Letter | Published:

The Names of Fossil Plants

Nature volume 88, page 484 (08 February 1912) | Download Citation



EVERY botanist musixagree with Dr. Marie Stopes that there should be some ready way to distinguish between the fossil plants which are referred with reasonable assurance to their genera, and those which are merely placed in genera which they seem to resemble, but to which they very probably do not belong. We must also agree that it is unsatisfactory to call every doubtful leaf “Phyllites”, without any serious attempt to indicate its affinities. The use of Gothic type, suggested by Dr. Stopes for the doubtful genera, has some disadvantages, one of them being the inconvenience to the printer. Would it not be simpler to use quotation marks, in the case cited by Dr. Stopes writing Ophioglossum granulatum? The generic name only should be enclosed within commas, as it alone is supposed to be in doubt. The method proposed has the advantage of being already more or less current, and readily understood by any reader.

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  1. University of Colorado, Boulder.

    • T. D. A. COCKERELL


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