Molinaʼs species of Lucuma: neotypifications and nomenclatural implications


  • Mats Thulin Systematic Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, EBC, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
  • Alicia Marticorena Herbario CONC, Departamento de Botánica, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción, Chile.
  • Ulf Swenson Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden.


Gayella valparadisaea, Geoffroea decorticans, Gomortega keule, Lucuma bifera, Pouteria lucuma, Pouteria splendens


The story of the life and botanical contributions of Juan Ignacio Molina (1740-1829), “the first Chilean scientist”, are briefly outlined. The generic name Lucuma is considered to be validly published by Molina in 1782, and the identities of the five species of the genus, L. bifera, L. turbinata, L. valparadisaea, L. keule, and L. spinosa, are discussed. Four species names are neotypified with material from Chile and the nomenclatural implications are discussed. Lucuma bifera, with L. turbinata in synonymy, becomes the name for the commonly cultivated Andean fruit tree in Sapotaceae currently called Pouteria lucuma. Gayella valparadisaea, with Lucuma valparadisaea in synonymy, becomes the name for the endemic Chilean tree in Sapotaceae currently called Pouteria splendens. Gomortega keule, with Lucuma keule in synonymy, remains the name for this endemic Chilean fruit tree in the monotypic family Gomortegaceae. Geoffroea decorticans, with Lucuma spinosa in synonymy, remains the name for this South American tree or shrub with edible fruits in Fabaceae.


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How to Cite

Thulin, M.; Marticorena, A.; Swenson, U. Molinaʼs Species of Lucuma: Neotypifications and Nomenclatural Implications. Gayana Bot. 2021, 78, 162-171.




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