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What is a type specimen?

Last Updated: Mar 28, 2017  |  6 Views

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A type specimen is a single plant specimen chosen by the botanist who first named and published the species to represent the species as a whole. That specimen then becomes the definitive example of that species. This specimen (as a dried plant or occasionally an illustration) is preserved in a herbarium  It can then be consulted when similar species are found or related species need to be identified.

The definition given above is strictly for what is termed a "holotype". There are other categories of type specimens. The NYBG Steere Herbarium website defines these other categories if you are interested:

Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service

Answered by Anita FinkleBookmark and Share

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