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Published: 2023-10-04
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A review and analysis of the use of epithets in infrageneric, species, and infraspecific names in Kalanchoe (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae): trends in the plant naming game

Ria Olivier Herbarium; Department of Botany; Nelson Mandela University; P.O. Box 77000; Gqeberha; 6031
Ria Olivier Herbarium; Department of Botany; Nelson Mandela University; P.O. Box 77000; Gqeberha; 6031
Eudicots ethics toponyms morphology


Given recent wide-ranging international debates in the scientific press and on social media platforms on, especially, aspects of the ethics of historically published and currently used biological nomenclature, an analysis is presented of trends in the use of epithets in the scientific names of Kalanchoe taxa (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae). Kalanchoe, in which about 200 taxa are recognised at various taxonomic ranks, has a wide natural geographical distribution range in Madagascar and on some Indian Ocean Islands, in southern, eastern, and northern Africa, and in the Near, Middle, and Far East. A comprehensive database of epithets published at infrageneric, species, and infraspecific ranks in Kalanchoe over a period of 270 years—1753 to the present—was compiled and analysed to establish tendencies in the selection of epithets. The 370 epithets published to date were classified under: (1) plant characteristics; (2) the celebration of people (eponyms); (3) place names (toponyms); and (4) ‘other’ (habitat features, an ethnic group, etc.). Names derived from plant characteristics are the most commonly used in the naming of kalanchoes. However, since the early 1900s and continuing to the present, naming taxa after people is the preferred option. Lists of gender-based eponymic, toponymic, and ‘other’ epithets, with their derivations, used in the validly published names of kalanchoes are provided. We point out that one epithet used in the genus is contentious. We briefly reflect on the derivation of the genus name Kalanchoe.



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  135. Smith, G.F. (2021) Reinstatement of Kalanchoe [subg. Bryophyllum] sect. Alatae (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae) for K. porphyrocalyx and K. uniflora, two Malagasy endemics. Bradleya 39: 177–181.
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  140. Smith, G.F. (2022e) Of paddles, soup plates, and clubs: the taxonomy of the southern and south-tropical African Kalanchoe sect. Raveta (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae; Kalanchoe subg. Kalanchoe) and its constituent species. Phytotaxa 568 (1): 8–26.
  141. Smith, G.F. (2022f) Notes on Kalanchoe subg. Bryophyllum (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae) and the kalanchoes of Sijfert H. Koorders (1919). Phytotaxa 549 (1): 87–96.
  142. Smith, G.F. (2022g) Identity of Kalanchoe ‘Fang’ and K. ‘Rose Leaf’, two cultivars derived from K. ×edwardii (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae), with notes on aspects of interspecific hybridisation in the genus. Bradleya 40: 151–160.
  143. Smith, G.F. (2022h) Kalanchoe ×verdoorniae [K. luciae × K. winteri] (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae), a new, large-growing nothospecies from South Africa. Phytotaxa 568 (1): 72–82.
  144. Smith, G.F. (2022i) The taxonomy and nomenclature of Kalanchoe ×vadensis [K. blossfeldiana × K. marmorata var. somaliensis] (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae), an early nothospecies produced in The Netherlands in the 1950s. Phytotaxa 561 (2): 199–209.
  145. Smith, G.F. (2023a) The ‘woody clade’ in Kalanchoe: reinstatement and amendment of K. subg. Calophygia (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae) published by Bernard Marie Descoings in 2006. Phytotaxa 616 (2): 113–127.
  146. Smith, G.F. (2023b) A reassessment of combinations previously proposed or published for Kalanchoe subg. Alatae (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae) and its valid publication at the rank of subgenus. Phytotaxa 585 (1): 61–66.
  147. Smith, G.F. (2023c) Reinstatement of Kalanchoe stearnii (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae; K. subg. Kalanchoe), a small-growing, rotundifolioid species, likely from southern Africa. Phytotaxa 613 (1): 47–54.
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  150. Smith, G.F. & Figueiredo, E. (2020) The nomenclature and taxonomy of Kalanchoe nyikae (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae), a little-known species from East Africa. Phytotaxa 454 (2): 153–158.
  151. Smith, G.F. & Figueiredo, E. (2021) (126) Proposal to add a new Article 61.6 to permanently and retroactively eliminate epithets with the root “caf[e]r- ”or “caff[e]r-” from the nomenclature of algae, fungi, and plants. Taxon 70 (6): 1395–1396.
  152. Smith, G.F. & Figueiredo, E. (2022a) ‘Rhodes-’ must fall: some of the consequences of colonialism for botany and plant nomenclature. Taxon 71 (1): 1–5.
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  154. Smith, G.F. & Figueiredo, E. (2022c) Lectotypification of the name Kalanchoe wildii (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae). Phytotaxa 538 (2): 157–162.
  155. Smith, G.F. & Figueiredo, E. (2022d) Nomenclatural and taxonomic notes on the names published in Kalanchoe (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae) by Drake del Castillo in 1903. Phytotaxa 547 (2): 158–166.
  156. Smith, G.F. & Figueiredo, E. (2022e) Kalanchoe ×sogae (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae) derived from Kalanchoe lateritia × K. sexangularis, with notes on the inheritance of hairiness and resistance against phytophagous insects in Kalanchoe hybrids. Phytotaxa 572 (1): 97–106.
  157. Smith, G.F. & Figueiredo, E. (2023a) Kalanchoe daigremontiana. Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae. Flowering Plants of Africa 68: 56–68, plate 2386.
  158. Smith, G.F. & Figueiredo, E. (2023b) Kalanchoe orgyalis. Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae. Flowering Plants of Africa 68: 92–105, plate 2389.
  159. Smith, G.F. & Figueiredo, E. (2023c) Kalanchoe krigeae (K. subg. Kalanchoe; Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae), a new, small-growing species from northeastern South Africa split off from K. rotundifolia. Phytotaxa 603 (3): 280–288.
  160. Smith, G.F., Figueiredo, E., Loureiro, J. & Crouch, N.R. (2019b) Kalanchoe ×gunniae Gideon F.Sm & Figueiredo (Crassulaceae), a new South African nothospecies derived from Kalanchoe paniculata Harv. × Kalanchoe sexangularis N.E.Br. Bradleya 37: 141–150.
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  162. Smith, G.F., Figueiredo, E. & Walker, C.C. (2021b) Kalanchoe beharensis. Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae. Madagascar. Flowering Plants of Africa 67: 50–59, plate 2365.
  163. Smith, G.F. & Hankey, A. (2021) Kalanchoe ×forbesiae (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae) derived from K. lubangensis × K. sexangularis: towards improved horticultural material. Phytotaxa 528 (5): 290–300.
  164. Smith, G.F. & Molteno, S. (2019) Aloestrela Molteno & Gideon F.Sm. (Asphodelaceae: Alooideae), a new alooid genus with A. suzannae (Decary) Molteno & Gideon F.Sm. as the only species. Bradleya 37: 3–7.
  165. Smith, G.F. & Monro, A.M. (2022a) The nomenclature and taxonomy of Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae resolved. Phytotaxa 555 (3): 241–251.
  166. Smith, G.F. & Monro, A.M. (2022b) (2908) Proposal to reject the name Crassulaceae subfam. Cotyledonoideae (Crassulaceae). Taxon 71 (4): 910–911.
  167. Smith, G.F., Parihar, B. & Almeida, A.M.R. (2023) A review of growth form and plant duration (life cycle) in Kalanchoe (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae) in an evolutionary and classificatory framework. Phytotaxa 592 (3): 217–254.
  168. Smith, G.F. & Shtein, R. (2020) Kalanchoe ×edwardii (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae), a nothospecies derived from K. beharensis and K. tomentosa. Phytotaxa 475 (2): 117–124.
  169. Smith, G.F. & Shtein, R. (2021a) A review of horticulturally desirable characters in Kalanchoe (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae): variable and deviating vegetative and reproductive morphologies useful in breeding programmes. Haseltonia 28: 106–119.
  170. Smith, G.F. & Shtein, R. (2021b) Typification and homotypic synonymy of the names published in Kalanchoe (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae) by Raymond-Hamet and Henri Perrier de la Bâthie in the 1910s and in 1948. Phytotaxa 520 (1): 40–56.
  171. Smith, G.F. & Shtein, R. (2021c) The identity of Kalanchoe stearnii (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae). Phytotaxa 478 (2): 295–300.
  172. Smith, G.F. & Shtein, R. (2021d) Typification of the name Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae). Phytotaxa 494 (2): 244–249.
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  174. Smith, G.F., Shtein, R., Klein, D.-P., Parihar, B., Almeida, A., Rodewald, S. & Kadereit, G. (2021a) Special Review. Sexual and asexual reproduction in Kalanchoe (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae): a review of known and newly recorded strategies. Haseltonia 28: 2–22.
  175. Smith, G.F., Wolff, E. & Thoumin, L. (2020) The taxonomy and nomenclature of Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri Raym.-Hamet & H.Perrier (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae), with biographical notes on Gaston Eugène Marie Bonnier (1853–1922). Bradleya 38: 94–103.
  176. Thiele, K.R., Smith, G.F., Figueiredo, E. & Hammer, T.A. (2022) Taxonomists have an opportunity to rid botanical nomenclature of inappropriate honorifics in a structured and defensible way. Taxon 71 (6): 1151–1154.
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