Guide to Plant Collection & Identification by Jane M. Bowles, Department of Plant Sciences, UWO

Table of Contents Plant Names Collecting Identification References Appendix I Appendix II

APPENDIX I -- THE MEANING OF SPECIFIC EPITHETS

The majority of specific epithets describe some aspect of the plant. Often the epithet is a composite of two words: a descriptive prefix pertaining to colour, number, shape and so on, and a suffix, usually the name of the part referred to. Other epithets consist of a single word relating to habitat, size, locality, season and so on. Below are some of the more common words found in species names. The letters G. or L. refer to the Greek or Latin origin of the word. For more comprehensive lists see Radford et al. (1979) or Borror (1960).

Words pertaining to number

uni- one L.

mono- one G.

bi- two L.

di- two G.

tri- three G.

quadri- four L.

tetra- four G.

quinque- five L.

penta- five G.

sex- six L.

hexa- six G.

septem- seven L.

hepta- seven G.

octo- eight G., L.

novem- nine L.

ennea- nine G., L.

decem- ten L.

deca- ten G.

haplo- single G.

diplo- double G.

pauci- few L.

oligo- few G.

multi- many L.

poly- many G.

Shape & size

angusti- narrow L.

brachy- short G.

brevi- short L.

fill- thread-like L.

fimbri- thread-like G.

glosso- toungue-like G.

grandi- big L.

hetero- different G.

lepto- slender G.

longi- long G.

lanci- lance-shaped L.

lati- wide, broad L.

macro- big, giant G.

mega- very big G.

micro- small G.

ovi- egg-shaped L.

pachy- thick G.

parvi- small L.

platy- wide, broad L.

tenui- slender, thin L.

Colours

aeneus brassy, bronze

albus white

aureus golden yellow

brunnescens becoming brown

candidus shining white

flavus yellow

glaucus bluish grey

lividus lead coloured

luteus deep yellow

niger black

purpureus purple

roseus pink, rosy

rubus red

rufus reddish

violaceus violet

virens green

Habitats

agrestis of cultivation

alpinus of the Alps

aquaticus of water

campestris of fields

fluviatilis of rivers

fontinalis of springs

lacustris of lakes

littoralis of shores

maritimus of the sea

montanus of mountains

nemorosus of woodlands

palustris of marshes

pratensis of meadows

riparius of river banks

saltuensis of forests

sativis of cultivation

sylvaticus of woods

terrestris of dry ground

Habits

aborescens tree like

erectus erect

fruticosus shrubby

patens spreading

procumbens flat, sprawling

repens creeping

reptans creeping

stoloniferus with stolons


|TABLE OF CONTENTS |THE NAMES OF PLANTS |PLANT COLLECTING |PLANT IDENTIFICATION |REFERENCES|
|APPENDIX - THE MEANING OF SPECIFIC EPITHETS |APPENDIX - BIBLIOGRAPHY|

The Names of Plants - Guide to Plant Collection & Identification Jane M. Bowles 1996

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