CHAPTER IX. Orthography and gender of names
SECTION 2. Gender
- A generic name retains the gender assigned by nomenclatural tradition, irrespective of classical usage or the author’s original usage. A generic name without a nomenclatural tradition retains the gender assigned by its author (but see Art. 62.4).
- Tradition for generic names usually maintains the classical gender of the corresponding Greek or Latin word, if such exists, but may differ.
- In accordance with tradition, Adonis L., Atriplex L., Diospyros L., Eucalyptus L’Hér., Hemerocallis L., Orchis L., Stachys L., and Strychnos L. must be treated as feminine while Lotus L. and Melilotus Mill. must be treated as masculine. Although their ending suggests masculine gender, Cedrus Trew and Fagus L., like most other classical tree names, were traditionally treated as feminine and thus retain that gender; similarly, Rhamnus L. is feminine, despite the fact that Linnaeus assigned it masculine gender. Erigeron L. (m), Phyteuma L. (n), and Sicyos L. (m) are other names for which tradition has reestablished the classical gender despite another choice by Linnaeus.
- Compound generic names take the gender of the last word in the nominative case in the compound. If the termination is altered, however, the gender is altered accordingly.
- Irrespective of the fact that the name Parasitaxus de Laub. (1972) was treated as masculine when published, its gender is feminine: it is a compound of which the last part coincides with the generic name Taxus L., which is feminine by tradition (Art. 62.1).
- Compound generic names in which the termination of the last word is altered: Dipterocarpus C. F. Gaertn., Stenocarpus R. Br., and all other compounds ending in the Greek masculine -carpos (or -carpus), e.g. Hymenocarpos Savi, are masculine; those in -carpa or -carpaea, however, are feminine, e.g. Callicarpa L. and Polycarpaea Lam.; and those in -carpon, -carpum, or -carpium are neuter, e.g. Polycarpon L., Ormocarpum P. Beauv., and Pisocarpium Link.
- Compounds ending in -botrys, -codon, -myces, -odon, -panax, -pogon, -stemon, and other masculine words, are masculine.
- Irrespective of the fact that the generic names Andropogon L. and Oplopanax (Torr. & A. Gray) Miq. were originally treated as neuter by their authors, they are masculine.
- Compounds ending in -achne, -chlamys, -daphne, -glochin, -mecon, -osma (the modern transcription of the feminine Greek word οσμή, osmē), and other feminine words, are feminine. An exception is made in the case of names ending in -gaster, which strictly speaking ought to be feminine but are treated as masculine in accordance with tradition.
- Irrespective of the fact that Tetraglochin Poepp., Triglochin L., Dendromecon Benth., and Hesperomecon Greene were originally treated as neuter, they are feminine.
- Compounds ending in -ceras, -dendron, -nema, -stigma, -stoma, and other neuter words, are neuter. An exception is made for names ending in -anthos (or -anthus), -chilos (-chilus or -cheilos), and -phykos (-phycos or -phycus), which ought to be neuter, since that is the gender of the Greek words άνθος, anthos, χείλος, cheilos, and φύκος, phykos, but are treated as masculine in accordance with tradition.
- Arbitrarily formed generic names or vernacular names or adjectives used as generic names, of which the gender is not apparent, take the gender assigned to them by their authors. If the original author failed to indicate the gender, the next subsequent author may choose a gender, and that choice, if effectively published (Art. 29–31), is to be accepted (see also Rec. 42A.2).
- Taonabo Aubl. (1775) is feminine because Aublet’s two species were T. dentata and T. punctata.
- Agati Adans. (1763) was published without indication of gender; feminine gender was assigned to it by Desvaux (in J. Bot. Agric. 1: 120. 1813), who was the first subsequent author to adopt the name in an effectively published text, and his choice is to be accepted.
- The original gender of Manihot Mill. (1754), as apparent from some of the species polynomials, was feminine, and Manihot is therefore to be treated as feminine.
- Generic names ending in -anthes, -oides, or -odes are treated as feminine and those ending in -ites as masculine, irrespective of the gender assigned to them by the original author.
- Art. 14.11 provides for the conservation of a particular gender of a generic name.
- When a genus is divided into two or more genera, the gender of the new generic name or names should be that of the generic name that is retained (see also Rec. 20A.1(i) and 60B).