Vol. 77 No. 1 (2022)

Honoring Philip Barker Webb: the three intriguing stories of Webbia as a genus name: Nomenclature of Webbia

Javier Francisco-Ortega
Institute of Environment, Department of Biological Sciences, Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, Cuban Research Institute, Florida International University, University Park, Miami, FL 33199
Riccardo M. Baldini
Dipartimento di Biologia, Centro Studi Erbario Tropicale, Università di Firenze, Via G. La Pira 4, 50121, Firenze
John C. Manning
Compton Herbarium, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Private Bag X7, Claremont 7735
Kanchi Gandhi
Harvard University Herbaria, 22 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
Published April 20, 2022
  • Africa,
  • botanical history,
  • Florence,
  • herbaria,
  • Macaronesia,
  • South Africa,
  • tropical floras
  • ...More
How to Cite
Francisco-Ortega, J., Baldini, R. M., Manning, J. C., & Gandhi, K. (2022). Honoring Philip Barker Webb: the three intriguing stories of Webbia as a genus name. Webbia, 77(1), 3-21. https://doi.org/10.36253/jopt-12929


The name Webbia has been used to describe three different genera: Webbia Spach (Clusiaceae), Webbia DC., nom. illeg. (Asteraceae: Vernonieae), and Webbia Sch.Bip., nom. illeg. (Asteraceae: Astereae). The title of the botanical journal Webbia does not pertain to any of these generic names but is a mere Latinization of the surname Webb, and was created as a patronym that honors the legacy of Philip Barker Webb (1793–1854). The journal is a tribute to Webb’s botanical contributions, and his importance in the development of the collections of the Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze in the establishment of the Herbarium Webbianum. The journal had an uneasy start, as a book proposal made by the Italian professor (Università di Pisa) Ugolino Martelli to the Società Botanica Italiana to honor Webb was rejected in 1905. The names Conyza obscura DC. and Erigeron capensis Houtt. are lectotypified. The nomenclature of Conyza pinifolia Lam. is revisited, and it is considered a legitimate name. A specimen housed in G-DC is designated as the neotype of this Lamarckian name.