The following phrases are used to described the status of taxa.
"taxon is an accepted rank"
The taxon is one which I recognise within the classification used within Malvaceae Info. This categorisation is complete for genera and higher ranked taxa, but the failure to include a subgenus, section, etc, or a species, or infraspecific taxon, does not entail rejection of the taxon. In many groups I have not studied the group sufficiently to make even a tentative judgement as to which names represent taxa worthy of acceptance.
"taxon is an orthographic variant of taxon"
The spelling of taxon names sometimes varies. For suprageneric taxa the commonest cause of this is the variation in suffices in works preceeding the standardisation on suffices for ranks - -aceae for families, -oideae for subfamilies, -eae for tribes, and -inae. Other causes include variation in transliteration in taxon names containing accented characters, or from languages written in non-Latin alphabets, and spelling errors by either the original author, or subsequent workers. Such taxa are listed under what I understand to be the correct form, and alternatives listed as orthographic variants.
"taxon is rejected as superfluous"
The specified taxon is at an optional rank (not family, genus or species) and is not needed in a classificiation because it is the only taxon of that rank within a taxon of greater rank. For example the tribe Matisieae is not divided into subtribes, and consequently subtribe Quararibeinae becomes a synonym of subtribe Matisiinae and subtribe Matisiinaebecomes superfluous. Whether to divide a taxon into two or more subtaxa is a matter of judgement; for example there are cases for dividing subfamily Brownlowioideae into tribes Berryeae and Brownlowieae, and tribe Lasiopetaleae into two subtribes, in which case tribe Brownlowieae and subtribe Lasiopetalinae would be accepted taxa rather than superfluous.
"taxon is a synonym of taxon"
This covers taxa which I treat as synonyms of accepted taxa. This is a matter of judgement: on the one hand, in the light of current knowledge of phylogeny it would be unreasonable to treat Plagianthaceae as anything other than a synonym of Malvaceae, but to segregate clade Byttneriina (as Byttneriaceae), or subfamilies Grewioideae (as Grewiaceae) and Byttnerioideae (as Byttneriaceae) is consistent with current understanding.
The taxon of which a taxon is a synonym depends on the classification. For example if Byttnerioideae were to be segregated as Byttneriaceae, then Cacaoaceae, Hermanniaceae, Lasiopetalaceae and Theobromataceae would become synonyms of Byttneriaceae, rather than Malvaceae. This situation is more readily expressed in terms of a synonymy of clades instead of a synonymy of ranked taxa; however the same name has in many cases been applied to multiple clades (e.g. Byttneriaceae has been applied to, inter alia, the cladesByttnerieae, Byttnerioideae and Byttneriina), and taxa may have circumscriptions which are not clades (e.g. Byttneriaceae of some authors corresponds to the combination of Byttnerioideae and Dombeyoideae). I will give consideration as to how this may be represented, but for the moment I restrict the material here to a traditional synonymy.
In some cases the nature of the synonymy is described in more detail, using one of the three following phrases. The failure to use one of these phrases does not mean that none of them apply; merely that I haven't identified (or updated the underlying database to reflect) which is the case. These phrases will be used more frequently as the database is enhanced.
taxon is a nomenclatural synonym of taxon
taxon is a taxonomic synonym of taxon
taxon is a basionym of taxon
Basionyms are a subset of taxonomic synonyms. The basionym is the name under which a taxon was first described. Later authors may have placed it in a different genus (for species) or speces (for infraspecific taxa), or classified it at a different rank.
"genus is of uncertain status"
Some sources list for Malvaceae and segregate families genera for which I cannot find an identification with a currently accepted malvaceous genus, or a placement in another family. This are described in the synonymy of Malvaceae as been of uncertain status. Note that there are degrees of uncertainty; for example the identify of Pimia, which is treated as a recognised genus, is uncertain; and the recognition of many other genera is arguably problematical due to the presence of paraphyly or polyphyly, to the closeness of pairs of genera, or for other reasons. Such cases are not listed as of uncertain status here, but will be discussed in the material on the relevant taxa, when present.