Botanical Names

A reference list of common species names and their meaning

πŸ”Έ Species name. For example, the passion flower, Passiflora edulis

πŸ”Ή Meaning in English. E.g. edible.

πŸ”Έ abbreviatus πŸ”Ή Short

πŸ”Έ acuminatus πŸ”Ή Long tapering point

πŸ”Έ acutifolius πŸ”Ή Having sharp leaves

πŸ”Έ adpressus πŸ”Ή Pressed together, pressed against

πŸ”Έ adscendens πŸ”Ή Rising, going up

πŸ”Έ aerius πŸ”Ή Of the air, as air-roots

πŸ”Έ aeruginosa, aeruginosus πŸ”Ή Rust coloured

πŸ”Έ aestivus, aestivum πŸ”Ή Developing or ripening in the summer

πŸ”Έ affinus πŸ”Ή Related, connected, having an affinity

πŸ”Έ africanus πŸ”Ή From Africa

πŸ”Έ alatus πŸ”Ή Winged

πŸ”Έ albescens πŸ”Ή Pale, whitish

πŸ”Έ albidus, albus πŸ”Ή White

πŸ”Έ albiflorus πŸ”Ή Having white flowers

πŸ”Έ alpinus πŸ”Ή Of the alpines, mountains

πŸ”Έ alternus πŸ”Ή Alternating, not directly opposite

πŸ”Έ altus πŸ”Ή Altitude, tall

πŸ”Έ amabilis πŸ”Ή Amiable, lovely

πŸ”Έ amphibius πŸ”Ή Adaptable either to land or water

πŸ”Έ angulosus πŸ”Ή Angular in appearance

πŸ”Έ angustifolius πŸ”Ή With narrow leaves

πŸ”Έ aquaticus πŸ”Ή Of the water, water-loving

πŸ”Έ arborescens πŸ”Ή Growing like a tree, woody like a tree

πŸ”Έ arenatius πŸ”Ή Found in sandy places

πŸ”Έ argenteus, argentus πŸ”Ή Silvery

πŸ”Έ aristatus πŸ”Ή Bearded

πŸ”Έ ascendens πŸ”Ή Going up, ascending

πŸ”Έ asiaticus, asiatus πŸ”Ή From Asia

πŸ”Έ atlanticus πŸ”Ή Atlantic

πŸ”Έ atropurpureus, atropurpurea πŸ”Ή Purple colour

πŸ”Έ atrosanguineus πŸ”Ή Dark blood-red

πŸ”Έ atroviolaceus πŸ”Ή Dark violet

πŸ”Έ atrovirens πŸ”Ή Dark green

πŸ”Έ augustus πŸ”Ή Important in size or appearance, imposing

πŸ”Έ aurantiacus πŸ”Ή Orange-red

πŸ”Έ aureus πŸ”Ή Golden

πŸ”Έ biennis πŸ”Ή Biennial

πŸ”Έ biflorus πŸ”Ή Two flowered

πŸ”Έ bifolius πŸ”Ή Two leaved

πŸ”Έ brevifolius πŸ”Ή With short leaves

πŸ”Έ brevis πŸ”Ή Short

πŸ”Έ brevisimus πŸ”Ή Very short

πŸ”Έ brittanicus πŸ”Ή From Britain

πŸ”Έ brunneus πŸ”Ή Brown

πŸ”Έ calamifolius πŸ”Ή With reed-like leaves

πŸ”Έ campestris πŸ”Ή Found in fields

πŸ”Έ candelabrum πŸ”Ή Having the form of a candelabra

πŸ”Έ candicans πŸ”Ή White or frosty looking

πŸ”Έ capitatus πŸ”Ή Flowers, fruit or whole plant growing in a dense head

πŸ”Έ carneus πŸ”Ή Flesh-coloured

πŸ”Έ cerefolius πŸ”Ή With waxy leaves

πŸ”Έ coccineus πŸ”Ή Bright red

πŸ”Έ coloratus πŸ”Ή Coloured

πŸ”Έ columnaris πŸ”Ή Having the form of a column

πŸ”Έ comatus, comans πŸ”Ή Tufted

πŸ”Έ concolor πŸ”Ή Similar colouring

πŸ”Έ conglomeratus πŸ”Ή All close together

πŸ”Έ contortus πŸ”Ή Twisted, contorted

πŸ”Έ cordatus πŸ”Ή Heart-shaped

πŸ”Έ cornutus, cornuta πŸ”Ή Horned

πŸ”Έ crassifolius πŸ”Ή With thick leaves

πŸ”Έ crenatus πŸ”Ή Serrated

πŸ”Έ cuspidatus πŸ”Ή Sharp tooth, or hard point

πŸ”Έ deformis πŸ”Ή Deformed

πŸ”Έ deliciosus, deliciosa πŸ”Ή Delicious

πŸ”Έ dendroideus πŸ”Ή Resembling a tree

πŸ”Έ densatus πŸ”Ή Dense

πŸ”Έ densiflorus πŸ”Ή With dense flowers

πŸ”Έ densifolius πŸ”Ή With dense leaves

πŸ”Έ dentatus πŸ”Ή Toothed, with a series of points

πŸ”Έ dipterus πŸ”Ή Two-winged

πŸ”Έ discolor πŸ”Ή Of two or several colours

πŸ”Έ dissectus πŸ”Ή Deeply cut leaves

πŸ”Έ divaricatus πŸ”Ή Spreading

πŸ”Έ domesticus πŸ”Ή Domesticated

πŸ”Έ edulis πŸ”Ή Edible

πŸ”Έ elatus, elata πŸ”Ή Tall

πŸ”Έ elegans πŸ”Ή Elegant, graceful

πŸ”Έ elongatus πŸ”Ή Long

πŸ”Έ erectus πŸ”Ή Upright

πŸ”Έ excelsius, excelsus πŸ”Ή Tall

πŸ”Έ exoticus, exotica πŸ”Ή From another country

πŸ”Έ fastigiata, fastigiatus πŸ”Ή With erect, upright branches, often creating the effect of a column.

πŸ”Έ ferox πŸ”Ή Fierce, thorny

πŸ”Έ flaccidus πŸ”Ή Soft, limp

πŸ”Έ flammeus πŸ”Ή Flame-coloured

πŸ”Έ flexilis πŸ”Ή Bendable, flexible

πŸ”Έ flore-pleno πŸ”Ή With double flowers

πŸ”Έ floribunda, floribundus πŸ”Ή Very free flowering

πŸ”Έ foetidus πŸ”Ή Bad-smelling, having a foetid odour

πŸ”Έ fragrans πŸ”Ή Sweet-smelling, fragrant

πŸ”Έ fragrantissimus πŸ”Ή Very sweet-smelling

πŸ”Έ frutescens πŸ”Ή Bushy, shrubby, twiggy

πŸ”Έ gallicus πŸ”Ή From Gaul (France)

πŸ”Έ giganticus πŸ”Ή Large, gigantic

πŸ”Έ glaucus πŸ”Ή With a bloom (frost-like) on the leaves

πŸ”Έ gloriosus, gloriosa πŸ”Ή Superb, glorious

πŸ”Έ gracilis πŸ”Ή Slender, graceful, lissom

πŸ”Έ grandifolius πŸ”Ή With large leaves

πŸ”Έ guttatus πŸ”Ή Spotted or freckeld

πŸ”Έ haemanthus πŸ”Ή With blood-red flowers

πŸ”Έ humilis πŸ”Ή Dwarf or low growing.

πŸ”Έ japonicus πŸ”Ή From Japan

πŸ”Έ lanceolatus πŸ”Ή In the shape of a spear

πŸ”Έ latifolius πŸ”Ή With broad leaves

πŸ”Έ leptolepis πŸ”Ή With thin scales

πŸ”Έ leptophyllus πŸ”Ή With thin leaves

πŸ”Έ leucodermis πŸ”Ή With white skin

πŸ”Έ lobularuis πŸ”Ή Lobed

πŸ”Έ luteus πŸ”Ή Yellow

πŸ”Έ macranthus πŸ”Ή With large flowers

πŸ”Έ maximus πŸ”Ή The largest

πŸ”Έ medius πŸ”Ή Medium

πŸ”Έ megalophyllus πŸ”Ή With very large leaves

πŸ”Έ megaspermus πŸ”Ή With very large seeds

πŸ”Έ microphyllus πŸ”Ή With very small leaves

πŸ”Έ minimus πŸ”Ή Very small

πŸ”Έ mollis πŸ”Ή Hairy, fuzzy

πŸ”Έ myriophyllus πŸ”Ή With many leaves

πŸ”Έ nacro πŸ”Ή Big, long, large

πŸ”Έ nanus, nana πŸ”Ή Dwarf, small

πŸ”Έ nerifolius, nerifolia, πŸ”Ή With narrow leaves

πŸ”Έ niger πŸ”Ή Black

πŸ”Έ nodulosa πŸ”Ή With small nodes

πŸ”Έ nudifolia πŸ”Ή Deciduous, naked of leaves

πŸ”Έ oblongatus πŸ”Ή Oblong, oval

πŸ”Έ officinalis πŸ”Ή Medicinal

πŸ”Έ parviflorus πŸ”Ή With small flowers

πŸ”Έ parvifolia πŸ”Ή With small leaves

πŸ”Έ patens πŸ”Ή Spreading

πŸ”Έ pavoninus πŸ”Ή Peacock blue

πŸ”Έ pictum, pictus πŸ”Ή Highly coloured, painted

πŸ”Έ pinnatus πŸ”Ή Like a feather. With leaves that grow from each side of a stalk

πŸ”Έ podocarpus πŸ”Ή With stalked fruits

πŸ”Έ polydactylus πŸ”Ή With many fingers

πŸ”Έ porphyreus πŸ”Ή Purple

πŸ”Έ praecox πŸ”Ή Very early

πŸ”Έ procumbens πŸ”Ή Procumbent, lying down

πŸ”Έ pumilus πŸ”Ή Dwarf, small

πŸ”Έ pygmaeus πŸ”Ή Pygmy

πŸ”Έ pyramidalis πŸ”Ή Pyramidal

πŸ”Έ repens πŸ”Ή Creeping, low

πŸ”Έ reticulatus πŸ”Ή With a netted pattern

πŸ”Έ robustus πŸ”Ή Strong, robust

πŸ”Έ rotundifolius πŸ”Ή With round leaves

πŸ”Έ scandens πŸ”Ή Climbing

πŸ”Έ semperflorens πŸ”Ή Everblooming

πŸ”Έ sempervirens πŸ”Ή Always green

πŸ”Έ serpens πŸ”Ή Creeping

πŸ”Έ serratus πŸ”Ή With a saw tooth edge

πŸ”Έ sessile, sessilis πŸ”Ή Without a stalk

πŸ”Έ setaceus, setaceum, setiferum πŸ”Ή With bristles

πŸ”Έ stolenifera πŸ”Ή With runners

πŸ”Έ strictus πŸ”Ή Erect

πŸ”Έ sylvaticus πŸ”Ή Of the forest

πŸ”Έ tenuifolius πŸ”Ή With slender leaves

πŸ”Έ tomentosus πŸ”Ή Very woolly

πŸ”Έ tricho πŸ”Ή Prefix meaning hairy

πŸ”Έ trifidus, trifida πŸ”Ή Cut in three (nothing to do with triffids)

πŸ”Έ variegatus πŸ”Ή Variegated

πŸ”Έ verrucosus πŸ”Ή Warty

πŸ”Έ virens πŸ”Ή Green

πŸ”Έ virginianus πŸ”Ή Of Virginia, first defined in Virginia

πŸ”Έ viridis πŸ”Ή Green

πŸ”Έ vulgaris πŸ”Ή Common, ordinary

πŸ”Έ xanthinus πŸ”Ή Yellow

πŸ”Έ zonalis πŸ”Ή Banded

Botanical watercolour, for decoration

Botanical watercolour, for decoration

Botanical watercolour, for decoration

Botanical watercolour, for decoration

Botanical watercolour, for decoration

Credits: Some information from the Latin Phrases website and also from the book Latin for Gardeners: Over 3,000 Plant Names Explained and Explored by Lorraine Harrison.

Compiled by Jeff.