L-R: Hieracium albiflorum (White-flowered hawkweed), Clarkia xantiana (Gunsight fairyfan), Grindelia camporum var. bracteosum (Bracted gumplant), Verbena lasiostachys var. lasiostachys (Western vervain), Datura wrightii (Sacred datura)


N
In the following names, the stressed vowel is the one preceding the stress mark. It is not always easy to ascertain where such stress should be placed, especially in the case of epithets derived from personal names. I have tried to follow the principle of maintaining the stress of the original name as outlined in the Jepson Manual, and have abandoned it only when it was just too awkward. In the case of some names, I have listed them twice, reflecting either some disagreement or conflict in the rules of pronunciation, some uncertainty on my part as to the correct pronunciation, or that simply sometimes there is no single correct pronunciation. In other instances, the way I record it is just that which sounds right to my ear. Where no credit is given for photos, they are in public domain mostly from Wikipedia.
  • Na'jas: from the Greek Naias, a water nymph. (ref. genus Najas)
  • Na'ma: from the Greek nama, "a spring or stream." (ref. genus Nama)
  • na'na/na'num/na'nus: "little," from the Greek nannos, "dwarf." (ref. Abronia nana ssp. covillei, Castilleja nana, Crepis nana, Ericameria nana, Hulsea nana, Monardella nana, Blennosperma nanum, Hedeoma nanum, Lupinus nanus)
  • nanteuil'ii: for Baron Edmond Jules Marie Roger de Nanteuil (1857-1951), who studied Petrorhagia nanteuilii and made many collections of it at Cannes and Agay for the author Burnat, demonstrating that it did not intergrade with related species. An article in Boissiera says he stayed at Cannes from 1880 to 1888 and studied orchids with Paul Bergom. He was a member of the Société botanique de France. (ref. Petrorhagia nanteuilii)
  • napen'sis: of or from the Napa Valley region. (ref. Amorpha californica var. napensis, Poa napensis)
  • na'pus: with a little turnip-like root. (ref. Brassica napus)
  • Narcis'sus: named after the handsome son of the river god Cephissus and the nymph Liriope, who was so entranced by his own beauty that he spurned all others. He was condemned to fell in love with himself in such a way that he could not have what he desired, and seeing his reflection in a pool, that which was only shadow and unreachable, he was so overcome that he wasted away. The gods then turned him into the Narcissus flower. (ref. genus Narcissus)
  • Nardos'mia: from the Greek nardos, "spikenard," which is a fragrant ointment derived from the East Indian plant Nardostachys jatamansi, and osme, "smell, odor." (ref. genus Nardosmia and Cacaliopsis nardosmia)
  • Narthe'cium: Umberto Quattrocchi's World Dictionary of Plant Names says: "[from] Latin narthecium, 'an ointment-box, a medicine-chest,' Greek narthex, narthekos, 'rod, giant fennel, casket,' used by Theophrastus and Plinius for Ferula communis, narthekion 'small splint, small rod'" Ferula communis is commonly called the giant fennel, and the Romans called the hollow light rod made from this plant, used for walking sticks, splints, for stirring boiling liquids, and for corporal punishment, a ferula. Some say Ferula communis was also called Narthex, but there appears to be a separate species named Ferula narthex so I'm not sure about that. (ref. genus Narthecium)
  • nashia'na/nashia'nus: after Charlotte Eden Nash (Mrs. Hugo Smith) (1899-1982), who collected extensively in the southern Sierra Nevada and the Mojave Desert in the 1930's for Willis Linn Jepson, and throughout Kern County for several decades thereafter, and whose collections are noteworthy for the precise and complete ecological notes that accompanied her specimens. (ref. Phacelia nashiana, Linanthus nashianus)
  • Nassel'la: diminutive of the Latin nassa, "a basket with a narrow neck, a fish basket." (ref. genus Nassella)
  • Nastur'tium: JM2 says "nose distortion, in reference to plant pungency." (ref. genus Nasturtium)
  • nastur'tium-aqua'ticum: nasturtium from the Latin nasus tortus, "a twisted nose," due to the plant's pungent taste, and aquaticum pertaining to water. (ref. Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum)
  • nasu'tus: large-nosed. (ref. Mimulus nasutus)
  • natans: floating. (ref. Potamogeton natans, Sparganium natans)
  • Navarret'ia: named after Francisco Fernandez de Navarrete (c.1680-1742), a Spanish philospher, anatomist, naturalist and physician to Felipe V of Spain. (ref. genus Navarretia)
  • neal'leyi: after Texas botanist Greenleaf Cilley Nealley (1846-1896), specialist on spermatophytes. She was a botanical collector in Texas and other states, amd gathered forage plants for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She was the co-author with S.M. Tracy, J. Pool and G. Vasey of Report of an investigation of the Arid Districts of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Utah which was released in 1887. She corresponded with George Engelmann and was possibly the first botanist at Texas A&M University. (ref. Aristida purpurea var. nealleyi, Sporobolus nealleyi)
  • neapolita'num: of or from Naples (Italy), Neopolitan. (ref. Allium neapolitanum)
  • nebrascen'sis: of or from Nebraska. (ref. Carex nebrascensis)
  • nees'ii: after the German botanist, physician, zoologist, and natural philosopher Christian Gottfried Daniel Nees von Esenbeck (1776-1858). The following is quoted from Wikipedia: "He was a contemporary of Goethe and was born within the lifetime of Linnaeus. He described approximately 7,000 plant species (almost as many as Linnaeus himself). His last official act as president of the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina was to admit Charles Darwin as a member. He was the author of numerous monographs on botany and zoology. His best-known works deal with fungi. Nees von Esenbeck was born in a small village in what is now Odenwaldkreis, Germany. He showed an early interest in science and after receiving his first education at Darmstadt he went on to Jena, obtaining his degree in medicine in 1800. He practiced as a physician for a time, but he had developed a great interest in botany during his university studies, and eventually he returned to academia. In 1816 he joined the Leopoldina Academy, which was one of the most prestigious institutions in Europe. In 1817 he was appointed professor of botany in Erlangen. Three years later he became professor of natural history in Bonn, and in 1831 he was appointed to the chair of botany in the university of Breslau.In 1818 he was elected president of the Leopoldina Academy. He continued as president of the academy for the rest of his life. In 1848 he became politically active, and due to conflicts with the government he eventually, in 1851 he was deprived of his professorship and pension at the university of Breslau. Nees von Esenbeck died essentially penniless in Breslau." (ref. Amphibromus neesii)
  • neglec'ta: neglected or overlooked. (ref. Frasera neglecta, Gilia brecciarum spp. neglecta, Malva neglecta, Phacelia neglecta)
  • negun'do: from the native Sanskrit and Bengali nirgundi, the specific name of the plant Vitex negundo and given to Acer negundo because of a supposed similarity of leaf. (ref. Acer negundo)
  • nelsonia'num: after self-taught botanist and collector James Carlton Nelson (1867-1944). He was born in Kentucky
      just two years after the end of the Civil War. His father was a farmer and then a newspaper editor. Nelson received his B.A. in 1890 and M.S. in 1893 both from Hanover College, Indiana, then taught at Carthage College in Missouri. He taught and served as principal at schools in Iowa, Illionois and Washington before joining Salem High School in Oregon about 1814. He was associated with Salem High School for the remainder of his life, principal for 15 years, then principal emeritus and registrar. He also was for a time Superintendent of Schools for the Salem
    school system. While a career educator, his real passion was botany which he indulged evenings, weekends and during summer break, collecting plants all over Oregon. He corresponded with renowned botanists both amateur and professional, and  maintained a close relationship with Willamette University botany professor Morton Peck. He requested help from James Francis MacBride in identifying specimens he had collected, and was able to help that scholar in return by sending specimens back to Cambridge for MacBride to use. At least 53 specimens collected by MacBride are part of the Gray Herbarium collection today, and the Oregon State University herbarium contains 339 specimens collected by Nelson. (ref. Lomatium nelsonianum [now L. hallii]) (Photo credit: Willamette Heritage Center)
  • nel'sonii/nelson'ii: after Aven Nelson (1859-1952), teacher, author, botanical collector and plant taxonomist. He was
      born in Iowa to Norwegian immigrants and his given name until he entered primary school was Even. He became a teacher at the age of 16 and was appointed assistant professor of natural sciences and instructor in English at Drury College at 24. He was one of the first faculty members of the University of Wyoming and became the school's first librarian in 1887. Four years later he became a botanist at the Agricultural Experiment Station and a year later received an M.A. degree from Harvard. He made his first botanical collecting trip in 1894, collecting some 1,200 species,
    and followed that up with another the next year, both trips in Wyoming. In 1899 his collection was officially designated the Rocky Mountain Herbarium by the Board of Trustees of the University of Wyoming, and he botanized extensively in Yellowstone National Park. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Denver in 1904. In 1909 he published "New Manual of the Botany of the Central Rocky Mountains (Vascular Plants)" with John Coulter as senior author but completely rewritten by Nelson and in 1912 he published "Spring Flora of the Intermountain States." In 1918 he was appointed President of the University of Wyoming. When he was 77 years old he spent three months i Arizona with his wife collecting 1,000 specimens and then was elected president of the Botanical Society of America. The following he year he became the first president of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists. At the age of 80 he and his wife botanized Mt. McKinley National Park. He died at the age of 93. (Information from a website of the Rocky Mountain Herbarium) (ref. Achnatherum nelsonii)
  • nelsonio'rum: after Thomas William Nelson (1928-2006) and Jane P. Nelson (1939- ) of the Humboldt State U. herbarium. (ref. Eriogonum umbellatum var. nelsoniorum)
  • Nelum'bo: from nelumbu, a Sinhalese (Sri Lankan) name for the lotus plant. (ref. genus Nelumbo)
  • Nemacau'lis: from the Greek nema, "a thread," and caulis, "stem," for the slender stems and branches. (ref. genus Nemacaulis)
  • nema'clada/Nema'cladus: from the Greek nemos, "thread," and clados, "branch," thus meaning having "thread-like branches." (ref. Cryptantha nemaclada, Lessingia nemaclada and genus Nemacladus)
  • Nemoph'ila: from the Greek nemos, "a glade," and phileo, "to love," meaning that it has "an affinity for groves." (ref. genus Nemophila)
  • nemora'lis: growing in groves or woods. (ref. Phacelia nemoralis, Poa nemoralis)
  • nemoro'sa: same as nemoralis above. (ref. Draba nemorosa, Nothochelone nemorosa)
  • neoglandulo'sum: apparently the name Rhododendron glandulosum was already in existence, so when Ledum glandulosum was made part of genus Rhododendron, it had to be named something other than that so 'neo' was added. (ref. Rhododendron neoglandulosum)
  • Neoholmgrenia: derived from neo for 'new' and in reference to genus Holmgrenia for Arthur Herman Holmgren (1912-1992), his son Noel Herman Holmgren (1937- ), a professor at Oregon State University and Lehman College, and Curator of the New York Botanical Garden, and daughter-in-law Patricia Kern Holmgren (1940- ), Director of the Herbarium of the N.Y. Botanical Garden, for their contribution to the botanical knowledge of the western United States. According to his obituary, he was "a recognized mentor, educator, researcher, authority, on western U.S. flora, plant explorer, environmentalist, conservationist, gardener, and music aficionado." He was Professor of Botany and Curator of the Intermountain Herbarium, Utah State University, 1943-1978, and a teacher at the Teton Science School in the 1980's. (ref. genus Neoholmgrenia) (see Holmgrenanthe)
  • Neokoch'ia: derived from neo for 'new' and in reference to genus Kochia after German physician and botanist Wilhelm Daniel Josef Koch, see Kochia (1771-1849). (ref. genus Neokochia)
  • neomexica'na/neomexica'num: of or from New Mexico. (ref. Bahia neomexicana, Ditaxis neomexicana, Forestiera neomexicana, Rafinesquia neomexicana, Robinia neomexicana, Sidalcea neomexicana, Cirsium neomexicanum)
  • neopolita'num: of or from Naples. (ref. Allium neopolitan)
  • Neostap'fia: derived from neo for 'new' and in reference to genus Stapfia after the Austrian-born botanist Otto Stapf (1857-1933). He was trained in Vienna and moved to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in 1890. He was keeper of the Herbarium from 1909 to 1920. He was awarded the Linnean Medal in 1927. (ref. genus Neostapfia)
  • neoter'icus: new, modern. (ref. Penstemon neotericus)
  • Neot'tia: from Greek neossia for "bird's nest." (ref. genus Neottia)
  • Nepe'ta: the ancient Latin name of the aromatic plant catnip. (ref. genus Nepeta)
  • nephrophyl'la: from the Greek nephros, "kidney," and phyllon, "leaf," thus, with kidney-shaped leaves. (ref. Verbena nephrophylla)
  • Ner'ium: a classical Greek name. (ref. genus Nerium)
  • nervi'na: probably the same as the following entry. (ref. Carex nervina)
  • nervo'sa: having distinct veins or nerves, usually the leaves. (ref. Berberis nervosa)
  • nervulo'sa/nervulo'sum: same approximate meaning as previous entry. (ref. Eriogonum nervulosum)
  • nesiot'ica/nesiot'icus: from the Greek nesos, "island," and the -ica suffix indicating "possession or belonging to," thus belonging to an island. (ref. Artemisia nesiotica, Dudleya nesiotica, Malacothamus fasciculatus var. nesioticus)
  • Nesto'tus: anagram of generic name Stenotus. (ref. genus Nestotus)
  • neuropet'ala: with veined or nerved petals. (ref. Cuscuta indecora var. neuropetala)
  • neurophor'a: bearing veins or nerves. (ref. Carex neurophora)
  • nevaden'se/nevaden'sis: of or from Nevada or the Sierra Nevadas. (ref. Allium nevadense, Chenopodium nevadense, Lomatium nevadense, Ribes nevadense, Arnica nevadensis, Cryptantha nevadensis, Cuscuta nevadensis, Ephedra nevadensis, Helianthella californica var. nevadensis, Iva nevadensis, Lewisia nevadensis, Lotus nevadensis, Lupinus nevadensis, Podistera nevadensis)
  • nevadinco'la: from Nevada and the Latin incola meaning "an inhabitant", hence an inhabitant of Nevada. (ref. Erigeron eatonii var. nevadincola)
  • nev'inii/nevin'ii: named after the Reverand Joseph Cook Nevin (1835-1913), of Los Angeles, a brilliant linguist and botanical collector, one of the first to collect on Catalina Island. (ref. Astragalus nevinii, Berberis nevinii, Brickellia nevinii, Constancea nevinii, Cordylanthus nevinii, Gilia nevinii)
  • Nevius'ia: after the Reverend Reuben Denton Nevius (1827-1913), a preacher who felt called to the West in the
      days of its early settlement and development and helped establish churches in Eastern Oregon, in Washington and in Idaho. He also was an avid botanist who passed on that knowledge to anyone who would listen, a dedicated builder of churches, and a gifted teacher. He was born in Ovid, New York and recived his Divinity degree from Union College in Schenectady in 1849. He went to Columbus, Goergia, for further religious study in 1850, then served as an Episcopal priest in Alabama, moving from Wetumpka to Tuscaloosa in 1855. Around this time his interest in botany
    became intense and he began a four-decade long correspondence with Asa Gray at Harvard. He sent him samples of plants and searched out others at Gray’s request. Although a northerner he remained in the South during the war, then became Rector of All Saints’ Church in Oil City, Pennsylvania. After his marriage, the couple moved to Mobile, Alabama, where he was appointed as Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Regrettably his wife died of yellow fever the following year. Wikipedia adds: “In 1872, Nevius was given the ecclesiastical responsibility for a wide circuit in eastern Oregon, where he established seven new congregations. His circuit-riding responsibilities later included eastern Washington and Idaho. He directed the building of many new churches, some of which are still standing.” Following his death, his body was transported back to New York where he was buried in the Ovid town cemetary. He had two children both born and died in 1869. Asa Gray named the plant genus Neviusia in his honor. There has been a controversy over assigning credit for the discovery of this genus. (ref. genus Neviusia)
  • new'berryi/newber'ryi: named after John Strong Newberry (1822-1892), an American physician, geologist,
      paleontologist and botanist who collected in California on the Williamson Railroad Survey. He was born at Windsor, Connecticut and spent most of his early life in the Western Reserve of Ohio which was an area of northeastern Ohio that was claimed first by the Colony and then by the state of Connecticut and had been granted to the Colony under the terms of its charter by King Charles II. He graduated from Western Reserve College in 1846 and from Cleveland Medical School in 1848. Following two years of study in medicine and paleontology in Paris, he began a medical
    practice in Cleveland. In 1855 the War Department sent an exploring expedition under Lieutenant Williamson to survey the country between San Francisco and the Columbia River, and he joined it. Subsequent to that expedition, he joined Joseph Ives as a geologist in an exoloration of the Colorado River, and then served as naturalist on an expedition to southwestern Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, He was the first geologist known to visit the Grand Canyon. He was also a professor at Columbian (now George Washington) Uiversity. After being elected a member of the United States Sanitary Commission in 1861 and inspecting troops at Cairo, Illinois, he resigned from the Army and became secretary of the Western Department of the Sanitary Commission, and for the next five years was occupied with organizing the work of the commission, distributing hospital stores, and providing food and shelter to current and former soldiers.  In 1866 he was offered the chair of geology and paleontology in the School of Mines, Columbia College (now Columbia University), which he accepted and held for 24 years. While at this institution he compiled a museum of over 100,000 specimens of geologic and paleontologic significance, being one of the best collections to be found anywhere. Other positions which he held included director of the Ohio Geological Survey, member of the Illinois Geological Survey, President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, President of the New York Academy of Sciences, President of the Torrey Botanical Club, one of the judges at the 1876 World’s Fair in Philadelphia, Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the founding organizers of the Geological Society of America. He died at New Haven. (ref. Astragalus newberryi var. newberryi, Cheilanthes newberryi, Gentiana newberryi, Horsfordia newberryi, Notholaena newberryi, Penstemon newberryi)
  • nicaeen'sis: of or from Nice (formerly Nicaea Maritima), southern France, or Iznik (formerly Nicaea), Turkey. (ref. Malva nicaeensis)
  • Nican'dra: after Nicander, Greek poet of Colophon, Asia Minor, physician and grammarian who wrote on the subject
      of plants around 100 BC, notably in his poem Alexipharmaca, which treats of poisons and their antidotes. He was born in Claros near Colophon in modern-day Turkey. Wikipedia says: “He wrote a number of works both in prose and verse, of which two survive complete. The longest, Theriaca, is a hexameter poem on the nature of venomous animals and the wounds which they inflict. The other, Alexipharmaca, consists of 630 hexameters treating of poisons and their antidotes. Nicander's main source for medical information was the physician Apollodorus of Egypt. Among
    his lost works, Heteroeumena was a mythological epic, used by Ovid in the Metamorphoses and epitomized by Antoninus Liberalis; Georgica, of which considerable fragments survive, was perhaps imitated by Virgil. The works of Nicander were praised by Cicero (De oratore, i. 16), imitated by Ovid and Lucan, and frequently quoted by Pliny and other writers (e.g. Tertullian in De Scorpiace, I, 1).” Encyclopedia Britannica says: “Nicander’s reputation does not seem justified; his works, as Plutarch says in De audiendis poetis, have nothing poetic about them except the metre, and the style is bombastic and obscure. However, they contain some interesting information on the ancient approach to the subjects treated.” Almost nothing is known about his life. He may have died in Alexandria, Egypt. (ref. genus Nicandra)
  • Nicollet'ia: named after Joseph Nicholas Nicollet (1786-1843), the French geologist, physical geographer, astronomer
      and explorer, and John C. Fremont's first teacher in scientific studies. Nicollet pioneered in the use of fossils to correlate strata and the barometer as a means of determining elevation. He was born at Cluses in the Duchy of Savoy, France, attended the Latin School in Samoens, then the Jesuit college L’École Normale in Chambéry, a larger, more cosmopolitan town, and finally being admitted to L’École Normale in Paris. His mathematical  and astronomical skills were evident early on and he became a teacher of mathematics at the age of 19 and worked with the scientist
    Pierre-Simon Laplace at the Paris Observatory. In the 1820’s he was a professor of mathematics at Collège Louis-le-Grand in Paris. He emigrated to the United States in 1832, living first in New Orleans  and then spending the next several years travelling through the South, mostly between New Orleans and Baltimore, before reaching St. Louis. In 1836-1837 he led an expedition that surveyed the sources of the Mississippi River, and in 1838 accepted a position with the U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers to lead an expedition to survey the land between the Upper Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, mainly in Minnesota and North and South Dakota. Nicollet’s maps were among the most accurate of the time and frequently included Native American place names. Many of his sketches and journals from his expeditions are housed at the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Archives. In 1843, just after his death at the age of 57 in Washington, D.C., his Map of the Hydrographical Basin of the Upper Mississippi was published, which included maps of a region half the size of Europe. (ref. genus Nicolletia)
  • Nicotia'na: named for Jean Nicot de Villemain (1530-1600), French diplomat, scholar and the person supposedly
      responsible for introducing tobacco into France about 1560, also author of one of the first French language dictionaries. He was born in Nimes to a notary father and studied in Toulouse and Paris before entering into service of the French court in 1553. In 1559 he became French ambassador to Portugal. While in Lisbon he made his first acquaintance with tobacco. Encyclopedia Britannica says: “He learned of the plant and its medicinal properties from Portuguese humanist Damião de Góis. Intrigued by the details related by de Góis, Nicot decided to test a tobacco ointment on a
    Lisbon man with a tumour. The man was cured, and further investigation of the plant’s medicinal applications convinced Nicot that it was a medical nostrum, effecting cures for conditions from cancer to gout to headache. In 1560 Nicot sent tobacco seeds—as well as figs, oranges, and lemons—to the queen of France, Catherine de Médicis, at Paris. Along with the specimens, Nicot included a letter expounding the medicinal properties of tobacco. In 1561 Nicot returned to the court in Paris, where he presented the queen with leaves from a tobacco plant. It is believed that the queen received instructions from Nicot for preparing a simple headache remedy by crushing the leaves into a powder that could be inhaled through the nose. The remedy, which proved satisfactory, soon became popular with members of the French court, who used tobacco powder to stave off various illnesses. In this preventative role, tobacco became identified with the pleasures of nobility, and it is likely that many users developed addictions to it. Eventually the plant was cultivated in France and other parts of northern Europe to fulfill demand. In the 17th century in England the crushed preparation became widely known as snuff.” Nicot eventially was granted the title Villemain and retired to his home on land given him near the village of Brie-Comte-Robert, located in the north-central region of Île-de-France. It was here that he composed the French dictionary Thresor de la langue françoyse, tant ancienne que moderne in 1606 (Treasure of the French Language), which was an extension of French humanist Robert Estienne’s Dictionaire françois-latin published in 1531 (French-Latin Dictionary). The genus Nicotiana was named in his honor by Carl Linnaeus in 1754. The active ingredient in tobacco, nicotine, was also named after him. He died on May 4, 1600 in Paris, France. (ref. genus Nicotiana)
  • nidif'ica: from the Latin nidus, "nest." (ref. Saxifraga nidifica)
  • nidular'ium/nidular'ius: derived from and diminutive of the Latin nidus, "nest." (ref. Eriogonum nidularium, Cordylanthus nidularius)
  • nid'ulum: meaning "a little nest." (ref. Cirsium nidulum)
  • Nigel'la: from the Latin name nigellus, "somewhat black, dark," diminutive of niger or nigrum, "black," referring to the seed color. (ref. genus Nigella)
  • nigellifor'mis: having the form of or resembling Nigella. (ref. Navarretia nigelliformis)
  • ni'ger: see nigra below. (ref. Cyperus niger, Streptanthus niger)
  • ni'gra/ni'grum: black, referring to the color of the seeds. (ref. Brassica nigra, Suaeda nigra, Solanum nigrum)
  • nigres'cens: blackish, becoming black. (ref. Eriodictyon crassifolium var. nigrescens)
  • nigrical'ycis: with black calyces. (ref. Astragalus lentiginosus var. nigricalycis)
  • nig'ricans: blackish. (ref. Carex nigricans, Schoenus nigricans)
  • nil: possibly referring to the Nile?  I have also read that it is an Arabic name for a species of morning glory. (ref. Ipomoea nil)
  • nipomen'sis: after the Nipomo Dunes in sw San Luis Obispo County, California. (ref. Lupinus nipomensis)
  • nissenan'a: after the Southern Nissenan tribe of Native Americans who lived approximately where Sacramento is now. (ref. Arctostaphylos nissenana)
  • ni'tens: shining. (ref. Mentzelia nitens, Stellaria nitens)
  • nit'ida/nit'idum/nit'idus: derived from the Latin meaning "shining, lustrous, whitish" referring to the pods. (ref. Lepidium nitidum, Petalonyx nitidus)
  • nitidibacca'tum: from the Latin nitidus, "shining, glittering," and bacca, "a small round fruit, berry." (ref. Solanum physalifolium var. nitidibaccatum)
  • Nitro'phila: from the Greek nitron, "carbonate of soda," and philos, "fond of," i.e. "alkali- or soda-loving." (ref. genus Nitrophila, also Sphaeromeria potentilloides var. nitrophila)
  • niva'le/niva'lis: snow-white, growing near snow. (ref. Eriogonum ovalifolium var. nivale, Rubus nivalis)
  • niv'ea/niv'eum/niv'eus: snow-white.  (ref. Boehmeria nivea, Sedum niveum, Helianthus niveus)
  • niv'ium: from the roots nix or nivis for "snow," this is an alternate spelling of niveum, apparently grammatically different from niveum, but conveying the same meaning, that is, "snow, snowy, of snow or belonging to snow." David Hollombe dug up the fact that the type locality for this taxon was Snow Mountain in Lake County east of Mendocino. (ref. Epilobium nivium)
  • nivo'sa: snow-white.
  • no'bile: notable. (ref. Anthemis nobile)
  • Noccae'a: after Italian botanist Domenico Nocca (1758-1841), Italian clergyman and professor of botany at the University of Pavia, also Director of the Botanic Garden there from 1797 to 1826. He had previously been director of the Botanical Garden of Mantua until 1797. Wile at the University of Pavia, about 20,000 species of plants were grown in the botanical garden and he exchanged seeds and plants with other well-known botanists of the day. Beginning in 1802 he took over the Chair of the Department of Botany. Having decided upon a survey of the flora of the Pavia region, he enlisted the help of the Italian politician, doctor and botanist Giovanni Battista Balbis in classifying the species, and their work was published in two volumes in 1816 and 1821 with the title of Flora Ticinensis. He was also the author of Ticinensis Horti Academici Plantae selectae (1800), Elements of botany (1805), Onomatologia (1813)  and Historia atque Iconographia Horti Botanici Ticinensis (1818). There have been two genera named Noccaea, one in the Brassicaceae (the one in California) published by Conrad Moench in 1802, and the other in the Asteraceae published in 1891 by Carl Ernst Otto Kuntze (ref. genus Noccaea)
  • noctiflor'a: night-flowering. (ref. Silene noctiflora)
  • nodiflor'a/nodiflor'um: with flowers borne from the nodes. (ref. Phyla nodiflora, Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum, Solanum nodiflorum)
  • nodo'sa/nodo'sum/nodo'sus: with conspicuous nodes. (ref. Torilis nodosa, Eriogonum wrightii var. nodosum, Potamogeton nodosus)
  • Noli'na: named after Abbé Pierre Charles Nolin (1717- 1795), French arboriculturist, director of the royal nurseries, and agricultural writer who co-authored a treatise on farming around 1755. In the 1750’s he was in Paris at the convent of Saint Marcel, of which he was a canon. He cultivated a garden of exotic plants and edited a catalog which was entitled Essai sur l'agricolture moderne. He apparently leaned more in favor of English style gardens rather than French ones, and he advocated for the introduction into France of trees and shrubs, especially North American, that would be appropriate for a continental climate. He demonstrated considerable expertise in the field of fruit trees and general arboriculture. In the 1760’s he was appointed as Director of royal nurseries and exhibited remarkable administrative talent. He was granted two lodgings in the nurseries themselves, one in Versailles and one in Paris, and in that latter one he maintained a cabinet of natural curiosities which was available for anyone to see and study, his collection of shells being particularly extensive. He held the post for some 30 years, first under King Louis XV and then under Louis XVI, was involved in the planting of the park at Versailles in 1774-1775, and helped to organize the Michaux expedition to the United States. (ref. genus Nolina)
  • no'li-tang'ere: from the Latin tango, "to touch," and noli, "do not," thus meaning "touch-me-not" which is a general common name for the Impatiens. (ref. Impatiens noli-tangere)
  • nootkaten'sis: of or from the area of Nootka Sound or Nootka Island in Alaska. (ref. Callitropsis [formerly Cupressus] nootkatensis)
  • nor'risii/norris'ii: after Larry L. Norris (1949- ). The following is from "Notes on Contributors," (January, 1984, Fremontia): "Larry L. Norris is a research botanist with the National Park Service in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. He was formerly a naturalist in Death Valley National Monument, and compiled a plant checklist for the area. He also compiled a plant list for Sequoia/Kings Canyon, and bird checklists for both areas. He is still with the National Park Service and is currently Desert Southwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit Research Coordinator, based at the University of Arizona in Tucson." (ref. Mimulus norrisii)
  • norten'sis: of or from del Norte County. (ref. Arctostaphylos nortensis)
  • nor'tonii/norton'ii: after Andrea Massena Norton (1853-1930), a California plant collector who found a number of plants that were named by E.L. Greene. He was born at Lanesboro, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. He taught school at Gonzales from 1880 to about 1892 and was on the County Board of Education. Later he was a steamship company agent at Monterey. He learned botany from his friend and colleague John Bale Hickman. A very restricted Eriogonum of the Pinnacles region and Chorizanthe nortonii were two of his botanical discoveries. (ref. Eriogonum nortonii)
  • norveg'ica: of or from Norway. (ref. Artemisia norvegica, Carex norvegica, Potentilla norvegica)
  • nota'tior: may be a variant of notatus, "marked, spotted, distinguished," and the -ior ending may connote some extension of an adjectival characteristic, like brevior, "shorter" or latior, "broader," which might give this the meaning of "more marked." (ref. Atriplex coronata var. notatior)
  • nota'tum/nota'tus: marked, spotted. (ref. Paspalum notatum)
  • Nothocala'is: from the Greek nothos, "false or spurious," and Calais, a figure of Greek mythology who had scales on his back. (ref. genus Nothocalais)
  • Nothochelo'ne: false Chelone. (ref. genus Nothochelone)
  • nothoful'vus: from the Greek notho, a word used to indicate close but not complete agreement, with an aspect of uncertainty or falseness, and fulvus, "tawny," so perhaps meaning something like "almost tawny (?)." (ref. Plagiobothrys nothofulvus)
  • Notholae'na: from the Greek nothos, "false," and chlaina, "a cloak," an allusion to the incomplete indusium. (ref. genus Notholaena)
  • Notholithocarpus: from the Greek nothos, "false," and the genus name Lithocarpus. (ref. genus Notholithocarpus)
  • Nothoscor'dum: from the Greek nothos, "false," and scordum, "garlic," the common name being false garlic. (ref. genus Nothoscordum)
  • notit'ius: well-known. (ref. Lotus argyraeus var. notitius)
  • no'va: new (ref. Artemisia nova)
  • nov'ae-zeland'iae: from New Zealand. (ref. Acaena novae-zelandiae)
  • novenmillen'sis: named after Nine Mile Canyon on the east slope of the southern Sierra Nevada, Inyo County, California. (ref. Phacelia novenmillensis)
  • nubig'ena/nubig'enum/nubig'enus: born among the clouds. (ref. Cryptantha nubigena, Eriophyllum nubigenum)
  • nucif'era: nut-bearing.
  • nu'da: naked, bare. (ref. Silene nuda)
  • nuda'ta/nuda'tus: see nuda above. (ref. Carex nudata, Linanthus nudatus, Mimulus nudatus)
  • nudicau'le/nudicau'lis: with a bare stem. (ref. Delphinium nudicaule, Enceliopsis nudicaulis)
  • nudiflor'us: flowering before the leaves emerge.
  • nudius'cula: somewhat bare or naked. (ref. Pogogyne nudiuscula)
  • nummular'e: same as next entry. (ref. Eriogonum nummulare)
  • nummular'ia: resembling a coin, nummus, often applied to plants with small, almost circular leaves. (ref. Arctostaphylos nummularia, Atriplex nummularia, Lysimachia nummularia)
  • Nu'phar: ultimately from the Persian word nufar which is a geographic location and a name for a water lily. (ref. genus Nuphar)
  • nu'tans: nodding or drooping, usually the flowers. (ref. Astragalus nutans, Carduus nutans, Chamaesyce nutans, Madia nutans)
  • nutkaen'sis: see following entry. (ref. Calamagrostis nutkaensis, Puccinellia nutkaensis)
  • nutka'na: of Nootka Sound, British Columbia. (ref. Rosa nutkana)
  • Nut'tallanthus: see following entry. (ref. genus Nuttallanthus)
  • nut'tallii/nut'talliana/nut'tallianum/nut'tallianus: named for the Englishman Thomas Nuttall (1786-1859), a botanist,
      ornithologist, zoologist, curator of the Harvard Botanic Gardens, and author in 1816 of The Genera of North American Plants. In 1834 he ventured overland to Oregon with his friend Nathaniel Wyeth (see Wyethia), sailed twice to Hawaii, then visited California where he was recognized by a Harvard student who had taken up a sea-faring life, Richard Henry Dana, and who described Nuttall in Two Years Before the Mast. Although not well known in his native country, he was highly praised by the famed American botanist Asa Gray. He was born in Settle in the
    Yorkshire Dales region of England, grew up in Blackburn, Lancashire, and spent some years as an apprentice printer for his uncle in Liverpool before going to London and then leaving for the United States at the age of 22, settling in Philadelphia where he met and first began to study botany with Professor Benjamin Smith Barton. He appears to have had little in the way of formal education but was clearly a man of intellect. He made trips through Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas and the Great Lakes region collecting plants and identifying species. In 1811, being concerned about the threat of war between his native country and the United States, he went back to England to organize and curate the many specimens he had collected, returning to the U.S. in 1814. From 1818 to 1820 he travelled along the Arkansas and Red Rivers, finally returning to Philadelphia and publishing his Journal of Travels into the Arkansas Territory during the year 1819. His Genera of North American Plants appeared in 1818 and was based on the collections he made on these trips. He became a lecturer in natural history at Harvard University in 1822 and it was then that he became interested in ornithology. He was elected an Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1823 and became curator of the botanical gardens at Harvard University in 1825. The first volume of his Manual of the Ornithology of the United States and of Canada appeared in 1832. Wikipedia says: “In 1834 he resigned his post and set off west again on an expedition led by Nathaniel Jarvis Wyeth, this time accompanied by the naturalist John Kirk Townsend. They travelled through Kansas, Wyoming and Utah, and then down the Snake River to the Columbia. Nuttall then sailed across the Pacific Ocean to the Hawaiian Islands in December. He returned in the spring of 1835 and spent the next year botanizing in the Pacific Northwest, an area already covered by David Douglas. On the Pacific coast, Nuttall heard of the ship Alert leaving San Diego in May 1836 and bound for Boston. It is here that he miraculously encounters Richard Henry Dana Jr., a former student of his at Harvard who had set sail from Boston on a two-year voyage to the California coast at about the same time that Nuttall had begun his expedition. Dana writes in his Two Years Before the Mast of his amazement at seeing his old professor 'strolling about San Diego beach, in a sailor's pea jacket, with a wide straw hat, and barefooted, with his trousers rolled up to his knees, picking up stones and shells.' Nuttall was taken on the Alert as a passenger along with many of his flora and fauna specimens which he brought back to Boston to be cataloged and preserved for posterity. Dana writes that he had some occasions to speak with Nuttall about his botanizing while Dana was at the helm of the ship 'on a calm night' and was amused to hear his fellow shipmates refer to Nuttall as 'Old Curious' for all the curiosities he conveyed on board.” He worked at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia from 1836 to 1841, making contributions to Asa Gray and John Torrey’s Flora of North America. He left America in 1841 and made only one more visit to the United States in 1847 and 1848. He lived in Lancashire until his death. (ref. Calochortus nuttallii, Cornus nuttallii, Elodea nuttallii, Galium nuttallii ssp. insulare, Galium nuttallii ssp. nuttallii, Helianthus nuttallii, Linanthus nuttallii, Minuartia nuttallii var. gracilis, Tiquilia [formerly Coldenia] nuttallii, Monolepis nuttalliana, Puccinellia nuttaliana, Antirrhinum nuttallianum, Astragalus nuttalianus, Lotus nuutallianus)
  • Nyctagina'ceae: from the Greek nyx or nyktos, "night," and New Latin -ago, a suffix that implies resemblance to the word that precedes it, this family name is based on the generic epithet Nyctago.
  • nyctagin'ea: night-blooming. (ref. Mirabilis nyctaginea)
  • nyctaginifo'lia: with leaves like those of the four-o'clock family, Nyctaginaceae. (ref. Asclepias nyctaginifolia)
  • Nymphae'a: from the Greek nymphaia, referring to a water nymph. (ref. genus Nymphaea)
  • Nympho'ides: like genus Nymphaea. (ref. genus Nymphoides)


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