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Passiflora tetrandra Banks et Solander ex DC. (Passifloraceae)

Kohia, New Zealand Passionflower

Derivation: Passiflora = Passion Flower; tetrandra = with four anthers


Tetrapathaea australis Raoul in Ann. Sci. Nat. Sér. 3, 2, 1844, 121

Tetrapathaea tetrandra (Banks et Solander) Cheesem. Man. N.Z. Fl. 1925, 577.

Note: The name immediately above is that endorsed by Allan in NZ Flora and by most standard reference works.

Edgar records a recommendation by Green in 1972 that the genus be resumed in Passiflora, but by and large this change was not adopted widely by standard reference works.

Recent reviews (Kroznick and Freudenstein 2006) more closely examine ongoing doubts regarding the status of Tetrapathaea as a separate genus and conclude that it is a subgenus of Passiflora.

The NZ Plant Conservation Network is normally the most up-to-date on recent name changes, and the current name preferred there for the species is Passiflora tetrandra.

23 November, 2006, Omeru Reserve, SH 16, Maketu

21 October, 2006, Omeru Reserve, SH 16, Maketu


In a paper in the NZ Journal of Botany in 1978, E. Edgar comments on some of the consequences of his 1971 list of name changes to NZ plants between 1960 and 1969. He makes the point that names are changed for one of three reasons:

(i) names newly published to replace older names
which were inadmissible on nomenclatural
(ii) names newly published for taxa newly recognised
at family level or below;
(iii) names newly published as new combinations for
taxa already recognised in the New Zealand

Of these three types of name change only the
first has to be unequivocally accepted because of the
obligation to conform with the rules in the "International Code of Botanical Nomenclature". In all other cases there is no obligation to use a newly published name unless one accepts the author's taxonomic arrangement.

His point that he was simply recording changes, (some of which, indeed, he would personally challenge) and that all name changes deserved personal scrutiny before being adopted.


He lists among suggested name changes:

Green, P. S. 1972 (Kew Bull. 26: 539-58) revised
Australasian and Pacific Passiflora.

Passiflora tetrandra Banks et Sol. ex DC. is preferred over
Tetrapathaea tetrandra (Banks et Sol. ex DC.)
Cheesem. as used by Allan 1961 (Fl. N.Z. 1: 318),
on the grounds that the dioecious habit and tetramerous
flowers are not unique and do not warrant
segregation of a separate genus.
A new subgenus of Passiflora, characterised by
tetramerous flowers and the absence of an operculum
(inner corona) and of petiolar glands, is proposed to
accommodate the sole New Zealand species.
New name:
P. subgenus Tetrapathaea (DC.) Green op.cit. 553
based on sect. Tetrapathaea DC. Mem. Soc.
Phys. Geneve

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