J Syst Evol ›› 2007, Vol. 45 ›› Issue (2): 239-245.doi: 10.1360/aps06141

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The myth of “minima” and “maxima”, the species of Physalis in the Indian Subcontinent

1Vatsavaya S RAJU*, 2C S REDDY, 3K G RAJARAO   

  1. 1(Department of Botany, Kakatiya University, Warangal 506009, India)

    2(Forestry & Ecology Division, National Remote Sensing Agency, Hyderabad 500008, India)

    3(Department of Botany, Andhra University, Waltair 530003, India)satyavatsa@yahoo.co.in
  • Received:2006-07-02 Online:2006-12-06 Published:2007-03-18

Abstract: The status of the names, Physalis minima L. and P. maxima Mill. (Solanaceae), and their alleged presence on the Indian subcontinent are discussed. The issues of nativity and identity of Linnaean Physalis minima are long-debated while the use of the name P. maxima Mill. and its report from India are recent. The available evidence indicates that the name “P. minima L.” is misapplied to two different elements, viz., P. angulata L. and P. lagascae Roem. & Schult. The name Physalis minima L. may be rejected as nomen confusum, for which the paper provides the primary information. As on today, it is submerged under the synonymy of P. angulata L. The correct name for the widely known P. minima is P. lagascae. The name “P. maxima Mill.” applied to the escape and naturalized weed in the Indian subcontinent and elsewhere is to be substituted by P. pruinosa L., a name misapplied to P. grisea (Waterf.) M. Martínez.

Key words: Physalis, Physalis angulata, Physalis grisea, Physalis lagascae, Physalis maxima, Physalis minima, Physalis pruinosa, nomenclature, Indian subcontinent

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