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Basionym [ Taxonomy ]
Synonym: Base name
, Original name

Dictionary of botanic terminology
index of names

  The basionym (base name) is the first name validly published ever given to a biological species or genus which has priority over other names later given to the same species  by different authors  and the author of this name is called the basionym author.  

Further studies and revisions may reject the basionym as the most correct one, but it still is useful as a nomenclatural reference for that species
Also after a taxonomic revision that results in a species being reclassified in another genus, the specific epithet must remain the same as the one in the basionym. For instance the cactus  Eriosyce napina  (current name attributed by Kattermann in 1994) was formerly classified by Philippi in 1872 as  Echinocactus napinus
When a species name changes, to show the connection to the source of the new name, botanists retain the name of the basionym author by placing it in parentheses, the authority of the new combination is placed after the parentheses e.g. Eriosyce napina (Philippi) Kattermann 1994.

A unique exception to this general rule regards the name of the Prickly pear classified by Linnaeus in 1754 as Cactus opuntia (L.) 1754 (basionym), this plant has been renamed  later in 1768 by Miller under the new name of Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. 1768 (current name).

Basionyms are examples of Synonymy in scientific classification.





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