Systematics Section / ASPT
Macklin, James A. .
The influence of W.W. Ashe on Crataegus (Hawthorn) taxonomy.
William Willard Ashe (1872-1932) was a prominent describer of new Crataegus
species at the beginning of the twentieth century. Ashe was educated
and worked as a forester in North Carolina but also enjoyed botany as a hobby.
He described 510 new taxa in all, mostly trees, of which 177 were Crataegus.
Included in the 177 species of hawthorn described by Ashe are some of the
most abundant and important species on the continent, e.g. C. chrysocarpa
Ashe, C. coccinioides Ashe, C. pulcherrima Ashe, C. macrosperma
Ashe, C. holmesiana Ashe and C. margaretta Ashe. However, most
of Ashe’s names, where they are clearly understood, nowadays are synonyms
or minor variants of the main species. A major problem of interpreting Ashe
names derives from his practice of not citing type material, not infrequently
coupled with somewhat defective (even for the period) descriptions. Copious
correspondence between Ashe and other prominent amateur and professional
botanists of the time depicts a man more interested in understanding plants
and their variability he witnessed in nature than in the rigors of the emerging
science of systematics. The Ashe herbarium is housed at the University of
North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
1 - Academy of Natural Sciences, Botany, 1900 Ben Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103, USA
Presentation Type: Paper
Location: Cottonwood A (Snowbird Center)
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
Time: 2:00 PM