Scientific Plant Names
A to B
Consult my listing of scientific plant names with the confidence that comes from using botanical nomenclature -- names that are solid and consistent, rather than morphing from one geographical region to another. Specimens starting with the letters A or B are listed here.
C to D
Callicarpa dichotoma (purple beautyberry) is one of the plants I most prize under the C listing. Its common name, in this case, pretty much says it all: this shrub produces beautiful purple berries. In the D section, I would claim Daphne x burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie' as one of my favorites: I love both its aromatic flower heads and its...
E to F
Speaking of beauty, Euphorbia pulcherrima, translated literally, tells you that, of the plants in this genus, it's the most beautiful. In the F's, you will see Forsythia, a scientific plant name derived from the surname of English horticulturist, William Forsyth. This bush's bright blossoms herald spring in no uncertain terms.
G to H
What does the G-H grouping hold in store for you? Try a range from the tropical gerbera daisy to Hibiscus moscheutos, which, in spite of that tropical-sounding genus name is, like rose of sharon, a hardy hibiscus. Speaking of rose of sharon, I discuss two spiffy cultivars here: 'Blue Chiffon' and 'Sugar Tip'.
I to J
The I-J section of scientific plant names is home to colorful characters if we are to judge from their scientific plant names. I doubt that Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Princess', Ipomoea tricolor 'Heavenly Blue' and Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star' will leave you feeling blue. But just in case, you can always uncork a bottle of Itea virginica ...
K to L
Plant collector, William Kerr gives Kerria its name. But I'm more fascinated by a representative from the L group, Lychnis chalcedonica. You history buffs out there have heard of the Council of Chalcedon, an important event that took place in A.D. 451. Indeed, L. chalcedonica is a plant just dripping with the dew of history.
M to N
If you've taken any Latin in school, you might think "bad" when you see the word, Malus . But as a scientific plant name, it is used for the genus of the apples and crabapples. Along the same lines, Narcissus may evoke memories of your readings in Greek mythology; but as a scientific plant name, it refers to that springtime delight, the...
O to P
There are some tough customers in the O's and P's. Opuntia humifusa is a cactus. But don't think that means it's tender. On the contrary, this hardy cactus makes it all the way up to New England! As for P. quinquefolia , it's an American native that is more highly valued in the Old World, where it is an import. This vine is nearly...
Q to R
Can you name a genus that starts with Q? My listing here contains one. The novice gardener would be hard-pressed to translate this scientific plant name into its common equivalent. The R grouping doesn't present the same challenges, as everyone knows Rhododendron and Rosa, for example.
S to T
Scanning the S-T database puts me in a good mood. That is because two of the entries are spring-flowering bulb plants -- one of my favorite plant types! Specifically, you will find Scilla siberica and Tulipa in this part of the database.
U to Z
Bringing up the rear in my database is my U-Z section. Even if you are not a big fan of scientific plant names, you'll probably recognize most of these, as their botanical nomenclature largely parallels common usage; for example, Veronica , Viburnum , Vinca , Weigela and Wisteria . But unless you're more of an aficionado of scientific...