Author: Jan Scholten
Nomenclature of Plants
A plant needs a name that applies to it and only to it and which means the same thing to everyone. The name for a species consists of the genus name and the specific epithet.
Names are originating from.
Classical: fagus (= beech), Mays (= corn).
Form of growth: arboreus (= tree), repens (= creeping).
Forms: penstemon (= 5 stamens), campanulatus (= bell shaped).
Smell: foetidus (= foul smelling).
Habitat: montana (= mountain), palustris (= marsh).
Use: officinalis (= used in pharmacy).
Country: indica (= india), thapsus (= Italy).
Scientist: Lewisia (= Lewis).
C. The formula.
1. The genus name tells a plant's closest relatives.
2. The specific epithet tells which species it is. Genus name + specific epithet = species name.
3. The authority tells who first described the plant; or the variation of a species. These are often cultivated variations.
Callirhoe involucrata (Torr. ) Gray.
a. “Callirhoe” is the genus name. Genus names are capitalized.
b. ”involucrata” is the specific epithet. Specific epithet 's are underlined but not capitalized. The specific epithet often indicates a character or a place of origin, etc.
(Torr. ) Gray is the authority, the person(s) whose work(s) you would consult to find out why a plant is named and classified as it is. In this case, (Torr. ) indicates the plant's first describer. Gray indicates the person responsible for placing the plant in its current classification.
E. Higher orders.
Family names are formed by adding “aceae” to the most typical or known genus out of the family. "Sterculiaceae" can only refer to a family with the genus “Sterculia” in it. The ending “-ales” always refers to orders.
From family on up, categories are named after a typical member, something that (usually) exemplifies the circumscription of that category. The class Asteridae and Subclass EuAsteridae 1 are also named after the order of Asterales. The order of Asterales is named after the family Asteraceae, which is named after the genus Aster.
The taxonomy of the classes and subclasses has been changed recently. The endings have been changed with that also. The newer endings are more, “ids”, whereas the old ones had Latin endings like “opsidae” and “idea”.