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Landscape Trees

What’s in a name ?


Glossary of botanical and horticultural terms.  

Linnaeus developed a binomial naming system for plants, with each plant being given a genus and a species name. The genus being akin to a surname and a species name to a forename.   A particular form or variety of a plant is known as a cultivar. 

Common names are those names by which plants are commonly known to members of the public.  Common names for the same plant will vary from place to place.       


A plant name often provides a clue to the identification of the plant, e.g. microphyllus – small leaf, rotundifolius - round leaf.  ‘alba plena- double white flowers,  baccata – berry 

The following pages provide examples of meaning of plant names.