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botanical names


I’m trying to learn botanical names for plants, and did some Googling. Thought these sites mightbe useful – put them all here so I might be able to find them again! and might be useful for others as well

common name:
notanical name:
downloadable pdf:

trees: several lists on this site, inlcuding bonsai types

downloadable pdf:


there’s tons more, but these should do for starters!

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Hi Fran I did a year at horticultural college when I was in my 40's and loved plant identification, we started with 10 plants eithr twig flower or leaf, had to write out the whole latin name....then each week 5 more were added for the whole year, each week we had 10 to identify from the growing list, such fun!
at lunchtime we would wander round the garden identifying the plants and writing out the long names.....practise is the only way.....I have forgotten some now but still love the way the words roll off your tongue..... Fraxinus excelsior the common ash is my favorite :0)

3 May, 2014


it's habit, you've got it, or had it and still have most of it, and I'm starting out.

we used to do bark rubbings with the Cubs, and then try to find out what trees they were; not much luck, as I tried to get them to do the work (and the thinking!). i need to do these again, and get leaves at the same time, to put them together

3 May, 2014


Good game Pam! Lol! my favourite at the moment is Ampelopsis Brevipedunculata! Wish I could grow it!

Fran, this is great info for us all! Thanks for putting it on!

3 May, 2014


don't think I've got a favourite yet, or I've got too many.

lol hope I can re-find this again when I need it

3 May, 2014


Metasequoia glyptostroboides...... dawn redwood, a tree as big as its name

3 May, 2014


lol Snoop, it's practice and habit. some of the names dopn't exactly roll off the tongue, ans Pam's glorous example proves! but common names for the same plant can vary with location, whereas each has its unique latin tag.

3 May, 2014


There are some wondrous names Fran.........

3 May, 2014


The RHS book on latin for gardeners shows the derivation of the various names.

3 May, 2014


I'm not too bad at the names if I have to write them down....pronunciation, that's where it gets tricky!

I've started adding the Latin names of my plants to the pictures I post, not only is it useful for someone seeing them, it helps me learn their names.

I was forced into studying Latin at High School because I was considered intelligent enough but from there on in I rebelled!! Therefore it did me no good what so ever.

Thanks for taking the trouble to post the sites Fran

3 May, 2014


the RHS has the words phonetically too. I love it.

3 May, 2014


When adding a new plant to my garden page I will add the latin one if I know it but very rarely use it if speaking about a plant, I automatically use the english name, I could never wrap my tongue around most of the latin ones anyway, I admit its a good pastime when one has nothing to do in the winter.
I think my RHS books have to be among my favourites on the gardening shelves, the only complaint is the fact that I have to sit at the table when using them because they are so big...

3 May, 2014


I must look at the rhs book......I have forgotten so much......

One thing I do if I can't sleep is to alphabetically list trees either the latin or the ordinary name........i cheat though and use shrubs or something, it works, I rarely get to x. (is there a tree or shrub, or any plant beginning with X)or zinnias!

3 May, 2014


pronunication is the prob for me too, Scottish. I'm going to look up and get all the latin names for my plants and add them to the common names list - if I keep looking through the list, eventually the latin should creep in and stick. but that's spelling, not speaking!

and word derivation is fascinating! I have several books on how English evolved, the twists and turns that ended up with a word meanding what it does nowadays. I like to know "why" as well as "how"

the RHS was first in the Google list, Seaburn, but when I clicked the link all I got was "sorry, page not found" - twice. emailed them to tell them they seem to have broken link.

I have toruble reading, Lincs, especially large heavy books and small print - I have particular problems reading italics - with the pc i can select and take italics off, but for a book I have to work it out letter by letter - and with some of these names, there'd be quite a few letters!

lol Pam, counting trees must be more effective than counting sheep! at least one learns, or reinforces, something useful,

4 May, 2014


And trees stay put Fran......its such trouble counting sheep when they run in all directions!

4 May, 2014


lol unless they're Ents

4 May, 2014


I always liked Treebeard.........

4 May, 2014


Very interesting, Fran! I've learnt the Latin names of a great many plants over the years I've been gardening. I may not be able to give you the Latin name but if I see it I can often recognize the plant & often the equivalent in English - &, occasionally, in Spanish!

I've found Latin names fascinating since I began to learn Spanish (it is after all a Latin based language!) Spanish has also helped me a lot with the pronunciation of Latin words. Names of medicinal products are VERY much easier to pronounce now! In Botany Latin names can quite often give you a good description of the plant before you ever see it. Knowing what the names mean also opens up a world of interest!

Since studying Spanish, over 40 years ago, I've found language to be a really fascinating subject!

8 May, 2014


i tried learning latin, a Teach-Yourself book, and was doing okay till I hit the Third Declension - I just couldn't udnerstand WHY it was needed, and rather lost heart; i like to know the WHY of everything, lol..

9 May, 2014


Look into the names of plants for the why Fran
much more interesting
Take the common hawthorn
its the Family Rosaceae
Genus Crataegus
Species monogyna
possible Cultivar crimson cloud

fascinating to see what else is Family trees I think, cotoneaster and pyracantha.....the flowers are similar when you look closely.

Also worth looking at the species.......sinesis means I think from China
alba is white...... and flora plena double.......
utterly fascinating
hope I have all that right!

9 May, 2014


I have a few, culled from here and there: mostly to do with alpines, as I was looking for mini-plants -

Name - Means
Alpestris - Alpine
Alpinus - Alpine
Arenarius - Sand
Glacialis - Glaciers
Horizontalis - Horizontal
Maritima - Near tbe sea
Montana - Mountain
Montanus - Mountains
Muralis - Walls
Nana - Small
Nanus - Small
Pygmaeus - Very small
Rivalis - Rivers

not that I've memorised all these, but I think I'll recognise them if I see them - or some of them, anyway!

I'm sure I had a list of colours and habits, but can't seem to find it now

9 May, 2014


Fascinating isn't it....

9 May, 2014


if only it were that simple ... it's the second and third names that make it complicated!

9 May, 2014


True! especially when they are named for the growers daughter or something!

10 May, 2014


I still need to get my head around the "levels" - family, class, species, whatever. I've tried checking this angle, but sometimes there's too much information to be able to take it all in in one go

10 May, 2014

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