Learn the Latin

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Posted by @Xeramtheum on
Learning Latin names is not as difficult as you might think. A little at a time, we can learn the Latin names of our plants and avoid quite a bit of confusion.

"I'd like to buy a hibiscus, please."

"OK, would you like a Hibiscus acetosella, coccineus, trionum, mutabilis, syriacus, rosa-sinensis, schizopetalus, sabdariffa, longifolia, citrinus ....?"

There are well over 100 species of Hibiscus, some of which are very zone specific, like the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, which won't survive in zones any lower than 9!

How about Angel's Trumpet? Are you looking for a Brugmansia or Datura?

Or Bird of Paradise. Do you want Erythrostemon, Caesalpinia, or perhaps a Strelitzia?

Learning Latin names is not as difficult as you might think, though spelling some of them can be quite a feat. Every time I successfully spell out Passiflora foetida var. gossypiifolia, I give myself a pat on the back.

What you want to learn is the genus and species of your plants. Genus is a division or subdivision of a family of plants. Species is a division or subdivision of a genus.

Pick one of your plants, any plant will do. Find the Latin name, genus and species, and every time you look at that plant or work with it, call it by its Latin name until it becomes second nature. Then look for another plant you have within the same genus but a different species. Learn that one, then another.

Once you get a few memorized and are comfortable with them, you'll find that learning the Latin is relatively easy.

Comments and Discussion
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Botanical or scientofic names! by NEILMUIR1 Nov 13, 2014 11:15 AM 4
Untitled by donnabking Nov 1, 2014 9:17 PM 1
It's always good to know the name by KurtMN Nov 1, 2014 9:06 AM 1
Common names cause confusion by greene Oct 27, 2014 8:16 AM 0
I like the Latin names by Reine Oct 26, 2014 7:50 PM 0
Etymology as a memory aid - and for fun by evermorelawnless Oct 26, 2014 4:26 PM 5
Latin Names as stated by Xerantheum by RCanada Oct 26, 2014 3:11 PM 0
Good advice! by greene Oct 26, 2014 1:52 PM 4

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