L-R: Viguiera parishii (Parish's viguiera), Chaenactis fremontii (Fremont's pincushion), Mimulus johnstonii (Johnston's monkeyflower), Penstemon rostriflorus (Beaked penstemon), Erigeron foliosus var. foliosus (Fleabane aster).


      LA-LE

          In the following names, the stressed vowel is the one preceding the stress mark. It is not always easy to ascertain where such stress should be placed, especially in the case of epithets derived from personal names. I have tried to follow the principle of maintaining the stress of the original name as outlined in the Jepson Manual, and have abandoned it only when it was just too awkward. In the case of some names, I have listed them twice, reflecting either some disagreement or conflict in the rules of pronunciation, some uncertainty on my part as to the correct pronunciation, or simply that sometimes there is no single correct pronunciation. In other instances, the way I record it is just that which sounds right to my ear.

  • labro'sus: probably from the Latin word labrum, referring either to a "lip," and the word ending -osus which means "full of," so alluding to the prominent lip formed by the lower three lobes of the corolla. The word "labrose" means "having thick lips." Labrosus is a fairly common epithet used in fishes, and also for a frog, a snail and a plant. The fish species Chelon labrosus is commonly called thick-lipped gray mullet (ref. Penstemon labrosus)
  • Labur'num: an old Latin name mentioned by Pliny for the broad-leaved bean trefoil, a species of Cytisus in the Fabaceae (Thanks to Umberto Quattrocchi) (ref. genus Laburnum)
  • lacca'tus: possibly from the Italian lacca, "varnish." Snogerup, Zika, & Kirschner's Taxonomic and nomenclatural notes on Juncus (2002) says: "The glossy cataphylls of J. laccatus look varnished, the source of the specific epithet." Cataphylls are "brown and colorless scale-like structures believed to be modified leaves." (from Plant Identification Terminology by Harris and Harris) (ref. Juncus laccatus)
  • la'cera/la'cerum: torn or cut into fringelike segments (ref. Castilleja lacera)
  • lacera'tus: same as previous entry
  • lacinia'ta/lacinia'tus: torn or deeply cut, referring to the fringed petals (ref. Atriplex canescens var. laciniata, Chorizanthe fimbriata var. laciniata, Oenothera laciniata, Silene lacianiata, Viguiera laciniata, Rubus laciniatus, Thysanocarpus laciniatus)
  • lac'ryma-jo'bi: from the Latin lachrima, "tears," and jobi for the Biblical Job, this taxa is called Job's tears. Stearn quotes Job 16:16, "My face is foul with weeping , and on my eyelids is the shadow of death."(ref. Coix lacryma-jobi)
  • lac'ta: Latin for "milk," referring to the milky sap in stem, and a root word for lactic acid
  • lac'tea/lac'teus: milky or milk-white (ref. Cotoneaster lacteus)
  • lactiflor'um: with milky white flowers (ref. Epilobium lactiflorum)
  • Lactu'ca: see lacta above (ref. genus Lactuca)
  • lactuci'na: from the Latin lacta for "milk" and the suffix -ina denoting likeness or possession (ref. Stephanomeria lactucina)
  • lacunos'um: with holes or pits (ref. Allium lacunosum)
  • la'cus-ur'si: from the Latin lacus, "a basin, lake, pond," and ursus, "bear," this is a taxon that is restricted to the area of Big Bear Lake in San Bernardino County (ref. Eriogonum microthecum var. lacus-ursi)
  • lacus'tre/lacus'tris: of or pertaining to lakes (ref. Ribes lacustre, Camissonia lacustris, Rumex lacustris)
  • ladan'ifer: bearing ladanum, a gum resin used in perfumery (ref. Cistus ladanifer)
  • Ladeania: named for Ladean H. Egan (1949- ), mother of Ashley N. Egan, one of the authors of the new species Ladeania lanceolata, formerly Psoralidium lanceolatum (ref. genus Ladeania)
  • Laenne'cia: named for French physician René Théophile Hyacinthe Laennec (1781-1826), a professor of clinical medicine and inventor in 1816 of auscultation, which is the procedure of listening to the sounds of the body through an instrument he devised which we know as the stethoscope. He had been a pupil of Corvisart, Napoleon's great physician, and it was from him that he first got the idea for listening to the sounds of the chest. Considered by many as the father of the study of pulmonary diseases, he was also well known for his work on cirrhosis. But while studying tuberculosis at a time when its contagious nature was only beginning to be suspected, he contracted the disease himself and died at the early age of forty-five (ref. genus Laennecia)
  • lae'ta/lae'tum/lae'tus: bright, vivid, gay (ref. Myoporum laetum, Penstemon laetus)
  • laetifo'lius: brightly and abundantly leaved
  • laetiflor'us: abundantly flowered with flowers of a gay or joyful appearance (ref. Lathyrus laetiflorus, now renamed Lathyrus vestitus by Jepson)
  • lae'tus: bright, vivid (ref. Penstemon laetus)
  • laevicau'lis: from Latin laevis, "smooth," and Greek kaulos or Latin caulis, "a stem," thus smooth-stemmed (ref. Mentzelia laevicaulis)
  • laevicul'mis: from Latin culmus, "a stem of grain or straw," thus meaning with a smooth culm, which is a a hollow or pithy stalk or stem, as in the grasses, sedges and rushes (ref. Carex laeviculmis)
  • laeviga'ta/laeviga'tum/laeviga'tus: smooth or slippery, lustrous or shining (ref. Salix laevigata, Equisetum laevigatum, Taraxacum laevigatum, Cyperus laevigatus)
  • lae'vipes: smooth-stalked (ref. Bromus laevipes)
  • lae'vis: smooth, free from hairs or roughness (ref. Bidens laevis, Fagonia laevis, Hemizonia laevis)
  • Lagophyl'la: from the Greek lagos, "a hare," and phyllon, "leaf," alluding to the copius silky pubescence of the upper leaves of the originally observed species (ref. genus Lagophylla)
  • lagopi'nus: like a hare's foot, referring to the softly pubescent foliage and pods (ref. Astragalus purshii var. lagopinus)
  • lagunen'sis: of or from the Laguna Mts (ref. Dieteria asteroides var. lagunensis)
  • laguro'ides: resembling genus Lagurus (ref. Bothrichloa laguroides)
  • Lagur'us: from the Greek lagos, "a hare," and oura, "a tail," from the densely hairy inflorescence (ref. genus Lagurus)
  • Lamarc'kia: after Jean Baptiste Antoine Pierre Monet de Lamarck (1774-1829), a French botanist. The following is quoted from Wikipedia: "Lamarck was born in Bazentin-le-Petit, Picardy on August 1, 1744. Born into poor nobility (hence chevalier - knight), Lamarck served in the army before becoming interested in natural history and writing a multi-volume flora of France [Flore Francaise]. This caught the attention of Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon who arranged for him to be appointed to the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris [and botanist at the Royal Botanical Garden, the Jardin des Plantes]. After years working on plants, Lamarck was appointed curator of invertebrates — another term he coined. He began a series of public lectures. Before 1800, he was an essentialist who believed species were unchanging. After working on the molluscs of the Paris Basin, he grew convinced that transmutation or change in the nature of a species occurred over time. He set out to develop an explanation, which he outlined in his 1809 work, Philosophie Zoologique. Lamarck developed two laws: 1. In every animal which has not passed the limit of its development, a more frequent and continuous use of any organ gradually strengthens, develops and enlarges that organ, and gives it a power proportional to the length of time it has been so used; while the permanent disuse of any organ imperceptibly weakens and deteriorates it, and progressively diminishes its functional capacity, until it finally disappears. 2. All the acquisitions or losses wrought by nature on individuals, through the influence of the environment in which their race has long been placed, and hence through the influence of the predominant use or permanent disuse of any organ; all these are preserved by reproduction to the new individuals which arise, provided that the acquired modifications are common to both sexes, or at least to the individuals which produce the young.
        Lamarck saw spontaneous generation as being ongoing, with the simple organisms thus created being transmuted over time (by his mechanism) becoming more complex and closer to some notional idea of perfection. He thus believed in a teleological (goal-oriented) process where organisms became more perfect as they evolved. During his lifetime he became controversial; his criticism of the palaeontologist Georges Cuvier’s anti-evolutionary stance won him no friends. Lamarck married three, possibly four, times. His first marriage was to his mistress from 1777, Marie Delaporte, the mother of his first six children, whom he married on her deathbed in 1792. He remarried in 1795 to Charlotte, but she died in 1797. His third wife was Julie Mallet in 1798. She died in 1819. Rumours exist of a fourth wife and widow but no documentary evidence exists of her. Lamarck died penniless in Paris on 28 December 1829." (ref. genus Lamarckia)
  • lambertia'na: named after Aylmer Bourke Lambert (1761-1842), the English botanist and conifer expert. Lambert studied at Oxford and because of family wealth was able to procure and assemble both a library of botanical source materials and an important herbarium of plant specimens from around the world. In 1797 he published "A Description of the Genus Cinchona" (Cinchona, or quinine, the plant which was used to fight malaria), which was presented to the Linnaean Society . He became the patron of Frederick Traugott Pursh who while in America was unable to produce the flora of North America he wanted to, but who finally published the Flora Amaerica septentrionalis in England in 1814. The following is quoted from James Reveal's website entitled "A Nomenclatural Morass": "There is a tale, probably apocryphal, that to get the flora finished, Lambert locked Pursh in his attic room, providing him only with books, specimens, paper, ink, food and beer." Pursh named the purple locoweed he found in Kansas, Oxytropis lambertii, in honor of his friend. In 1803, Lambert assigned the name of Pinus taxifolia to specimens of the douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) first collected by Archibald Menzies in 1792 as part of the Vancouver expedition, a name which had to be dropped because it had already been used on another conifer. Menzies also acquired samples of the coast redwood (whether he actually collected them himself is uncertain) and these samples formed the basis of Lambert's description of this species, a species to which in 1824 he assigned the name Taxodium sempervirens. This name lasted for 23 years until it also was dropped in favor of Sequoia sempervirens (from "The Ecology of Sequoia sempervirens" by James A. Snyder). Lambert published "A Description of the Genus Pinus" in 1828-1829. He died in 1842, and his library and herbarium was sold to raise money. Most of his materials were acquired by the British Museum and are now at the Natural History Museum in London. The Lewis and Clark specimens taken to England in 1811 by Frederick Pursh were however returned to the United States and presented to the Academy of Natural Science in Philadelphia . The pine which bears his name was first collected in 1826 by the Scottish botanist David Douglas who managed while in Oregon to shoot down three cones, collect some twigs and take measurements, later naming it Pinus lambertiana in honor of the author of the classic work on pines (ref. Pinus lambertiana)
  • Lamias'trum: from the genus Lamium and the Latin suffix -astrum, suggesting some superficial resemblance to that genus (ref. genus Lamiastrum)
  • Lam'ium: the ancient Latin name for the mints (ref. genus Lamium)
  • lamprosper'ma: from the Greek lampros, "shining," and sperma, "seed" (ref. Crassula colligata ssp. lamprosperma)
  • lana'ta/lana'tum/lana'tus: covered with long, woolly hair (ref. Hollisteria lanata, Krascheninnikovia lanata, Eriodictyon trichocalyx var. lanatum, Eriophyllum lanatum, Holcus lanatus, Trichostema lanatum, Citrullus lanatus)
  • lan'cea: spear-shaped (ref. Rhus lancea)
  • lanceola'ta/lanceola'tum/lanceola'tus: lance-like, referring to the shape of the leaves (ref. Claytonia lanceolata, Coreopsis lanceolata, Ditaxis lanceolata, Dudleya lanceolata, Fritillaria lanceolata, Monardella lanceolata, Monolopia lanceolata, Phyla lanceolata, Plantago lanceolata, Solanum lanceolatum, Symphyotrichum lanceolatum ssp. hesperium, Trichostema lanceolatum)
  • lancifo'lia/lancifo'lium: lance-leaved (ref. Chylisimia claviformis ssp. lancifolia, Bupleurum lancifolium)
  • Landolt'ia: after Elias Landolt of the Swiss Geobotanical Institute at Zurich and author of A Monograph of the Lemnaceae and the two-volume Biosystematic investigations in the family of duckweeds (Lemnaceae). "Dr. Landolt is the world’s recognized expert in all aspects of the biology of the Lemnaceae, and is Professor Emeritus in the Geobotanical Department of Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zürich. He has authored dozens of journal articles and four definitive monographs on Lemnaceae biology that represent a compilation of knowledge of this plant family. During his 35 year tenure at ETH in Zurich, Dr. Landolt traveled the world amassing an extensive living collection of more than 900 strains of Lemnaceae, including representatives of all genera and species." (from a website of Biolex Therapeutics) (ref. genus Landoltia)
  • Langloi'sia: after the Reverand Father Auguste Barthélémy Langlois (1832-199), a Louisiana priest and botanist. The following is auoted from a website of Louisiana State University: "Augustus Barthélémy Langlois was born in the Department of the Rhône, France, 24 April 1832. His early education was at Monthrison in the Loire Region. In 1855 he went to Cincinnati where he completed studies at the College of Mount St. Mary of the West, and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest 11 June 1857. His first priestly post was at Point-à-la-Hache, Plaquemine Parish, Louisiana. Perhaps his large frame suggested he would be more successful than his predecessor, who had been murdered, perhaps by his parishioners. After 35 years at Point-à-la-Hache, Langlois was sent to St. Martinville in 1887. He died there at 5:30 pm, 31 July 1900, at the age of 69. He is buried in a crypt beneath the Epistle side of the altar of St. Martin de Tours Church where he was pastor." (ref. genus Langloisia)
  • langs'dorfii/langsdorf'ii: after artist Georg Heinrich von Langsdorff (1774-1852), known for West Coast sketches. The following is quoted from Wikipedia: "Georg Heinrich von Langsdorff, Baron de Langsdorff was a Prussian aristocrat, politician and naturalist. He lived in Russia and was better known by his Russian name, Grigori (Gregory) Ivanovitch. He was a member and correspondent of the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences and a respected physician, graduated in medicine and natural history at the University of Göttingen, Germany. Langsdorff first participated as naturalist and physician in the great Russian scientific circumnavigation expedition commanded by Ivan Fedorovich Kruzenshtern, from 1803 to 1805. He left the expedition in Kamchatka to explore the Aleutians, Kodiak and Sitka; and returned from San Francisco by ship to Siberia and thence to Saint Petersburg by land, arriving in 1808. In 1813 Langsdorff was nominated consul general of Russia in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He acquired a farm (named "Mandioca", or manioc) in the north of Rio and collected plants, animals and minerals. He hosted and entertained foreign naturalists and scientists, such as Johann Baptist von Spix (1781-1826) and Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius (1794-1868), and explored the flora, fauna and geography of the province of Minas Gerais with French naturalist Augustin Saint-Hilaire from 1813 to 1820.
        In 1821 he proposed to the Tsar Alexander I and to the Academy of Sciences to lead an ambitious exploratory and scientific expedition from São Paulo to Pará, in the Amazon, via a fluvial route. In March 1822, he returned to Rio in the company of scientists Édouard Ménétries (1802-1861), Ludwig Riedel (1761-1861), Christian Hasse and Nester Gaverilovitch Rubtsov (1799-1874), who would take care of zoological, botanical, astronomical and cartographical observations during the expedition. With the aim of illustrating and documenting his findings, the Baron hired painters Hércules Florence, Johann Moritz Rugendas and Adrien Taunay. After extensive preparations, the Langsdorff Expedition departed with 40 people and 7 boats from Porto Feliz, by the Tietê river on June 22, 1826 and reached Cuiabá, in Mato Grosso on January 30, 1827. The expedition was then divided into two groups: the first one, with Langsdorff and Florence, was able to reach Santarém on the Amazon River on July 1st, 1828, with enormous difficulties and suffering. Most of the members of the expedition became ill with tropical fevers (most probably yellow fever), including the Baron de Langsdorff. As a consequence of the febrile attacks, he became insane at the Juruena River on May 1828. Adrien Taunay died by drowning in the Guaporé river and Rugendas abandoned the expedition before its fluvial phase. Therefore only Florence remained during the whole expedition. The expedition was joined again in Belém and returned by ship to Rio de Janeiro, arriving on March 13, 1829, almost three years and 6,000 km after its departure.
        The rich scientific records of the expedition, comprising many descriptions and discoveries in zoology, botany, mineralogy, medicine, linguistics and ethnography were lost for a century in institutions in Moscow and Leningrad. They were found again in 1930. Due to the travel's hardships, Langsdorff team was unable to collect many biological specimens or study them in detail, so most of their account is geographic and ethnographic, being particularly interesting on the many indigenous people of Brazil they met, many of which became extinct. Today, a large part of the material has been recovered and is in the Ethographic Museum, the Zoological Museum and in the repositories of the Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg. Langsdorff returned to Europe shortly thereafter, in 1830, and died in Freiburg, Germany, of typhus, in 1852." His work, Voyages and Travels in Various Parts of the World, during the Years 1803, 1804, 1805, 1806, and 1807, was published in Dublin in 1813 (ref. Viola langsdorfii)
  • lan'iger: woolly
  • lano'sa/lano'sum: woolly (ref. Eriophyllum lanosum)
  • lanosis'simus: just barely woolly (ref. Astragalus pycnostachyus var. lanosissimus)
  • Lanta'na: a Latin name for Viburnum for the similar inflorescence (ref. genus Lantana)
  • lanugino'sa/lanugino'sum/lanugino'sus: woolly or downy (ref. Arenaria lanuginosa, Carex lanuginosa, Tidestromia lanuginosa, Dicanthelium lanuginosum, Stenotus lanuginosus)
  • lanulo'sa: lanulose, from the Latin root lanula, "a tiny lock of wool," and a diminutive form of lanata or lanosa, thus meaning "minutely woolly"
  • lans'zwertii/lanszweert'ii: after Louis Lanszweert (1825-1888), Belgian-born San Francisco pharmacist in the early days of the California Academy of Sciences (ref. Lathyrus lanszwertii)
  • lapathifo'lia/lapathifo'lium: this name apparently derives from the root lapath or lapathium for "sorrel or dock," hence would mean "with leaves like sorrel or dock" (ref. Persicaria lapathifolia)
  • lapidico'la: dwelling in stony places (ref. Lupinus lapidicola)
  • lap'pa: a Latin name for a bur (ref. Arctium lappa)
  • Lap'pula: a diminutive of the Latin lappa, "bur," referring to the fruits (ref. genus Lappula)
  • Lapsa'na: a name used by Dioscorides for some edible plant (ref. genus Lapsana)
  • laricifo'lia: with leaves like the larch (ref. Ericameria [formerly Haplopappus] laricifolia)
  • Lar'rea: after Bishop Juan Antonio Hernández Perez de Larrea (1731-1803), a Spanish clergyman at Valladolid and patron of the sciences. Shortly before his death he was appointed as Bishop of Valladolid (ref. genus Larrea)
  • lar'senii: after a plant collector named John Larsen (1849?-?). Lemmon hired him as an assistant in 1875 and they collected the type specimen of Gilia larseni A. Gray on Mt. Lassen. David Hollombe sent me the following: "John Larsen was registered in Sierra County on March 22, 1875 as a resident of Sierraville, occupation Clerk, age 31, born in Norway, naturalized in San Francisco District Court 26 May 1874. The old registers were closed and new register begun in 1879 and Larsen re-registered as Lars John Larsen, resident of Forest (City), age 31, same naturalization data. He is not listed in 1880 or later registers." (ref. Collomia larsenii)
  • lasian'dra: "with woolly stamens" from lasi, meaning "woolly" and andros, "a man, male" referring to the stamens (ref. Salix lasiandra var. lasiandra)
  • lasian'tha/lasian'thum: with woolly flowers (ref. Clematis lasiantha, Ribes lasianthum)
  • lasi-/lasio-: woolly
  • lasiocar'pum/lasiocar'pus: having woolly seed heads or fruits (ref. Lepidium lasiocarpum, Hibiscus lasiocarpus)
  • lasiococ'cus: from lasios, "woolly," and kokkos, "a kernel, grain," thus woolly-fruited (ref. Rubus lasiococcus)
  • Lasiosper'mum: from the Greek lasios, "shaggy, woolly, velvety," and sperma, "a seed," in reference to the achenes (ref. genus Lasiospermum)
  • lasiol'epis: woolly-scaled (ref. Salix lasiolepis)
  • lasiophyl'la/lasiophyl'lus: woolly-leaved (ref. Caulanthus lasiophyllus)
  • lasiorhyn'cha/lasiorhyn'chus: from lasio, "woolly," and rhynchus, "a snout or beak" (ref. Castilleja lasiorhyncha)
  • lasiosta'chys: with spikes of woolly flowers (ref. Verbena lasiostachys var. lasiostachys, Verbena lasiostachys var. scabrida)
  • lassenen'sis: same as next entry (ref. Clarkia lassenensis)
  • lassenia'nus: of or from Lassen County (ref. Erigeron lassenianus)
  • Lastar'riaea: named after the Chilean José Victorino Lastarria Santander (1817-1888), teacher, lawyer and founder of the Liberal Party in Chile, also one of the founders of the Chilean University. He was elected to the Chilean Senate and served 1867 to 1879. He was the author of Elementos de Derecho Público Constitucional y Teoría del Derecho Penal (1847), Historia Constitucional del Medio Siglo (1853), Constitución Comentada (1856), and Juicio Histórico a Portales (1860) (ref. genus Lastarriaea)
  • Lasthen'ia: named for the Athenian girl Lasthenia who dressed as a boy in order to attend Plato's classes, 4th century B.C. (ref. genus Lasthenia)
  • la'tens: from the Latin latens, present participle of lateo, "to lurk, lie hidden, be concealed," probably the same root as for the word latent (ref. Eriogonum latens)
  • lateri-: in compound words signifying "at the side"
  • lateriflor'a: with flowers on the side (ref. Scutellaria lateriflora)
  • Lathrocasis: David Hollombe sent me the following etymology of this name: "Lathrocasis is derived from the combination of the Greek lathro- (hidden, secret) and kasis (sister), in recognition of the obscurity in relationship accorded this taxon, beginning with its initial description. True to its name, it is not clear presently whether Lathrocasis is sister to Gilia, a group composed of Allophyllum, Collomia, and Navarretia, or both of these groups combined." (ref. genus Lathrocasis)
  • lath'yris: an old Greek name for a kind of spurge (ref. Euphorbia lathyris)
  • lathyro'ides: like the genus Lathyrus (ref. Vicia lathyroides)
  • Lath'yrus: from the Greek lathyros, an old name for "pea" (ref. genus Lathyrus)
  • lati-: in compound words signifying "broad"
  • latibractea'ta: with broad bracts (ref. Iliamna latibracteata)
  • lat'idens: with broad teeth (ref. Mimulus latidens)
  • latiflor'a: broad-flowered (ref. Gilia latiflora ssp. davyi, Gilia latiflora ssp. latiflora)
  • latifo'lia/latifo'lium/latifo'lius: having wide leaves (ref. Abronia latifolia, Aliciella latifolia, Cinna latifolia, Grindelia latifolia, Sagittaria latifolia, Typha latifolia, Lepidium latifolium, Lathyrus latifolius, Lupinus latifolius, Potamogeton latifolius)
  • latiglu'me: from the Latin latus, "broad," and gluma, "a hull or husk" (ref. Achnatherum latiglume)
  • latilo'bum: with broad lobes (ref. Eriophyllum latilobum)
  • lat'imeri: after Howard Leroy Latimer (1929- ), Professor Emeritus in Biology at California State University, Fresno (ref. Saltugilia latimeri)
  • lat'ior: broader, from the Latin latus, "broad, wide, extensive" (ref. Ericameria [formerly Chrysothamnus] parryi ssp. latior)
  • lat'ipes: with a broad stalk (ref. Lepidium latipes)
  • latisec'tus: broadly cut (ref. Leptosiphon latisectus)
  • latisqua'mum: broad-scaled, referring to the phyllaries (ref. Lepidospartum latisquamum)
  • latis'sima: very broad
  • laurifo'lium: laurel-leaved
  • lauri'na: laurel-like (ref. Malosma laurina)
  • laurocera'sus: this is also a generic name that is derived from the Latin laurus, "laurel," and cerasus, a cherry" (ref. Prunus laurocerasus)
  • Lau'rus: a Latin name for the laurel or bay (ref. genus Laurus)
  • lau'tum: from the Latin lautus, "washed, clean, neat, splendid," from lavo, "to wash" (ref. Eriogonum umbellatum var. lautum)
  • Lavater'a: after the Lavater brothers, Johann Heinrich (1611-1691) and Johann Jacob? (1594-1636), Swiss physicians and naturalists (ref. genus Lavatera)
  • la'vinii/lavin'ii: after Nevada botanist Matthew Thomas Lavin of the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology at Montana State University (1956- ) (ref. Astragalus oophorous var. lavinii)
  • lawsonia'na: named after Charles Lawson (1794-1873), since 1821 the head of Peter Lawson and Son Nursery in Edinburgh, Scotland, a nursery founded in 1770 by his father Peter Lawson. The Lawson cypress was first discovered near Port Orford in Oregon and introduced into cultivation in 1854 by collectors working for the Lawson and Son nursery who sent seeds back to Scotland
  • la'xa/la'xum: growing loosely (ref. Triteleia [formerly Brodiaea] laxa, Sedum laxum, Trichostema laxum)
  • laxiflor'um/laxiflor'us: with flowers in loose clusters, loose-flowered (ref. Astragalus preussii var. laxiflorus)
  • Lay'ia: named for George Tradescant Lay (1799-1845), botanist on the Blossom which visited California in 1827. The Blossom, under the captainship of Frederick Beechey, left England in 1825, explored the South Pacific and the Kamchatka/Alaska coast in search of the Northwest Passage, and returned in 1828. Lay botanized on Hawaii, California and Alaska. The following is quoted from Larry Blakely's online article on Layia glandulosa: "Little is known of the life of Lay (born ?, died 1841). His middle name is the surname of the John Tradescants, father and son (1570-1638, 1608-1662), famous plantsmen of their age - royal gardeners, horticulturists and plant explorers. Based on Lay's middle name, it's plausible to suppose that his family was involved in some way with botany, but nothing appears to be known now of his life before he joined the crew of the Blossom. A few years after the return of the Blossom, Lay was back in China, not as a naturalist but as a missionary, sent out by the British and Foreign Bible Society. Shortly before his death he published a book entitled The Chinese as They Are: Their Moral, Social and Literary Character." The above date of birth is based on the index to the 1841 English census which listed George Lay's age as 41, but other dates for his birth have been given as 1797 and 1792, so there is some uncertainty about that. The genus Layia was proposed by Sir William Hooker (ref. genus Layia)
  • layne'ae: after Mary Katherine Layne, later Dr. M. K. [Curran] Brandegee (1844-1920) (see also Brandegea) (ref. Astragalus layneae)
  • lea'na: after Lambert Wilmer Lee (1845-1881). David Hollombe contributed the following: "According to Barnhart's 'Biographical note upon botanists', L.W. Lee was born and died at Saluda, Jefferson County, Indiana. 'Tea [?] Ind; Fulton, NY; Portland, Ore. 1875-1878 at least; U.S. Geological Survey; Hanover College, A.B. 1870.' '[Lewisia leana] is named for Mr. L. W. Lee, who collected it, August 2, 1876, on the Siskiyou Mountains, near the southern boundary of Oregon." (T.C. Porter, Botanical Bulletin (Hanover), Vol. 1, p. 49, 1876). (ref. Lewisia leana)
  • leavenworth'ii: after amateur botanist, explorer and surgeon Dr. Melines Conklin Leavenworth (1796-1862) a graduate of Yale and plant collector for whom John Torrey named the genus Leavenworthia. This is not the individual who founded Fort Leavenworth. That was Col. Henry Leavenworth (ref. Carex leavenworthii)
  • lecont'ei: after John Lawrence LeConte (1825-1883), an internationally recognized entomologist. He was a graduate of Harvard and later became an authority on the Coleoptera (beetles). He had two bird species named after him, the LeConte sparrow (Ammospiza lecontei), and the LeConte thrasher (Toxostoma lecontei), named for him by none other than John James Audubon. He was the author of Classification of the Coleoptera of North America. "Born in Philadelphia to a family of scientists, LeConte studied at St. Mary's College in Maryland and took a medical degree at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. Early a passionate field investigator, he visited the Lake Superior region and the upper Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains; spent two years exploring the Colorado River, then several months in Honduras during the building of the Honduras Interoceanic Railway, and in Colorado and New Mexico during the survey for the Kansas Pacific Railroad. He afterward traveled in Central America and the Near East. LeConte was an original member of the National Academy of Sciences, president of the AAAS, founder of the American Entomological Society, and the foremost American entomologist of his time. A volunteer on this survey, and never employed by government in the field, LeConte described the Coleoptera collected by the U.S. and Mexican Boundary Survey (1848), Sitgreaves's Expedition down the Zuni and Colorado Rivers (1851), the Pacific Railroad Surveys (1853), and the Northwest Boundary Survey (1857). He was as inveterate a correspondent as he was a traveler." (from a webpage of the American Philosophical Society)
  • lec'tulus: Latin for a couch or bed, and I have no idea how it applies to this species (ref. Astragalus purshii var. lectulus)
  • ledebour'ii: named after German botanist Carl Friedrich von Ledebour, professor of science and Director of the Botanical Garden of the University of Tartu in Estonia 1811 to 1836, then in Heidelberg and Munich. He was the first one to describe many species that were collected in Siberia and other unexplored regions of the Russian empire, and he himself travelled to the Altai Mountains area. He was the author of Flora Altaica (1833), Reise durch das Altai-Gebirge (Berlin, 1829) and Flora rossica, sive hucusque Enumeratio plantarum in totius imperii rossici provinciis europaeis, asiaticis and americanis observatarum (Stuttgart, four volumes, 1841-1853) (1785-1851). One of the species that he described for the first time was Malus sieversii, the wild ancestor of the apple (ref. Lonicera involucrata var. ledebourii)
  • ledifo'lius: with leaves like Ledum or Labrador tea (ref. Cercocarpus ledifolius)
  • ledophyl'lus: same meaning as previous entry? There is another possibility and that is the Greek name ledon for the Oriental shrub called mastic (ref. Aster ledophyllus)
  • Le'dum: from the Greek ledon, "cistus," for the plant now known as Cistus, unclear how this relates to Ledum (ref. genus Ledum)
  • Leer'sia: after German botanist and pharmacist Johann Daniel Leers (1727-1774) (ref. genus Leersia)
  • Legen'ere: anagram of Edward Lee Greene (1843-1915), American botanist (ref. genus Legenere)
  • lehmannia'na: after German botanist Johann Georg Christian Lehmann (1792-1860). Lehmann was a professor of physics and natural history at the Gymnasium Academicum in Hamburg from 1818 to 1860, and head librarian from 1818 to 1851. He helped to establish the botanic garden in Hamburg, which he directed for a time, as one of the best in Germany. He was a prolific author on botanical subjects, including a massive description of the 200,000 plant specimen collection of Johann August Ludwig Preiss entitled Plantae Preissianae Sive Enumeratio Plantarum Quas in Australasia Occidentali et Meridionale Occidentali Annis 1838-41 Collegit L. Preiss (ref. Eragrostis lehmanniana)
  • leh'mannii/lehmann'ii: see previous entry (ref. Eucalyptus lehmannii)
  • leicht'linii/leichtlin'ii: named after the German horticulturist Max Leichtlin (1831-1910), who introduced American plants to the gardeners of Europe during the latter half of the 1800's. He became an apprentice gardener at the age of 15 and held positions at Frankfort, Bolweille and Ghent. He spent several years in travelling and returned from South America in 1856, spending several years at the highly-regarded Van Houtte's Nursery in Ghent. There then occurred a sixteen-year gap in his botanical endeavors while he worked with his two brothers in a paper-manufacturing business. After retiring he founded a private botanical garden at Baden-Baden and established one of the richest collections of lilies then in existence. He introduced, cultivated and propagated a great number of hardy plants, and was particularly enamored of Irises, Tulips, Nerines and Alliums. (ref. Calochortus leichtlinii, Camassia leichtlinii)
  • leiocar'pa/leiocar'pum: from the Greek leios, "smooth," and karpos, "fruit," thus "smooth-fruited" (ref. Cryptantha leiocarpa, Parvisedum leiocarpum)
  • leiosper'ma/leiosper'mus: smooth-seeded, from leios, "smooth" and -spermus, in Greek compound words meaning "-seeded" (ref. Juncus leiospermus)
  • Lember'tia: after John Baptist Lembert (1840-1896), "a strange sort of hermit who took up a quarter-section of land in Tuolumne Meadows in 1885 as a homestead. His claim included the Soda Springs and the meadow land across the river. Lembert had lived for a time in and around Yosemite and conceived the idea of raising fine breeds of goats in the High Sierra. He built a log cabin on his claim and lived there with his goats for several years, both winter and summer, until the heavy storms in the winter of 1889-1890 forced him to flee to Yosemite and abandon his goats. With the loss of his stock, he took to collecting butterflies and botanical specimens, which he sold to museums. His career ended in a tragedy in the winter of 1896-97 when his body was found in a cabin near Cascade Creek below Yosemite Valley, bearing the unmistakable signs of murder. The Lembert claim, which had been patented in 1895, was purchased in 1912 by members of the Sierra Club." (From Early Settlers of the High Sierras) The Sierra Club in turn sold the land to the National Park Service in 1973. Lembert Dome is named for him (ref. genus Lembertia)
  • Lem'monia/lem'monii: named after John Gill Lemmon (1832-1908), who with his wife Sara Allen Plummer Lemmon (1836-1923), collected plants throughout the American West.  Exhausted after surviving imprisonment at the infamous Andersonville Prison during the Civil War, he travelled to the Sierra Nevada foothills of California to visit his brother Frank.  While there recuperating, he began collecting plants and like seemingly every other collector sending specimens to Professor Asa Gray, who was delighted and requested more.  He made extensive plant collections in western Arizona in 1884. Ten years after arriving in California, he met and married Sara Plummer, a fellow member of a botanical club.  After having had numerous plants named for him, he ended his career in the employ of the California Board of Forestry, on whose behalf he worked to preserve the state's diverse forests (ref. genus Lemmonia, also species Achnatherum lemmonii, Arabis lemmonii, Castilleja lemmonii, Draba lemmonii, Eschscholzia lemmonii ssp. kernensis, Hymenonyx lemmonii, Leptosiphon lemmonii, Phacelia lemmonii, Phalaris lemmonii, Puccinellia lemmonii, Salix lemmonii, Silene lemmonii, Syntrichopappus lemmonii, many others)
  • Lem'na: from the Greek limnos, "lake or swamp," referring to its aquatic habitat (ref. genus Lemna)
  • lenophyl'lus: possibly from the Greek lenos, "wool," and phyllus, "leaves," thus "woolly-leaved" (ref. Astragalus whitneyi var. lenophyllus)
  • Lens: the classical name for the ancient lentil, and a name given to the optical device because it was shaped like a lentil seed (ref. genus Lens)
  • lenticular'is: shaped like a lens (ref. Carex lenticularis)
  • lentifor'mis: shaped like a lens, referring to the fruits (ref. Atriplex lentiformis ssp. lentiformis, Atriplex lentiformis ssp. torreyi)
  • lentigino'sus: freckled, spotted (ref. Astragalus lentiginosus var. borreganus, Astragalus lentiginosus var. fremontii, Astragalus lentiginosus var. micans, Astragalus lentiginosus var. sierrae, Astragalus lentiginosus var. variabilis)
  • len'tus: tough but pliant (ref. Aster lentus)
  • leo'nis: after Charles Leo Hitchcock (1902-1986), see hitchcockianus (ref. Phacelia leonis)
  • Leono'tis: a member of the mint family cultivated as an ornamental in California and deriving its name from the Greek leo for lion and otis for "ear" because its corolla supposedly resembles a lion's ear (ref. genus Leonotis)
  • Leon'todon: from the Greek leon, "lion," and odous, "tooth," because of the toothed leaves (ref. genus Leontodon)
  • leonur'us: from the Greek leon for "lion" and oura, "a tail," hence resembling a lion's tail (ref. Leonotis leonurus, also genus Leonurus)
  • leopold'ii: after Leopold II (1797-1870), Grand Duke of Tuscany.  Leopold succeeded his father Ferdinand III in 1824 and though for much of his reign he was not an unpopular ruler, he found himself caught between the conflicting pressures of foreign despotism and threats of invasion from Austria and nascent nationalist, liberal and indeed revolutionary movements which kept Tuscany in a state of turmoil.  Things came to a head in 1849 when a republic was proclaimed.  Leopold fled but apparently acquiesced (or actively encouraged) an Austrian invasion which occupied Florence. Leopold returned and acted in essence as an Austrian puppet ruler, concluding a treaty in 1850 which sanctioned an indefinite occupation and in 1852 formally revoking the constitution and holding political trials which sentenced revolutionary leaders to long terms of imprisonment.  Although the Austrian troops eventually left, Leopold's popularity was shattered.  He tried to hold on to power, but like Nicholas of Russia was swept aside by the tides of history.  Unlike Nicholas however, he was allowed to depart from Tuscany, lived most of the rest of his life in Austria, and died in Rome.  He was a well-meaning, rather kindly, but essentially weak ruler caught between family ties and Hapsburg traditions and the revolutionary forces that had been unleased throughout Europe.  His connection to botany, and the reason his name was placed on a subspecies of Juncus acutus, was through the Italian botanist Filippo Parlatore (1816-1877), who proposed at the Third Congress of Italian Naturalists, held at Florence in 1841, that there should be established at Florence a general herbarium.  Grand Duke Leopold sought his assistance in this endeavor, appointed him Professor of Botany at the Museum of Natural Sciences, and made him Director of the botanical garden that was associated with the museum, a position which he held for more than thirty years.  Ironically, much of his botanical work was carried out during the above-described period of upheaval, but he does not seem to have been much affected by it because he was abroad in northern Europe, Lapland and Finland.  He named the referenced subspecies after his patron (ref. Juncus acutus ssp. leopoldii)
  • Lepechin'ia: named after Ivan Ivanovich Lepechin (1737-1802), a Russian botanist and traveller (ref. genus Lepechinia)
  • lep'ida/lep'idus: elegant, graceful (ref. Stipa lepida, Cryptantha micrantha var. lepida, Lupinus lepidus var. confertus)
  • Lepid'ium: from the Greek lepidion, meaning "a little scale," in reference to the shape of the fruit pods (ref. genus Lepidium)
  • Lepidospar'tum: from two Greek words lepis, meaning "scale," and sparton, the broom shrub, hence meaning "broom-scale" or "scalebroom" (ref. genus Lepidospartum)
  • lepido'ta/lepido'tus: from lepis, "scale," and the suffix ota/otus indicating possession, thus having or possessing small scurfy scales (ref. Glycyrrhiza lepidota)
  • -lepis: in compound words referring to a scale
  • leporinel'la: the root word lepus or leporis for "a hare" and the common name of this taxon, Sierra hare sedge, are obviously related but I'm not sure how. Perhaps this name means "a small hare" (ref. Carex leporinella)
  • lepori'num: from the same derivation as in the previous entry (ref. Hordeum murinum ssp. leporinum)
  • lepro'sa: scurfy, spotted like a leper (ref. Malvella [formerly Sida] leprosa)
  • lepta'lea/lepta'leum/lepta'leus: fine, slender (ref. Carex leptalea, Gilia leptalea, Lasthenia leptalea, Navarretia leptalea, Antirrhinum leptaleum, Mimulus leptaleus)
  • leptan'dra: with thin stamens (ref. Brodiaea californica var. leptandra)
  • leptan'tha: slender-flowered (ref. Gilia leptantha ssp. leptantha, Gilia leptantha ssp. transversa)
  • lepto-: thin, slender
  • leptocar'pa: thin-fruited (ref. Perideridia leptocarpa)
  • leptocer'as: slender-horned (ref. Dodecahema leptoceras)
  • Leptochlo'a: from the Greek leptos, "slender," and chloe or chloa, "grass" (ref. genus Leptochloa)
  • leptocla'da/leptocla'dus: from Greek leptos, "slender" and klados, "branch or sprout," thus having thin branches or twigs (ref. Lessingia leptoclada, Plagiobothrys leptocladus, Rigiopappus leptocladus)
  • leptoco'ma: thin-haired (ref. Poa leptocoma)
  • Leptodac'tylon: from the Greek leptus, "narrow," and dactylon, "finger," referring to the leaf lobing (ref. genus Leptodactylon)
  • leptomer'ia: with or having slender parts (ref. Gilia leptomeria, Heuchera leptomeria)
  • leptopet'ala: with narrow petals (ref. Piperia leptopetala)
  • leptophyl'la/leptophyl'lum: narrow-leaved (ref. Agoseris grandiflora var. leptophylla, Apium leptophyllum, Chenopodium leptophyllum, Ciclospermum leptophyllum, Epilobium leptophyllum)
  • leptopo'da: slender-footed (ref. Carex deweyana ssp. leptopoda)
  • leptosep'ala: narrow-sepaled (ref. Caltha leptosepala)
  • Leptosi'phon: from the Greek leptos, "slender," and siphon, "a tube" (ref. genus Leptosiphon, also Monardella nana ssp. leptosiphon)
  • leptosta'chya: with a narrow spike (ref. Glyceria leptostachya)
  • Leptosy'ne: from Greek leptos, "slender, thin, small, weak," and possibly syne, "together, joined" (ref. genus Leptosyne)
  • lepto'tes: from the Greek leptotes, "delicateness, thinness," (ref. Townsendia leptotes)
  • leptothe'ca: from the Greek words for a slender case, box or cup (ref. Chorizanthe leptotheca)
  • Lesquerel'la: after Leo Lesquereaux (1805-1889), an American botanist and the foremost authority of American fossil botany in the latter part of the 19th century, educated in Switzerland, brought to the US by Louis Agazziz in 1848, produced several important works on American mosses (ref. genus Lesquerella)
  • Lessin'gia: named after Christian Friedrich Lessing (1809-1862), a German botanist specializing in and author of a book about the family Asteraceae, his brother Carl Friedrich Lessing (1808-1880), a painter, and their uncle Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781), a writer (ref. genus Lessingia)
  • lesueur'ii: after paleobotanist Charles Leo Lesquereux (1805-1889). The following is quoted from the Virtual American Biographies online series: "...born in Fleurier, Switzerland, 18 November, 1806. He was destined for the church by his mother, but, on entering the academy of Neuchatel, met Arnold Guyot, and together they became devoted to natural science. After completing his course at the academy in 1827, he went to Eisenach for the purpose of perfecting himself in the German language preparatory to entering the University of Berlin, and supported himself by teaching French. From 1829 until 1834 he was principal of the college at Chaux de Fonds, but, becoming deaf, he was obliged to give up this place. He then worked at engraving, and also made watch springs until 1848. Meanwhile he had begun the study of mosses and of fossil botany, becoming interested also in the subject of peat, its production, and possible reproduction. His knowledge of this subject led to his engagement by the government of Neuchatel to examine the peat-bogs of that canton, and later, under the patronage of the king of Prussia, he explored the peat bogs of northern Europe. His researches gained for him in 1844 a gold medal, which was awarded by the government of Neuchatel for the best popular treatise on the formation of peat. In 1848 he came to the United States, and at first made his home in Cambridge, where he assisted Louis Agassiz for a time, but soon removed to Columbus, Ohio, where he has since lived. There he became first associated with William S. Sullivant in the study of American bryology. Together they published "Musci Americani Exsiccati" (1856; 2d ed. 1865), and subsequently he assisted Mr. Sullivant in the examination of the mosses that had been collected by Captain Charles Wilkes on the South Pacific exploring expedition and by Lieutenant Amiel W. Whipple on the Pacific railroad exploration, and finally in his "Icones Muscorum" (Cambridge, 1864). His own most valuable researches, beginning in 1850, were studies of the coal formations of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Kentucky, and Arkansas, on which he contributed memoirs to the reports of the state surveys. His investigations on the coal flora of Pennsylvania are of special value. He prepared a "Catalogue of the Fossil Plants which have been named or described from the Coal Measures of North America" for the reports of Henry D. Rogers in 1858, and in 1884 furnished The Coal Flora (3 vols. of text, with an atlas) for the second geological survey of Pennsylvania, which is regarded as the most important work on carboniferous plants that has thus far appeared in the United States. Since 1868 parts of the material in fossil botany have been referred to him by the various national surveys in the field, and he has contributed to their reports the results of his investigations. He is a member of more than twenty scientific societies in the United States and Europe, and in 1864 was the first member that was elected to the National academy of sciences. The titles of his publications are more than fifty in number, and include twelve important volumes on the, natural history of the United States, besides which he has published "Letters written on Germany" (Neuchatel, 1846) and "Letters written on America" (1847-1855). He has also published, with Thomas P. James, Manual of the Mosses of North America (Boston, 1884)." I am curious as to how the name Lesquereux became lesueurii, and if anyoone knows for sure please let me know. David Hollombe sent me the following note: "Bolander didn't explain 'leseurii.' Later botanists have guessed that he might have intended to name the species for Lesquereux, who had introduced him to botany, but it's possible he meant to name it for someone else, such as [the naturalist and artist] Charles Alexandre Lesueur (the spelling name was later changed to lesueurii), but why he would name it for him I don't see. Most likely someone else involved in the printing of the Calif. Academy's 'Proceedings' is responsible for the mistake?" Bolander would only have been about fifteen when Lesueur died, and that was about his age when he came to the United States from Germany, so he couldn't have known him personally, and although Lesueur did spend twenty-some years in Philadelphia and Indiana, he apparently never travelled to or collected in the West. A website of the Harvard University Herbaria, however, does say that "he [Bolander] was introduced to the study of plants by his neighbor, Leo Lesquereux, a paleobotanist and bryologist," so this is the likely derivation despite the spelling discrepancy (ref. Juncus lesueurii)
  • letterman'ii: after George Washington Letterman (1841-1913). The following is quoted from Transactions of the Academy of Science of St. Louis, June 2, 1913, vol. 22, p. xlii: "With the death of Mr. George W. Letterman in Allenton, Mo., on May 28, 1913, there passed one of the few persons who have worked upon the botany of St. Louis and vicinity during their whole lifetime. His herbarium represents the flora of St. Louis county probably better than any other in existence. While Mr. Letterman had worked especially in Missouri, he was an authority on the plants of the region included in eastern and northern Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. George W. Letterman was born in Pennsylvania seventy-two years ago. While at State College in Center County, the Civil War broke out and young Letterman enlisted as a private, serving until the end of the war, when he was mustered out of the service with the rank of captain of volunteers. He crossed the plains to New Mexico in 1866, returned to Pennsylvania, and again going west to Kansas with the idea of farming in that state, he settled finally in 1869 in Allenton, Mo., a hamlet about thirty miles west of St. Louis. Here Mr. Letterman taught school for [20] years also serving as superintendent of schools in St. Louis county. Shortly after settling in Allenton, Mr. Letterman met August Fendler, the botanist, who had a farm in that neighborhood. This meeting stimulated his interest in plants, especially in trees. For Dr. Engelmann Letterman made large collections of plants in the neighborhood of Allenton, with many notes on the oaks and hickories. In 1880 he was appointed special agent of the Census Department of the United States to collect information about the trees and forests of Missouri, Arkansas, western Louisiana and eastern Texas. Later he collected specimens from the same region for the Jesup Collection of North American woods in the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The name Lettermani commemorates his numerous discoveries in these little known regions." A 1913 issue of Torreya (Vol. 13, p. 170) stated that: ""George W. Letterman, aged 72, a recluse and botanist, died in poverty and attended only by a negro neighbor in his little cabin at Allenton, thirty miles west of St. Louis, last night. Throughout his long stay in Allenton the botanist lived alone in his one-room cabin, spending most of his time in the woods in search of rare plants and trees. Many distinguished American and European scientists made pilgrimages to his cabin and went on excursions with him through his beloved woods along the Meramec. Many rare plants which he discovered were named after him. Harvard professorships twice were offered to Mr. Letterman, but he waved them aside as temptations, preferring the woods to halls of learning." Some of the genera containing species named for him are Vernonia, Poa, Stipa, and Crataegus. It does not appear that he ever published anything." (ref. Achnatherum lettermanii, Poa lettermanii)
  • leucan'tha: white-flowered (ref. Salvia leucantha, Salvia leucantha cv.)
  • leucanthemifo'lia: with leaves like genus Leucanthemum (ref. Dieteria canescens var. leucanthemifolia)
  • Leucan'themum: from the Greek leukos, "white," and anthemon, "flower," C. leucanthemum is the Old World ox-eye daisy now renamed Leucanthemum vulgare (ref. genus Leucanthemum)
  • leucar'pum: from Greek leukos, "white" and karpos, "fruit" (ref. Phoradendron leucarpum ssp. tomentosum)
  • Leucel'ene: possibly from leukos, "white," and chlaena or laina, "cloak or blanket"
  • leucocau'los: white-stemmed
  • leucoceph'ala/leucoceph'alum: white or dusky-headed (ref. Navarettia leucocephala, Gnaphalium leucocephalum)
  • Leucocri'num: from the Greek leukos, "white," and krinon, "a lily," in reference to the fragrant white flowers (ref. genus Leucocrinum)
  • leucoder'mis: white-skinned (ref. Ceanothus leucodermis, Rubus leucodermis)
  • Leuco'jum: from the Greek leukos, "white," and ion, "violet," referring to the white flowers similar to violets (ref. genus Leucojum)
  • leucolo'bus: white-lobed (ref. Astragalus leucolobus)
  • leucopap'pa: with a white pappus (ref. Layia leucopappa)
  • leucophyl'la: white-leaved (ref. Atriplex leucophylla, Salvia leucophylla)
  • leucop'sis: white (ref. Astragalus leucopsis)
  • leucosta'chys: having a white-flowering stalked inflorescence (ref. Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys)
  • Leucosy'ris: the likely derivation of this is from the Greek leukos, "white," and syra, "a skin" (ref. genus Leucosyris)
  • leucothe'ca: from the Greek words for a white cup, box or case (ref. Chorizanthe xanti var. leucotheca)
  • Leuco'thoe: named for a princess of Babylon, Leucothoe, daughter of King Orchamus and one of the many loves of the god Apollo (ref. genus Leucothoe)
  • leucotri'cha: white-haired
  • Lewis'ia: for Captain Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) of the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-1806. Though not a scientist by profession, he was given a crash course in natural history before leaving St. Louis. Over the course of the next two and a half years, he and his companions travelled almost eight thousand miles by boat, horse and foot. Upon their return, the tremendous collection they had amassed was dispersed to various places, and for some reason many of their specimens were sent to England for identification and description. Only a few of their discoveries bear their names, and although they were received as heroes upon their return to St. Louis, they got little credit at the time for their botanical accomplishments, but today the state flower of Montana is Lewisia rediviva, one of the species they found. They collected hundreds of plant specimens, recording information on their habitats, growth forms and uses by the indians. Since they collected from areas where no trained botanists had ever been, about 80 of the species they collected were new to science, and in addition to Montana, the future state flowers for Oregon and Idaho were also among their finds. Because Lewis died only three years after returning from the West, the publication of their finds was delayed, but eventually Frederick Pursh included them in his flora of North America called the Flora Americae septentrionalis which was published in 1813. It was he who named Lewisia rediviva and Clarkia pulchella after the two intrepid explorers (ref. genus Lewisia)
  • lew'isii/lewis'ii: after Meriwether Lewis, see Lewisia above (ref. Hesperoscordum lewisii, Linum lewisii, Mimulus lewisii, Philadelphus lewisii)
  • lew'isii/lewis'ii: after Frank Harlan Lewis (1919-2008), merit awardee in 1972 by the Botanical Society of America from which the following is quoted: "Eminent evolutionary biologist, teacher, and administrator; his studies of chromosome behavior in such genera as Clarkia, Mentzelia, Delphinium, and their relatives have provided the cytotaxonomic basis for his brilliant generalizations as to population dynamics, the processes of speciation, and the nature of biological taxa." He got his undergraduate and graduate degrees from UCLA, did postgraduate work at Cal Tech, and was a professor of botany, professor emeritus, chairman of the department of life sciences and then dean emeritus at UCLA (ref. Camissoniopsis lewisii, Clarkia lewisii)
  • lewisros'ei: David Hollombe provides the following from Cantelow & Cantelow in Leaflets of Western Botany, 1957: "Rose, Lewis Samuel. Botanist; born in San Francisco, Calif., 25 Nov. 1893, where he still resides. Graduate of Yniv. Calif., Berkeley, 1917; collected and studied algae in Japan, 1917-18 (specimens in Univ. Calif. under the name of L. S. Rosenbaum); life member and Fellow of Calif. Acad. Sci.; friend and benefactor to the university herbarium to which he has given without remuneration over 25 years of his time and energies, enlarging it and making it more serviceable; since 1930 he has been collecting western American plants ond exchanging them on all continents, the specimens received by exchange presented as a gift to the Academy; it is estimated he has given the herbarium over 70,000 specimens, far more than any other donor." He died in 1973. The article doesn't mention that he also created a card file of all species, subspecies, etc. described from the western US, sorted by state and county (ref. Senecio eurycephalus var. lewisrosei, now changed to Packera eurycephalus var. lewisrosei)
  • Ley'mus: an anagram of Elymus, which all Leymus spp. were formerly classified as, and which was an ancient Greek name for millet (ref. genus Leymus)

Mojave National Preserve
Death Valley National Park east of Salsberry Pass.
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