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Botanical Nomenclature | Garden care & Maintenance.


This topic may seem a little heavy, but it is interesting.
If you want to deepen the knowledge of the plants you won't have no choice but to go putting yourself in scientific names. Take it easy, to base to see and read the names I guarantee you will learn many in a short time.
The botanical name, unlike the name common or vulgar, does not depend on how call it it the people of a certain area, or the translator of the book or local producer of plants, or anyone else. It is Universal.
* The scientist, BOTANIST or technical name (they are synonyms).
It is a universal name, the same for Australia, Peru, Spain, South Africa or anywhere in the world. The common name is highly variable. An example: in Seville is called "Zapote" the species, Phytolacca dioica (is a subtropical tree that thrives in Mediterranean areas). As well, in other areas of Spain is not called "Sapote", but "Ombú" or "Bellasombra". Three names to designate a single plant. If we know the scientific name (Phytolacca dioica) will be perfectly identified and we have a universal name that will allow us to know which plant we are talking about.
Ombú, Bellasombra, Zapote (Phytolacca dioica)
* The Common, VULGAR or POPULAR name (they are synonyms).
That is popular tradition, people in general, assigned to each plant. The common name may vary from one country to another, between regions or even between towns coming as it has been made clear in the previous example the Ombú, Bellasombra, or Zapote, names common all species Phytolacca dioica.
Don't worry if you know very few or none of the botanical names, it is something that, as you say, take it with time and gradually will be staying. You will see how within a time you are able to remember many of them: " Quercus ilex (Holm), Pinus pinea (stone pine), Arbutus unedo (Madroño),...".
We are going with the botanical Nomenglatura.


Let's take one example either: Pinus pinea L.. This is the scientific name of the stone pine. It consists of three parts:
1 "Pinus", which is the genus to which it belongs this tree. Remember that living beings are classified in 5 great kingdoms and one of them is the plant Kingdom. In turn, each Kingdom is made up of several categories: Division, class, order, family, genus, species, subspecies, variety and form.
2 "pinea", which is the word that defines the species.
3 "l", which is the abbreviation of the botanist who classified this species for the first time. In this case: the Swedish scientist Linnaeus. Regular handling, usually omit this third part. Abbreviations of who named the plant I at least don't know them, although the full, correct name would be this: Pinus pinea l., but we usually say Pinus pinea and it is clear that it is the pine.
Therefore, "Pinus" is a genus of plants comprising about 100 species, one of which is the Pinus pinea (stone pine). Other species of this genus would be: Pinus sylvestris l., Pinus nigra Arnold. , Pinus canariensis CHR. Smith, Pinus pinaster Aiton, etc., etc.. Here I put the full name, using the abbreviations of the botanical, but again, that from now on will be removed them and lists also.
Well, as it is now, this is the fundamental: the scientific name is a word that is the gender and another word that is the species more concrete the abbreviation of the classifier of the species, which christened it. This is the basic and main. Although not the thing is here, there is more.
Here are the 6 concepts that are missing:
• Species
• Hybrid
• Cultivate
• Variety
• Subspecies
• Form
We've already seen it before. It is the set of individuals with common characteristics. Examples: Pinus pinea (stone pine), Jasminum officinale (Jasmin), Nerium oleander (Oleander), etc, etc.
Hybrid (x)
It is the result of crossing two different species. Ex.: crossing the species Spiraea albiflora and Spiraea japonica get a hybrid species or hybrid called Spiraea x bumalda .
Spiraea japonica-Spiraea x albiflora - > Spiraea x bumalda
clip_image061Spiraea albiflora
clip_image062Spiraea japonica
clip_image063Spiraea x bumalda
These crosses either them can make man or occur spontaneously in nature and form a hybrid. There are many ornamental plants that are hybrids; as a result of crosses that the nurseries made for certain characteristics (larger flowers, which last longer, more resistant plant, etc.).
Cultivar (')
Breeders of new plants, nurseries and technical, depart from a species that exist in nature, (let's take as an example the Oleander -Nerium oleander- which has pink flowers), and through a process of selection in field trials lasting several years, get Oleander with flowers of different colors that would be the cultivars.
- Nerium oleander 'Mont Blanc', white flowers grow.
- Nerium oleander 'Atropurpureum', cultivar red flowers.
- Nerium oleander 'Aurantiacum', cultivar with yellow flowers.
- And many more.
clip_image064White flower farming
clip_image065Cultivar red flower
To cultivars is them commonly called "varieties". in fact, Word is used more the "variety" to "grow". I, and the majority of the people, we say "variety" when being accurate we should say "grow" is the right thing. In the example of Oleander, almost always say: "I've bought a nice variety of flowers yellow Oleander", but being botanically rigorous is wrong, should be "I bought a beautiful grown Oleander of yellow flowers". This is because "variety" and "cultivate" botanically are different concepts.
The main difference is that the "variety" (var.) is the result of a natural, spontaneous phenomenon in nature, and "cultivar" is the result of the human being, which obtained by selections of plants with new characteristics. I better explain what a "variety":
Variety (var.)
An example to understand this:
Cupressus sempervirens is the common Cypress, known tree that is planted in cemeteries and has a very typical form, needle. This species can be found in nature in the Mediterranean forest. As well, in nature, emerged individuals from Cypress who had the branches more horizontal, not vertical as the typical Cypress of the cemeteries, but more open. This feature (have more horizontal branches) are retained in the offspring and a botanist discovered it and named these somewhat different individuals as the species Cupressus sempervirens var. horizontalis (common name: horizontal Cypress, the other, normal, is called pyramid Cypress). It's a new variety of Cypress obtained spontaneously in nature itself.
Pyramidal Cypress and horizontal Cypress
Another example: Wild olive tree (Olea europaea var. ) sylvestris), resembles the olive tree but is a natural variety (var.).
There are not many cases of natural varieties in ornamental plants, but there are some.
I stress again the difference between variety and cultivar. Variety, what we normally call for variety is not such, but grow. A variety is naturally occurring in nature without human intervention. The cultivar is a product obtained from a species artificially. Oleander there are cultivars, but there is no natural varieties. However, we have the habit of saying "available" when we should speak of "cultivate".
Subspecies (subsp..)
It is a concept similar to the "variety". They occur in nature. They are plants that are different in some things for reasons of geographical distribution. Ex: From la Encina (Quercus ilex) arose spontaneously called subspecies Quercus ilex subsp.. rotundifolia.
They are counted in ornamental plants.
Form (f.)
Another concept similar to that of "variety" and "subspecies". They are plants that differ from those from things such as leaf color, the color of the flower, etc. Ex.: from the Hague (Fagus sylvatica) originated in the nature, a variation of this tree which had leaves purple in autumn. It is the way Fagus sylvatica f. purpurea . It is indicated by the lowercase "f".
Also are few examples in gardening, but there are some.
clip_image068Fagus sylvatica f. purpurea


What is a hybrid?
The crossing of two different species.

What is a cultivar?
What are technicians and nurseries from species of nature. For example: a Camellia flowers striped.

What variety, subspecies and form?
They are three very similar concepts. In the nature arise modifications in plant species which are kept and result in individuals who differ in some of the rest of the species.
It continues to see examples of all this.

Hybrids, species, varieties... Examples of Botanical Nomenclature of the garden plants

Several examples of Botanical Nomenclature which will serve to highlight the previous concepts of species, hybrid, cultivar, variety, subspecies and form in garden plants.

It is the most abundant:
Acacia dealbata (Mimosa)
Taxus baccata (yew)
Phoenix canariensis (Canary Palm)
Fatsia japonica (Aralia)
• Etc, etc, etc. There are thousands of species used in gardening.
Some random:
Musa x paradisiaca (banana - hybrid)
Abutilon x hybridum (Abutilon - hybrid)
Magnolia x soulangiana (Magnolia - hybrid)
x Cupressocyparis leylandii (Leilandi - intergeneric hybrids)
The "x" in front of the latest example is the case of intergeneric hybrids (go, another little more word). There are few cases, so you will see it very little. They are hybrid result of crossing two species of different genera, when normal, 99% of the hybrids, they are result of crossing species of the same genus, and the "x" is placed in the middle.
Musa x paradisiaca, Abutilon x hybridum, x Cupressocyparis leylandii
I remind you again that normally say "variety" rather than the more correct, that would be to say "grow". There are thousands of cultivars in garden plants. Some examples of either:
Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruticosa'
Camellia japonica ' Full ALB'
Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruticosa'. From boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) was obtained this cultivar.
Camellia japonica 'Alba full'. Among the many cultivars of Camellia that exist.
Pink 'Celeste', Rosa 'Nevada', Rosa 'Penelope',... thousands of cultivars of roses.
Ilex aquifolium 'Golden Milkmaid'
Daboecia x scotica 'Jack Drake' and this what is?.
I explain: first was a hybrid crossing species Daboecia azorica and Daboecia cantabrica. The result was Daboecia x scotica. And from this hybrid rehearsing and selecting field, got different cultivars, such as 'Jack Drake', the 'Willian Buchanan', etc.
More examples of cultivars from hybrids:
Populus x canadensis 'Robust'
Photinia x fraseri 'Red robin'
Cytisus x praecox 'Allgold'
Photinia x fraseri ' Red Robin'
This is the variety that occurs spontaneously in nature. Examples:
Deutzia scabra var. candidissima
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. repens
Escallonia rubra var. macrantha
Escallonia rubra var. macrantha 'Crimson Spire'
This last example is a cultivar derived from the former natural variety. These are rare cases.
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var.. repens
There are few garden plants that we use. Some example:
Pinus nigra subesp. Nigra
Pinus nigra subesp. Nigra
Also there are few examples in ornamental flora. I put one:
Daboecia cantabrica f. alba
Daboecia cantabrica f. alba
Because this is what it is. When you see a scientific name you know what each part of that expression. What you can do now is go see species, hybrids and others and try to go leaving you with their names. See lots of pictures and plants wherever you go. It's nice to also investigate to find the botanical name of this plant have seen and who has struck you. Take advantage of the Forums Forum, which you can include pictures in messages.
Published for educational purposes


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