Mother Earth Living

Herb Basics: Deciphering the Botanical Name

The Linnaeus classification system can help gardeners identify specific herb varieties.
By The Herb for Health Staff
May/June 2001
Add to My MSN


Content Tools

Related Content

Herbal Travels: VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver

The Lemon Verbena Lady visits the VanDusen Botanical Garden's herb garden and finds that it doesn't ...

Pacific Yurts Introduces New Energy-Efficient ‘Form-Fitting’ Window System

Now Pacific Yurts introduces one of its most exciting innovations to date the unique Custom Curve™ w...

Naturally Roll Away Tired Eyes

Didn’t get your beauty rest? No need to fear, new eyelight serum is here.

Herbal Travels: Spring Blooms in Botanical Gardens

Take a walk around a blooming botanical garden this spring and explore new flower themes, events, wo...

Understanding botanical binomials

The binomial (“two-name”) system that botanists use for classifying and naming plants was devised by Carolus Linnaeus, an eighteenth-century Swedish biologist and botanist. It describes patterns of relationship and provides a means of organizing the complexity of nature.

The first part of a plant’s name gives its genus, the group to which it belongs and with which it shares many features. Both garlic and onions belong to the genus Allium. A plant’s species name consists of the genus name and a specific epithet, which indicates a group of individuals that have common attributes and can breed together. Garlic belongs to the Allium sativum species while onions belong to the A. cepa species. The abbreviation of the genus name to the first letter, as in A. cepa for Allium cepa, is used only when the genus is clear. Names enclosed in single quotation marks following species names indicate a single cultivated variety, or cultivar. Lady lavender’s botanical name, Lavandula angustifolia, is often followed by its cultivar name, ‘Lady,’ on nursery identification tags.

Many generic names come from the names of mythological figures, such as Achillea (yarrow) for Achilles and Artemisia for Artemis.








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.