Missurica vs missouriensis

I was already aware of Escobaria missouriensis (Missouri Foxtail Cactus) and thought all native plants credited as being from Missouri would have “missouriensis” in the name, but today I came across Veronia missurica (Missouri Ironweed) and now I am trying to figure out why there are two different naming conventions. Is there one for perennials and one for annuals or what?

Escobaria missouriensis is a synonym of Pelecyphora missouriensis. It first received its species nomen (missouriensis) in 1826 by the biologist Sweet.

Vernonia missurica was named by French biologist C.S. Rafinesque in 1833.

Note that missouriensis and missurica have different taxonomic meanings.

Can you elaborate? It’s been a few decades since I took Latin and I can’t think what the second one would mean. The first one looks to be a noun with a genitive ending, which would make sense for “of Missouri” or something like that.

I recommend consulting a glossary of taxonomy.

I tried to do that and found nothing! Also tried to find any guidance here on naming species after geographic locations, but couldn’t find any relevant section:


Taxonomists seem to revel in obfuscation. I realize that’s for animals, but figured the basic principles would be similar at least.

There is an International Congress of taxonomic nomenclature. The most recent meeting was in China. They publish a (huge) guideline to taxonomic syntax. I consulted it a year ago when naming subtypes of Ficus carica. I can’t find the link at the moment.

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This appears to be it, but the table of contents is pretty useless and the search function turns up nothing related to geography that I can find:


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