When it comes to plants, being able to precisely identify and classify a plant is critical when communicating with others. If we go just by common names, there are many ways we can get confused. For example, flowering maple (Abutilon) is not a maple (Acer). The plant “bluebell” usually refers to a species of Mertensia in North America, Hyacinthoides non-scripta in England, and Sollya heterophylla in Australia. Regional, international, and language differences can also add to the confusion.
As a result, botanical Latin/scientific naming has been used to govern the naming of plants according to an accepted set of rules: the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN). The purpose is to standardize plants to a single name globally for a specific plant or group. Botanical names can be in one, two, or three parts depending on how specific the classicification gets. For example: pinophyta refers to species in the conifer family, solanum lycopersicum refers to tomato plants, and Camelia sinensis var. sinensis refers to a specific kind of tea bush.
As you continue reading and learning about your favourite plant species, be sure to make a note of the plant’s botanical name so that if you ever need to identify or describe the plant, whether at a garden center, garden show, or anywhere plant enthusiasts congregate, you can be sure everyone will know what you’re talking about and avoid potential confusion.
To conclude, here are few of the botanical names of some of the most common plants we like to grow:
|Butternut||Squash Cucurbita moschata|
|Swiss Chard||Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla|
|Kale||Brassica oleracea Acephala group|
|Mizuna||Brassica rapa nipposinica|
|Carrots||Daucus carota subsp. sativus|
|Green Onions||Allium cepa var. cepa|
|Shallots||Allium cepa var. aggregatum|