P R E F A C E
 
 

The ‘Leningrad Code’ shows only relatively small differences with respect to
its predecessor, the ‘Seattle Code’. The general tendency of refinement and
bringing about minor corrections rather than sweeping reforms to which the
first of us referred in the preface to the Seattle Code, has continued. Even so
there are still quite a few amendments or additions in detail, not in the least of
course in the appendices.

The issue of stabilization was as always an important issue at Leningrad. The
nomina specifica conservanda proposal – a steadily recurring item provoking
lengthy discussion – again did not make it, although the gap between ‘no’ and
‘yes’ narrows and a tie or even an ultimate yes is perhaps in sight. A smaller de-
gree of stabilization was built into the Code by allowing nomina specifica re-
jicienda in some rather special cases. The ‘old faithfuls’, Articles 69, 70 and 71,
were discussed again and either cancelled or heavily reformed.

For a detailed bibliography of past editions of this Code, 1867–1966, see pp.
394–397 of the 1972 edition, the ‘Seattle Code’ (Regnum Vegetabile Vol. 82);
that information is not repeated in this edition.

For a key to the numbering of the Articles and Recommendations, comparing
in parallel columns the numbering employed in the previous five editions [Stock-
holm (1952) through Seattle (1972)], see pp. 398–402 of the 1972 edition. Al-
though there are some errors and omissions, the lists on those pages will be
useful for historical purposes. The numbering of the present edition is essen-
tially that of the previous one. Major changes in this edition are as follows:

a) Individual paragraphs of all Articles and Recommendations are numbered in
a decimal-like system, for easier reference. In the process of doing this, the Edi-
torial Committee divided some paragraphs, combined others, changed some
Notes to paragraphs and vice versa, and rearranged the sequence of some para-
graphs in a more logical way. Examples were moved when necessary to posi-
tions following the exact paragraphs to which they pertain.

b) The concept of organ-genera is eliminated for fossil plants. (See Art. 3.)

c) The principle of automatic typification is extended to those names of taxa
above the rank of family that are ultimately based on generic names; applica-
tion of the principle of priority is recommended when selecting among names
thus typified. (See Art. 16, Rec. 16A, and new Rec. 16B.)

d) The Code makes clear that it does not apply to names of organisms treated
as bacteria, but that it does apply to all other organisms treated as plants
(without making the taxonomic judgment that all plants belong in a single king-
dom). (See Preamble 7, Principle I, Art. 45.4, and Art. 65.)

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e) A new name or combination published before 1953 without indication of
rank is considered validly published but inoperative in questions of priority
except for homonymy and for certain names to be accepted at the rank of va-
riety. (See Art. 35.)

f) Art. 69 is modified on the basis of the type method and provides that a list of
names rejected under it be maintained. Arts. 70 and 71 are deleted entirely.

g) A thorough rewriting of the section on orthography is presented. (See Art. 73,
Rec. 73C, Rec. 73G, and Art. 75.)

The procedure adopted in the preparation of this edition of the Code followed
the well established lines accepted ever since the 1950 Stockholm Congress.
Actually the Leningrad Congress coincided with the twenty-fifth anniversary of
the new style ‘Code’ as successor to the old rules. The text is based upon the
decisions reached by the Nomenclature Section of the Twelfth International
Botanical Congress held in Leningrad from 3 July to 10 July 1975. The Nomen-
clature Section met in nine sessions on 30 June and 1–4 July; its decisions were
adopted officially by a plenary session of the Congress on 10 July 1975. The pro-
posals had been published in Taxon and were presented to the Congress in the
form of a Synopsis of Proposals which this time was a reprint from Taxon 24:
201–254. 1975. The full report of the proceedings and decisions is in the press
at Leningrad in the care of the Organizing Committee. A preliminary survey of
the decisions will be found in Taxon 25: 169–174. 1976. All participants, pro-
posers and members of nomenclature committees and panels are greatly in-
debted to the U.S.S.R. National Committee for the Congress, as well as to the
Komarov Botanical Institute, the City of Leningrad and the Academy of Sci-
ences of the Soviet Union for effective and important material support as well as
for providing the workers on nomenclature with an exquisite setting, gracious
hospitality and an engaging ambiance in the House of the Scientists on the banks
of the beautiful Neva river.

The Nomencalture Section decided to continue the publication of the official
version of the Code in the English, French and German languages. These three
texts are all official, but, should there be any inconsistency between the versions,
it is agreed to regard the English wording arbitrarily as correct. The English
text has been drawn up and agreed upon by all members of the Editorial Com-
mittee, the English-speaking members having the ultimate decision in matters
of grammar or idiom. A new and – we hope – improved index has been a coop-
erative effort by several members of the Editorial committee.

The Editorial Committee met at Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A., at the kind in-
vitation of the University of Michigan, in November 1976. The home institu-
tions of the members of the Editorial Committee provided financial support
towards covering the expenses. A full meeting remains as necessary as ever in
order to reach agreement on the many questions (of substance as well as of de-
tail) delegated to the Editorial Committee by the Nomenclature Section. The
Committee is deeply grateful for the confidence shown by the Section in leaving
numerous questions to its discretion for final decision. The Editorial Committee

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never, of course, intends to alter the substance of proposals accepted by the
Congress; however, it is sometimes necessary to resolve apparent conflicts or
contradictions, as well as to reduce ambiguity and to clarify wording.

The French and German texts have been prepared by a subcommittee consisting
of Vincent Demoulin, Werner Greuter, Paul Hiepko and the Rapporteur-géné-
ral. The group benefited from the written advice given by Roger de Vilmorin,
doyen of French language botanical nomenclature; a friend whose unavoidable
absence from both Leningrad and Geneva was deeply regretted by his friends of
the Editorial Committee. The group met at the Conservatoire Botanique de la
Ville de Genève at the kind invitation of its director, Prof. Jacques Miège, in
June 1977. The final responsibility for the French text rested with Vincent De-
moulin, that for the German text with Paul Hiepko.

Thanks are due to many persons. The publication of the Code is a team ef-
fort. Foremost in this team are the members of the Editorial Committee. The
composition of this Committee is different from that after Seattle. A new gener-
ation of members presented itself in Ann Arbor: Demoulin, Greuter and Hiep-
ko. Greuter was added after the Congress to replace Edmond Bonner whose
premature death, a year after ‘Leningrad’, was a severe blow to botanical no-
menclature as well as to his colleagues and friends. George Schulze and Roger
de Vilmorin were not in a position to continue their valuable work for the com-
mittee and as a result of this change of membership the ‘middle generation’ of
members suddenly realized that maybe the term ‘middle’ is no longer so approp-
riate. The group in its present form, however, works with the same spirit as its
predecessors, characterized by friendliness as well as strenuous personal input
and we thank our colleagues for their considerable effort and dedication to our
common task. We try to maintain our course of striving for precision and clarity
in interpreting the decisions of the Congress and the intentions of the taxonomic
community.

It is obviously not possible to mention by name all those who have made a con-
tribution to this Code. The botanists – nearly a hundred – serving on the no-
menclature committees have often had to work hard and long to deal with the
proposals for conservation. This work behind the scenes is very important and
should be acknowledged with great gratitude. Relatively small and modest-
looking amendments in the list of nomina conservanda are often the result of
considerable dedication and laborious bibliographic research. Many of the sys-
tematists performing this unobtrusive but important nomenclatural work find
it difficult to combine this labour of love with their day-to-day duties. Without
their efforts, however, we would never be able to deal with the continuous stream
of questions and proposals which is a by-product of ongoing taxonomic work.
Nomenclature serves taxonomy, and we are fortunate to have a large group of
dedicated taxonomists willing to assist their colleagues through this time-con-
suming work.

Many botanists have called our attention to minor bibliographic errors and in-
consistencies in previous Codes; we have tried to make necessary corrections,

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but in a document which grows from year to year it is nearly impossible to at-
tain perfect consistency. Users will note that the Guide to the citation of Botani-
cal Literature is omitted from this edition. In the Code itself we have begun the
process of standardizing citations of serials according to ‘B-P-H’ [Botanico-
Periodicum-Huntianum (Hunt Botanical Library, 1968)] and of other works
according to ‘TL-2’ [Taxonomic Literature, ed. 2 – of which only Vol. 1 (A-G)
is thus far published (Regnum Vegetabile vol. 94, 1976)]. Standardization of
citations in the Code will continue.

In closing, a few words on the precise status of this International Code of Botani-
cal Nomenclature
. For a full description of the international organization of bo-
tanical nomenclature we can refer to the account in McVaugh, Ross and Stafleu,
An annotated glossary of botanical nomencalture (Regnum vegetabile vol 56,
pp. 28–30. 1968). The final authority under which this Code is published is the
International Botanical Congress. The Nomenclature Section of these Congresses
discusses proposals for amendment of the Code and appoints the members of
the various nomenclature committees. The decisions taken by the Section are
submitted for ratification to the final plenary session of the Congress. In be-
tween these Congresses work is carried out by the various committees (listed in
Division III of the Code) under the auspices of the International Association for
Plant Taxonomy
(IAPT) which is itself a section of the International Union of
Biological Sciences
(IUBS). All nomenclature committees together constitute
the International Commission on Botanical Nomenclature of IUBS.

More than ever before our organization has had to stand on its own feet. The
support of international organizations other than IAPT is dwindling but our own
resources are apparently sufficient to continue our activities. It is a good sign
that also in this respect botanical nomencalture has come of age.
 

February 1978
 
FRANS A. STAFLEU
EDWARD G. VOSS

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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