Chinese Plant Names Index

Chinese Plant Taxonomists 


Author citations should be included in formal situations where precision is needed and confusion is to be avoided, or, to quote the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants, “In publications, particularly those dealing with taxonomy and nomenclature, it may be desirable, even when no bibliographic reference to the protologue is made, to cite the author(s) of the name concerned” (Art. 46.1). It is also recommended by the Code, “When it is a well-established custom to abridge a name in another manner, it is advisable to conform to custom.” (Rec. 46A.4.) There are also some detailed recommendations for the romanization of author’s names (Rec. 46B.1, 46B.2), and it is recommended to establish a standard form of author’s names according to Authors of plant names (1992) (Rec. 46A.4. note 1). Therefore, in publications dealing with classification and nomenclature, the Latin names of plants are always closely related to the romanized names of the author(s).


The names of Chinese scholars are also formally associated with the plant names, since Sung Shu Chien published his first modern taxonomic paper 1916. During that time, the Romanization of Chinese names mainly were used in the Wade–Giles system, mixed with pronunciation habits of various places, particularly the pronunciation of Wu and Canton dialects. This makes the romanized form of Chinese plant taxonomists were quite different from the current Chinese phonetic form.


The Scheme of the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet has been implemented since 1958, and by the end of the 1970s, it has become the standard romanized form of Chinese names and has been recognized internationally. However, Taiwan and Hong Kong scholars partially adopted the Scheme, while other scholars continued to use the Tongyong Pinyin system or other local Chinese romanization. The Romanized names of older scholars in the mainland China are also maintained their original style since the naming regulations. The Chinese phonetic alphabet spelling rules for Chinese names (GB/T 28039-2011) were implemented in 2012 which regulates the use of Chinese Pinyin letters to spell Chinese names in the form of national standards. In particular, it stipulates that the family name comes the first and then the given name followed, and use the Scheme of the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet to spell Chinese names. However, the standard also said that the customary romanization of Chinese names in biological sciences names can be modified.


In recent years, many young scholars have also participated in the discovery and naming of plant species. Although most young scholars have adopted the national standard spelling system, the short syllable characteristics of Chinese characters and the popularity of two-character short names have caused more duplicate names among contemporary plant taxonomists.


In order to solving the problems of spelling and duplicate names, The names of Chinese authors have been unified in the International Plant Names Index (IPNI). However, the understanding of Chinese characters, documents and customs by foreign scholars is still quite limited. Chinese scholars independently established a standard form of spelling names for Chinese plant taxonomic scholars has been become the top priority.


For this reason, we have compiled this book Chinese Plant Taxonomists. Under the premise that the standard spelling in the internationally accepted IPNI is basically maintained, the standard spelling of 2,748 Chinese taxonomists who have published vascular plants is unified.


The principles are:

1. In accordance with tradition, still uses the romanized spelling of the Chinese name, the given name comes the first and then the family name followed.

2. On the premise that there is no duplicate name, abbreviate each Chinese character of the given name. If there is a duplicate name after the abbreviation, the later author will spell out all the first character of the given name. If the same name remains after the first character is spelled out, spell out the second character.

3. If the duplicate name still exists after all names are spelled out, the IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) numerical prefix will be used at the end of the name as a distinction based on the order of publication time (such as the second occurrence, bis, the third, tris, and the fourth, tetrakis and so on.)

4. The romanization method used in IPNI should be kept as far as possible. Although a few spellings do not fully comply with the above three principles, duplicate names will be distinguished according to the aforementioned method, and significant misspellings or misuses will be changed as necessary.

5. The judgment of the duplicate name still includes all taxa defined by the entire ICN.


Besides above, collectors and herbarium staff also adopted abbreviation methods which is similar to those of naming persons. However, due to the large number of collectors and herbarium staff, it is difficult to achieve uniform standards. Unless participate in the naming, the standard spelling of collectors and herbarium staff is no longer given.


This book is divided into two parts: Part I is the information of 2,748 Chinese plant taxonomists who named Chinese vascular plants, including ID number, standard form, accepted romanized name, other forms of romanization, accepted Chinese name, standard pinyin form, other Chinese names, year of birth and death (if applied), year of first publication, employment research history, area of research interest, published taxa, author’s herbarium, location of author’s collection, geographic region, other abbreviations and so on. Part II is information on the 2,674 Chinese plant collectors, collection teams, and staff in the herbarium, excluding the scholars who have been included in the Part I. Some collectors who have published moss, algae and fungi are also placed in this section, and relatively detailed information were given.


There are four appendices in this book: Appendix I gives the name changes of scholars' institutions; Appendix II gives the name, history and international code of the Chinese Herbarium; Appendix III is an index for searching detailed information based on scholars’ standard form or other abbreviations; Appendix IV is an index for the author's detailed information according to romanized spellings.


This book has compiled the systematic data of most scholars since the establishment of Chinese plant taxonomy since 1916. It is used in plant name databases, floras and monographs to provide standard from suggestions when the author of plant names needs to be cited. In addition, it is also used to check whether there are duplicate names and avoid duplicate names at the source. Although the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants does not stipulate the author's standard spelling form, for the author's spelling accuracy and clear distinction, it is recommended to write the author of the plant name strictly in accordance with the standard form provided in this book, especially in the database, accurate spelling can be queried and applied correctly.