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Scientific Plant Names

Flower Facts Flower Library







This page will demystify scientific plant names and teach you how plant names can help you understand the plants. It will also guide you in the correct pronunciation of many of the scientific plant names.

Scientific plant names are used throughout the world, as they are more accurate than the common plant name. Common plant names can apply to different plants in different parts of the country even different parts of the world. Although these plants may share the same common name, they may require different growing conditions and perform differently. That is why it is important to have an identification system that is as precise as possible. However, these scientific plant names are derived from Latin and Greek, therefore the pronunciation of scientific plant names sometimes seems difficult. We have selected a list of scientific plant names and have provided a pronunciation for each name to give you a guide as to how to pronounce scientific plant names.

Scientific plant names can also help you to understand the plants. The first part of a scientific plant name is the genus name, which is usually a classical name. The second part is the species name, which is usually a descriptive word that can be deciphered. A good example of this is the scientific plant name Sollya heterophylla. In this case heterophylla can be broken up into hetero, which means heterogeneous or various, and phylla which means leaves. This tells you that heterophylla means various-size leaves. Sollya heterophylla has various sized leaves in that some are lanceolate and others are oblong.

Pronouncing plant names
Below is a list of scientific plant names and their pronunciation.
  • Abelia - uh-BEE-lee-uh
  • Artemisia - AHR-tuh-MEE-zee-uh
  • Baccharis - BAK-uh-ris
  • Bougainvillea - boo-guhn-VIL-e-uh
  • Callistephus - ka-LIS-tee-fuhs
  • Cattleya - KAT-lee-uh
  • Ceratostigma - sair-uh-toe-STIG-muh
  • Cheiranthus - kye-RAN-thus
  • Convolvulus - Kon-VOL-vew-luhs
  • Crataegus - kruh-TEE-guhs
  • Dieffenbachia - deef-uhn-BAK-ee-uh
  • Dryopteris - drye-OP-ter-uhs
  • Epiphyllum - ep-uk-FIL-uhm
  • Fraxinus - FRAK-suh-nuhs
  • Gleditsia - gluh-DIT-see-uh
  • Heteromeles - het-uh-roe-MEE-leez
  • Kniphofia - nip-HOE-fee-uh
  • Metrosideros - MET-roe-SID-uh-ruhs
  • Osteospermum - os-tee-oe-SPUR-muhm
  • Platycladus - plat-i-CLAD-uhs
  • Sinningia - si-NIN-jee-uh
  • Tigridia - tye-GRID-ee-uh
  • Tradescantia - trad-es-KAN-shee-uh
  • Vancouveria - van-koo-VEE-ree-uh
  • Xylosma - zye-LOZ-muh
  • Zantedeschia - zan-tuh-DES-kee-uh
  • Zephyranthes - zef-i-RAN-theez
  • Zoysia - ZOY-see-uh

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