The identity of Simira tinctoria Aubl.
Acta botanica neerlandica , Volume 3 - Issue 1 p. 150- 153
Aublet described and figured in his “Histoire des Plantes de la Guiane Francoise” (Vol. I p. 170-172 and Vol. Ill t. 65, 1775) under the name Simira tinctoria a tree belonging to the family Rubiaceae which until very recently was represented in the herbaria solely by specimens that he himself had collected. One of these specimens is preserved in the herbarium of the British Museum (Natural History) and another one in the “Herbier Denaiffe” (cf. Lanjouw, J. and H. Uittien in Rec. d. trav. bot. Need. 37, 357, 1940), which was recently acquired by the Museum d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris. Aublet’s new genera were viewed in his own time and even long afterwards with considerable distrust, and when we see that their separation from older and already well-known allies is but rarely justified by the contents of his diagnoses, this attitude becomes comprehensible. However, when we take the trouble to examine the material on which his new genera were founded, we are often forced to admit that his intuition had shown him the right way. This applies e.g. to the genera that were separated by him from Psychotria L, viz. Ronabea, Tapogomea, Carapichea, Palicourea, Mapouria and Nonatelia. The taxonomists of Aublet’s own time and those of the immediately following period reduced all these genera to Psychotria, but these authors based their opinion almost exclusively on Aublet’s insufficiently explicit descriptions. In a later period, when the plants on which Aublet had founded his genera, were more thoroughly studied, it was gradually recognized that their reduction to Psychotria was not justified.
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