Harvard University Herbaria

A Nomenclatural Revision of F.J. Seaver's North American Cup-Fungi (Operculates)


The North American Cup-fungi (Operculates) (Seaver 1928) has been a standard reference for more than 50 years. It was revised by Seaver in 1942 and has stood as an authoritative source since that time. No modern work on the Pezizales fails to cite it and, though there are some monographs for genera and some regional floras, one invariably still turns to this book when one is identifying Pezizales.

In the years since Seaver's work, the Pezizales have been reworked at the generic level and important cytological, histochemical, and developmental work has been done on the group. Several major monographs of genera have been written as well as checklists and regional reports. It is not surprising that, when using Seavert's treatment, one is often able to identify a species without having any idea of where the species belongs in modern generic systems. Seaver's treatment was a highly artificial one. I have set about annotating Seaver's nomenclature.

Modern currently accepted names for his concepts or names are provided in the list which follows. These are opinions. Certainly one can turn to Seaver's list of synonyms and find other opinions. I have tried to follow a conservative pathway and have listed binomials which for the most part are now in common usage. In a few cases some rearrangement is proposed but generic concepts are those which are found in Eckblad's (1968) revision, Rifai's (1968) treatment of the Austral­Asian Pezizales, Dennis's (1978) recent revision, or Korf's keys (1972, 1973a).

I have not tried to provide all of the synonyms but rather to fit Seaver's taxa into recognizable modern genera. This has been easier in some groups than in others as the listing which follows will amply show. Some genera have been well worked; others are woefully understudied. Still it is hoped that those using the book will find this annotation helpful.

The annotation is made up of three parts. Part I lists the name used by Seaver, the page number in North American Cup­fungi (Operculates) revised edition, and the equivalent name where known. Comments on some of the names are made in lumbered notes referred to in the revised list. Those Seaver names which are underlined were listed as doubtful by Seaver. The Seaver names marked with a "+" represent names which for sundry reasons were not possible to verify in North America. Part II is an index to the revised names as listed in Part I. The page numbers refer to Seaver's book. With each generic name, reference to recent monographic work s given. Part III is a bibliography. Most recent treatments containing references to North American taxa are listed.

I wish to thank several curators who have seen to it that I had specimens for study. These are Clark T. Rogerson (NY), David Farr (BPI), John H. Haines (NYS), and Richard P. Korf (CUP). My debt to Prof. Korf is a profound one. He reviewed this manuscript, made suggestions, and gave encouragement. He provided many of the clues which lead to the solution of some of the tangles. He also got me started on discomycetes as a graduate student. This research was supported in part by National Science Foundation grant DEB 8023018 to the author.

List of Seaver revised names