When ENGELMANN (1856) proposed Cory-phantha as a new subgenus of Mammillaria, he did not give any indication of a type species. Lemaire, who raised Coryphantha to the level of genus, also did not mention any type species (for the genus Aulacothele, he had proposed M. sulcolanata). One problem was that Lemaire's and Engelmann's lists of species differed markedly. There were, in fact, few species in common.
After typification had been deemed necessary for taxa of any rank, several authors set out to provide a type species for Coryphantha.
The first proposal for a lectotype was that of BRITTON and BROWN in 1913 in their paper An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States..., edn. 2, pp. 1-3, Scribner, New York. They proposed Mammillaria sulcata Engelmann. This fact had been overlooked by many authors, but was referred to by R. MOTTRAM in 1992. Generally, the lectotypification by BRITTON and MILLSPAUGH (1920) had been regarded as valid. They had proposed C. sul-colanata Lemaire, which was referred to in Lemaire's list as the type species. However, C. sulcolanata was not mentioned in Engel-mann's list and since Lemaire, when proposing the genus Coryphantha, had referred to Engelmann,the choice of C. sulcolanata as the type species had to be dropped. Moreover, C. sulcolanata has not sufficiently been typified and was even used incorrectly (as C. radians) by Britton and Rose.
These were reasons why BENSON (1969) proposed a new lectotypification. He chose Coryphantha vivipara as the new type species, a species which occurs mainly in the USA and is well known there. It was also mentioned by Engelmann. This was not a good choice and is indeed incorrect, as Hunt details below:
• C. vivipara had not been mentioned by Lemaire when he resurrected the genus Coryphantha
• due to its flower and seed morphology, C. vivipara had rightly been transferred by BUXBAUM (1951) to the genus Escobaria Br. & R., which has been accepted in the whole cactus literature since 1923.
If Buxbaum's classification in this point is accepted, as usual today, this would mean that by accepting C. vivipara as the type species of Coryphantha, then Escobaria would become a synonym for Coryphantha. In consequence, the correct name for Escobaria sensu Buxbaum would have to be Coryphantha. A new name for Coryphantha sensu Britton & Rose would have to be found.
In a joint publication, HUNT and BENSON (1976) reached a compromise by proposing to chose a new type species instead of C. vivipara. This was to be selected from species jointly present in the lists of Engelmann and Lemaire.
Four species were considered: C. scheeri (Muhlenpfordt) Lemaire, C. scolymoides (Engelmann) Lemaire, C. macromeris (Engelmann) Lemaire und C. calcarata (Engelmann) Lemaire.
From these species the first two had to be excluded, because they were "insufficiently typified and problematic". The third as an "aberrant species" would have led to taxo-nomic problems similar to those of the former choice of E. vivipara.
Therefore, C. calcarata was left for consideration. This is a superfluous name published by ENGELMANN in 1850 for Mammillaria sulcata. Mammillaria sulcata had in fact been described by ENGELMANN in 1845 and this same plant had been listed by Lemaire as Coryphantha calcarata in the sense of Mam-millaria sulcata Engelmann. Following the rules of the ICBN, the correct name for this type species is Coryphantha sulcata (Engelmann) Britton & Rose.
Coryphantha sulcata is based on herbarium material and is treated as that by all modern authors who accept the genus Coryphan-tha. The type of this species was checked by Benson at the Missouri Botanical Garden and considered to be suitable as a type species of the genus. The type locality is recorded as: "Sandstone rocks near Industry (Austin County, Texas," Lindheimer in July, 1844, MO (specimen sheet and box).
However, the original proposers of Coryphantha sulcata Engelmann as the type species of the genus are BRITTON and BROWN. They did this in 1913 and must be named in all published material where appropriate.
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