Tonestus lyallii

Tonestus lyallii, also known as Lyall’s goldenweed or Lyall’s serpentweed, is native to western North America, particularly the central Rocky Mountains and interior mountain ranges of British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. The species is also found in the high elevation Ruby Mountains near Elko, Nevada, and the Coast Range in Siskiyou and Trinity counties of California (where these populations are over 700km distant from the rest of the range).

The Lyall of the specific epithet refers to the Scottish botanist, David Lyall. The genus name is an anagram of the name of a related genus in the Asteraceae, Stenotus. Also a North American genus, Stenotus was split, with several species moving into the newly-named Tonestus by Aven Nelson in a 1904 publication. From the names I’ve encountered, anagrams are infrequently used; it’s been my understanding when this device is used to create a name, it is for a species or group of species that closely resembles its previous one. Here’s a search for Stenotus on CalPhotos for comparison. Superficially, representatives from each genus will closely resemble one another, and it’s not until either extremely close observation (like Nelson) or diving into a taxonomic key that one may be guided to the characteristics that separate the groups.

Tonestus lyallii is a species of alpine and subalpine habitats, with a preference for gravelly soils or scree.

Tonestus lyallii

7 responses to “Tonestus lyallii”

  1. Andrew

    Tycoledon and Cotyledon is relatively common anagram pair.

  2. Douglas Justice

    Pistacia and Tapiscia.

  3. Pat Willits

    Mitella and Tellima

  4. Silvester Pistoor

    And what to think of Mantisalca salmantica ?
    Here the anagram is in the name itself: the species name is an anagram of the genus name or vice cersa?)
    Mantisalca salmantica is a member of the Asteraceae family, it is growing wild in the south of Europe, also here in South Portugal where I live.

  5. Eric in SF

    Sedirea is a genus of orchids that was split from the genus Aerides.
    Sedirea is Aerides spelled backwards.

  6. David in L A

    Myginda and Gymnida
    Allium and Muilla
    Baldiella and Albidella
    Orcuttia and Tuctoria
    and of course Nestotus

  7. dr bob

    How about Legenere (one of the world’s most underwhelming plants) for E. L. Greene, consummate 19th century splitter?

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