hort.net Seasonal photo, (c) 2006 Christopher P. Lindsey, All Rights Reserved: do not copy
articles | gallery of plants | blog | tech blog | plant profiles | patents | mailing lists | top stories | links | shorturl service | tom clothier's archive0
Gallery of Plants
Tech Blog
Plant Profiles
Mailing Lists
    Search ALL lists
    Search help
    Subscription info
Top Stories
sHORTurl service
Tom Clothier's Archive
 Top Stories
New Trillium species discovered

Disease could hit Britain's trees hard

Ten of the best snowdrop cultivars

Plant protein database helps identify plant gene functions

Dendroclimatologists record history through trees

Potato beetle could be thwarted through gene manipulation

Hawaii expands coffee farm quarantine

Study explains flower petal loss

RSS story archive

"Ii" for plural "Iris"

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: "Ii" for plural "Iris"
  • From: Tom Tadfor Little <telp@rt66.com>
  • Date: Wed, 9 Apr 1997 10:32:28 -0600 (MDT)

I was going to keep low on this, having already posted on the subject long
ago. But a clarification is called for.

Griff Crump's Latin is absolutely correct. However, the practice of writing
"Ii." for the plural of "I." in species names is NOT derived presuming that
the Latin plural of "iris" ends in "-i". This is not a question of Latin
inflection; it is a question of medieval orthography. There was once an
established practice of indicating that an abbreviation was plural by
simply duplicating the last letter of the abbreviation. This survives today
in English only in a few relics, such as "pp." for "pages" (plural of "p.")
and "mss." for manuscripts (plural of "ms.").

The practice also survives in botanical writing, although it has become
considerably less common in recent decades. It works like this:

T. tarda and T. pulchella (tulips) => Tt. tarda and pulchella
S. spurium and S. album (sedums) => Ss. spurium and album
I. pumila and I. pallida (irises) => Ii. pumila and pallida

and so on.

In this case, I have to break ranks with my fellow editor and agree with
Clarence: "Ii." is perfectly acceptable and conventional. I suspect,
though, that "I. pumila and I. pallida" may be a preferable idiom for
modern readers.

Cheers, Tom.

Tom Tadfor Little                       telp@Rt66.com
Iris-L list owner  *  USDA zone 5/6  *  AIS region 23
Santa Fe, New Mexico (USA)
Telperion Productions      http://www.rt66.com/~telp/
Iris-L Web Site  http://www.rt66.com/~telp/garden.htm

 © 1995-2017 Mallorn Computing, Inc.All Rights Reserved.
Our Privacy Statement
Other Mailing lists | Author Index | Date Index | Subject Index | Thread Index