Learn Scientific Names to Gain a Better Understanding of Your Plants

To plan their gardens for the upcoming year, plant enthusiasts frequently consult lists of plants or seeds available for purchase in the winter. Every plant on those lists typically has two names: a common name and a botanical, or scientific, name. A lot of people are confused about the meaning and pronunciation of the botanical name because it is not written in English. Latin is spoken there. Helping growers ensure that the plant they bring home is the one they intended to purchase is its main goal. Common names are problematic since they are essentially colloquial or informal terms for plants. Many plants might share a common name.

 

Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish physician, biologist, and botanist, is credited with establishing the Latin naming system in the 1700s. Plant classification and naming conventions were developed in botanical Latin by his publications Systema Naturae and Fundamenta Botanica. Gardeners should therefore make an effort to familiarize themselves with it. Throughout his life, Linnaeus gave a two-part, or binomial, name to every plant and animal he encountered. Genus and species are the two components. These names are frequently derived from the way certain plant or animal parts look.

 

Every six years, the International Botanical Congress convenes to discuss and select new naming queries. New scientific breakthroughs and genetic studies raise these questions. After all, Linnaeus did not have contemporary microscopes or DNA testing laboratories to decide which plants are related. This photo, which was sent by Jessica Damiano on July 15, 2021, depicts Liatris spicata flourishing in a Long Island, New York garden. This photo, which was sent by Jessica Damiano on July 15, 2021, depicts Liatris spicata flourishing in a Long Island, New York garden. For instance, a few years ago, bleeding hearts—once formally known as Dicentra spectabilis—were transferred into the recently established Lamprocapnos genus. Currently, they go by Lamprocapnos spectabilis.

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