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Re: Kasselman Cover Plant
Neil Frank wrote:
"On the 1st German edition, it is Eusteralis stellata.
Neil Frank, who is not yet ready to call it Pogostemon stellata until I
see or someone sends me the new taxonomic reference :-)"
OK - several references, while not necessarily "specific" regarding
stellata, they do cover the generic names Eusteralis and Pogostemon:
"L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz (1992 onwards). The Families of Flowering
Plants: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information
Retrieval. Version: 14th December 2000. http://biodiversity.uno.edu/delta/"
In the section on the family Labiatae Juss.
(http://biodiversity.uno.edu/delta/angio/www/labiatae.htm) they give a
listing of the approximately 210 genera which are currently "accepted" (or
at least recognized by the authors) as belonging to the family. Eusteralis
is not listed while Pogostemon is. They note that numerous authors have
disagreed as to the circumspection of the family Labiatae, especially when
comparing it with the Verbenaceae and make note of a recent re-working by
Cantino et al. 1992.
The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew maintains a rather informal (and internal)
database which lists the genera contained within each flowering plant
family. This database was off line for a while but it appears to be
available once again. My correspondence with the folks at Kew indicate that
this is meant more for their internal use than as a definative authority,
and is undergoing revision, but they currently list Eusteralis Raf. as a
synonym of Pogostemon Desf. (with Pogostemon Desf. being the currently
accepted generic name)
Moving to the species "stellata", I found that in
The International Plant Names Index (a collaboration between RBG, Kew, The
Harvard University Herbarium and the Australian National Herbarium,
(http://www.ipni.org/) they DO give listings for Eusteralis stellata and
there isn't a citation under the genus Pogostemon for that species. But I
also note that theirs is merely a listing of what various workers have
called plants in published papers, and they make no claim that the name was
used (or publsihed) correctly.
James L. Reveal, Professor Emeritus of the Norton-Brown Herbarium, is a real
stickler for "procedure" in the naming of various plants and the use of
those names. While he is now retired, he maintains the Indices Nominum
Supragenericorum Plantarium Vascularium, which lists the names of plants
which have been validly published.
(http://www.inform.umd.edu/PBIO/fam/inspvindex.html) The latest update to
the online list is 07 January 2001 and nowhere is the genus Eusteralis
mentioned, although Pogostemon Desf. (1815) is listed as having been validly
It is quite possible that the reason Eusteralis is no longer considered the
"correct" generic name is purely procedural - i.e. the people who used the
name didn't follow the correct rules regarding how a scientific name is to
be "published" and therefor all species ascribed to that genus get shunted
into the "accepted" generic slot under a name which HAS been published
Be that as it may, such considerations are WAY beyond our interest here as
aquatic gardners (as well as being way beyond my competence to comment much
upon). I'm not claiming that we should use one or the other - merely that if
someone is looking for information regarding a plant known in the hobby as
Eusteralis, they should also probably look to see if they can find any
information under the name Pogostemon, since there is confusion/contention
as to which name is correct.