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Corrections will be needed to formatting of the protologue and references once a journal has been chosen for publication.

Wikispecies Notula I: A valid name for the Hylotelephium clade (Sempervivoideae, Crassulaceae)[edit]


16650 Darlington, App. 304, Montreal H3S 2J5, Quebec, Canada 2Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 3Great Totham, Essex, England, UK

  • Author for correspondence. E-mail:


In 1821, Samuel Frederick Gray divided Sedum into five sections. Sedum telephium and closely related species were placed in Sedum section Telephium Gray (1821: 539), a treatment followed by Berger (1930). Ohba (1977) segregated this section in a new genus. Although the name Telephium Hill (1756) had been proposed, it was unavailable because it was a homonym of the caryophyllaceous Telephium Linnaeus (1753). The name Hylotelephium H.Ohba was therefore coined.

In the first molecular phylogenetic classification of Crassulaceae in 1995 (van Ham 1995), Hylotelephium and related taxa were recognized as a distinct clade and given the informal name Telephium. Simultaneously, an infrafamilial classification of Crassulaceae was proposed, the taxa corresponding to the Telephium clade being named as subtribe Telephiinae 't Hart ('t Hart 1995 1997). The clade has been reliably recovered in almost all studies since (see Shaw [2017] for a summary). Later studies have narrowed its definition and it is now commonly (though not universally) referred to as the Hylotelephium clade, and when ranked, treated as the tribe Telephieae (cf. Thiede & Eggli 2007).

The use of both Telephiinae 't Hart and Telephieae is prevented by multiple nomenclatural issues. Firstly, 't Hart's name is illegitimate for violating Art. 19.6 of the Shenzhen code (Turland & al., 2018), being seemingly based upon the illegitimate Telephium. It is furthermore homonymous in its own right because of the preexisting Telephiinae (Bartling) Graebner (Ascherson & Graebner 1919: 854), based off the same Linnaean genus that made Telephium illegitimate (Turland & al. 2018). This also renders impossible the elevation of the name to tribal rank as "Telephieae ('t Hart) Ohba and Thiede ined." (cf. Thiede & Eggli 2007). That name, even if published without being a new combination, would still be itself a homonym of Telephieae Bartling (1825: 157), an unranked name and the basionym of Graebner's Telephiinae.

Finally, consultation of 't Hart (1995) reveals that the original selected type was in fact not Telephium, but Hylotelephium. The name now additionally runs counter to Art. 19.3 governing the formation of infrafamilial names, and by extension Art. 32.1(c) (Turland & al. 2018). Telephiinae is not only illegitimate, but also malformed and therefore invalid. Adding to the confusion is a typographic error in the protologue itself that rendered the name as "Telephinae" vs. "Telephiinae" in the rest of the article. This incorrect spelling was reflected in IPNI until a correction was sent in (K. Gandhi, personal communication, 17 September 2019).

The only valid name based on a genus within 't Hart's (1995) Telephiinae is Umbiliceae Meisner (1838: 134). However, Umbilicus and its allies are no longer generally recognized as member of this group (Thiede & Eggli 2007; Mort & al. 2010). This has left Wikispecies, which is dependent on formally published names, in the phylogenetically untenable position of treating Umbiliceae and the Hylotelephium clade together under the former name (Wikispecies 2019). A valid name for the Hylotelephium clade is thus published here to remedy the situation.

Hylotelephieae J.-S.Girard, Boorman & Goodyear trib. nov.
Validating description and diagnosis:—Thiede & Eggli (2007: 100).
Type genus:—Hylotelephium H.Ohba.
Synonyms:—Telephiinae 't Hart (1995: 167, "Telephinae") nom. inval.. Telephieae ('t Hart) Ohba & Thiede nom. ined.

Genera included (Thiede & Eggli, 2007):—Hylotelephium H.Ohba, Kungia K.T.Fu, Meterostachys Nakai, Orostachys Fischer, Sinocrassula A.Berger.


Thanks go to Franz Xaver (Wikispecies) for participating in the discussions that led to this publication, and Kanchi Gandhi (IPNI) for reminding the first author about the existence of Telephiinae Graebn. as well as confirming the interpretation of Art. 32.1.

Literature cited[edit]

  • Ascherson, P. & Graebner, K.O.R.P.P. (1913–1919) Synopsis der Mitteleuropäischen Flora. 5. Band, 1. Abtheilung. Leipzig: Gebrüder Bornträger. 948 pp.
  • Bartling, F.G. (1925) Über den Bau und die Verwandtschaften der Alsineen. In: Bartling, F.G. & Wendland, H.L. (Eds.). Beiträge zur Botanik 2. Göttingen, Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, pp. 133–206.
  • Berger, A. (1930) Crassulacaeae. In: Engler, A & Prantl, K.A. (Eds.). Die Natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien 18A. Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig. pp. 352–483.
  • Gray, S.F. (1821), A natural arrangement of British plants, volume 2. Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, London. viii+757 pp.
  • Hill, J. (1756–1757) The British Herbal. T. Osborne & J. Shipton, London. 535 pp.
  • Linnaeus, C. (1753) Species Plantarum, Vol. 1. Imprensis Laurentii Salvii, Holmiae. xii+560 pp.
  • Meisner, C. F. (1837–43) Plantarum vascularium genera, pars prior: Tabulae diagnosticae. Libraria Weidmannia, Leipzig. iv+442 pp.
  • Mort, M., O’Leary, T., Carrillo-Reyes, P., Nowell, T., Archibald, J. & Randle, C. (2010) Phylogeny and evolution of Crassulaceae: Past, present, and future. Schumannia 6: 69–86.
  • Ohba, H. (1977) The taxonomic status of Sedum telephium and its allied species (Crassulaceae). Botanical Magazine (Shokubutsu-gaku zasshi) 90(1017): 41–56. DOI: 10.1007/BF02489468
  • Shaw, J.M. (2017) (2512) Proposal to conserve the name Orostachys with a conserved type (Crassulaceae). Taxon 66(2): 521–522. DOI: 10.12705/662.24
  • 't Hart, Henk (1995) Infrafamilial and generic classification of the Crassulaceae. In 't, H. Hart & Eggli, U. (Eds.). Evolution and Systematics of the Crassulaceae. Backhuys, Leiden. pp. 159–172.
  • 't Hart, H. (1997) Diversity within Mediterranean Crassulaceae. Lagascalia 19(1–2): 93–100.
  • Thiede, J. & Eggli, U. (2007) Crassulaceae. In: Kubitzki, K., Bayer, C. & Stevens, P.F. (Eds.) Flowering plants : Eudicots ; Berberidopsidales, Buxales, Crossosomatales, Fabales p.p., Geraniales, Gunnerales, Myrtales p.p., Proteales, Saxifragales, Vitales, Zygophyllales, Clusiaceae Alliance, Passifloraceae Alliance, Dilleniaceae, Huaceae, Picramniaceae, Sabiaceae. Springer, Berlin, pp. 83–119. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-32219-1_12
  • Turland, N.J., Wiersema, J.H., Barrie, F.R., Greuter, W., Hawksworth, D.L., Herendeen, P.S., Knapp, S., Kusber, W.-H., Li, D.-Z., Marhold, K., May, T.W., McNeill, J., Monro, A.M., Prado, J., Price, M.J. & Smith, G.F. (Eds.) (2018) International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (Shenzhen Code) adopted by the Nineteenth International Botanical Congress Shenzhen, China, July 2017. [Regnum Vegetabile 159]. Koeltz Scientific Books, Königstein, 254 pp. DOI: 10.12705/Code.2018
  • van Ham, R.C.H.J. (1995) Phylogenetic relationships in the Crassulaceae inferred from chloroplast DNA variation. In 't, H. Hart & Eggli, U. (Eds.). Evolution and Systematics of the Crassulaceae. Backhuys, Leiden. pp. 16–29.
  • Wikispecies. (2019) Umbiliceae. Available from: (September 9, 2019).

Literature NOT cited[edit]

keeping those easily accessible if we choose to use them again

  • Bittrich, V. (1993). Caryophyllaceae. In Kubitzki, K., Rohwer, J. & Bittrich , V. [eds.], The families and genera of vascular plants, vol. 2, Magnoliid, Hamamelid, and Caryophyllid families, 206–236. Springer Verlag, Berlin, Germany. doi: 10.1007/978-3-662-02899-5 ISBN: 978-3-642-08141-5
  • Eggli, U. (2003). "Crassulaceae" pp. 5-8 in Eggli, U. (Ed.). Illustrated handbook of succulent plants. Springer Science & Business Media.
  • Harbaugh, D.T., Nepokroeff, M., Rabeler, R.K., McNeill, J., Zimmer, E.A. & Wagner, W.L., (2010). A new lineage-based tribal classification of the family Caryophyllaceae. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 171(2): 185-198.
  • Mayuzumi, S., & Ohba, H. (2004). The Phylogenetic Position of Eastern Asian Sedoideae (Crassulaceae) Inferred from Chloroplast and Nuclear DNA Sequences. Systematic Botany, 29(3), 587–598. doi:10.1600/0363644041744329
  • Mort, Mark E., Soltis, Douglas E., Soltis, Pamela S., Francisco-Ortega, Javier, Santos-Guerra, Arnoldo (2001). "Phylogenetic relationships and evolution of Crassulaceae inferred from matK sequence data". American Journal of Botany. 88 (1): 76–91. doi:10.2307/2657129.
  • Nikulin A. Yu., Nikulin V. Yu., Gontcharov A.A. (2015) "[On the Phylogenetic Structure of the Tribe Telephieae (Sempervivoideae, Crassulaceae) on the Base of rDNA Sequence Comparisons]." (in Russian) Ботанический Журнал 100 (10):1030–1040. doi: 10.1134/S0006813615100038}}.
  • van Ham, Roeland C. H. J., Hart, Henk ’t (1998). "Phylogenetic relationships in the Crassulaceae inferred from chloroplast DNA restriction-site variation". American Journal of Botany. 85 (1): 123–134. doi:10.2307/2446561