Historical Records of Australian Science Historical Records of Australian Science Society
The history of science, pure and applied, in Australia, New Zealand and the southwest Pacific

‘These Princely Plants’: Ferdinand Mueller and the Naming of Australasian Palms

John Leslie Dowe and Sara Maroske

Historical Records of Australian Science 27(1) 13 - 27
Published: 16 May 2016


Ferdinand Mueller named 19 new palm taxa (Arecaceae; nom. cons.: Palmae) between 1865 and 1892. Extolling the ‘princely' character of palms, Mueller named nine taxa for British royalty and nobility; six for botanists and scientists, most of whom had made contributions to palm taxonomy; two for government officials, both of whom were in government at the time that the taxa were described; and two for the physical character of the taxa. This paper examines the eponyms used by Mueller for his new palm taxa, and discusses potential reward and support through eponymous dedication.

Additional keywords: Arecaceae, awards and honours, botany, eponyms, Ferdinand Mueller, palms, Palmae, royalty and nobility, systematics, taxonomy.


© Australian Academy of Science 2016

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