Stauffer, F.W. & J. Stauffer (2017). The palm (Arecaceae) collections gathered by Bonpland and Humboldt in their American journey: origin and fate of the specimens and typifications. Candollea 72: 5–22. In English, English abstract.
The palm collections emanating from Humboldt and Bonpland's expedition to the Americas (1799–1804) are here studied to better ascertain the origin and taxonomic identity of the specimens gathered, the main botanists responsible for their taxonomic description, and the current repositories of these specimens. Moreover, we explore the relationship between specimens, the field notes contained in the “Journal Botanique”, and the descriptions published in Plantae Aequinoctiales (1805–1817) and the multi-volume Nova genera (1816–1825). In the frame of their American journey, Bonpland and Humboldt collected 25 palm specimens, representing 22 species, 19 genera and 4 palm subfamilies; several hypotheses are advanced in order to explain the fate of the six missing specimens. Most of the palms were gathered in present-day Colombia and Venezuela, whereas only few palms were gathered in Cuba and Mexico. The entry describing the royal Cuban palm (Oreodoxa regia Kunth) in the “Journal Botanique” is used as a case study to highlight the need to reevaluate the attribution of the authorities associated with the names proposed in the Nova genera. Misunderstanding of the different herbaria arising from the expedition has in some cases led to inaccurate typification of original material. Our study sheds light on specific cases and proposes neotypes for six taxa (Aiphanes praga Kunth, Cocos crispa Kunth, Corypha pumos Kunth, Mauritia aculeata Kunth, Oreodoxa frigida Kunth, Oreodoxa sancona Kunth), and lectotypes for four taxa (Ceroxylon andicolum Bonpl., Corypha maritima Kunth, Corypha tectorum Kunth, Martinezia caryotifolia Kunth). Arguably, the earliest checklist of Americans palms was noted down in the “Journal Botanique” by Humboldt and Bonpland, and is presented for the first time in this contribution.