L-R: Encelia californica (Bush sunflower), Hesperochiron californicus (California hesperochiron), Phacelia nashiana (Charlotte's phacelia), Brodiaea santarosae (Santa Rosa basalt brodiaea), Rafinesquia neomexicana (Desert chicory)

California Plant Names:
Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations
An Annotated Dictionary of Botanical and Biographical Etymology
Compiled by Michael L. Charters

  • 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.
  • anacario'ides: having a resemblance to genus Anacardium.
  • Anaco'lia: docked, curtailed, for the short pedicel of the capsule. The genus Anacolia was published in 1876 by Wilhelm Philipp Schimper.
  • anagalli'dea: like Anagallis.
  • anagallidifo'lium: with leaves like genus Anagallis.
  • 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. The genus Anagallis was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • anag'allis-aqua'tica: water Anagallis.
  • anagallo'ides: like the genus Anagallis.
  • anagyro'ides: resembling genus Anagyris.
  • Anaph'alis: from the Greek name of a similar plant. The genus Anaphalis was published by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle in 1837.
  • an'ceps: two-headed, from ambo-, "both," and -ceps, "headed." Gledhill says "doubtful, dangerous, two-edged, two-headed." He also mentions stems that are flattened to make two edges. Stearn includes "wavering, doubtful, uncertain" as meanings in classical Latin. According to a website of the Missouri Botanical Garden, one species, Arundinaria anceps, which had round stems, used the specific epithet because of doubts as to its country of origin.
  • Anchu'sa: from the Latin name anchusa, derived from the Greek ankousa or ankhousa, for a plant used as a cosmetic or as an emollient to soothe and soften the skin. One website, Eflora, says "Anchusa is from the Greek meaning to paint or dye (another species is Dyer’s Bugloss (A. tinctoria)." The genus Anchusa was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 and is called bugloss.
  • Ancistrocar'phus: from the Greek for "fishhook chaff." The genus Ancistrocarpus was published by Asa Gray in 1868.
  • Andersonglos'sum: named for botanist William Russell Anderson (1942-2013). He was born in Tuscon and received
      a B.S. degree in botany from Duke University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan. In 1971 he was appointed curator of the herbarium of the New York Botanical Garden. In 1974 he joined the faculty of the Department of Botany of the University of Michigan, and also served as director of the university herbarium from 1986 to 1999. He retired in 2002 but remained active as professor and curator emeritus. His main interests were in systematics and floristics as well as plant nomenclature. He spent many seasons of field work in Latin America
    and was an expert in the flora of western Mexico. He received the Asa Gray Award from the American Society of Plant Taxonomists and the Robert Allerton Award for Excellence in Tropical Botany from the National Tropical Botanical Garden. The generic name is a combination of his name and the root glossa or glossum for "tongue," some say "tongue of the dog." Another genus using this root is Cynoglossum the common name of which is hound's tongue. The genus Andersonglossum in the Boraginaceae was published in 2015 by James Cohen. (From obituary in the Ann Arbor News). (Photo credit: SciELO)
  • anderson'ii: named for 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 webpage Who's In A Name: "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 botanists 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." (Delphinium andersonii, Lupinus andersonii, Lycium andersonii, Prunus andersonii, Ranunculus andersonii) (Photo credit: Who's In a Name)
  • anderson'ii: named after Frederick William Anderson (1866-1891), British mycologist, algologist, and botanical artist who worked in Montana. He was born in Cambridge and emigrated with his family to Chicago in 1881. In 1883 he moved to Montana and began to study the local flora. He received a doctorate at Montagne College in Deer Lodge. He became an assistant to mycologist Job Bicknell Ellis, and it was his sketches that Ellis used in his North American Pyrenomycetes. He then became a member of the editorial board of the journal American Agriculturist. He was also a member of the Torrey Botanical Club and had begun to illustrate the forthcoming book by  Elizabeth Gertrude Britton on the mosses of North America. He died in New York of encephalitis at the age of 25. (Stenotus andersonii)
  • anderson'ii: named after Lewis Edward “Andy” Anderson (1912-2007), American bryologist at Duke University. He was born in Batesville, Mississippi and enrolled in the state college at the age of 16. He conducted extensive field work throughout the US and Canada and produced a checklist to the mosses of North America with Howard Crum and William Campbell Steere. The following is excerpted from his JSTOR entry: “After graduating with a B.A. from Mississippi State University he became an assistant in botany at Duke University and, undertaking postgraduate studies, received a master's degree in 1933. His Ph.D. was awarded by the University of Pennsylvania (where he had been an assistant instructor and held the Morris Fellowship) for a thesis on the mitochondria of higher plants. From this time until his retirement in 1982, Anderson worked at Duke, first as an instructor, then as assistant professor and later full professor (from 1954). Anderson did take a leave of absence from Duke during the Second World War and, undertaking military service on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Area, he left as a Lieutenant Commander. His A list of the mosses of North America was published in 1966 and between 1980 and 1981 he and Crum published an exsiccatae series entitled Mosses of North America. In 1941 Anderson married Ruth (Pat) Geckler and the pair had five children together. The genus Bryoandersonia was named for him by Harold Robinson and several species epithets also bear his name.” He joined the Department of Botany at Duke in 1936 at which time the bryophyte herbarium consisted of a few thousand specimens housed in some shoe boxes. The collection presently numbers approximately 230,000 accessions, due in large part to the activities of Dr. Anderson and his students. In recognition of his contributions, the bryophyte herbarium was formally named the L.E. Anderson Bryophyte Herbarium in November, 1998. (Weissia 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 US Forest Service employee until about 1965, and then worked for the Utah State Parks Department until his death. (Silene verecunda ssp. andersonii)
  • andi'na: of or from the Andes. Nuttall, who originally published Camissonia andina, sometimes referred to the Rocky Mountains as the Northern Andes.
  • Andrea'ea: named after Johann Gerhard Reinhard Andreae (1724-1793), a Hanoverian natural scientist, chemist,
      geologist, court pharmacist and alchemist. He maintained extensive natural history collections which were widely known across Europe and did pioneering scientific work on soils and agriculture. His father was the wealthy court pharmacist Leopold Andreae, owner of a pharmacy in Hanover, a pharmacy that was taken over by his great-grandfather Johann Andreae in 1645, and which became the official court pharmacy. His father died when he was young but he received a good education, studying all the sciences, geology and chemistry, mineralogy and metallurgy, and
    of cource pharmacy, and learning all the important languages of 18th century Europe. He took over the family pharmacy in 1851 shortly before his mother’s death. Wikipedia adds: “In 1763, he undertook a scientific expedition across Switzerland, to study herbaria, fossil and crystal collections, salt evaporation ponds, hot springs and glaciers. His letters from Switzerland were published 1764–65 in the Hannoversche Magazin, and were published as an elaborate book in Zurich in 1776. He was highly regarded by the Hanover government and often asked for advice. On behalf of the Prince Elector of Hanover, he studied a great number of types of soil and their uses for agriculture. In 1767, he published his Alchemistische Briefe, with many pharmaceutical insights. Between 1778 and 1781, he employed Jakob Friedrich Ehrhart (a pupil of Carl Linnaeus) to organise his natural history collections, including an herbarium and a collection of seeds. He also wrote poetry and was a music lover.” He was a kind and generous person and was considered one of the major benefactors of the city of Hanover, which is where he died. The moss genus Andreaea was published by Johann Hedwig in 1801.
  • andrea'nus: named for Edouard-François André (1840-1911), French horticulturist and landscape architect. He was
      born in Bourges into a family of nurserymen. At the age of 20 he was an assistant of the great Parisian landscape designer Jean-Pierre Barillet-Deschamps and participated in the redesign of the city of Paris in cooperation with Jean-Charles Alphand and Baron Haussmann. He was appointed Jardinier Principal of Paris and planted many public parks such as the Tuileries Gardens. Wikipedia says: “His international career was launched in 1866, when he won the competition to design Sefton Park in Liverpool. During his life André designed around a hundred public and
    private landscape parks, mainly in Europe: the Russian Empire, Austria-Hungary, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark and Bulgaria (the Euxinograd palace park). Among the most famous of them in addition to Sefton Park, Liverpool, are the Luxembourg Castle Park, Funchal Garden in Madeira, Portugal, Weldham Castle Garden in Markelo, Netherlands, public park of Cognac, France and the Villa Borghese gardens, the major public park in Rome. His experience in designing public parks was distilled in Traité général de la composition des parcs et jardins, (Masson, Paris) 1879. He undertook a botanising trip in the foothills of the Andes in 1875-76 that resulted in the introduction of numerous hardy and tender plants new to European cultivation; his researches resulted in a volume on bromeliads, Bromeliaceae Andreanae. Description et Histoire des Bromeliacées récoltées dans la Colombie, l'Ecuador et la Venezuela, Librairie Agricole, Paris, 1889.” André used many distinctive features in his designs for private parks such as the harmonious placement and pleasing arrangement of artificial grottoes, waterfalls, mountain-style stone structures, employment of natural water bodies and panoramas. He became the editor of Jean-Pierre Barillet-Deschamps in 1870. He died in La Croix-en-Touraine, and was interred in Montmartre Cemetery, Paris.
  • andrews'ii: named for Professor Albert LeRoy Andrews (1878-1961), one of the world’s foremost bryologists. He was
      born at Williamstown, Massachusetts. A website of Cornell University provided the following information: “He grew up in Williamstown, but lack of a good botany program at nearby Williams College led Andrews to study languages there.  He graduated from Williams in 1899 and received his M.A. from Williams in 1902.  Following graduate study in German at Harvard University, and brief teaching posts at West Virginia University and Dartmouth College, Andrews studied at Berlin, Kiel, Oslo, and Copenhagen, receiving his Ph.D. from Kiel in 1908. It was then that
    Andrews joined the German Department at Cornell University to teach German and Scandinavian languages.  He became assistant professor in 1919, professor in 1931, and professoreEmeritus in 1946. Though his primary career followed the path of Germanic languages, Andrews also distinguished himself in bryology.  Wherever his German travels took him, he also studied the region's bryology.  His publications in Germanic studies were paralleled by a similar number of bryological works.  He wrote a monograph of Sphagnum for North American Flora as well as many other articles on mosses.  His reputation as a Sphagnum expert was a result of his meticulous and thorough studies. The years of cooperation between Andrews and the Department of Botany at Cornell benefited them both.  Andrews volunteered his time and expertise to identify mosses, lead student field trips, and assemble a bryophyte collection in the Wiegand Herbarium.  In 1953, Andrews was appointed honorary curator of the bryophyte collection, and he continued to work on bryophytes until his death in 1961.  His treatise on The Bryophyte Flora of the Upper Cayuga Lake Basin, New York (Cornell Univ. Agr. Exper. Sta. Memoir 352, publ. Dec. 1957) has become a classic.” He was a member of the Botanical Society of America, the Geological Society of America, the Torrey Botanical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was also president of the Sullivant Moss Society, later to become the American Bryological Society, and associate editor of The Bryologist. (Weissia andrewsii) (Photo credit: Cornell University)
  • an'drewsiana/an'drewsii: named for Timothy Langdon Andrews (1819-1908), schoolteacher, storekeeper, newspaper editor and publisher, customs inspector, physician, botanist and plant collector. 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." His father was the Congregational Minister Rev. William Andrews and he grew up in Danbury and Cornwall, Connecticut, and attended the common schools there and then Cornwall Academy, acquiring a good liberal education. After his trip to Liberia as physician and surgeon on behalf of the American Colonization Society, he returned by way of Brazil to California, where he worked variously as inspector of customs, editor of a newspaper, and school teacher. In 1851 he voyaged into Southern Pacific waters and remained on an island of the Samoan group for four months, trafficking with the natives. He then returned by way of the Sandwich Islands, where he spent several months with a cousin, Rev. Lorrin Andrews, a missionary in Honolulu. He returned to New England via Nicaragua in 1855 where he became editor of a Whig newspaper, the Marietta Intelligencer, and used his influence for the formation of the Republican party, supporting John C. Frémont for president and Salmon P. Chase for governor of Ohio. He was married in May, 1856, to Laura A. Childs, of Niagara Falls, New York. In 1862 he moved to Niagara Falls where he remained for seven years until 1869 when with his eldest son he moved to Adair County, Iowa, shortly thereafter to be followed by the rest of his family. His wife  died in January, 1871. He practiced medicine in Creston, Iowa, until 1883, having remarried Sarah E. White in 1877, and moved again in 1883 to Wichita, Kansas, continuing to work there as a physician. He then went to St. Joseph, Missouri, where, in collaboration with Mrs. Andrews, he wrote for the St. Joseph Daily News and the Journal of Commerce, of which he was editor. In 1892 he returned with his wife to Henry County, Iowa, to care for his father-in-law, and there he retired.  Always fond of scientific research and investigation, he continually broadened his knowledge in the field of botany as the years advanced, and carried on a correspondence with John Torrey. (Clintonia andrewsiana, Cirsium andrewsii, Galium andrewsii, Trifolium barbigerum var. andrewsii)
  • androgy'nus: having male and female structures on the same plant.
  • andromede'a: the species name 'andromedea' refers to Andromeda, daughter of Ethiopian King Cepheus and his wife Cassiopeia. Mythology has it that the Queen boasted that she was more beautiful than the Nereids, the sea nymphs who often accompanied Poseidon, and so he punished her by flooding the Ethiopian coast and sending a sea monster to ravage its inhabitants. An oracle told the King that he had to sacrifice his daughter so she was chained to a rock as an offering to the monster. Perseus, the son of Zeus, who had just slain the Medusa, happened by on his flying sandals and saw the unfortunate maiden, fell in love with her, slew the monster, and married her. Thomas Nuttall published the name Pterospora andromedea in 1818 because he thought the plant was similar to some of those in the genera Andromeda, a species of which had been found in 1732 in Lapland by Carl Linnaeus who used that name because the plant supposedly reminded him of the story of Perseus and Andromeda.
  • andromedifo'lia: having leaves like those of Andromeda, the bog rosemary.
  • Andropo'gon: from the Greek andros, "a man," and pogon, "beard," referring to the hairs on the spikelets of some of these grass species. The genus Andropogon was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • Androsa'ce: from the Greek name for some uncertain sea-plant, deriving from the Greek andros or aner, "a man, male," and sakos, "a shield." The genus Androsace was published in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus.
  • androsa'cea/androsa'ceus: like Androsace, a small plant of the primrose family typically growing in rock gardens called rock jasmine.
  • 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 or aner, "man," and haima, "blood," in reference to its blood-red sap or juice.
  • andro'saemum: see previous entry.
  • Androsteph'ium: from the Greek andros, "man, male," and by extension "stamen," and stephanos, "crown," referring to the apical appendages of the fused filaments. The genus Androstephium was published by John Torrey in 1859.
  • androu'xii: for James M. André and Tasha La Doux, two desert botanists and friends that helped point to the problems
      with desert Eschscholzia identification. Jim is a plant ecologist educated at UC Davis, Humboldt State University and UCLA. Since 1994 he has been director of the University of California's Granite Mountains Desert Research Center and is currently working on a flora of the Mojave National Reserve. From his bio on the website of the Desert Research Center: "Prior to his arrival at the Granites, his career included stints with The Nature Conservancy, Inyo National Forest and BioSystems Analysis, Inc. where he acquired a broad training in botanical research, conservation biology and natural areas management. Since arriving at the Center, Jim has been very involved with floristic studies throughout the desert southwest, writing floras of the Mojave National Preserve and Owens Valley. In addition, he has served as a leading organizer of major conferences and interagency science programs, with coordination of academic research and arid lands management as a central theme." The main focus of his research has been in the areas of rare plant conservation, demographics of desert shrubs, and restoration ecology. And from Tasha's bio on the
    same page: "Tasha La Doux attended UC San Diego to receive her B.S. in Ecology, Behavior, & Evolution in 1995, then received a Ph.D. in Botany from Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (Claremont Graduate University) in 2004. She has worked as a botanist in the region since 1998, including federal land management positions such as the forest botanist on the Angeles National Forest and as branch chief for vegetation management at Joshua Tree National Park. Her research interests include plant mating systems, population biology, and floristics; she maintains an active role in public lands management and the conservation of rare plants in the region. She is currently working on a flora of Joshua Tree National Park. Tasha started working at the [Desert Research] Center in 2007." (Photo credits: Calphotos and Sweeney Granite Mountains Desert Research Center)
  • -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,
      and author of The Cryptogams of Wyoming. He was one of the founding professors of the University of Wyoming, where he taught for 55 years as professor and served as president (1918-1922). He also served as president of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists and the Botanical Society of America. He was born of parents who had immigrated from Norway. He got a B.A. degree in 1883 and an M.S.D. degree in 1887, an M.S. degree in 1890 and an M.A. in 1892, and a Doctor of Philosophy in 1904. In 1893 he was a co-founder of the Rocky Mountain
    Herbarium, and in 1927 he co-founded the Colorado-Wyoming Academy of Science. The genus Anelsonia was published by James Francis Macbride and Edwin Blake Payson in 1917. (Photo credit UW Libraries Digital Repository)
  • Ane'mone: an ancient Greek name derived from anemos, "wind," the genus being commonly called windflower. The genus Anemone was published by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle in 1818.
  • anemonifo'lium: with leaves like genus Anemone.
  • Anemop'sis: from two Greek words anemone and opsis, meaning "anemone-like" in reference to the resemblance of the inflorescence to a flower in genus Anenome. The genus Anemopsis was published in 1841 by William Jackson Hooker and George Arnott Walker Arnott.
  • Ane'thum: the Greek and Latin name for dill. The genus Anethum was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • -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 on my assumption. 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 have thought that Gilia angelensis is as well. Tom Chester provided me with a link to an article in Aliso (1952) entitled "Genetic and Taxonomic Studies in Gilia" by Verne Edwin Grant, who published Gilia angelensis, which stated definitively that the taxon was "Named for the Los Angeles area, which is in the center of its distribution."
  • Angel'ica: more than 60 species of medicinal plants belong to the genus Angelica. Many of these species have long been used in ancient traditional medicine systems, especially in the Far East. Various herbal preparations containing Angelica species are available over-the-counter, not only in Asian countries, but also in western countries like USA, UK, Germany, etc. For centuries many species of this genus have been used traditionally as an anti-inflammatory, diuretic, expectorant and diaphoretic, and remedy for colds, flu, influenza, hepatitis, arthritis, indigestion, coughs, chronic bronchitis, pleurisy, typhoid, headaches, wind, fever, colic, travel sickness, rheumatism, bacterial and fungal infections and diseases of the urinary organs. The genus Angelica was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • angel'ica: the type specimen of Johnstonella angelica was collected at Isla Angel de la Guarda in Baja California by Ivan Murray Johnston in 1921 who named it Cryptantha angelica in 1924.
  • ang'lica/ang'licum: of England.
  • angui'neus: snake-like, serpentine.
  • angui'nus: same as previous entry.
  • angular'is: see angulata below.
  • angula'ta/angula'tus: having angles or corners, or with angular lobes.
  • angulo'sum: full of corners, many-angled.
  • angusta'tum/angusta'tus: narrow or narrowed.
  • angustifo'lia/angustifo'lium: having narrow foliage, from Latin angustus, "narrow."
  • angustipet'alum: with narrow petals.
  • angustis'simus: very narrow.
  • 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."
  • Anisocar'pus: from the Greek anisos, "unequal," and karpos, "fruit." The genus Anisocarpus was published in 1841 by Thomas Nuttall.
  • Anisoco'ma: from the Greek anisos, "unequal," and kome, "a tuft of hair," referring to the two unlike sets of pappus bristles. The genus Anisocoma was published in 1845 by John Torrey and Asa Gray.
  • Annes'lia: named for George Annesley, 2nd Earl of Mountnorris, Viscount Valentia (1770-1844), British peer and politician. He was the author of Voyages and Travels to India, Ceylon, the Red Sea, Abyssinia and Egypt, in the years 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805, and 1806 with paintings by Henry Salt. The genus Anneslia was published in 1807 by Richard Anthony Salisbury.
  • an'nua/an'nuum/an'nuus: annual, yearly, that which returns, recurs, or happens every year.
  • 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.
  • Ano'da: According to Stearn, 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. The genus Anoda was published by Antonio José Cavanilles in 1785.
  • ano'mala/ano'malus: unusual in relation to related plant species.
  • Anreder'a: Umberto Quattrocchi says, "Possibly derived from a personal name or derived from the Spanish word enredadera, "creeping plant, climbing plant." The genus Anredera was published by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in 1789.
  • 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.
  • Antennar'ia: from the Latin antenna, because of the resemblance of the male flowers to insect antennae. The genus Antennaria is called pussytoes and was published by Joseph Gaertner in 1791.
  • anthela'tus: having an inflorescence in the form of an anthela, that is with lateral flowering branches exceeding the main axis.
  • 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.
  • An'themis: from the Greek anthemon, "flower," for their profuse blooming, and the Greek name for Chamaemelum nobile, of which chamomile tea is made. The genus Anthemis is called chamomile and was published in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus.
  • an'thos: a flower.
  • Anthoxan'thum: from the Greek anthos for "flower," and xanthos, "yellow," alluding to the color of the ripened spikelets. The genus Anthoxanthum was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • Anthris'cus: from the Latin anthriscus and Greek anthriskos, names for chervil, and possibly for another but unidentified plant. It has been suggested that it may be connected to the Greek ather, the "beard" of grain. The genus Anthriscus is common called chervil and was published by Christiaan Henrik Persoon in 1805.
  • 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.
  • an'tiquus: ancient, antique.
  • antirrhin'a: one of the meanings of the Greek anti is "like, resembling" and rhina means "nose."
  • antirrhiniflor'a: having flowers like those of Antirrhinum.
  • antirrhino'ides: like Antirrhinum.
  • Antirrhi'num: from the Greek anti, "like, resembling" and rhina or rhinon, "nose," because the flowers do seem to have a snout. This was a name used by Dioscorides. The common name "snapdragon" originates from the flowers' reaction to having their throats squeezed, which causes the "mouth" of the flower to snap open like a dragon's mouth. The reason that there is a double R in the epithet Antirrhinum is that there is a spelling convention in Greek that says that if a stem element begins with the letter rho (the 17th letter in the Greek alphabet and a letter that is equivalent to an English R) and is preceded by an element that ends in a simple vowel, the rho or R is doubled. This convention goes back to ancient Greek which was eventually adopted by botanical Latin and modern English. Another instance of the double R in botanical names is Glycyrrhiza. But interestingly, I just ran across a genus in the Virginia flora, Callirhoe, which would seem to fit the requirements for a double R, but it doesn't, just showing that botanical nomenclature is as inconsistent as everything else. The genus Antirrhinum was published in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus.
  • antisel'lii: after Thomas Antisell (1817-1893), Irish-born 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 an advisor to the Meiji government and was decorated by the Emperor. He studied chemistry in Berlin and Paris, and then gained a lectureship in botany at the Peter St. School of Medicine in Dublin where he taught for several years. After a brief dalliance with the Irish republican movement he emigrated to the United States. He was in Japan for five years and while there he developed inks for the printing of paper currency. After
    returning to the US he worked at the Patent Office until his retirement. He wrote widely on numerous topics of interest to him such as agricultural chemistry, botany, oceanography, city sanitation, and animal disease. He carried on a correspondence with John Torrey.
  • antoni'na: after the San Antonio Hills in Monterey County where the type locality for this taxon is.
  • antoni'num/antoni'nus: after Anthony Peak, east of Covelo on Mendocino/Tehama County boundary.
  • anton'ius: the Jepson Manual refers to this as San Antonio milkvetch, and it is named for Mt. San Antonio, which is better known by its other name, Mt. Baldy.
  • Anulocau'lis: ring-stem, from the Latin anulus, and caule, "stem," from the sticky internodal rings. The genus Anulocaulis was published by Paul Carpenter Standley in 1909.
  • -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.
  • -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.
  • an'xius: from the Latin anxius, "distressed, uneasy, anxious." 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.
  • apargio'ides: resembling the genus formerly called Apargia, which is now Microseris.
  • A'pera: from the Greek aperos, "not maimed," alluding to the vestigial florets. The genus Apera was published in 1763 by Michel Adanson.
  • apari'ne: a Greek name for the plant called cleavers, goosegrass, catchfly bedstraw or stckywilly. The Greek apairo, which means to “lay hold of” or “seize,” gives the species name aparine its meaning, since this species tends to climb and cling to other plants.
  • aper'ta: open or exposed, bare, uncovered, the flowers opening wide.
  • apet'ala/apet'alus: without petals.
  • 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.
  • aphanac'tis: from the Greek aphanes, "inconspicuous," and actis, "a ray," thus a head with small ray flowers.
  • aphanan'tha/aphanan'thum: with inconspicuous flowers.
  • A'phanes: from the Greek aphanes, "obscure, inconspicuous, unseen, invisible," alluding to the inconspicuous nature of the plants and/or flowers. The genus Aphanes was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • Aphanis'ma: from the Greek aphanes, "inconspicuous." The genus Aphanisma was published by Thomas Nuttall in 1849.
  • aphyl'la/Aphyl'lon: leafless, from the Greek a, "without," and phyllon, "leaf." The genus Aphyllon was published by John Mitchell in 1769.
  • apia'na: pertaining to bees which this plant attracts in great numbers.
  • Apias'trum: from the Latin apium, "celery," and aster, "wild," this was the classical name for wild celery. The genus Apiastrum was published by Thomas Nuttall in 1849.
  • apicula'ta/apicula'tum: ending somewhat abruptly in a short or sharp point or apex.
  • apiifo'lium: with leaves like Apium.
  • Ap'ium: derived from Apium, an ancient Latin name for celery or parsley. The genus Apium was published in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus.
  • 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. The genus Apocynum is called dogbane or Indian-hemp and was published in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus.
  • apo'dus: footless, sessile.
  • 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. The genus Aponogeton was published in 1781 by Carl von Linnaeus the Younger.
  • appelia'num: after German botanist-biologist Oliver Appel (fl. 1996), authority on the Brassicaceae, and collector of plants in China and lichens in Germany.
  • appendicula'ta: having appendages, such as a crown, crest or hairs.
  • applana'tus: flattened.
  • applegat'e: named for Elmer Ivan Applegate (1867-1949), an important early Oregon botanist and a student of the
      flora of Oregon. He grew up on a 5000-acre ranch and took to botany and collecting plants at an early age. Quoted from the Oregon Encyclopedia: "His formal botanical education was at San Jose Normal School in 1894, and Stanford University, 1895. He put his botany and ranch experience to good use when, between 1896 and 1898, he spent five months of every year with Frederick Coville of the US Department of Agriculture doing plant surveys in the Cascade Mountains from Klamath Falls to Portland. During the winter of 1898, he worked in Washington, DC, putting their plant
    collections in order. Their collections are deposited in the US National Herbarium. His botanical achievements were considerable. He was appointed honorary acting director of the Dudley Herbarium, Stanford University, between 1928 and 1938. Oregon State College (later OSU) awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1940. He also served (beginning at age 67) as a National Park Service ranger-naturalist at Crater Lake National Park from 1934 until 1939." He is best known for his monograph on the genus Erythronium and wrote books on the flora of Crater Lake National Park and Lava Beds National Monument. He married a talented watercolorist, Esther Emily Ogden, who accompanied him on his field excursions and often painted the plants that he collected. (Photo credit Find-a-Grave)
  • appres'sa: pressed close to or lying flat against.
  • approxima'ta: from the Latin approximatus, "approached or approximate."
  • ap'rica/ap'ricum: sun-loving, growing in the open and exposed to the sun.
  • Apten'ia: from the Greek apten, "wingless." The genus Aptenia was published by Nicholas Edward Brown in 1925.
  • ap'terus: wingless.
  • aqua'tica/aqua'ticum: found in the water, relating to water.
  • aqua'tilis: growing in or near water.
  • aquifo'lium: the classical name for holly, now under the genus Ilex, but applied to the holly family as Aquifoliaceae.
  • 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. The genus Aquilegia was published in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus.
  • aquili'num: from aquila, "eagle," and the suffix ium, "characteristic of," hence indicating a connection or resemblance.
  • ara'bica/ara'bicus: Arabian.
  • Arabidop'sis: from the Greek for "resembling Arabis." The genus Arabidopsis was published in 1842 by Gustav Heynhold.
  • Ar'abis: derivation obscure. Some say a Greek word used for "mustard" or "cress," others the Greek word for Arabia, perhaps referring to the ability of these plants to grow in rocky or sandy soils (?). The genus Arabis was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • arachno'ides: covered with long, straggly, cobwebby hairs like a spider's web.
  • arachnoi'dea/arachnoi'deum: resembling a spider.
  • aralen'sis: of or from the Aral Mountains.
  • Ara'lia: Latinization of an old French-Canadian or American-Indian name aralie. The genus Aralia was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • Arau'jia: named for António de Araújo e Azevedo, 1st Count of 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." The genus Araujia was published by Felix de (Silva) Avellar Brotero in 1878.
  • arbor'ea/arbor'eum/arbor'eus: derived from Latin for "tree" and alluding to a tree-like habit of growth.
  • arbores'cens: woody or tree-like, becoming like a tree.
  • arbus'cula: resembling a small tree.
  • arbus'tus: like a small tree.
  • arbutifo'lia: having leaves like Arbutus unedo, the Spanish madrone.
  • Arbu'tus: a Latin name for this tree. The genus Arbutus was published in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus.
  • 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. The genus Arceuthobium was published by Friedrich August Marschall von Bieberstein in 1819.
  • arc'ta: from (1) the Latin arctus, "narrow, straight;" or (2) Greek arktos, "a bear" possibly referring to the northern constellations or to the north in general.
  • arct'ica: of or from the Arctic, or having an arctic or alpine way of life.
  • arctio'ides: like genus Arctium.
  • Arct'ium: from the Greek arction, the name of a plant taken from arctos, "bear," because of the rough involucre. The genus Arctium was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • Arctome'con: from the Greek arktos, "a bear," and mecon, "poppy," because of the hairiness. The genus Arctomecon was published by John Torrey and John Charles Frémont in 1845.
  • arctopo'ides: like genus Arctopus.
  • Arctothe'ca: from the Greek arctos, "bear," and theca, "cup or container," of uncertain application but possibly referring to the densely woolly fruits of some species. The genus Arctotheca was published in 1798 by Johann Christoph Wendland.
  • 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. The genus Arctostaphylos was published by Michel Adanson in 1763 and is called bearberry.
  • Arcto'tis: from the Greek arktos, "bear," and otis, "ear," referring to the pappus scales. The genus Arctotis was published in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus.
  • arcua'ta/arcua'tus: arched or bent like a bow.
  • arcuifo'lia: with leaves arched or curving.
  • Arenar'ia/arenar'ia: from the Latin arena, "sand," referring to the sandy habitats of many species. The genus Arenaria was published in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus.
  • arenar'ium/arenar'ius: growing in sandy places.
  • 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: dwelling on or in sand, from Latin arēna for "sand," and the suffix -cola or -colo for "inhabiting, to inhabit."
  • areola'tus: pitted or marked.
  • aretio'ides: like genus Aretia.
  • 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." The genus Argemone was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • argen'se: named for the Argus Mountains in the vicinity of the Panamint Range on the west side of Death Valley.
  • argenta'ta/argenta'tus: silvery.
  • argen'tea/argen'teus: see argentata above.
  • argilla'ceus: whitish.
  • 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.'
  • argophyl'lus: most sources give silvery-leaved for the meaning of this epithet, and the usually provided common names of silver lotus and silver bird’s-foot trefoil seem to be in line with this meaning. Stearn’s Dictionary of Plant Names however gives whitish-leaved, and this seems more accurate in light of the original meaning of argos as shining, glistening, and (originally) white. E. Nicholas Genovese of SDSU says “The Proto-Indo-Eur. root *arg-, white, also yields Gk. árgil(l)os, potter’s white clay, and Gk. árguros and L. argentum, silver. So if you want “silvery,” it should properly be argyro-.” So there has definitely been some definitional creep from words that begin with ‘argo-‘ to words that begin with ‘argyro-.’ There are at least five genera (Aster, Astragalus, Lotus, Senecio and Helianthus) that have used the specific epithet argophyllus, and they were all published originally back in the early to mid-1800s. It’s difficult at this remove to say what was in the minds of the publishers of these taxa, and whether their leaves were actually silvery or more accurately a shiny whitish given the variability of the taxa. But clearly you can start out with arg-, white, and end up with words that mean silver.
  • 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."
  • argu'ta/argu'tum: sharp-toothed, referring to the toothed leaves.
  • argutifo'lia: with sharp-pointed leaves.
  • argyrae'a/argyrae'us: silvery.
  • Argyran'themum: from the Greek argyros, "silver," and anthemon, "flower." The genus Argyranthemum was published by Philip Barker Webb in 1844.
  • argyrin'ea: another name meaning 'silvery.'
  • 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. The genus Argyrochosma was published in 1987 by Michael Windham.
  • argyroco'leon: possibly from argyro, "silvery," and koleos, "a sheath."
  • argyroco'ma: silver-haired.
  • -ar'ia/ar'ius: a suffix meaning "pertaining to, a thing like or connected to something" (e.g. stellaria, a thing like or pertaining to a star).
  • Ar'ida/ar'ida/ar'idum/ar'idus: growing in dry places.
  • -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, from Latin arista, "hair."
  • Aris'tida: from the Latin arista for "awn," the bristle-like appendage at the tip or dorsal surface of a grass floret's lemma. The genus Aristida was published in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus.
  • Aristocap'sa: from the Latin arista, "awn," and capsa, "a box," for the awned involucre. The genus Aristocapsa was published by James Lauritz Reveal and Clare Butterworth Hardham in 1989.
  • aristido'ides: like genus Aristida.
  • 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. The genus Aristolochea was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • Aristote'lia: named for Aristotélēs (Aristotle) (384 BC-322 BC), logician, scientist and one of the founders of western
      philosophy. He was born in Estagira, a small Macedonian town near Mount Athos. His father, Nicomachus, was doctor of the court of Amyntas III, father of Philip II of Macedonia and, therefore, grandfather of Alexander the Great. Aristotle’s 200 or so treatises (of which only 31 are extant) included such subjects as physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theatre, music, rhetoric, psychology, linguistics, economics, politics and government. Aristotle was a pupil of Plato during his twenty years at the Academy of Athens which began
    when he was 17. Plato died in 348 BC and Aristotle left Athens possibly because he was not in favor of who had been chosen to succeed Plato, or possibly because of anti-Macedonian sentiment then present there. Aristotle then accompanied Xenocrates to the court of his friend Hermias of Atarneus in Asia Minor. After the death of Hermias, Aristotle travelled with his pupil Theophrastus to the island of Lesbos, where together they researched the botany and zoology of the island and its sheltered lagoon. In 343 BC, Aristotle was invited by Philip II of Macedon to become the tutor to his son Alexander. By this time he had begun shifting from a platonist view of the world to an empiricist view. By 335 BC, Aristotle had returned to Athens and established his own school there which was known as the Lyceum and where he conducted courses for the next twelve years and wrote most of his works. He fell out with Alexander and was forced to leave Athens when anti-Macedonian sentiment again developed. He was very interested in natural history and studied animals, birds, fish and cephalopods and was probably equally interested in plants but his two works on botany have been lost. He died on the island of Euboea. The genus Aristotelia was published in 1860 by Charles Louis l'Héritier de Brutelle.
  • aristo'sus: bearded, furnished with awns.
  • aristula'ta/aristula'tum: having a small bristle-like appendage, a short beard or awn.
  • -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.
  • arma'ta/arma'tum: spiny or thorny, literally "armed."
  • armeni'acus: of Armenia, Western Asia.
  • Armer'ia: Latinized from the old French name armoires for a cluster-headed dianthus, this is also the Latin name for the Dianthus. The genus Armeria was published in 1809 by Carl Ludwig von Willdenow.
  • armillar'is: encircled as with a bracelet or collar.
  • Armora'cia: from the classical Latin name armoracia and ancient Greek armorakia for the horseradish used by Columela and Pliny. FNA says "Ancient Greek name for horseradish, or perhaps Celtic ar, "near," mor, "sea," and rich, "against," alluding to its habitat." Another website says "The term armoracia comes from armoricus, Breton; Armorica is an area of ​​Brittany, where the plant was cultivated." The genus Armoracia was published by Gottfried Gaertner, Bernhard Meyer, and Johannes Scherbius in 1800.
  • armouria'num: named for Allison Vincent Armour (1863-1941), wealthy amateur botanist who organized and funded expeditions for the USDA 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.
  • Ar'nica: means "lamb's skin," in reference to the soft, hairy leaves. The genus Arnica was published by Carl Linneaus in 1753.
  • arnot'tii: named for Scottish botanist and prolific collector of diatoms George Arnott Walker-Arnott (1790-1868),
      Laird of Arlary, his last two names being sometimes hyphenated and sometimes not.  He was born in Edinburgh and attended Milnathort Parish School and in 1807 the High School of Edinburgh. He entered Edinburgh University in 1813 where he distinguished himself in both languages and mathematics. In 1821 he went to France and worked for two months in the herbarium of Baron Delessert and also in the herbarium at the Jardin des Plantes. In 1825 he returned to Paris once again for further study and then in 1828 travelled to Russia where he was elected member of the
    Imperial Society of Natural History at Moscow. He held the position of Regius professor of botany at the University of Glasgow from 1845 to 1868, and studied North American flora with Sir William Hooker and Indian botany with Robert Wight. He was a member of the Societe de Histoire Naturelle in Paris. He died in Glasgow.
  • aromat'ica/aromat'icus: fragrant.
  • aronico'ides: like genus Aronicum.
  • Arrhena'therum: from the Greek arrhen, "male, masculine," and ather, "a bristle," alluding to the awned staminate floret. The genus Arrhenatherum was published by Ambroise Marie François Joseph Palisot de Beauvois in 1812.
  • arrhi'za: without roots.
  • arsen'ei: named for 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).
  • ar'ta: from the Latin artus, "narrow."
  • 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. Common names of the genus Artemisia include mugwort, wormwood and sagebrush. It was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • 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."
  • artemisiifo'lia: having leaves that resemble those of Artemisia.
  • artemisio'ides: like Artemisia.
  • Arthro'ceras: from the Greek arthron, "a joint," and keras, a horn." This name is about to replace the next listed name, Arthrocnemum. The genus Arthroceras was published in 2017 by Mikko Piirainen and Gudrun Kadereit.
  • Arthroc'nemum: from Greek arthron, "joint," and knemis or knemidos, "a legging," or kneme, "the knee, thus 'jointed leg or knee.' The genus Arthrocnemum was published by Christian Horace Bénédict Alfred Moquin-Tandon in 1840.
  • ar'thuri: named for botanist Arthur Beaman Simonds (1867-1938). He was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, went to high school there, and then spent a year at the University of California. He then transferred to Harvard and got an A.B. degree in romance languages in 1891 and an M.A. from the University of California in 1893. He was listed as an associate editor of The Occident at UCLA in 1888. Willis Lynn Jepson was also an associate editor. During his college career he coached and taught classes in the Presbyterian School in San Anselmo and Anson's private school at Berkeley. Simonds later took a fellowship and post graduate work at Columbia, then more study in Paris. It was there that he began to suffer from mental problems and in 1898 he was committed to the Napa Insane Asylum. It had been his ambition to become a Berkeley professor but that was not to be. He was also the author of American Song: A Collection of Representative American Poems, published in 1894.
  • arthurschott'ii: named for Arthur Carl Victor Schott (1814-1875), one of the naturalists of the Mexican Boundary
      Survey. "Arthur Schott, naturalist, artist, engineer, poet, geologist, and musician, was the son of Christian Friedric h Albert Schott.  He was born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, on February 27, 1814. He attended a gymnasium and then a technical school at Stuttgart, served a year's apprenticeship at the Royal Gardens in Stuttgart, and attended the Institute of Agriculture at Hohenheim.  He was hired by the United States Boundary Commission in 1851 as a "special scientific collector."  Beginning in late 1851, he worked with the commission under William H. Emory in surveying the
    boundary between Texas and its neighboring Mexican states; collecting botanical, geological, and zoological specimens; submitting notes on geology, plants, and animals; and drawing landscapes and portraits of native Americans. Lithographs and engravings based on Schott's Texas drawings were published in Emory's official report of the boundary survey, most notably those of Seminole, Lipan Apache, and Kiowa Indians; of the Military Plaza in San Antonio; of the Mexican military colony at Piedras Negras; and of falls on the Rio Grande forty miles below Eagle Pass.  Schott also made significant contributions to the study of Texas geology.  He examined sedimentary deposits and fossil evidence in the Rio Grande basin in order to establish the dates of inundation of the area by the sea, and made important contributions to the study of mountain formation. After completion in the mid-1850s of the boundary survey, Schott worked on a survey for a possible transoceanic ship canal across the Isthmus of Darien; collected zoological and botanical specimens in Yucatán; surveyed native vegetation in Washington, D.C. and worked in the coast survey office.  He died in Washington, D.C., on July 26, 1875, leaving a widow, Augusta, and six children." [from the Handboook of Texas Online by the Texas State Historical Association]
  • articula'tum/articula'tus: jointed, as in plants such as bamboos and horsetails.
  • 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. The genus Arum was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • -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; (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.
  • 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." And FNA says from Greek arunkos, "goat’s beard," alluding to showy finger-like clusters forming feathery flowers. The genus Aruncus was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1758.
  • arundina'cea/arundina'ceum: resembling a reed.
  • Arun'do: a Latin name for a reed grass. The genus Arundo was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • arven'se/arven'sis: of the fields, living in the fields, from Latin arvensis, of the fields, meadows or grasslands."
  • asarifo'lia: with leaves like Asarum or wild ginger.
  • Asar'um: from Asaron, the Greek name for this genus used by Dioscorides. The genus Asarum was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • ascen'dens: with the flowers or leaves turning upwards or rising gradually.
  • -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."
  • Asclep'ias: named for the Greco-Roman god of medicine and healing Asklepios or Asclepius. He was the son of Apollo and the mortal princess Coronis, although some sources claim he was born of Apollo with no woman being involved. The website Britannica says: “The Centaur Chiron taught him the art of healing. At length Zeus (the King of the gods), afraid that Asclepius might render all men immortal, slew him with a thunderbolt. Apollo slew the Cyclopes who had made the thunderbolt and was then forced by Zeus to serve Admetus. Homer, in the Iliad, mentions him only as a skillful physician and the father of two Greek doctors at Troy, Machaon and Podalirius; in later times, however, he was honoured as a hero and eventually worshiped as a god. The cult began in Thessaly but spread to many parts of Greece. Because it was supposed that Asclepius effected cures of the sick in dreams, the practice of sleeping in his temples in Epidaurus in South Greece became common. In 293 bc his cult spread to Rome, where he was worshiped as Aesculapius. Asclepius was frequently represented standing, dressed in a long cloak, with bare breast; his usual attribute was a staff with a serpent coiled around it. This staff is the only true symbol of medicine. A similar but unrelated emblem, the caduceus, with its winged staff and intertwined serpents, is frequently used as a medical emblem but is without medical relevance since it represents the magic wand of Hermes, or Mercury, the messenger of the gods and the patron of trade.” The Virginia Native Plant Society provides this interesting note: “Dioscorides, the Greek physician who wrote his Materia Medica in the first century A.D., first used [the name] Asclepias, but he was describing a plant other than milkweed, which does not grow in Europe. Possibly he was describing European dogbane (Vincetoxicum hirundinarie) which is an Apocynum species.” Linnaeus published the name in 1753. And the USDA notes that: “Some of the milkweed species have a history of medicinal use including common milkweed (wart removal and lung diseases), and butterfly weed, A. tuberosa (also known as pleurisy root, used for pleurisy and other lung disease).” Linnaeus published the name in 1753. It is typically called milkweed.
  • ashland'ica: named for Mount Ashland (formerly called Ashland Butte) on the main ridge of the Siskiyou Mountains due south of Ashland, Oregon.
  • ashton'iae: named for Ruth Elizabeth Ashton (Mrs. Aven Nelson) (1896-1987). She was Aven Nelson's second wife, partner in the field and companion in the last twenty years of his life. They were married in 1931 when Aven was in his seventies and Ruth was in her thirties. She was the author of Plants of Zion National Park published in 1976 and co-author of Handbook of Rocky Mountain Plants.
  • asiat'ica: from Asia.
  • Askel'lia: named for Askell Löve (1916-1994), Icelandic botanist who was a world leader in plant cytotaxonomy
      and phytogeography. He was born in Reykjavik, studied botany at Lund University in Sweden beginning in 1937, and received a bachelor of Science degree in 1941 and a Doctor of Science in genetics in 1943. From 1942 to 1945 he was a geneticist at the Research University of Iceland. From 1945 to 1951 he was director of the Institute of Botany and Plant Breeding at the University of Iceland, and then from 1951 to 1956 associate professor of botany at the University of Manitoba in Canada. Until 1963 he was professor of research in biosystematics at the University of
    Montreal. He then moved to the University of Colorado where he was professor of biology until 1973, and then he was associate curator of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. Through all these different positions, he was always an Icelander. He has stated that as a young man at the age of thirteen he knew all the Icelandic plants that were then known. His father was for a time a lighthouse keeper in the far northwest of the country, and Askell made a significant collection of the plants there. His interest in the development of Icelandic agriculture led to him pursuing the field of plant breeding. Löve was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in 1963 and elected a member of the Icelandic Academy of Sciences. He was also a co-founder of the Flora Europaea project, a 5-volume encyclopedia of plants, published between 1964 and 1993 by Cambridge University Press, the aim of which was to describe all the national floras of Europe in a single, authoritative publication to help readers identify any wild or widely cultivated plant in Europe to the subspecies level, and provide information on geographical distribution, habitat preference, and chromosome number, where known. Wikipedia adds: “Löve was particularly interested in the chromosome numbers of plants. He published numerous accounts in this field, including editing more than a hundred chromosome number reports published in the scientific journal Taxon between 1964 and 1988. He made a major contribution to the evolution and taxonomy of the wheat-relatives in the Triticeae. Löve also wrote papers about plant evolution from a more theoretical angle, e.g. the still cited The biological species concept and its evolutionary structure. He wrote some floras on Icelandic plants, including Íslenzk Ferðaflóra (1970, 2nd. ed. 1975), illustrated by Dagny Tande Lid.”  He died in San Jose, California, from complications related to Parkinson’s. The genus Askellia was published by William Alfred Weber in 1984.
  • asparago'ides: resembling Asparagus.
  • Aspar'agus: an ancient Greek name originally from the Persian asparag, meaning "sprout" or "shoot." The genus Asparagus was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • aspera'ta: roughened.
  • as'per/as'pera/as'perum: rough.
  • aspericau'lis: rough-stemmed.
  • asperifo'lia/asperifo'lius: rough-leaved.
  • Asperu'go: derived from asper, "rough," and used for a plant with rough or prickly leaves. Surprisingly, Jaeger's Source-Book of Biological Names and Terms says that -ugo is a Latin suffix with meaning unknown, but the Wiktionary website says for -ugo, "suffixed to nouns and to adjectives, forms nouns denoting thin or superficial coatings, films, layers or platings," e.g. albus/albugo, ferrum/ferrugo, salsus/salsugo, and the National Institute of Health website says in Latin the suffix -ago, or -igo, or -ugo was often used to denote a disease, giving us albugo (a white opacification of the cornea) or caligo (dim vision). Of course botanical Latin is different from classical Latin, and a website of the Missouri Botanical Garden quoting Stearn's Botanical Latin says ugo is a Latin noun suffix which indicates a substance or property possessed, e.g. asperugo, a prickly plant (from asper, rough), or lanugo, a woolly or downy plant (from lana, wool). The genus Asperugo was published in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus.
  • asperu'la/asperul'um: somewhat rough, diminutive of asper.
  • Asphodel'us: an ancient Greek name. The genus Asphodelus was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • Aspido'tis: from the Greek meaning "shield-bearer" for the shield-like false indusia. The genus Aspidotis was published by Edwin Bingham Copeland in 1947.
  • aspleniifo'lius: with leaves like genus Asplenium.
  • Asplen'ium: from the Greek a, "without," and splen, "spleen," according to Stearn, in reference to this fern's traditional virtues in afflictions of the spleen and liver. The genus Asplenium was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • asprel'la: with rough scales.
  • assim'ilis: similar to.
  • assurgentiflor'a: with flowers in ascending clusters.
  • asteph'anus: without a crown, lacking ray flowers, from Greek stephos, "a crown."
  • As'ter: from the Greek aster, "a star," describing the radiate heads of the flowers. The genus Aster was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • -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.
  • 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."
  • 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. The genus Astragalus was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • Astrol'epis: from the Greek astron, "a star," and lepis, "scale," making reference to the scales on the blade surface. The genus Astrolepis was published by Dale Maurice Benham and Michael D. Windham in 1992.
  • -astrum: in addition to its more common botanical usage relating to stars, -astrum is also a Latin diminutive suffix with implications suggesting some degree of superficial or incomplete resemblance.
  • asymmet'ricus: asymmetrical.
  • -ata/-atum/-atus: a Latin adjectival suffix added to noun stems indicating possession or likeness, "provided with," 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".
  • 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.
  • athrosta'chya: with spikes crowded together.
  • Athy'sanus: from the Greek a, "without," and thusanos, "fringe," and referring to the wingless fruit. The genus Athysanus was published by Edward Lee Greene in 1885.
  • Athyr'ium: from Greek a, "without," and either (1) thurium, "shield" or (2) thura, "a door," from the enclosed sori. The genus Athyrium was published by Albrecht Wilhelm Roth in 1800.
  • -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").
  • atkinsonia'na: named for William Atkinson (1775?-1839), architect, botanist, chemist and geologist. Primarily an architect known for designs of Gothic country houses in the north of England, the Scottish lowlands, London and the counties thereabouts, Herefordshire, Staffordshire and Ireland. He was born at Bishop Auckland, County Durham. Little is known of any early education he had, but he began working as a carpenter and was noticed by the architect James Wyatt. In 1796 he entered the Royal Academy Schools, and he began working as an architect some four or five years later. His other great interests were chemistry, geology, and particularly botany. He built a villa for himself at Paddington and planted rare species there and also at an estate he purchased in Surrey. He was survived by two sons, one of whom also became an architect.
  • atlan'tica: atlantic, of the Atlantic.
  • Ato'cion: meaning and derivation unknown. The only clue I can find is the Greek kion or kionos for "column or pillar," but that doesn't help us very much. The genus Atocion was published in 1763 by Michel Adanson.
  • atomar'ia/atomar'ius: speckled or spotted.
  • atractylo'ides: an internet search for this name 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.'  A Mediterranean species named Atractylis gummifera is called the distaff thistle, and Volney Rattan in his 1898 West Coast Botany: An Analytical Key to the Flora of the Pacific Coast says that atractyloides means "thistle-like." So it seems probable that atractyloides means "like genus Atractylis."
  • atra'ta/atra'tus: darkened or blackened.
  • Atrichos'eris: from the Greek athrix, "without hair," and seris, a cichoriaceous genus. The genus Atrichoseris was published by Asa Gray in 1884.
  • At'riplex: an ancient Latin name for this plant. A website called Simon Online (referring to a Simon of Genoa) says "Latin atriplex, or in a more ancient form atriplexum, also atreplex in Oribasius, is the name of a kitchen vegetable, "orach(e)." The Latin word is ultimately an adoption from Greek, distorted by folk etymologies like interpreting the first element as ater, atrum, "black, dark" and the latter part as triplex, "thrice," perhaps because its leaves can be seen as triangular." The genus Atriplex was published in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus.
  • atriplicifo'lium: with leaves like Atriplex.
  • 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/atropurpur'eus: dark purple, from the Latin words ater, "dark," and purpura, "purple."
  • atroru'bens: dark red.
  • atrosper'ma: dark-seeded.
  • atrovi'rens: very dark green.
  • attenua'ta/attenua'tus: narrowed to a point.
  • atto'llens: upraised.
  • atwat'eriae: named for Elizabeth Emerson (Mrs. Samuel Tyler Atwater) (1812-1878), a female pioneer in the male-
      dominated field of botany, though one without formal training. She was born in Norwich, Vermont, the daughter of a successful merchant, and attended school there until she was fourteen when she was enrolled in the distinguished women’s school, Madame Emma Willard’s Seminary, in Troy, New York. She was fascinated with all things to do with nature and science. She married Samuel T. Atwater in 1839 and moved with him to Chicago in 1856. They were friends of Abraham and Mary Lincoln. Elizabeth collected an extensive number of botanical specimens and eventually
    donated them to the Chicago Academy of Sciences and the Chicago Historical Society, but unfortunately most of her collection was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1871. She also discovered a rare moss in California that was named for her. While in California she collected around 2000 specimens of plants, some of which were new to science.
  • au'bertii: named for Georges-Eléosippe Aubert (1871-1933), French priest and missionary, born in Lannes in the diocese of Langres. He entered the great Seminary of Langres and then in 1891 solicited his admission to the Seminary of the Foreign Missions of Paris. He was ordained as a priest in 1895 and was assigned to the Mission of Tibet. The missions and indeed the whole region of Tibet were undergoing troubled times, and with famine raging in 1900 bandits were active everywhere. Aubert suffered from ill health and although recovered still lacked strength, as he found himself in charge of an orphanage. The threat of plunder was such that he fled with the orphans to the mountains, while the orphanage was sacked in his absence. Later in the year 1900, although he loved Tibet and had hoped to remain there for the remainder of his life, he was recalled to the Seminary of Paris, to replace the director, Mr. Cottin, who died on December 31, 1900. He died of cancer in 1933.
  • Aub'rieta/Aubrie'ta: named for the French artist Claude Aubriet (1651-1743), painter of flowers and animals. “He was a botanical illustrator at the Jardin du Roi in Paris. There Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656–1708) noticed his work and commissioned him as illustrator of his 1694 Elements de Botanique. From 1700 to 1702 he accompanied Tournefort and Andreas von Gundelsheimer on an expedition to the Middle East. There he made drawings of historical sites and the region's flora. After his return to Paris, Aubriet continued his work with the botanists at the Jardin du Roi. In 1707 Aubriet succeeded Jean Joubert (1643–1707) as the royal botanical painter. He retired in 1735, and was succeeded by Françoise Basseporte (1701–1780), a student of his and a former collaborator.” (Wikipedia) In addition to his illustrations for de Tournefort, he also illustrated a work by Sebastien Vaillant entitled Botanicon Parisense and another by Antoine de Jussieu. The genus Aubrieta was published by botanist Michel Adanson in 1763.
  • aucher'i: named for Pierre Martin Rémi Aucher-Éloy (1792-1838), French pharmacist and naturalist from Blois. He was educated at Orléans and later at Paris. In 1817 he began operating a bookshop and then in 1820 a print shop as well. He moved to Istanbul in 1830 with the idea of creating an Herbier d'Orient.  He collected and studied plants throughout Asia Minor, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, Egypt, the Sinai Peninsula, Chios, Kos, Syria, Iraq,  Persia, Oman and Arabia. He was one of the first Europeans to ascend Mt. Ararat. Stricken by exhaustion and illness, he died at Isfahan on his last expedition from 'an excess of zeal for natural sciences.' He sold his collections to the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris. He was honored with the genus name Auchera and a number of other species were named for him. His book Relations de Voyages en Orient de 1830 à 1838 was published posthumously in 1843.
  • 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."
  • Audiber'tia: named for well-known nurseryman and plant collector Urbain Audibert (1789-1846) of Tarascon, France. According to Wikipedia: "He collected plants in the vicinity of Montpellier with Alire Raffeneau Delile and Michel Félix Dunal, in Avignon with Esprit Requien and in the Pyrenees with George Bentham. He made herbarium specimens from plants cultivated in his nursery." He received an excellent botanical education from his father and interned in some of the best nurseries in France. He considered his father’s nursery to be behind the times and he radically reorganized it over his father’s protests. He chose to emphasize ornamental plants over fruits and berries, which was economically distressful at first but eventually succeeded. He was a Knight of the Legion of Honor and a member of several scientific societies. He died at the age of 57 after a long illness. The genus Audibertia was published by George Bentham in 1829.
  • augus'ta: stately, noble, august.
  • auranti'aca/auranti'acus: orange, orange-yellow or orange-red.
  • aura'tum: with golden rays.
  • aur'ea/aur'eum/aur'eus: golden, from Latin aurum, "gold."
  • aureo'la/aureo'lus: golden.
  • auricula'ta/auricula'tum: eared, having ear-like structures, lobes or appendages, from Latin auris, "ear," and -atus, "having, provided with."
  • auri'ta/auri'tum: eared, having an ear, referring to the clasping, eared base of the leaves.
  • aus'tinae/aus'tiniae: named for 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' or 'iae' after the name Austin indicates that the person in question is a woman. (Allium austiniae, Apocynum austiniae, Arabis austiniae, Astragalus austiniae, Erigeron austiniae, Eschscholzia austinae, Lomatium austiniae, Plagiobothrys austinae, Salix austiniae, Senecio austiniae, Symphoricarpos austiniae.)
  • aus'tinae/aus'tiniae: named for Rebecca Austin (see previous entry) and her daughter Cornelia 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. (Arnica austiniae, Cynoglossum austiniae, Ranunculus austiniae, Scutellaria austinae)
  • austinii: named for Coe Finch Austin (1831-1880), educator, botanist, founding member of the Torrey Botanical
      Club and expert on the mosses and liverworts of North America. He was born in Finchville, New York to parents who were farmers. He attended public school and worked on the farm. His mother was an avid gardener and so his love of plants came from that and from the farm. In his 20s he attended Rankin Classical School in Sussex County, New Jersey and studied botany there and developed a passion for bryophytes. He first worked as a teacher in Tappan, New York, but he became acquainted with John Torrey and through that acquaintance gained the position of curator
    of the Columbia College Herbarium from 1859 to 1863. His best-known work, Musci appalachiani, which dealt with the mosses of the Eastern United States, was published in 1870. He lived most of his adult life in Closter, New Jersey, and that is where he died. He was honored with the generic name Austinia which was published by M.T. Buril and A.R. Samões in 2014. (Riccia austinii)
  • aus'tinii/austin'ii: named for Stafford Wallace Austin (1862-1931), 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. (Photo credit: Find-a-Grave) (Penstemon floridus var. austinii)
  • austra'lis: southern.
  • austria'ca: Austrian.
  • austri'na/austri'nus: southern.
  • austrocalifor'nicus: of or from southern California.
  • austrolitoral'is: southern coastal.
  • austromonta'na/austromontan'um/austromontan'us: of the southern mountains.
  • aus'tro-occidenta'lis: southwestern.
  • automix'a: this name normally indicates a species which reproduces by self-pollination.
  • autran'ii: named for Eugene John Benjamin Autran (1855-1912), Swiss botanist and entomologist. He was the curator of the Boissier Herbarium in charge of the taxonomic identification of the large collection of living plants maintained by Pierre Edmond Boissier. He was also the editor of the Bulletin de l’Herbier Boissier. He was from Geneva and died in Buenos Aires.
  • 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."
  • Ave'na: Latin for oats. The genus Avena was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • avena'cea: oat-like.
  • Avenel'la: several sources indicate this name refers to Avenella having spikelets similar to those of Avena, however the -ella suffix usually indicates a diminutive which might mean a "small Avena."
  • Avicen'nia: named for 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 Uzbekistan 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 in the manuscript in the Bodleian Library. An Arabic text of the "Canon" and the "Nadja" was published in Rome, 1593." The genus Avicennia was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • avicula're: relating to small birds.
  • avi'ta: from avus, "grandfather," thus "of a grandfather, having a grandfather, ancestral."
  • 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.
  • -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.
  • 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." The genus Axonopus was published by Ambroise Marie François Joseph Palisot de Beauvois in 1812.
  • 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 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. The genus Ayenia was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1756.
  • 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. Wikipedia adds: The species azedarach is from the French 'azédarac' which in turn is from the Persian 'āzād dirakht' meaning 'free- or noble tree'." Melia azedarach, a species in the mahogany family, has been known by the common names chinaberry tree, pride of India, bead-tree, Cape lilac, syringa berrytree, Persian lilac, Indian lilac, or white cedar. As a personal aside, my family used to have a pride of India tree in the front yard of our house in Bermuda where I spent my first ten years.
  • 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. The genus Azolla was published by Jean Baptiste Antoine Pierre de Monnet de Lamarck in 1783.
  • azur'ea/azur'eus: sky-blue, azure.