Hello Again Pochota, Farewell Bombacopsis (Malvaceae)

  • William S. Alverson University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Marília C. Duarte Universidade de Mogi das Cruzes


Due to a convoluted taxonomic history, specimens representing a well-known tropical tree species long, but erroneously, associated with the basionym Bombax quinatum Jacq. are found in herbaria and databases under three generic names: Bombacopsis Pittier, Pachira Aubl., and Pochota Ram. Goyena (Malvaceae). Recent molecular evidence indicates this species belongs neither to the Pachira clade nor to a subclade containing the type species of Bombacopsis. In view of this new phylogenetic information, the euphonious name Pochota is available, despite being declared a nomen rejiciendum in 1990 with respect to the conservation of Bombacopsis Pittier. Thus, the new combination Pochota fendleri (Seem.) W. S. Alverson & M. C. Duarte is made herein. We also designate lectotypes of Bombacopsis sepium Pittier, Bombax nicoyense Pittier, and Pachira fendleri Seem.