Article: Plant Names I : Botanical Part: Wow!! So much to learn...

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Image Plant Names I : Botanical Part
By Charlie Street on March 7, 2011

Dedicated gardeners often want to know the identity of the plants they purchase and grow. That means knowing formal plant names. These names always have a botanical part and this is often followed by a horticultural part. This article is about the botanical part of plant names.

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ImageSharon
Mar 7, 2011 2:41 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
...and so little time.

What a wonderfully informative and educational article, Charlie. Now if only I had a photographic memory. I've always loved the history of plants, my problem is in remembering their names.

I'm going to tag this article so that i can keep coming back to it as reference. Thank you so much for such clear and concise information. I wish I'd had you to teach me long ago.
SunnyBorders
Mar 7, 2011 5:00 PM CST
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Zone 5a
Thanks Sharon,

I've had a fair bit to do with zoological nomenclature, in the context of Primate evolution, but found some of the botanical stuff required some investigation and thought.

Haven't done naming cultivars yet, but I've read that some informed gardeners may identify plants with just a species epithet plus the cultivar name e.g. caryophyllus 'Rose Queen'. Number of potential problems here and using only the species epithet, without the rest of a species binomial, is taxonomic heresy.
[Last edited Mar 7, 2011 5:03 PM CST]
Quote | Post #580750 (2)
ImageLeftwood
Mar 8, 2011 12:07 AM CST
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
A great tackling of a complicated subject. I read it with a critical eye, and your clear and concise writing leaves others in the dust.

Many people write a lot and say little, or are ambiguous with their thoughts and facts. Charlie, you are just the opposite! Bravo!!!

Regarding references to cultivars with only the cultivar and species epithet (omitting the genus epithet), I think it is just a type of "shorthand" meant to be used only in conversation with like minds, when the genus name is auto-understood. I am not saying it's the correct thing to do; I'm just sayin'.

I have never been able to find a free online copy of the ICNCP. Do you have a link?
SunnyBorders
Mar 8, 2011 9:26 PM CST
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Zone 5a
Thanks Rick.

I try.

Sure you're correct re above as shorthand.

Don't know re free access to ICNCP. Expect you've seen current edition for sale on line. Guess with cultivated plants it tends to be about money!
ImageLeftwood
Mar 9, 2011 8:58 AM CST
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
SunnyBorders wrote: Guess with cultivated plants it tends to be about money!


----- That's an understatement (!)

SunnyBorders
Mar 9, 2011 11:39 AM CST
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Zone 5a
Rick,

Statement underlined, if not italicized!

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