TYPE: FRENCH GUIANA. L. C. M. Richard s.n. (NEOTYPE, here designated: P). (Figs. 7, 8)
Nonatelia racemosa Aubl., Hist. pl. Guiane 1: 187, t. 72. 1775. Oribasia racemosa (Aubl.) J. F Gmel., Syst. Nat. 367. 1791. Psychotria racemosa (Aubl.) Raeusch., Nomen., ed. 3, 56. 1797. TYPE: FRENCH GUIANA. In sylvis Orapu, Aublet s.n. (HOLOTYPE: P).
Psychotria longistipula Benth., J. Bot. (Hooker) 3: 227. 1841. TYPE: BRAZIL. Amazonas: Rio Negro, Schomburgk 945 (HOLOTYPE: K-n.v.).
Aublet (1775) published Nonatelia racemosa, a very distinctive species with five or rarely four locules, each with a single ovule, in the ovary. Recent authors (Standley, 1931a, 1931b, 1931c, 1936; Steyermark, 1972, 1974; Dwyer, 1980; Burger & Taylor, 1993) have accepted it as a species of Psychotria, P. racemosa (Aublet) Raeuschel. Bremekamp (1934) is the only recent author to have maintained it as N. racemosa.
Psychotria racemosa is found in southern Central America, Trinidad, and South America. It is relatively abundant, and there are numerous collections of it. In fruit it is easy to identify because of its five pyrenes in each fruit. In flower or immature fruit it is usually misidentified or placed with the unknown Psychotria specimens.
Raeuschel (1797) is usually quoted as author of the combination P. racemosa. On page 56 of his Nomenclator botanicus, the combination is given as "Psychotria racemosa. Guiana," without mention of Aublet. The title and preface of his work indicate that it is a member of and continuation of the Linnean canons. It was preceded by the thirteenth edition of Linnaeus's Systema naturae, which was prepared by Johann Friedrich Gmelin (1788-1793). Gmelin validly transferred N. racemosa to Oribasia racemosa (Aublet) J. F Gmelin. Raeuschel did not accept Oribasia, and all the species in Gmelin's Oribasia are included in Raeuschel's
Psychotria. The order of Psychotria
species in Raeuschel corresponds to the order
of Psychotria species in Gmelin with
the addition of the intercalated Oribasia
species which are also in the same relative
order as they are in Gmelin's work. Therefore,
Gmelin's Oribasia species were transferred
en masse by Raeuschel to Psychotria,
and the transfers are validly published
by indirect reference back to Gmelin.
In 1792, Louis C. M. Richard published
a catalogue of Le Blond's collections from
French Guiana. The names in the catalogue were arranged according to the Linnean
system of classification, and all carefully
formatted. Generic names and specific epithets
were in roman type, with the former
in uppercase letters and the latter in lowercase,
followed by their respective authors names in italics. Generic and specific names
new to science were presented without indication
of author. New specific names
were presented with the generic name followed
by the new specific epithet in parentheses
and then a short diagnostic phrase in italics. The name P. racemosa was published on page 107 in the format for new specific names. Richard was obviously aware of Aublet's (1775) Histoire des plantes de la Guianefran!oise, because he correctly attributed to it many species, such as Sipanea pratensis Aubl. There is no reference, direct or indirect, in Richard's work connecting his P. racemosa to Aublet's N. racemosa, so Richard's P. racemosa was a new specific name based on a Le Blond collection. Therefore, Raeuschel's P. racemosa is a later homonym and invalid.
Le Blond's collections are now at G by way of the herbaria of E. P. Ventenat and subsequently B. Delessert (Stafleu & Cowan, 1983: 764; A. Charpin & L. Gautier, pers. comm., 1995). In September 1995, I searched G for a Le Blond collection of P. racemosa Rich., and so, subsequently, did L. Gautier (pers. comm., 1995). Neither of us was able to locate such a specimen. Following my visit to G, I also searched P, and could not find a Le Blond collection of P. racemosa Rich. there either.
At P there are two L. C. M. Richard collections of P. racemosa from French Guiana labeled "N. racemosa." To maintain nomenclatural stability and avoid the confusion of a different epithet for the species widely known as P. racemosa, I am here neotypifying P. racemosa Rich. on the L. C. M. Richard collection (Figs. 7, 8) at P that has mature fruits each with five pyrenes.