Monday, May 13, 2013

Synonyms for sand corn, the common name of a flowering plant native to the western United States and parts of New Mexico

Sand-corn (Zigadenus paniculatus), also named foothill or panicled deathcamas
Sand corn is a flowering plant found in dry habitats of the western United States; for example in northwest Nevada. It has two accepted scientific names: Zigadenus paniculatus (Nutt.) S. Watson and  Toxicoscordion paniculatum (Nutt.) Rydb. [1-5].  Its scientific classification: order Liliales. In the literature, sand corn is taxonomically grouped either into Lilliaceae (lily family) or Melanthiaceae, the latter not unanimously recognized as a family and sometimes considered as part of the lily family.

Sand corn, also written sand-corn, is often referred to by its other common name: foothill deathcamas (also written: foothill death camas). This name indicates the poisonous character of the plant, which becomes relevant, when sand corns are growing on rangeland: intoxication of livestock may result from their alkaloid components such as zygacine [3].

Another synonym, panicled death camas [4], makes a reference to the often bending or nodding panicle with sometimes over fifty flowers (see Thomas Creek plant)—each having six small tepals with yellow-green splotch at base and showy, yellow anthers [5].

Keywords: botany, taxonomy, nomenclature, scientific name.

References and more to explore
[1] USDA Plants Profile: Zigadenus paniculatus (Nutt.) S. Watson [].
[2] Kew Royal Botanic Garden: Toxicoscordion paniculatum (Nutt.) Rydb., Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 30: 272 (1903) [].
[3] K. D. Welch et al.: The acute toxocity of the death camas (Zigadenus species) alkaloid zygacine in mice, including the effect of methyllycaconitine coadministration on zygacine toxity. J. Anim. Sci. 2011, 89 (5), pp. 1650-1657.  
doi: 10.2527/jas.2010-3444.
[4] Calflora Taxon Report 8367:  Zigadenus paniculatus [].
[5] Laird R. Blackwell: Tahoe Wildflowers. Morris Book Publishing, LLC, Guilford, Connecticut, 2007; page 37.

No comments:

Post a Comment