The names we use for species are rooted in strict rules, one of which is that the earliest name published has priority over any other name. It was recently discovered that the sharp-fruit rush Juncus acuminatus Michx., which was described in 1803 for a common wetland plant found from southern Canada through the United States to Mexico and Honduras, was invalid as another name, Juncus acuminatus Balb., predated it by two years when published in 1801. In the leading plant taxonomy journal, Taxon, authors from NatureServe, the Canadian Museum of Nature, and Harvard University herbaria argue that Juncus acuminatus Michx. is so widely and commonly used that changing the name, thought the ‘correct’ thing to do, would be destabilizing. This proposal to conserve the name will ultimately be voted on at the International Botanical Congress in Madrid, Spain in 2024.
Proposal to conserve the name Juncus acuminatus Michx. Against J. acuminatus Balb. (Juncaceae) and including the lectotypification of J. paradoxus
Knapp, W. M., Levin, G. A., & Gandhi, K. (2022). (2903) Proposal to conserve the name Juncus acuminatus Michx. against J. acuminatus Balb.(Juncaceae) and including the lectotypification of J. paradoxus. TAXON, 71(4), 905-906.