Thomas Walter's oaks from the coastal region of South Carolina
Thomas Walter was the first post-Linnaean author of a sizable flora in eastern North America. As such, the Flora Caroliniana is an important hallmark in the botanical history of the United States. This paper is intended to be the first of a series of commentaries on the plants included in Walter's Flora Caroliniana. The present paper analyzes the thirteen species of oak (Quercus) reported by Walter as occurring in the approximately fifty square miles surrounding his plantation on the south bank of the Santee River some 45 miles northwest of Charleston. Walter's thirteen oak binomials with their current equivalents are as follows: (1) Q. sempervirens Walter = Q. virginiana Mill.; (2) Q. phellos L. = Q. phellos L.; (3) Q. humilis Walter non Mill. = Q. incana W. Bartram; (4) Q. pumila Walter [There is no type specimen and the brief description is in flagrant conflict with the species that has borne the binomial for the past 213 years. A new species (Q. elliottii) is proposed to replace the misapplied name of Walter]; (5) Q. prinus L. [a previously suggested "ambiguous name" soon to be formally proposed for rejection; Walter's plant is Q. michauxii Nutt.]; (6) Q. nigra sensu Walter, non L. = Q. marilandica Münchh.; (7) Q. aquatica Walter = Q. nigra L.; (8) Q. rubra sensu Walter, non L. = Q. falcata Michx.; (9) Q. laevis Walter = Q. laevis Walter; (10) Q. alba L. = Q. alba L.; (11) Q. Iyrata Walter = Q. lyrata Walter; (12) Q. sinuata Walter [identity uncertain]; (13) Q. villosa Walter = Q. stellata Wangenh.
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