For the last 90 years, since the publication of the first International Code of Botanical Nomenclature in 1906, the taxonomy of fossils has been treated with special care. Although the six principles are applied to fossils in the same way as for any other taxonomic group of plants, there are several recommendations specifically for fossil plants, among them the definition of what constitutes a taxon. Because of both consistency and flexibility, the Linnaean system of Nomenclature, based on agreed-upon rules and recommendations and modifications over the years has offered a relatively stable system to name fossils. During the last 10 years a new nomenclature system has been proposed, now dubbed the PhyloCode. The PhyloCode as posted on the web does not address numerous of the major issues regarding fossils that have been treated in the current code. The proponents of this new system also claim that the Linnaean system is archaic and insufficient for modern classification. One of their most prevalent arguments is that this new system is more stable than the Linnaean one. However, because the inclusion of fossil taxa in phylogenetic analyses is often difficult, and their proposed system of designating groups requires phylogenetic topologies, fossil taxonomy will be inherently unstable under the new system. Other problems with the PhyloCode include the method of designating and naming of clades, since the fossil record is imperfect and as new fossils are discovered, the inclusion of these new fossils may arbitrarily change the composition of clades and therefore add more instability to the system. Examples and comparisions betwenn both systems will be presented.

Key words: fossils, Linnaean system, nomenclature, taxonomy