Honoring Sabin Berthelot: Nomenclature and botanical history of Berthelotia DC. (Asteraceae, Inuleae)
From Firenze University Press Journal: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Geography (Webbia)
Andre A. Naranjo, Institute of Environment, Department of Biological Sciences, Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, Cuban Research Institute, Florida International University, University Park,
Rahul R. Pathirickal, Centre for Medicinal Plants Research, Malappuram
Kanchi N. Gandhi, Harvard University Herbaria,
Piero G. Delprete, AMAP Lab, IRD, CNRS, CIRAD, INRA, Université de Montpellier
Riccardo M. Baldini, Dipartimento di Biologia, Centro Studi Erbario Tropicale (herbarium FT), University of Florence
Arnoldo Santos-Guerra, Calle Guaidil 16, Tenerife
Lázaro Sánchez-Pinto, Museo de la Naturaleza y Arqueología, Canary Islands
Javier Francisco-Ortega, Institute of Environment, Department of Biological Sciences, Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, Cuban Research Institute, Florida International University
The botanical history of the Canary Islands has been highly influenced by the British botanist Philip B. Webb (1793–1854) and the French naturalist Sabin Berthelot (1794–1880). They were the editors and main authors of the Histoire Naturelle des Îles Canaries (t here-after “Histoire Naturelle”), a multivolume work published between 1835 and 1850, that includes the Phytographia Canariensis (thereafter “Phytographia”), the most impor-tant single work ever published on plant taxonomic diversity of the Canaries (Webb and Berthelot 1835–1850).
The journal Webbia honors Webb in recognition for establishing in his will that his extensive herbarium, botanical documents, and personal house located in Par-is were to be bequeathed to the Grand Duke of Tuscany Leopold II of Lorraine (1797–1870). After the demise of Webb, his house in Paris was sold to establish an endow-ment for the curation of the archives and herbarium col-lection that he donated to Tuscany. Currently, Webb’s specimens are a central part of the FI herbarium of the Sezione Botanica “F. Parlatore” of the Natural History Museum of the University of Florence, constituting the Herbarium Webbianum. His entire library and archives are kept in the Bibliotecadi Scienze — Fondi di Botanica and Fondi Archivistici, also atthe University of Florence. In a recent work published in the journal Webbia, a botanical history and nomenclature study was presented, including a discussion of the description of the genus Webbia by three different botanists who published this name independently, referring to three taxa belonging to different families (Asteraceae, Hypericaceae) or tribes within Asteraceae (Astereae and Vernonieae).
Francisco-Ortega et al. (2022) recognized the legacy of this out-standing British botanist, and the research that we are presenting in this issue of Webbia is in many aspects a follow up of the work that we previously published on the genus Webbia, as it provides nomenclature and his-torical insights into Berthelotia DC. (Asteraceae, Inu-leae), a genus that the Swiss botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle (1778–1841) dedicated to Sabin Berthelot encompassing two species, B. lanceolata DC. and B. sericea (Nutt.) Rydb. There have been a few extensive studies pertinent to the life of Sabin Berthelot (e.g., Zerolo 1881; Drouin 2007; Instituto de Estudios Canarios 1980; Santos-Guerra 2016; Le Brun 2016, 2020), and he also wrote autobiographical accounts (1838–1840, 1980) that help to reconstruct the most relevant aspects of his life. Therefore, a full biog raphy regarding his achievements and challenges are outside the scope of this contribution. However, information pertaining to his botanical contributions should be reviewed in order to fully understand why one of the most important plant taxonomists of the 19th century, Augustin P. de Candolle, described the genus Berthelotia to honor him. An overview of Berthelot’s biography and botanical work is therefore presented below.
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