L-R: Encelia californica (Bush sunflower), Hesperochiron californicus (California hesperochiron), Phacelia nashiana (Charlotte's phacelia), Opuntia littoralis (Coast prickly pear), Rafinesquia neomexicana (Desert chicory).

     AN-AZ

       In the following names, the stressed vowel is the one preceding the stress mark. It is not always easy to ascertain where such stress should be placed, especially in the case of epithets derived from personal names. I have tried to follow the principle of maintaining the stress of the original name as outlined in the Jepson Manual, and have abandoned it only when it was just too awkward. In the case of some names, I have listed them twice, reflecting either some disagreement or conflict in the rules of pronunciation, some uncertainty on my part as to the correct pronunciation, or that simply sometimes there is no single correct pronunciation. In other instances, the way I record it is just that which sounds right to my ear.
  • an-: before a vowel, Greek prefix meaning "not, without, less" e.g. anantherus, "without anthers"
  • -ana: suffix given to a personal name to convert it into an adjectival commemorative epithet to be attached to a generic name that is feminine in gender, thus Puccinellia nuttalliana (see Nomenclature)
  • anacario'ides: having a resembling to genus Anacardium (ref. Cupaniopsis anacardioides)
  • anagalli'dea: like Anagallis (ref. Lindernia dubia var. anagallidea)
  • anagallidifo'lium: with leaves like genus Anagallis (ref. Epilobium anagallidifolium)
  • Anag'allis: from two Greek words, ana, "again," and agallein, "to delight in," since the flowers open each time the sun strikes them and we can enjoy them anew each day (ref. genus Anagallis)
  • anag'allis-aqua'tica: water Anagallis (ref. Veronica anagallis-aquatica)
  • anagallo'ides: like the genus Anagallis (ref. Hypericum anagalloides)
  • anagyro'ides: resembling genus Anagyris (ref. Laburnum anagyroides)
  • Anaph'alis: from the Greek name of a similar plant (ref. genus Anaphalis)
  • an'ceps: two-edged; also sometimes meaning doubtful, uncertain (ref. Allium anceps, Caulanthus anceps)
  • Anchu'sa: from the Latin name anchusa for a plant used as a cosmetic or as an emollient to soothe and soften the skin (ref. genus Anchusa)
  • Ancistrocar'phus: from the Greek for "fishhook chaff" (ref. genus Ancistrocarphus)
  • anderson'ii: after Dr. Charles Lewis Anderson (1827-1910), physician and naturalist of western Nevada and California. The following is excerpted from Larry Blakely's essay on Anderson in his website Who's In A Name (http://www.csupomona.edu/~larryblakely/whoname/index.htm): "Anderson practiced medicine in Carson City during the years 1862-1867. His considerable abilities were soon recognized in the young city and Territory (soon to become a State), so much so that in the short time he was there he rose to the post of State Surgeon General, became Superintendent of Schools of Ormsby County, helped organize a library and establish a church, served as an officer in the Nevada Historical and Scientific Society when it was formed, and was involved in several other civic activities. His practice was a marvel of simplicity compared to the practice of modern medicine. He kept an office in a drugstore (with apparently no receptionist or nurse) for which he paid $10 per month; he charged $5 per patient visit, plus $5 per mile when he had to travel out of town. Anderson was born in Virginia, but his family moved to Indiana when he was 10. He worked his way through medical school in Indiana, then moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota to set up his first practice (where he also served as Superintendent of Schools of Hennepin County). An enterprising Minnesota friend preceded him to Nevada, and at the friend's urging, Anderson decided to head out west. He settled his wife and 2 young daughters in Beloit, Wisconsin, then traveled across the plains and mountains by wagon train and stage coach. He wrote voluminously to his wife while traveling, and after settling in Carson City. His letters, which were fortunately preserved, give a vivid accounting of those times. A year later he was joined by his wife and daughters, who bravely followed his path across the country. Amazingly, in spite of all of his other endeavors, he found the time to pursue his lifelong interest in botany. He was one of the very first botanists to collect extensively in Nevada (the redoubtable Pathfinder - and botanist - John C. Fremont was first, in 1844). Although others collected in Nevada during the 1860s, he was among the first to reside in the state. He collected 34 of the 51 types collected in that decade, his type collections being made during the years 1863 - 1866. Anderson made most of his plant collections in the vicinity of Carson City, but he also explored elsewhere in Nevada, and may have collected his buttercup at Blind Spring Hill near Benton, CA. Many of the plants he collected turned out to be new to science when examined by Asa Gray of Harvard, to whom Anderson sent all his Nevada specimens. Anderson wrote the first flora of Nevada, and in its introduction observed: "the country is as rich in vegetable novelties as it is at all times in mineral wealth." Other Nevada and California plant species, subspecies and varieties named for Anderson are found in these genera: Arctostaphylos, Aster, Astragalus, Cirsium, Crepis, Delphinium, Lupinus, Lycium, and Trifolium. Spiny menodora, so familiar in our area, was one of the 34 new plant species he discovered during his years in Nevada. Seeking a gentler climate and society, Anderson moved his family to Santa Cruz, CA, in 1867, where he lived for the rest of his life. There, in addition to his medical practice, he continued his lifelong predilection for civic service, and the study of botany. He developed an interest in marine algae, and collected some new species which were named for him; he also wrote botanical papers on the plants about Santa Cruz. Ever one for a challenge, his favorite groups were the willows and the grasses." (ref. Aster alpigenus var. andersonii, Delphinium andersonii, Lupinus andersonii, Lycium andersonii, Prunus andersonii, Ranunculus andersonii)
  • anderson'ii: after Robert Clark Anderson (1908-1973), a USFS ranger who acted as a guide and co-collector with Ira Waddell Clokey and his wife in the Charlestons Mts of Clark Co., Nevada. He was a graduate of the forestry school at Utah State Agricultural College and a U.S. Forest Service employee until about 1965, and then worked for the Utah State Parks Department until his death (ref. Silene verecunda ssp. andersonii)
  • andi'na: of or from the Andes (ref. Camissonia andina, Muhlenbergia andina)
  • andrewsia'na/an'drewsiana: see following entry (ref. Clintonia andrewsiana)
  • andrews'ii/an'drewsii: after Timothy Langdon Andrews (1819-1908).  Thanks to David Hollombe for the following:  "M.D. Vermont Medical College, 1845.  Travelled to Liberia in 1849 as physician on a ship full of ex-slaves from New Orleans; from there to Brazil and then California.  In California from November, 1849, to March, 1855, except for part of 1851 when he travelled to Samoa and Hawaii. Edited newspapers in California, Ohio, Missouri and Iowa; taught school in California and Tennessee. Worked as a customs inspector in California."  The following is from the Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa, 1906:  "Dr. Andrews in the midst of a busy life has given considerable attention to the study of botany and collected a fine herbarium, which he gave to Ames Agricultural College in 1903.  He kept this up from time of graduation at all times and places. One plant which he discovered in California was named in his honor by Dr. Torrey, the celebrated botanist." (ref. Galium andrewsii ssp. andrewsii, Galium andrewsii ssp. intermedium)
  • androgy'nus: having male and female structures on the same plant
  • andromede'a: referring to Andromeda, daughter of Ethiopian king Cepheus and Cassiope, who was chained to a rock as an offering to a sea monster and rescued by Perseus, of unknown application? (ref. Pterospora andromedea)
  • andromedifo'lia: having leaves like those of Andromeda, the bog rosemary (ref. Pellaea andromedifolia)
  • Andropo'gon: from the Greek andros, "a man," and pogon, "beard," referring to the hairs on the spikelets of some of these grass species (ref. genus Andropogon)
  • Androsa'ce: from the Greek name for some uncertain sea-plant, deriving from the Greek andros, "a man, male," and sakos, "a shield" (ref. genus Androsace)
  • androsa'ceus: like Androsace, a small plant of the primrose family typically growing in rock gardens called rock jasmine (ref. Linanthus androsaceus, Mimulus androsaceus)
  • androsaemifo'lium: with leaves like Androsaemum, a genus which takes its appellation from the old Greek name Androsaimon used by Dioscorides for a kind of Hypericum, which is derived from andros, "man," and haima, "blood," in reference to its blood-red sap or juice (ref. Apocynum androsaemifolium)
  • andro'saemum: see previous entry (ref. Hypericum androsaemum)
  • Androsteph'ium: from the Greek andros, "stamen," and stephanos, "crown," referring to the fused filaments (ref. genus Androstephium)
  • androu'xii: for James André and Tasha La Doux, two desert botanists and friends that helped point to the problems with desert Eschscholzia identification (ref. Eschscholzia androuxii)
  • -andrus: a suffix that refers to a flower's anthers, as in diandrus, macrandus, cryptandrus
  • Anelson'ia/anelson'ii: after Aven Nelson (1859-1952), Rocky Mountain botanist, plant collector, professor of biology at the University of Wyoming and author of The Cryptogams of Wyoming (ref. genus Anelsonia, and Phacelia anelsonii)
  • Ane'mone: an ancient Greek name from anemos, "wind" (ref. genus Anemone)
  • anemonifo'lium: with leaves like genus Anemone (ref. Geranium anemonifolium)
  • Anemop'sis: from two Greek words anenome and opsis, meaning "anemone-like" in reference to the resemblance of the inflorescence to a flower in genus Anenome (ref. genus Anemopsis)
  • Ane'thum: the Greek and Latin name for dill (ref. genus Anethum)
  • -aneum/-aneus: indicates resemblance or a material from which something is made, e.g. cutaneus, referring to the skin, from cutis, "skin"
  • angelen'sis: I have long assumed that this epithet means 'of or belonging to Los Angeles (County?)', however further research has turned up six other taxa which bear this specific epithet, none of which are even California species, which at first might cast doubt my assumption. Verne Edwin Grant, who published Gilia angelensis, may have been referring to Los Angeles, or he may not. Senecio angelensis and Puya angelensis refers to El Angel, Ecuador, and Mammillaria angelensis is from Angel de la Guarda Island in the Gulf of California, Mexico. The pitviper species Crotalus mitchellii angelensis is also from Angel de la Guarda Island, and the lizard Phyllodactylus angelensis is found on islands in the Gulf of California. These are all geographic names, so it seems reasonable to think that Gilia angelensis is as well. It probably does refer to Los Angeles in some fashion, and in fact all of these names may refer indirectly to angels (ref. Gilia angelensis)
  • Angel'ica: Latin for "angelic," referring to the medicinal properties of the plant, which are said to have been revealed to a monk by an angel who told him it was a cure for the plague (ref. genus Angelica)
  • ang'lica/ang'licum: of England (ref. Drosera anglica, Potentilla anglica)
  • angui'neus: snake-like, serpentine (ref. Penstemon anguineus)
  • angui'nus: same as previous entry
  • angular'is: see angulata below
  • angula'ta/angula'tus: having angles or corners, or with angular lobes (ref. Cardamine angulata, Physalis angulata)
  • angulo'sum: full of corners, many-angled (ref. Eriogonum angulosum)
  • angusta'tum/angusta'tus: narrow or narrowed (ref. Erigeron angustatus, Mimulus angustatus)
  • angustifo'lia/angustifo'lium: having narrow foliage (ref. Castilleja angustifolia, Cryptantha angustifolia, Eleagnus angustifolia, Pyracantha angustifolia, Sphaeralcea angustifolia, Typha angustifolia, Vicia angustifolia, Apiastrum angustifolium, Chamerion angustifolium ssp. circumvagum, Eriodictyon angustifolium, Galium angustifolium ssp. angustifolium, Galium angustifolium ssp. foliosum, Sparganium angustifolium)
  • angustipet'alum: with narrow petals (ref. Trillium angustipetalum)
  • angustis'simus: very narrow (ref. Lotus angustissimus)
  • anili'na: I'm not sure about this because the suffix -ina is used in a variety of ways, but I think it relates to the word aniline, "dark blue" (ref. Triteleia ixioides ssp. anilina)
  • Anisocar'pus: from the Greek anisos, "unequal," and karpos, "fruit" (ref. genus Anisocarpos)
  • Anisoco'ma: from the Greek anisos, "unequal," and kome, "a tuft of hair," referring to the two unlike sets of pappus bristles (ref. genus Anisocoma)
  • an'nua/an'nuum/an'nuus: annual (ref. Lunaria annua, Poa annua, Psathyrotes annua, Sanguisorba annua, Helianthus annuus, Scleranthus annuus)
  • annular'is: ring-shaped or arranged in a circular fashion
  • annula'ta/annula'tus: marked by or surrounded by rings as is the stem of this species (ref. Boerhavia annulata, Anulocaulis annulatus)
  • Ano'da: According to Stearns, a Sinhalese (Ceylonese) name for a species of Abutilon. Umberto Quattrocchi gives two alternative etymologies: (1) "from the Greek a, "without," and odous, odontos, "a tooth," for the leaves; and (2) from the Greek a, "without," and the Latin nodus, "a joint or node," since the flowering stems lack nodes (ref. genus Anoda)
  • ano'mala/ano'malus: unusual in relation to related plant species (ref. Fraxinus anomala, Madia anomala, Bromus anomalus)
  • Anreder'a: Umberto Quattrocchi says, "Possibly derived from a personal name or derived from the Spanish word enredadera, "creeping plant, climbing plant" (ref. genus Anredera)
  • anseri'na/anseri'num: pertaining to geese, from the Latin anser for "goose," growing on land perhaps grazed by geese. -Ina is also a diminutive suffix, so anserina could mean little goose or gosling (ref. Potentilla anserina ssp. anserina, Potentilla anserina ssp. pacifica, Eriogonum strictum var. anserinum)
  • Antennar'ia: from the Latin antenna, because of the resemblance of the male flowers to insect antennae (ref. genus Antennaria)
  • anthela'tus: having an inflorescence in the form of an anthela, that is with lateral flowering branches exceeding the main axis (ref. Juglans anthelatus)
  • anthelmin'tica: the Greek helmins or helminthos means "bug or worm," and an- is a negative prefix. According to The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy (Finley Ellingwood, 1919), anthelmintics were agents acting upon intestinal parasites. There are other species which bear this specific epithet that were apparently used in the same way, such as Albizia anthelmintica for sheep and Brayera anthelmintica (ref. Dysphania anthemintica)
  • An'themis: from the Greek anthemon, "flower," for their profuse blooming, and the Greek name for Chamaemelum nobile, of which chamomile tea is made (ref. genus Anthemis)
  • an'thos: a flower
  • Anthoxan'thum: from the Greek anthos for "flower," and xanthos, "yellow," alluding to the color of the ripened spikelets (ref. genus Anthoxanthum)
  • Anthris'cus: from the Greek and Latin name for another but unidentified plant (ref. genus Anthriscus)
  • antido'tale: this name must derive from the same root word as antidote, and this is supported by this plant's use in native medicines (ref. Panicum antidotale)
  • an'tiquus: ancient, antique
  • antirrhin'a: one of the senses of the Greek anti is "like," and rhina means "nose" (ref. Silene antirrhina)
  • antirrhiniflor'a: having flowers like those of Antirrhinum (ref. Maurandya antirrhiniflora)
  • antirrhino'ides: like Antirrhinum (ref. Keckiella antirrhinoides)
  • Antirrhi'num: from the Greek anti, "like," and rhinon, "nose," because the flowers do seem to have a snout (ref. genus Antirrhinum)
  • antisel'lii: after Thomas Antisell (1817-1893), physician, chemist, and geologist. He was a member of John G. Parke's Pacific Railroad survey of California and Arizona (1851) and participated in a scientific mission to Japan (1871-1877) where he was decorated by the Emperor (ref. Astragalus antisellii)
  • antoni'na: after the San Antonio Hills in Monterey County where the type locality for this taxon is (ref. Monarda antonina)
  • antoni'num/antoni'nus: after Anthony Peak, east of Covelo on Mendocino/Tehama County boundary (ref. Delphinium antoninum, Lupinus antoninus)
  • anton'ius: the Jepson Manual refers to this as San Antonio milkvetch, and it is named after Mt. San Antonio, which is better known by its other name, Mt. Baldy (ref. Astragalus lentiginosus var. antonius)
  • Anulocau'lis: from the Latin for "ring-stem," from the sticky internodal rings (ref. genus Anulocaulis)
  • -anum: suffix given to a personal name to convert it to an adjectival commemorative epithet to be attached to a generic name that is neuter in gender, thus Delphinium nuttallianum (see Nomenclature)
  • -anum/anus: (1) a Latin adjectival suffix indicating position, connection or possession as in montanus or borreganus; (2) a suffix given to a personal name to convert it to an adjectival commemorative epithet to be attached to a generic name that is masculine in gender, thus Cerastium fontanum, Lotus nuttallianus, Lotus purshianus, etc. (see Nomenclature)
  • an'xius: from the Latin anxius, "distressed, uneasy." In a 1992 Madrono article entitled "Taxonomic assessment of Astragalus tegetarioides (Fabaceae) and a new related species from northern California," the authors, Robert J. Meinke and Thomas N. Kaye, state that "The epithet 'anxius' has both passive and active meanings, i.e., troubled or troublesome. Considering the probable correlation between public land grazing and the long term prospects for this potentially endangered species, either common name may be appropriate, depending on the point of view." Thanks to David Hollomobe for providing this reference (ref. Astragalus anxius)
  • apargio'ides: resembling the genus formerly called Apargia, which is now Microseris (ref. Pyrrocoma apargioides)
  • apari'ne: a Greek name for the plant called cleavers (ref. Galium aparine)
  • A'pera: from the Greek aperos, "not maimed," alluding to the vestigial florets (ref. genus Apera)
  • aper'ta: open or exposed, bare, uncovered, the flowers opening wide (ref. Ivenia aperta, Silene aperta)
  • apet'ala/apet'alus: without petals (ref. Sagina apetala, Myosurus apetalus)
  • a'phaca: a Phoenician town in a part of ancient Syria which now belongs to Lebanon where there was a famous temple to Venus which was destroyed by the Emperor Constantine (ref. Lathyrus aphaca)
  • aphanac'tis: from the Greek aphanes, "inconspicuous," and actis, "a ray," thus a head with small ray flowers (ref. Erigeron aphanactis var. congestus, Erigeron aphanactis var. aphanactis, Grindelia aphanactis, Senecio aphanactis)
  • A'phanes: from the Greek aphanes, "obscure, inconspicuous, unseen" from the somewhat hidden flowers (ref. genus Aphanes)
  • Aphanis'ma: from the Greek aphanes, "inconspicuous" (ref. genus Aphanisma)
  • aphyl'la: leafless (ref. Tamarix aphylla)
  • apia'na: pertaining to bees which this plant attracts in great numbers (ref. Salvia apiana)
  • Apias'trum: from the Latin apium, "celery," and aster, "wild," this was the classical name for wild celery (ref. genus Apiastrum)
  • apicula'ta/apicula'tum: ending somewhat abruptly in a short or sharp point or apex (ref. Luma apiculata, Eriogonum apiculatum)
  • apiifo'lium: with leaves like Apium (ref. Ligusticum apiifolium)
  • Ap'ium: derived from Apium, an ancient Latin name for celery or parsley (ref. genus Apium)
  • Apoc'ynum: from the Greek apo, "away from," and kyon or kunos, "dog," i.e. noxious to dogs, in reference to its ancient use as a dog poison, hence dogbane (ref. genus Apocynum and family Apocynaceae)
  • apo'dus: footless, sessile
  • Apono'geton/Aponoge'ton: from the Latin name of the healing springs at Aquae Aponi, Italy, and geiton, "neighbor," originally applied to a water plant found there, the name being given due to this plant's aquatic habitat (ref. genus Aponogeton)
  • appelia'num: after German botanist-biologist Oliver Appel (fl. 1996), authority on the Brassicaceae, and collector of plants in China (ref. Lepidium appelianum)
  • appendicula'ta: having appendages, such as a crown, crest or hairs (ref. Brodiaea appendiculata)
  • applana'tus: flattened
  • applegat'e: named after Elmer Applegate (1867-1949), a student of the flora of Oregon (ref. Castilleja applegatei ssp. martinii)
  • appres'sa: pressed close to or lying flat against (ref. Muhlenbergia appressa)
  • approxima'ta: from the Latin approximatus, "approached or approximate" (ref. Cuscuta approximata)
  • ap'rica/ap'ricum: sun-loving, growing in the open and exposed to the sun (ref. Saxifraga aprica, Eriogonum apricum)
  • Apten'ia: from the Greek apten, "wingless" (ref. genus Aptenia)
  • ap'terus: wingless
  • aqua'tica/aqua'ticum: found in the water, relating to water (ref. Crassula aquatica, Phalaris aquatica, Veronica anagallis-aquatica, Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum)
  • aqua'tilis: growing in or near water (ref. Ranunculus aquatilis var. capillaceus)
  • aquifo'lium: the classical name for holly, now under the genus Ilex, but applied to the holly family as Aquifoliaceae (ref. Ilex aquifolium, also Berberis aquifolium var. repens)
  • Aquile'gia: from the Latin aquila, "an eagle," referring to the shape of the petals which is said to be like an eagle's claw (ref. genus Aquilegia)
  • aquili'num: from aquila, "eagle," and the suffix ium, "characteristic of," hence indicating a connection or resemblance (ref. Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens)
  • ara'bica/ara'bicus: Arabian (ref. Medicago arabica, Schismus arabicus)
  • Arabidop'sis: from the Greek for "resembling Arabis" (ref. genus Arabidopsis)
  • Ar'abis: a Greek word used for "mustard" or "cress," and the Greek word for Arabia, perhaps referring to the ability of these plants to grow in rocky or sandy soils (?) (ref. genus Arabis)
  • arachno'ides: covered with long, straggly, cobwebby hairs like a spider's web
  • arachnoi'dea/arachnoi'deum: resembling a spider (ref. Lessingia arachnoidea)
  • aralen'sis: of or from the Aral Mountains (ref. Tamarix aralensis)
  • Ara'lia: Latinization of an old French-Canadian or American-Indian name aralie (ref. genus Aralia)
  • Arau'jia: named for António de Araújo de Azevedo, Conde de Barca (1752-1817), a Portuguese botanical collector and a patron of botany, the name given to this member of the milkweed family. The following is from the Universal pronouncing dictionary of biography and mythology by Joseph Thomas: "Araujo d' Azevedo, (Antonio) Count of Barca, a Portuguese minister of state, born at Ponte de Lima in 1754. He became proficient in the Greek, Latin, French, and English languages, and was distinguished for his literary and scientific attainments. After he had resided some years as minister at the Hague, he was sent to Paris in 1797 to negotiate a peace, and in the same year signed a treaty. The cabinet of Lisbon delayed the ratification of this treaty so long that the French Directory annulled it. A report having gained currency that Araujo expected to procure the assent of the directors by bribery, they resolved to prove their innocence by an act of rigour and confined him in prison for several months. He became secretary of state, or minister of foreign affairs, in 1804, and was the principal minister after 1806, but showed his incapacity to guide the state in critical times. A French army entered Lisbon in November 1807, the house of Braganza ceased to reign, and Araujo retired to Brazil, where he was minister of marine (?) in 1814. He had been chief minister for a few months, when he died at Rio Janeiro in 1817. He translated the"Elegy" and other poems of Gray into Portuguese verse." (ref. genus Araujia)
  • arbor'ea/arbor'eum/arbor'eus: derived from Latin for "tree" and alluding to a tree-like habit of growth (ref. Ceanothus arboreus, Lavatera arborea, Peritoma arborea, Aeonium arboreum, Lupinus arboreus)
  • arbores'cens: woody or tree-like, becoming like a tree (ref. Caragana arborescens, Colutea arborescens, Ericameria [formerly Haplopappus] arborescens, Eriogonum arborescens, Psorothamnus [formerly Dalea] arborescens var. minutifolius, Psorothamnus arborescens var. simplicifolius)
  • arbus'cula: resembling a small tree (ref. Artemisia arbuscula)
  • arbus'tus: like a small tree (ref. Lupinus arbustus)
  • arbutifo'lia: having leaves like Arbutus unedo, the Spanish madrone (ref. Heteromeles arbutifolia)
  • Arbu'tus: a Latin name for this tree (ref. genus Arbutus)
  • Arceutho'bium: from the Greek arkeuthos, "juniper," and bios, "life," because the only species included in the genus when it was first given the name was a parasite on Juniperus oxycedri (ref. genus Arceuthobium)
  • arc'ta: (1) from the Latin arctus, "narrow, straight;" or (2) Greek arktos, "a bear" possibly referring to the northern constellations or to the north in general (ref. Carex arcta)
  • arct'ica: of or from the Arctic, or having an arctic or alpine way of life (ref. Poa arctica, Salix arctica, Trientalis arctica)
  • arctio'ides: like genus Arctium (ref. Nama arctioides)
  • Arct'ium: from the Greek arction, the name of a plant taken from arctos, "bear," because of the rough involucre (ref. genus Arctium)
  • Arctome'con: from the Greek arktos, "a bear," and mecon, "poppy," because of the hairiness (ref. genus Arctomecon)
  • arctopo'ides: like genus Arctopus (ref. Sanicula arctopoides)
  • Arctothe'ca: from the Greek arctos, "bear," and theca, "cup or container," of uncertain application (ref. genus Arctotheca)
  • Arctostaph'ylos: from two Greek words arktos, "bear," and staphule, "a bunch of grapes," referring to the common name of the first-known species, and also perhaps alluding to bears feeding on the grape-like fruits (ref. genus Arctostaphylos)
  • Arcto'tis: from the Greek arktos, "bear," and otis, "ear," referring to the pappus scales (ref. genus Arctotis)
  • arcua'ta/arcua'tus: arched or bent like a bow (ref. Boechera arcuata, Clarkia arcuata)
  • arcuifo'lia: with leaves arched or curving (ref. Eremogone macradenia var. arcuifolia)
  • Arenar'ia/arenar'ia: from the Latin arena, "sand," referring to the sandy habitats of many species (ref. genus Arenaria, also Ammophila arenaria, Camissonia arenaria, Plantago arenaria)
  • arenar'ium/arenar'ius: growing in sandy places (ref. Pholisma arenarium, Bromus arenarius)
  • arenas'trum: two sources (UW-Robert W. Freckman Herbarium and Gledhill, The Names of Plants) say just 'resembling genus Arenaria,' but according to the Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms, the root astr-/astro-/astrum- refers to a star. The root aren-/areno-/areni- refers to sand, which is a habitat that Arenaria often inhabits. The author of Polygonum arenastrum, Alexandre Boreau, didn't specify what the name is supposed to mean, but he does include the note that it lives in sandy and gravelly places. So the name seems to combine references to sand (which is fairly clear) and to stars (which is not). The species that formerly had this name (Polygonum arenastrum, now Polygonum aviculare ssp. depressum) does live in sandy soils and does have a faintly star-like appearance with five semi-fused petals, and the petals sometimes each have a green pointed marking that looks even more star-like, so perhaps a common name of "sand-star" could be translated as 'arenastrum.'
  • arenico'la: a dweller on sand (ref. Alternanthera arenicola, Linanthus arenicola)
  • areola'tus: pitted or marked
  • aretio'ides: like genus Aretia (ref. Nama aretioides)
  • Arge'mone: from the Greek argemos, "a white spot (cataract) on the eye," which this plant was once supposed to cure. David Hollombe adds the following: "The Greek Argemone is Papaver argemone. Linnaeus 'recycled' the name for the American genus. I have read stories of our Argemone being used medicinally in place of P. argemone in India, resulting in glaucoma because of the differing alkaloids in the two plants." (ref. genus Argemone)
  • argen'se: named after the Argus Mountains in the vicinity of the Panamint Range on the west side of Death Valley (ref. Eriogonum heermannii var. argense)
  • argenta'ta/argenta'tus: silvery (ref. Thermopsis californica var. argentata, Erigeron argentatus)
  • argen'tea/argen'teus: see argentatus above (ref. Antennaria argentea, Atriplex argentea var. hillmanii, Crassula argentea, Raillardella argentea, Shepherdia argentea, Lupinus argenteus)
  • argilla'ceus: whitish (ref. Lathyrus sulphureus var. argillaceus)
  • argillo'sum/argillo'sus: from the Greek argilos or argillos, "white clay, potter's earth," the Jepson common name for this taxon is 'clay-loving buckwheat' (ref. Eriogonum argillosum, Calochortus argillosus)
  • argophyl'lus: silver-leaved (ref. Lotus argophyllus var. argophyllus)
  • ar'gus: referring to the mythical many-eyed creature Argus who supposedly was a 100-eyed or 1000-eyed monster who was slain by Hermes and his eyes placed on the tail feathers of the peacock. Dr. Jim Reveal, the author of this taxon, sent me the following note: "As for the var. argus, the flowers are clustered into solitary involucres (rather than in compound umbels as in other varieties), and yet an individual plant may have numerous inflorescence branches terminated by a solitary involucre. While this is a stretch, for no individual plant has exactly a hundred of these branches, the combination of a single involucre on a stem ("eye") and several of these per plant, was the rationale for the name." (ref. Eriogonum umbellatum var. argus)
  • argu'ta/argu'tum: sharp-toothed, referring to the toothed leaves (ref. Brickellia atractyloides var. arguta, Dryopteris arguta, Sanicula arguta, Tauschia arguta, Hieracium argutum)
  • argutifo'lia: with sharp-pointed leaves
  • argyrae'a/argyrae'us: silvery (ref. Tetradymia argyraea, Lotus argyraeus var. argyraeus, Lotus argyraeus var. multicaulis)
  • Argyran'themum: from the Greek argyros, "silver," and anthemon, "flower" (ref. genus Argyranthemum)
  • argyro-: in compound words signifying "silvery"
  • Argyrochos'ma: from the Greek argyros, "silver," and chosma, "mound, as in earth thrown up," referring to the powdery substance on the surface of the leaves in some species (ref. genus Argyrochosma)
  • argyroco'leon: possibly from argyro, "silvery," and koleos, "a sheath" (ref. Polygonum argyrocoleon)
  • argyroco'ma: silver-haired (ref. Ivesia argyrocoma)
  • ar'ida/ar'idum/ar'idus: growing in dry places (ref. Calystegia macrostegia ssp. arida, Hemizonia arida, Monardella nana ssp. arida, Palafoxia arida, Stipa arida, Astragalus aridus, Mimulus aridus, also genus Arida)
  • -aris: a variant of the Latin adjectival suffix -alis meaning "belonging or pertaining to" which is used after word stems ending in 'l' such as fascicularis, pilularis or axillaris
  • arista'ta/arista'tum/arista'tus: with a long, bristle-like tip, bearded (ref. Gaillardia aristata, Eriochloa aristata, Melica aristata, Plantago aristata, Anthoxanthum aristatum, Myosurus aristatus)
  • Aris'tida: from the Latin arista for "awn," the bristle-like appendage at the tip or dorsal surface of a grass floret's lemma (ref. genus Aristida)
  • Aristocap'sa: from the Latin arista, "awn," and capsa, "a box," for the awned involucre (ref. genus Aristocapsa)
  • aristido'ides: like genus Aristida (ref. Bouteloua aristidoides)
  • Aristolo'chia: from the Greek aristos, "the best, most excellent," and locheia or lochia, "childbirth," sometimes called birthwort, it was supposedly used to ease parturition (ref. genus Aristolochia)
  • aristo'sus: bearded, furnished with awns
  • aristula'ta/aristula'tum: having a small bristle-like appendage, a short beard or awn (ref. Lipocarpha aristulata, Eryngium aristulatum)
  • -arium/-arius: (1) a Latin substantival suffix used to refer to a place where something is done or a container, as in "herbarium"; (2) a Latin adjectival suffix similar to -aris and indicating connection or possession, as in arenarium, "pertaining to sand," from arena, "sand"; coronarium, "pertaining to crowns," from corona, "crown"; scoparius, "pertaining to brooms or twigs," from scopa, "broom")
  • arizon'ica/arizon'icum/arizon'icus: of or from Arizona (ref. Carlowrightia arizonica, Dudleya arizonica, Euphorbia arizonica, Ipomopsis arizonica, Logfia arizonica, Lupinus arizonicus, Plagiobothrys arizonicus)
  • arma'ta/arma'tum: spiny or thorny, literally "armed" (ref. Senna [formerly Cassia] armata, Eryngium armatum)
  • armeni'acus: of Armenia, Western Asia (ref. Rubus armeniacus)
  • Armer'ia: Latinized from the old French name armoires for a cluster-headed dianthus, this is also the Latin name for the Dianthus (ref. genus Armeria, also Silene armeria)
  • armillar'is: encircled as with a bracelet or collar
  • Armora'cia: from the classical Latin name armoracia for the horseradish (ref. genus Armoracia)
  • armouria'num: after Allison Vincent Armour (1863-1941), wealthy amateur botanist who organized and funded expeditions for the U.S.D.A. He was the subject of David Fairchild's Exploring for Plants: From Notes of the Allison Vincent Armour Expeditions for the United States Department of Agriculture, 1925, 1926 and 1927 (1930) and Thomas Barbour's Allison Armour and the Utowana: An appreciation of Allison Vincent Armour and of the services which he rendered to the sciences of archaeology, botany, and zoology (1945). He had inherited a fortune from his Scottish-born father George Armour, graduated from Yale in 1884, studied international navigation and qualified as a master mariner and commander of his own steam yacht Utowana, married in 1885, became a widower in 1890 and spent the next 35 years mostly sailing around the world on his yacht. He made eight around the world trips in the interests of scientific research with groups of botanists, plant pathologists, entomologists, archeologists and explorers. At one time or another among his passengers were Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Vanderbilt family and Theodore Roosevelt. He also served on the International Olympic Committee from 1900 to 1917 (ref. Gossypium armourianum)
  • Ar'nica: means "lamb's skin," in reference to the soft, hairy leaves (ref. genus Arnica)
  • aromat'ica/aromat'icus: fragrant (ref. Rhus aromatica)
  • aronico'ides: like genus Aronicum (ref. Senecio aronicoides)
  • Arrhena'therum: from the Greek arrhen, "male, masculine," and ather, "a bristle," alluding to the awned staminate floret (ref. genus Arrhenatherum)
  • arrhi'za: without roots (ref. Wolffia arrhiza)
  • arsen'ei: after Arsène Gustave Joseph Brouard (1867-1938). Brother Arsene Brouard was a French monk and botanist who taught biology, physics, chemistry, Spanish, and French at St. Paul's College in Covington, Louisiana from 1919 to 1925. Brouard, born Arsene Gustave Joseph Brouard near Orleans, France, took his first vows in 1898 and studied botany in his native land. He was assigned to a college in Puebla, Mexico in 1906 before going to Morelia three years later. While in Mexico, he systematically collected, identified, cataloged, and preserved the country's fauna. Brouard discovered several new species before being forced out of Mexico in 1914 during the revolution. He arrived in the United States and taught at schools in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Ellicott City, Maryland, before arriving in Covington. While at St. Paul's College he collected approximately nine hundred plants, of which sixty species were unknown in Louisiana, and three were unknown in the United States. In 1926 he left for Las Vegas, New Mexico because of his failing health. He continued to teach and collect fauna before his death in 1938 (from a website of LSU Library, http://www.lib.lsu.edu/special/findaid/b3568.html) (ref. Muhlenbergia arsenei)
  • ar'ta: from the Latin artus, "narrow" (ref. Ericameria nauseosa var. arta)
  • Artemis'ia: referring to the Greek goddess Artemis who so benefited from a plant of this family that she gave it her own name. This was also the old Latin name given to the mugwort or wormwoods. An alternative though less likely possibility for the derivation of this name is that it comes from Queen Artemisia of Halicarnassus in Asia Minor (Turkey), sister and wife of King Mausolus, who ruled after his death from 352 to 350 B.C.E. and built during her short reign one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, which she unfortunately did not live to see the completion of (ref. genus Artemisia)
  • artemisiar'um: the genus name Artemisia plus -arum, a form of the Latin adjectival suffix -ar meaning "like, pertaining to, or of the nature of" (ref. Loeflingia squarrosa var. artemisiarum)
  • artemisiifo'lia: having leaves that resemble those of Artemisia (ref. Chaenactis artemisiifolia)
  • artemisio'ides: like Artemisia (ref. Senna artemesioides)
  • Arthrocne'mum: from Greek arthron, "joint," and knemis or knemidos, "a legging," or kneme, "the knee, thus 'jointed leg or knee' (ref. genus Arthrocnemum)
  • articula'tum/articula'tus: jointed, as in plants such as bamboos and horsetails (ref. Juncus articulatus)
  • Ar'um: from an ancient Greek name, aron," meaning a "climbing or winding plant" and used for a poisonous plant related to the American jack-in-the-pulpit or Indian turnip (Arisaema triphyllum) (ref. genus Arum)
  • -arum: (1) a suffix given to a personal name to convert it to a substantival commemorative epithet, when the epithet refers to two or more women (see Nomenclature); (2) presumably a form of the Latin adjectival suffix -ar meaning "like, pertaining to, or of the nature of" and possibly or not applying to the names amarum, sanctarum and brecciarum
  • arundina'cea/arundina'ceum: resembling a reed (ref. Festuca arundinacea, Phalaris arundinacea, Dulichium arundinaceum)
  • Arun'do: a Latin name for a reed grass (ref. genus Arundo)
  • Arun'cus: according to Umberto Quattrocchi, "from Latin aruncus, "the beard of the goat," a classical name used by Pliny for herbs commonly known as 'goat's beard'" (ref. genus Aruncus)
  • arven'se/arven'sis: of the fields (ref. Cirsium arvense, Equisetum arvense, Anagallis arvensis, Anthemis arvensis, Convolvulus arvensis, Lycopsis arvensis, Mentha arvensis, Sherardia arvensis, Sonchus arvensis, Spergula arvensis, Torilis arvensis, Veronica arvensis, Viola arvensis)
  • asarifo'lia: with leaves like Asarum or wild ginger (ref. Pyrola asarifolia ssp. asarifolia)
  • Asar'um: from Asaron, the Greek name for this genus used by Dioscorides (ref. genus Asarum)
  • ascen'dens: with the flowers or leaves turning upwards or rising gradually (ref. Aster ascendens)
  • -ascens: a Latin adjectival suffix which is used in compound words to indicate the process of becoming something or acquiring some characteristic (e.g. purpurascens, "becoming purple"; cinerascens, "becoming ashy-colored" (ref. Calamagrostis purpurascens, Cymopterus purpurascens, Selaginella cinerascens)
  • Asclep'ias: named for the Greek God of healing Asklepios (ref. genus Asclepias)
  • ashland'ica: for Mount Ashland (formerly called Ashland Butte) on the main ridge of the Siskiyou Mountains due south of Ashland, Oregon (ref. Potentilla glandulosa ssp. ashlandica)
  • asiat'ica: from Asia (ref. Zostera asiatica)
  • asparago'ides: resembling Asparagus (ref. Asparagus asparagoides)
  • Aspar'agus: an ancient Greek name (ref. genus Asparagus)
  • aspera'ta: roughened
  • as'per/as'pera/as'perum: rough (ref. Sonchus asper, Bebbia juncea var. aspera, Ephedra aspera, Ericameria parryi ssp. aspera)
  • aspericau'lis: rough-stemmed
  • asperifo'lia/asperifo'lius: rough-leaved (ref. Muhlenbergia asperifolia)
  • Asperu'go: derived from asper, "rough," and used for a plant with rough or prickly leaves (ref. genus Asperugo)
  • asperu'la/asperul'um: somewhat rough, diminutive of asper (ref. Asclepias asperula, Galium mexicanum var. asperulum)
  • Asphodel'us: an ancient Greek name (ref. genus Asphodelus)
  • Aspido'tis: from the Greek meaning 'shield-bearer' for the shield-like false indusia (ref. genus Aspidotis)
  • aspleniifo'lius: with leaves like genus Asplenium (ref. Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp. aspleniifolius)
  • Asplen'ium: from the Greek a, "without," and spleen, "spleen" (ref. genus Asplenium)
  • asprel'la: with rough scales (ref. Selaginella asprella, Sidalcea malviflora ssp. asprella)
  • assim'ilis: similar to
  • assurgentiflor'a: with flowers in ascending clusters (ref. Malva assurgentiflora)
  • asteph'anus: without a crown, lacking ray flowers, from Greek stephos, "a crown" (ref. Senecio astephanus)
  • As'ter: from the Greek aster, "a star," describing the radiate heads of the flowers (ref. genus Aster)
  • -aster: a Latin substantival suffix indicating inferiority or incomplete resemblance, often used in naming wild equivalents of cultivated plants (e.g. oleaster, "wild olive," from olea, "olive")
  • astero'ides: resembling the aster (ref. Dieteria asteroides var. asteroides, Dieteria asteroides var. lagunensis)
  • asterophor'a: I'm not sure of this but it almost certainly derives from aster, "a star," and probably either from the Greek phora, motion or movement," or phoros, "a bearing." Judging by other names that have this suffix such as adenophora, "gland-bearing," neurophora, "nerve- or vein-bearing," and bryophora, "moss- or lichen-bearing," I would guess that it means something like "star-bearing or bearing some kind of star-like structure" (ref. Draba asterophora)
  • Astrag'alus: from the Greek astragalos meaning "ankle bone" and an early name applied to some plants in this family because of the shape of the seeds (ref. genus Astragalus)
  • Astrol'epis: from the Greek astron, "a star," and lepis, "scale," making reference to the scales on the blade surface (ref. genus Astrolepis)
  • -astrum: a Latin diminutive suffix with derogatory implications suggesting some degree of superficial resemblance
  • asymmet'ricus: asymmetrical (ref. Astragalus asymmetricus)
  • -ata/-atum/-atus: an adjectival suffix for nouns indicating possession or resemblance
  • a'ter: coal black
  • athero'des: from the Greek ather, "a beard or awn of a grain of wheat," and the -odes suffix indicating resemblance (ref. Carex atherodes)
  • athrosta'chya: with spikes crowded together (ref. Carex athrostachya)
  • Athy'sanus: from the Greek a, "without," and thusanos, "fringe," and referring to the wingless fruit (ref. genus Athysanus)
  • Athyr'ium: from Greek a, "without," and either (1) thurium, "shield" or (2) thura, "a door," from the enclosed sori (ref. genus Athyrium)
  • -aticum/-aticus: a Latin adjectival suffix indicating place of growth (e.g. sylvaticus from silva, "wood")
  • -atile/-atilis: same as -aticum (e.g. saxatile or saxatilis, "dwelling among rocks, from saxum, "a stone"; aquatilis, "living in or near water," from aqua, "water")
  • atlan'tica: atlantic, of the Atlantic
  • atomar'ia/atomar'ius: speckled or spotted (ref. Nemophila menziesii var. atomaria)
  • atractylo'ides: unknown to me at this time, except that an internet search turned up an herbal extract named Atractylus derived from a plant in a genus in the sunflower family that is variously spelled either Atractylodis or Atractylodes, and since the '-oides' ending usually means "having a resemblance to", it's possible this name means "like Atractylodes or Atractylus".  The problem with this is that the name Atractylodes itself probably means "like Atractylis," which is another genus in the sunflower family, the '-odes' ending being an alternative spelling of '-oides.'  So it seems more likely to me that atractyloides means "like genus Atractylis" (ref. Brickellia atractyloides var. arguta, Navarettia atractyloides)
  • atra'ta/atra'tus: darkened or blackened (ref. Scrophularia atrata, Astragalus atratus)
  • Atrichos'eris: from the Greek athrix, "without hair," and seris, a cichoriaceous genus (ref. genus Atrichoseris)
  • At'riplex: an ancient Latin name for this plant (ref. genus Atriplex)
  • atriplicifo'lium: with leaves like Atriplex (ref. Cycloloma atriplicifolium)
  • atro-: a prefix conveying the sense of "blackish or very dark," as in atrocaeruleus, "dark blue," atrococcin'eus, "dark scarlet," and atropurpureus, "dark purple"
  • atrocar'pus: having very dark fruit
  • atropurpur'ea: dark purple (ref. Deschampsia atropurpurea, Poa atropurpurea, Scabiosa atropurpurea)
  • atroru'bens: dark red (ref. Allium atrorubens var. atrorubens, Trifolium longipes var. atrorubens)
  • atrosper'ma: dark-seeded (ref. Spergularia atrosperma)
  • atrovi'rens: very dark green (ref. Chenopodium atrovirens)
  • attenua'ta/attenua'tus: narrowed to a point (ref. Dudleya attenuata ssp. orcuttii, Nicotiana attenuata, Pinus attenuata, Orthocarpus attenuatus)
  • atto'llens: upraised (ref. Pedicularis attollens)
  • -atum/-atus: a Latin adjectival suffix added to noun stems indicating possession or likeness (e.g. maculatum, "spotted, variegated," from macula, "spot"; fimbriatus, "fibrous, fringed, bordered with hairs," from fimbria, "fibers or threads"; lanceolatus, "lance-like," from lancea, "a small light spear"; fenestratus, "provided with windows," from fenestra, "window")
  • Aub'rieta/Aubrie'ta: named for the French artist Claude Aubriet (1651-1743), painter of flowers and animals (ref. genus Aubrieta)
  • aucupar'ia: from the Latin aucupor, "to go bird-catching," from auceps or aviceps, a "bird-catcher," in turn from avis, "bird," and capere, "to catch" (ref. Sorbus aucuparia)
  • augus'ta: stately, noble, august (ref. Phalaris augusta)
  • auranti'aca/auranti'acus: orange, orange-yellow or orange-red (ref. Agoseris aurantiaca, Chylismia claviformis ssp. aurantiaca, Mimulus aurantiacus)
  • aura'tum: with golden rays
  • aur'ea/aur'eum/aur'eus: golden (ref. Carex aurea, Lamarckia aurea, Pentachaeta aurea, Viola aurea, Ribes aureum, Linanthus aureus)
  • aureo'la/aureo'lus: golden (ref. Draba aureola)
  • auricula'ta/auricula'tum: having ear-like structures (ref. Plumbago auriculata, Eriogonum nudum var. auriculatum)
  • auri'ta/auri'tum: eared, having an ear, referring to the clasping, eared base of the leaves (ref. Abronia villosa var. aurita, Pholistoma auritum)
  • aus'tinae: named after Rebecca Merritt Smith Leonard Austin (1832-1919), a self-taught botanist who greatly impressed John Gill Lemon.  She grew up in Kentucky with limited opportunities to pursue her interests in the natural sciences, taught school to earn tuition to an academy in Illinois, and after her first husband (Alva Leonard) died she travelled with her second husband (James Thomas Austin) to California in the aftermath of the Gold Rush.  Her passion for collecting plants led her to study in detail a plant that had been discovered thirty years earlier but never given the attention it deserved, and she was eventually credited by Asa Gray with having made the principal observations on one of the West's odder plants, the pitcher plant Darlingtonia californica or cobra plant.  Note: The ending 'ae' after the name Austin indicates that the person in question is a woman (ref. Arabis breweri var. austiniae, Astragalus austiniae, Cephalanthera austiniae, Erigeron austiniae, Plagiobothrys austinae, Polygonum douglasii ssp. austiniae)
  • aus'tiniae/austin'iae: after Rebecca Austin (see previous entry) and her daughter Cornelia (or Carola) Josephine Austin Bruce (1865-1931), generally called Josie, who first collected the taxon which was originally called Scutellaria austinae but which has since been subsumed into S. siphocampyloides
  • aus'tinii/austin'ii: after Stafford Wallace Austin (1861-1931), prolific collector of plants mostly in Inyo Co. and the desert mountains to the east.  He was born and grew up in Hawaii and moved with his family to the Bay area at the age of 20, completing his college education there and receiving a degree from UC Berkeley.  He met his future wife, Mary Hunter from Illinois, in 1890, marrying her in 1891 and moving first to San Francisco and then to Lone Pine in the Owens Valley in 1892.  While in San Francisco, he and his brother had made plans to develop irrigation systems in the Owens Valley, but he almost immediately ran into problems and his business failed.  That year also their only daughter Ruth was born, unfortunately mentally retarded (She was put in foster homes and died in a mental institution in 1918).  He taught for a period then was appointed Superintendent of Schools for Inyo Co. in 1898.  Several years later he became the Register in the Desert Land Office in Independence, but that office closed within a fairly short time.  It was perhaps because of his failures, because of the tragedy of their daughter, or because of the personalities of the two people, that they apparently had a stormy marriage, and she left him within a few years, eventually divorcing in 1914.  She wanted to be a writer, and went on to become an important member of the artists' colonies of both Carmel, California and Santa Fe, New Mexico, writing many fiction and non-fiction works.  Stafford collected many thousands of species, and some were probably in the California Academy of Sciences building when it was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake (ref. Penstemon floridus var. austinii)
  • austra'lis: southern (ref. Cotula australis, Chamaebatia australis, Hemizonia australis, Saltugilia australis, Iris hartwegii ssp. australis, Monardella australis ssp. australis, Monardella australis ssp. cinerea, Phragmites australis, Polypogon australis)
  • austria'ca: Austrian (ref. Rorippa austriaca)
  • austri'na/austri'nus: southern (ref. Astragalus nuttallianus var. austrinus)
  • austrocalifor'nicus: of or from southern California (ref. Juncus effusus ssp. austrocalifornicus)
  • austrolitoral'is: southern coastal (ref. Phacelia ramosissima var. austrolitoralis)
  • austromonta'na/austromontan'um/austromontan'us: of the southern mountains (ref. Phacelia austromontana, Phlox austromontana, Scutellaria bolanderi ssp. austromontana, Eriastrum densifolium var. austromontanum, Eriogonum kennedyi var. austromontanum, Trichostema austromontanum ssp. austromontanum, Trichostema austromontanum ssp. compactum, Lupinus excubitus var. austromontanus)
  • aus'tro-occidenta'lis: southwestern (ref. Gilia austro-occidentalis)
  • automix'a: this name normally indicates a species which reproduces by self-pollination (ref. Clarkia concinna ssp. automixa)
  • autumna'le/autumna'lis: from the Latin autumnus and the adjectival suffix -alis meaning "pertaining to," thus, "of or pertaining to the autumn, usually flowering then" (ref. Helenium autumnale)
  • Aven'a: Latin for oats (ref. genus Avena)
  • avena'cea: oat-like (ref. Agrostis avenacea)
  • Avicen'nia: after Avicenna (Abu Ali Al-Husayn Ibn 'Abd Allah Ibn Sina) (980-1037), a Persian scientist and philosopher, and considered one of the greatest of the medieval Islamic physicians. Umberto Quattrocchi says: "Scientist, contributed to the fields of Aristotelian philosophy and medicine. Among his many works are the Kitab ash-shifa ("Book of Healing", a vast philosophical and scientific encyclopedia, and the Canon of Medicine, which is among the most famous books in the history of medicine..." He was born at Kharmaithen, in the province of Bokhara [Central Asia, what is now Uzebekistan and what was then part of the Islamic Caliphate] and died at Hamadan in Northern Persia. The following is from the Catholic Encyclopedia: "From the autobiographical sketch which has come down to us we learn that he was a very precocious youth; at the age of ten he knew the Koran by heart; before he was sixteen he had mastered what was to be learned of physics, mathematics, logic, and metaphysics; at the age of sixteen he began the study and practice of medicine; and before he had completed his twenty-first year he wrote his famous "Canon" of medical science, which for several centuries, after his time, remained the principal authority in medical schools both in Europe and in Asia. He served successively several Persian potentates as physician and adviser, travelling with them from place to place, and despite the habits of conviviality for which he was well known, devoted much time to literary labours, as is testified by the hundred volumes which he wrote. Our authority for the foregoing facts is the "Life of Avicenna," based on his autobiography, written by his disciple Jorjani (Sorsanus), and published in the early Latin editions of his works. Besides the medical "Canon," he wrote voluminous commentaries on Arisotle's works and two great encyclopedias entitled "Al Schefa", or "Al Chifa" (i.e. healing) and "Al Nadja" (i.e. deliverance). The "Canon" and portions of the encyclopedias were translated into Latin as early as the twelfth century, by Gerard of Cremona, Dominicus Gundissalinus, and John Avendeath; they were published at Venice, 1493-95. The complete Arabic texts are said to be are said to be in the manuscript in the Bodleian Library. An Arabic text of the "Canon" and the "Nadja" was published in Rome, 1593." (ref. genus Avicennia)
  • avicula're: relating to small birds (ref. Polygonum aviculare, Solanum aviculare)
  • avi'ta: from avus, "grandfather," thus "of a grandfather, having a grandfather, ancestral" (ref. Oenothera californica ssp. avita)
  • av'ium/av'ius: from the Latin avium, "a desert, a place of wildness," and avius, "deserted, solitary, out of the way, remote, trackless, untrodden," from the root via, "way," and the prefix 'a-' for "without." Stearn's Dictionary of Plant Names also gives "of the birds" for avium presumably from the root avis, "bird," but I think the former etymology is probably more correct (ref. Eriogonum prattenianum var. avium, Calochortus clavatus var. avius)
  • -ax: an uncommon Latin adjectival suffix imparting the sense of "inclined to" or "apt to" (e.g. tenax, "inclined to be tenacious or tough," from tenere, "to hold"; fugax, "apt to flee, withering or falling quickly," from fugere, "to flee")
  • axillar'is: axillary, positioned in the leaf axils (ref. Iva axillaris, Tetradymia axillaris)
  • Axono'pus: from the Greek axon or axonos, "axis, stem, axle," and pous or podos, "a foot," and according to Umberto Quattrocchi, "referring to the stolons or to the digitate inflorescences" (ref. genus Axonopus)
  • Ayen'ia: named for Louis de Noailles (1713-1793), the Duc d'Ayen (a title bestowed on the eldest son of the Noailles family) from the time of his birth in 1713 to 1766 at which time he succeeded his father Adrienne-Maurice as Duc de Noailles. Despite an undistinguished military career, he was made a marshall of France in 1775. He refused to abandon France during the Revolution and possibly only escaped the guillotine because he died in 1793 before the Terror had reached its height. At that point his son, Jean-Louis-Paul-François, became the Duc de Noailles. The Noailles family had a close relationship with French King Louis XV and it was likely at the suggestion of Louis (Duc d'Ayen 1713-1766, and Duc de Noailles 1766-1793) that the botanic garden of the Trianon was greatly enlarged. There had been gardens at the Trianon during the reign of Louis XIV with thousands of potted flowers and many greenhouses, and when Louis XV took up residence there, he created at the behest of his mistress Madame de Pompadour a menagerie to the east of the gardens. Madame de Pompadour also encouraged Louis's interest in horticulture and in 1750 he appointed Claude II Richard (1705-84), who Linnaeus described as “the ablest gardener in Europe”, the position of “jardinier-fleuriste du roi” and asked him to create a larger botanical garden near the menagerie. Louis XV subsequently appointed Bernard de Jussieu who had been at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris to take over and the gardens became a center for botanical research and were arranged according to the classification principles of Linnaeus. After Louis XV died, Louis XVI gave the Trianon to his wife, Marie Antoinette, and the gardens were extensively replanted in the style of a formal English garden. A side note about the Noailles family is that one of the daughters of Jean de Noailles, Adrienne Françoise de Noailles, was the wife of the famous Revolutionary War figure the Marquis de Lafayette (ref. genus Ayenia)
  • azed'arach: according to Stearn's Dictionary of Plant Names, this is a contracted form of a Persian vernacular name, azaddhirakt, for the noble tree, Melia azedarach (ref. Melia azedarach)
  • Azol'la: from the Greek azo, to dry, and ollumi or olluo, "to kill, destroy," in reference to the manner in which these plants die in dry conditions (ref. genus Azolla)
  • azur'ea/azur'eus: sky-blue, azure (ref. Anchusa azurea, Penstemon azureus)

Torrey Pines State Reserve.
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