Monographs Details: Simira
Authority: Maguire, Bassett. 1972. The botany of the Guayana Highland--part IX. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 23: 1-832.
Scientific Name:Simira

Sickingia Willd., Ges. Naturf. Fr. Neue Schr. 3: 445. 1801.

Arariba Mart., Sitzb. Akad. Muench. 323. 1860.

Type. Simira tinctoria Aubl.

Bremekamp has shown that the genus Simira Aublet is congeneric with Sickingia Willd. [Acta Bot. Neerl. 3(1): 150-153. 1954] and has transferred Sickingia erythroxylon and S. longifolia to Simira accordingly. Sandwith [Kew Bull. 17(2): 258. 1963] corroborated Bremekamp’s views and likewise has stated that Aublet’s generic name takes precedence over Sickingia. In reviewing the genus, I have had the opportunity, thanks to the authorities of the British Museum, of examining the type specimen of Simira tinctoria Aublet, and find myself in complete agreement with the conclusions reached by Bremekamp and Sandwith.

Since the wood of this genus is of no economic importance, it seems clear that the rules of priority should be adhered to in this case, and that there is no good reason to conserve Sickingia in view of the fact that Simira was properly published and is documented by a type specimen. Most other generic names of Aublet have been accepted on the basis of priority and specimens available, and the present case of Simira is an additional instance of nomenclatural change following the normal sequence of correcting the work of previous authors who had misidentified Simira with Psychotria. The scholarly work of Bremekamp in discovering the identity of Simira should be viewed by taxonomists as the normal course of serious study undertaken by specialists, who in the final analysis are the best qualified to make necessary nomenclatural changes. These changes, however they may temporarily tend to alter presently accepted names, eventually bring about stability to the extent to having corrected a previously mistaken choice of names, thereby making it unnecessary to make future changes when others may eventually perceive the mistakes we passed over because of an inclination to the conservation of names. Believing, therefore, in the philosophy that we must follow a code of nomenclature and not make unnecessary exceptions of trying to conserve every other name for fear of temporary instability of nomenclature, based upon personal feelings and sentiment rather than scientific judgment, I am replacing the species previously published under Sickingia by the earlier validly published Simira.