Hooker, W.J.; Taylor, T. 1818: Muscologia Britannica; containing the mosses of Great Britain & Ireland systematically arranged and described. Longmnan, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, London.
The genus was named in honour of the Rev. James Dalton (1765?–1843), a cleric of Croft in Yorkshire who studied mosses and the genus Carex. W.J. Hooker and T. Taylor dedicated their Muscologia Brittanica (1818) to James Dalton.