Adromischus kesselringianus  von Poellnitz, 1940

Note :


In Bradleya 39: 202-206. 2021, Gideon F. Smith and Neil R. Crouch published an article titled : "Typification of the name Cotyledon clavifolia Haw., basionym of Adromischus cristatus (Haw.) Lem. var. clavifolius (Haw.) Toelken (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae), with a range extension".


They wrote (p. 204) : "Synonyms: Adromischus clavifolius (Haw.) Lem. in Jard. Fleur. 2, Misc. 60. 1852. Type: as for Cotyledon clavifolia Haw.; Cotyledon nussbaumeriana Poelln. in Jahrb. Deutsch. Kakteen-Ges. 1: 95. 1936. Type: ‘Cape, sine loc. et leg. (B†)’ fide Tölken (1978: 390, 1985: 56); Adromischus nussbaumerianus (Poelln.) Poelln., as ‘nussbaumerianaus’, in Jahrb. Deutsch. Kakteen-Ges. 1: 95. 1936. Von Poellnitz: 109 (1940a). Type: ‘Cape, sine loc. et leg. (B†)’ fide Tölken (1978: 390); ‘Cape, sine loc. et coll. (B†)’ fide Tölken (1985: 56); Adromischus poellnitzianus Werderm. in Rep. nov. spec. regni veg. 39: 270. 1936. Type: near East London, Kluth s.n. (B†) fide Tölken (1978: 390); Adromischus kesselringianus Poelln. in Kakteenkunde 1940: 64. 1940b. Type: ‘Cape, sine loc. et leg. (B†)’ fide Tölken (1978: 390)."


This text contains several errors :

1. Adromischus nussbaumerianus (Poelln.) Poelln.:

Tölken indicated 'Cape, sine loc. et leg. (B†)’. This is not correct. In his description of A. nussbaumerianus von Poellnitz wrote :"Kapland: Fundlort unbekannt. Typ im Botanischen Garten in Bremen", (engl. "Cape: collection locality unknown. Type at the Botanical Garden Bremen") and the Botanical Garden Bremen had received it from the Botanical Garden of Utrecht. That means the type – being at Bremen – cannot possibly have been destroyed at Berlin as Tölken erroneously indicated.


2. Adromischus kesselringianus Poelln.:

Again Tölken indicated 'Cape, sine loc. et leg. (B†)'. The information given by von Poellnitz regarding the origin of A. kesselringianus however reads : "Heimat unbekannt, aber ganz sicher aus dem Kaplande stammend, im Bot. Garten Darmstadt kultiviert. Herkunft dort nicht bekannt" (engl. "Origin unknown but quite certainly coming from the Cape, cultivated in the Botanical Garden Darmstadt, whence it was received is unknown"). So again the type – being at Darmstadt – cannot possibly have been destroyed at Berlin, i.e. Tölken's assumptions regarding types destroyed at Berlin are unfounded. 


Furthermore : The annual reports of Berlin-Dahlem reveal that of the Adromischus species described by vPoellnitz in the 1930s none was sent to Berlin and therefore none could have been preserved there and therefore none could have been destroyed there in WW2. Moreover it is well known that von Poellnitz normally did not preserve specimens of the plants he described but rather produced photographs, and many of them are still extant. In the present case this means that the holotype of A. kesselringianus very well exists – see below !


The two authors made it too easy for themselves by simply relying on Tölken instead of going back to the roots and checking the original texts themselves. Because Tölken was mistaken, they are mistaken as well.


Photo by H. Hafner. This photo was used to illustrate the description of A. kesselringianus, i.e. is part of the protologue. 


In the absence of any other original material this photo is automatically the holotype in accordance with Art. 9.1, to be cited as "Holotype: Photo of type plant by H. Hafner, mounted on a sheet in 1948 by Werdermann with a duplicate (B)."


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