Bert T. Swanson and Jeff Pilla

Plant Nomenclature SCIENTIFIC: trilobum ‘Alfredo’ Plant nomenclature is the basis for uniform worldwide COMMON: Alfredo American Highbush identification of, and about, plant materials. Guidelines for the naming of are set Plant scientific names are called binomials because forth in the International Code of Nomenclature for they consist of two names: cultivated plants. 1. , the plural is Genera. It is important for nursery personnel to recognize, identify, and communicate about plants by both 2. , the plural is Species. scientific and common names. A specific plant, correctly described by only one scientific name may The genus name describes the of plant, i.e. , have a number of common names. Professionals must , , etc. The species name describes the know about plants' relationships to each other, individual plant within the genus, i.e. red maple, white scientific and common names, cycles, structures oak, staghorn sumac, etc. The genus name is always and functions. Such basic botanical knowledge is capitalized. Both the genus and species names are integral to the art and science of . always underlined or italicized. The species name is Customers expect industry representatives to be plant never capitalized. A botanical name (‘var.’), a "experts". The only way to assure that a specific plant (‘F’) or a sub-species (‘ssp.’) may be added to the is being communicated accurately is to include the binomial. scientific name in its description. The following two examples show the many common names used for a The sub-species is a sub category of the species. It is a single plant: population of plants differing from others in a species, but not enough to be called a separate species. A SCIENTIFIC: uva-ursi variety is much the same as a sub-species, but it is less COMMON: Bearberry, Bog Cranberry, Mealberry different from other plants in the species. Varieties are Mountain Box, Bear's , written as follows: Sandberry, Creashak, Kinnikinick SCIENTIFIC: dioscoreifolia var. robusta SCIENTIFIC: COMMON: Sweet Clematis COMMON: Blue Beach, American The word ‘’ is a term coined by contracting the The system of scientific nomenclature used today was term ‘cultivated variety’ and is different from the developed in the 1700's by the Swedish botanist Carl naturally occurring ‘botanical variety’. Cultivar Linneaus (1707-1778). Linneaus' system placed plants names are always capitalized and are set off in single into groups based on similar characteristics. Large quotation marks or preceded by the abbreviation ‘cv’ groups are subdivided into smaller groups based on as follows: more specific characteristics. , the common language of Linneaus' time, is still the international SCIENTIFIC: ‘Northwood’ language of scientific nomenclature. Categories COMMON: Northwood Red Maple commonly used to describe plants are: , Genus, and Species. The system, set up by Linneaus, is the A is commonly produced by crossing two or one used in HORTUS THIRD, which is the most more species or . Most hybrid woody plants complete plant nomenclature reference available. are vegetatively propagated because they either fail to The complete scientific name of a plant developed or produce viable or fail to come true if viable seed maintained under cultivation always includes the genus is produced. Hybrid cultivars require long, and species, and variety name, if applicable. The first cumbersome names if the complete parentage is recited two names are in Latin and the latter is in words of a in the scientific name. Therefore, in most cases, common language as follows: hybrids are named by listing the genus and the cultivar

10-1 1106 name only. The cultivar name is preceded by a capital discoverer. Patented plants are sold under the name “X” which designates that it is a hybrid as follows: specified in the approved documentation.

SCIENTIFIC: X ‘Radiant’ A plant ™ or Registration® provides a COMMON: Radiant Flowering Crabapple third, and more recent, means of providing legal protection to plant . Because cultivar names The scientific is key to locating all are intended to be used freely for identification information that is written about a particular plant. In purposes and are restricted to use by an addition, knowing a scientific name aids in authorized person only, a cultivar name may not be establishing a reputation as a professional considered a trademark. creates some horticulturist. identification and marketing confusion as identical plants can be coded with different names as shown Many common and botanical names are similar. As an below: aid in learning, it is judicious to recognize botanical Registered or names derived from countries of origin, names of plant Genus Cultivar Trademark explorers, or English words taken from Latin. Words such as chinensis, japonica, carolinianum, and Acer ‘Celzam’ Celebration® canadensis are Latinized geographical names. The name, amurensis japonica or Japanese Betula ‘Cully’ Heritage® Lilac, indicates that this plant is from Japan. The names douglasii, darwinii, and sargentii are taken from Ilex ‘Chamzin’ Nordic™ plant explorer names. Equally easy to recognize are Latin descriptive names, such as nana, rubra, and ‘Monlo’ Diabolo® nigra. Trademarks improve the marketability of a plant by Although the number of names to learn may seem providing a "catchy" name as well as legal protection overwhelming, it is very important that nursery and of the product. Retailers can purchase a license to use landscape professionals know the correct botanical and the trademark with the fees being paid to the . accepted common names of plants. True professionals As more trademark names are assigned, proper know and correctly use the scientific nomenclature of identification of plants with a single internationally plants. accepted name will become more difficult and confusing if full scientific nomenclature is not Contracts, and Trademarks understood and adhered to. Naming of plants and individual plant names are influenced by various procedures or vehicles used to Plant Classification provide breeders or discoverers of plants some In addition to plants being named and identified protection for their and the rights to the according to specific characteristics, plants are also profits from their discovery. These processes or classified according to their life cycles: annual plants, vehicles include contracts, patents, trademarks, and biennial plants, and perennial plants. An others. is a plant that completes its life cycle in one year. It is a plant that grows vegetatively from seed, then forms Contracts are based on common law rights of the plant and produces seed, and then dies all in a single breeder who negotiates a contract with a producer for a growing season or annually. Examples of annuals are newly named cultivar. The cultivar under contract can cereal grains, , , marigolds, and only be sold under the contract name of that cultivar . and only by the company signing the contract. Royalties are shared between the producer and the Biennial plants are plants that generally need two plant breeder. growing seasons to complete their life cycle. During the first season, the germinate and the A plant patent is a legal monopoly granted by the U.S. subsequent plants produce only vegetative growth, government to the plant discoverer, which permits the often as a . In the second season, the plants breeder or discoverer to prevent anyone else from produce flowers and , and then die. Examples of producing or selling that patented plant for 20 years biennials include foxglove, , hollyhocks, and from date of application. No one can propagate or sell money plant. this patented plant without paying royalties to the Perennial plants are plants that live for several years.

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They may be either herbaceous or woody plants. Herbaceous perennials die back to the ground each year, but their survive. Each season, new vegetative growth arises from the system. Examples of herbaceous perennials are daffodil, , , and . Woody perennials have persistent stems that remain for many years. Examples of woody perennials are maple, , , and . Woody perennials are further categorized based on retention. Plants such as maple, that lose all of their at the end of the growing season, are plants. are woody plants that do not lose their leaves or needles all at once. However, in August, needles of evergreens that are four to seven years old often turn and abscise. This annual discoloration and needle drop is a natural occurrence. New or younger needles are retained throughout the . Narrowleaf evergreens are plants with needle-like foliage such as in white pine, or scale-like foliage as in . Broadleaf evergreens are plants with expanded, leaf- like foliage, such as `PJM' , and Boxwood. The compose a special group of plants with deciduous, needle-like leaves.

Plants also can be classified by . are defined as plants that can be grown with a single trunk and are more than 20 feet tall. A is a plant that usually has more than one stem at the ground level and is not taller than 20 feet. Some trees may grow with several stems, and some may be pruned to a single stem. are climbing or trailing plants that require support to grow upright. are prostrate or spreading plants that create a horizontal plane in the landscape.

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