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- David E. Ross
August 2, 2013, 4:54 am
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botanical name gives the genus, one species, a cross, and the other
species. The cross sign resembles the times sign, which has the
character reference ×. For example, 'Goodwin Creek Grey'
lavender is Lavandula lanata × dentata.
Is there a more appropriate character reference than ×? A simple
x is generally not used unless there is no other symbol available.
David E. Ross
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Re: Symbol for a Hybrid Cross
Some books use a symbol larger than “×” in such notations, but there
isn’t really any Unicode character that would constitute a suitable
larger version of “x”. There’s the oddly named U+2715 MULTIPLICATION X
“✕” (in the Dingbats block), but it’s too large. There’s U+2A2F VECTOR
OR CROSS PRODUCT “⨯”, which might be more suitable in size, depending on
font, but it is present in a few fonts only, and it is designated as a
mathematical symbol (which does not prevent using it for other purposed
as well, but does not make other use natural either).
But I think the issue can be regarded as authoritatively decided in the
International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants, which says:
“H.2.1. A hybrid between named taxa may be indicated by placing the
multiplication sign between the names of the taxa; the whole expression
is then called a hybrid formula.
Ex. 1. Agrostis L. × Polypogon Desf.; Agrostis stolonifera L. ×
Polypogon monspeliensis (L.) Desf.; Melampsora medusae Thüm. × M.
occidentalis H. S. Jacks.; [...]”
The character used there is U+00D7 MULTIPLICATION SIGN “×“. It is not
identified by its Unicode number, but the use of the name
“multiplication sign” and the use of U+00D7 in the online HTML version
seem to be sufficient evidence.
From the example, it seems that the code recommends repeating the genus
name as abbreviated, e.g. Lavandula lanata × L. dentata, which sounds
logical, since the symbol denotes a hybrid of taxa (taxons), and the
second part of a species name, such as “dentata”, is not a taxon name as