these have therefore been indicated where relevant.

  • While many of the specimens carry one or more determinations, others do not. These determinations are for guidance only and no attempt has been made to verify them.
  • Some are anonymous, often lacking an authority for the name, and these are presented here in the form in which they appear in the herbarium, even where the (apparently) correct authority appears with a second determination. Occasionally, this can result in different authorities being given for the same name.
Trimmen's determinations
  • Trimen's determinations have been entered as they appear in his account of the collection (Trimen, 1887), but the authorities he gives do not distinguish between new species and new combinations (as was common at that time).
  • Where his names clearly have a Linnaean basionym, the authority has been modified to indicate this.
  • Trimen generally gives a determination to a specific Flora Zeylanica number, without distinguishing between the sometimes numerous specimens and illustrations associated with it. Consequently, such determinations are recorded for all such specimens and illustrations in the collection unless expressly stated otherwise by Trimen.
Zeylanica and Linnaeus
  • The names given by Linnaeus in his Flora Zeylanica are either polynomial diagnoses, or sometimes putative generic names, and have no formal nomenclatural standing as they were published prior to the Starting Point (i.e. 1753) for the nomenclature of the plant groups represented here.
  • Consequently the Flora Zeylanica names are here correlated with those valid Linnaean binomials under which they subsequently appeared as synonyms.
  • Not all names appearing in Flora Zeylanica were later accounted for by Linnaeus. Where relevant, additional comments are provided on some of these.
Linnaean binomials
  • Where bibliographically-correlated Linnaean binomials are indicated, a current binomial, with its family placement, is also provided.
  • However, these current names apply to usage of the Linnaean binomial and may not necessarily reflect the correct identity of the specimen or illustration, as Linnaeus often had very broad species concepts.
  • However, where a Hermann specimen is the designated lectotype for its associated Linnaean binomial, the current name will necessarily reflect the specimen's identity.
Linnaean types
  • Information on current usage of Linnaean names and the status of Hermann specimens as types of Linnaean names has been provided by the Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project [LINK].
  • In some cases determinavit slips indicate the type status of a particular specimen. In all cases, however, the database should be consulted for verification of this.
  • Additionally where an author designating a type makes no distinction between specimens bearing the same Flora Zeylanica number mounted on the same page, these have been treated as a single gathering, i.e. in the same way as a herbarium sheet with more than one specimen mounted upon it.
  • In some cases, the new Art. 9.15 (concerning two-stage typification) may apply but as not all names have yet been scrutinised for compliance with this, some discrepancies may exist. However, it should be noted that label type designations have no standing unless validly and effectively published (Art. 7.10).
Other collections
  • There are two other smaller collections of Sri Lankan material collected by Hermann in existence, one in the Rijksherbarium, Leiden, and the other at the University of Erfurt in Germany.
  • Detailed catalogues have been published, and correlated with the Flora Zeylanica account, for both of these collections (by van Ooststroom, 1937 and Rauschert, 1970 respectively).
  • Where such collections appear to represent duplicates of the specimens held at the Museum, this is indicated with the relevant volume and page for the Leiden sheets, and with the relevant page for those at Erfurt.