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What's in a name? Leaf Characteristics

Posted on February 11, 2018 at 10:55 AM

It is not uncommon, in the botanical world, to identify a plant from a leaf sample. The shape, texture or color of a leaf can give you a clue as to what it's botanical name might be. Also, if you know the botanical name of a plant, you can often get an idea of what it might look like. For instance, Helianthus salicifolius, is also known as Willow-leaved Sunflower. Salicifolius means 'with willow-like leaves.' The following is a partial list of descriptive speci...

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What's in a Name? Color Clues

Posted on March 22, 2015 at 8:20 AM

Botanical plant names contain a wealth of information.  The species name (or specific epethet) usually gives us information about the plant.  It may indicate where the plant is from or its growth habit.  For instance the name Cornus alba, the common dogwood tree, tells us that its flowers are white; alba = white.  The following is a list of some common color terms that you will find in the plant world.

ater, atro- = dark, blackish

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Plant Names Explained

Posted on February 21, 2015 at 7:10 PM

Most garden plants go by two sets of names:  common and botanical, also called scientific or Latin.  If you learn the botanical name for a plant, you'll always get what you want at the nursery.  Many Plants have multiple common names, but all have unique botanical names.

Common names are usually descriptive names used informally by gardeners, such as morning glory ...

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