L-R: Clarkia unguiculata (Elegant clarkia), Grindelia camporum var. camporum (Gumplant), Dicentra ochroleuca (Bleeding hearts), Collinsia heterophylla (Chinese houses), Calochortus catalinae (Catalina mariposa lily)

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.
  • oakes'ii: named for botanist William Oakes (1799-1848). He was born in Danvers, Massachusetts, and entered Harvard University in 1816, graduating with a B.A. degree in 1820. He studied law for three years with Leverett Saltonstall (1783-1845), of Salem, Mass. While a student he took an interest in botany and eventually devoted all his time to it. The White Mountains was the area he was most interested in. In 1824 he moved to Ipswich and began practicing law, but continued that for only a short time, being drawn instead to natural history. In 1842 he was asked to write a brief description of the flora of the White Mountains for a geological survey report on New Hampshire, and he expended much energy on this project for the rest of his life. He corresponded with George Engelmann, Asa Gray and John Torrey. The commonly given story is that he drowned after falling off a ferryboat between Boston and East Boston, but at least one source indicated with no details that his death was more sinister. Much of his rich herbarium was sent to William Sullivant and Edward Tuckerman for study, the latter of whom named the genus Oakesia in his honor. (Photo credit: University of Wisconsin)
  • ob-: prefix indicating characteristic of being inversed or reversed.
  • obclava'tus: club-shaped but attached by the thicker end.
  • obcon'ica: shaped like an inverted cone.
  • obcorda'tum: inversely cordate, with the point of attachment at the narrower end.
  • obispoen'sis: of or from San Luis Obispo Co.
  • oblanceola'tum/oblanceola'tus: having an oblanceolate shape.
  • oblit'erum/oblit'erus: erased from memory, forgotten, suppressed. David Hollombe sent me this note: "Obliterus (originally Desmazeria oblitera) doesn't seem to be a correct classical Latin form, but oblittera means forgotten or 'caused to be forgotten'. [William Botting] Hemsley didn't give a derivation but he described it from the Island of St. Helena, where only a single plant of the species had been found. Like many islands, St. Helena had been stocked with goats, with predictable results for the native plant life. Hemsley noted 'It is possible that the St. Helena plant may be a stray introduction from the Cape of a species which is rare and local there. At the same time it was collected in a remote part of the island, where one would little expect to find a solitary introduced plant.' As it turned out, it was a stray from South Africa."
  • oblon'ga/oblon'gum: oblong.
  • oblongifo'lia/oblongifo'lius: with oblong leaves.
  • oblonga'ta: same as oblonga above.
  • obnup'ta: from the Latin obnuptus, meaning 'veiled' or 'covered' and the application to the plant is possibly to the partial sheathing of the leaf blade.
  • obova'ta/obova'tum: inverted ovate, that is, egg-shaped with the broader end uppermost.
  • obscu'ra/obscu'rus: dark, dusky, indistinct, uncertain.
  • observator'ium: named for the type locality of Mt. Hamilton, site of U.C.'s Lick Observatory.
  • obtu'sa: blunt.
  • obtusa'ta/obtusa'tum/obtusa'tus: blunted.
  • obtusiflor'a/obtusiflor'um: blunt-flowered.
  • obtusifo'lia/obtusifo'lium/obtusifo'lius: obtuse- or blunt-leaved.
  • obtusilo'ba/obtusilo'bus: bluntly or obtusely lobed.
  • obtusiplica'tum: possibly derived from the root words for "obtuse or blunt" and "pleated," of unclear application.
  • ocella'ta/ocella'tum: with an eye, having a spot enclosed within another spot of a different color.
  • occidenta'le/occidenta'lis: from the west, western.
  • ochrocen'trum: with an ochre-colored center.
  • ochroceph'alum: with an ochre-colored head.
  • ochroleu'ca: yellowish-white, the color of the flowers.
  • ochropet'alus: with pale yellowish petals.
  • octoflor'a: eight-flowered.
  • ocula'tum: with an eye, or provided with a circular patch of color.
  • ocymo'ides: resembling basil, genus Ocimum, whose name comes from the ancient Greek name okimon used by Theophrastus and Dioscorides for the aromatic herb.
  • -odes: like, resembling, e.g. sarcodes, "flesh-like;" physodes, "bladder-like;" tephrodes, "ash-like."
  • odontol'epis: tooth-scaled.
  • odontolo'ma: from the Greek odontos, "tooth," and loma, "hem or fringe," hence tooth-margined, for the leaves.
  • Odontosto'mum: from the Greek odontos, "tooth," and stoma, "mouth," referring to the shape of the staminodes. The genus Odontostomum was published by John Torrey in 1857.
  • odora'ta/odora'tum/odora'tus: fragrant, sweet-smelling.
  • Oe'dera/oe'deri/oederia'nus: named for Georg Christian Edler von Oldenburg Öder (Oeder) (1728-1791), German-Danish physician, economist, social reformer, professor of botany in Copenhagen, and in 1753 the founding author of Flora Danica, a massive work initially designed to cover all plant species in the crown lands of the Danish King, including Norway with its North Atlantic dependencies Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, which was only completed 153 years later. He studied medicine at the University of Göttingen under Albrecht von Haller who in 1751, after he had been practicing medicine in the town of Schleswig, persuaded King Frederick V to appoint him as Professor botanices regius (Royal Professor). He soon established a botanical garden and began work on the Flora Danica. Öder served on many commissions and was involved in agrarian and social reforms. Because of the crisis in state finances and the strengthening of anti-enlightenment and anti-German conservative circles around 1771, Öder lost his professorship, and this was the period when Christian VII's mental illness became a state crisis, and the country was basically taken over for a couple of years by his royal physician Johann Friedrich Struensee who had an affair with the queen and in 1772 was arrested and executed. Two years before Öder's death he was ennobled by Holy Roman Emperor Emperor Joseph II. The genus Oedera was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1771.
  • Oemler'ia: after Augustus Gottlieb Oemler (1773-1852), a German naturalist at Savannah, Georgia, who corresponded with Gotthilf Muhlenberg and collected in Sweden in 1837. The Dictionary of American Biography, Vol. 7, gives the following: "Augustus Gottlieb Oemler was born in Hettstedt, Germany, son of a Lutheran pastor, a direct descendant of Nicholas Oemler, who married Martin Luther's sister, and to whom Luther dedicated his translation of the Bible. Augustus came to America when he was about eighteen and settled in Savannah, Georgia. He was a pharmacist, botanist, and entomologist." His great great granddaughter Elizabeth informed me that he was nominated to the National Academy of Sciences in Philadelphia and his scientific work was well known in his time (Pers. comm.). Apparently, he was the first to collect the species Oemleria cerasiformis, and that's why it bears his name. The library at Haverford College in Pennsylvania houses a collection of his correspondence. The genus Oemleria was published by Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig Reichenbach in 1841.
  • Oenan'the: from the Greek oinos, "wine," for a plant smelling of wine, and the ancient Greek name for some thorny plant. The genus Oenanthe was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • Oenother'a: one source says that this name derives from the Greek oinos, ‘wine,’ and thera, ‘to imbibe,’ because an allied European plant was thought to induce a taste for wine. However, Stearn's Dictionary of Plant Names gives an alternate meaning for thera as 'booty,' but also suggests that Oenothera could be a corruption of the Greek onotheras from onos, ‘ass,’ and thera, ‘hunting, chase, pursuit’ or ther, ‘wild beast.’ The root ther also can have the meaning of 'summer.' It has been stated as well that the name Oenothera comes from the Greek oinotheras or onotheras for a plant whose roots smell of wine. In Latin, oenothera apparently means ‘a plant whose juices may cause sleep,’ and this may be derived from the idea that drinking wine may cause people to be sleepy. What any of this might have to do with the actual plant is unexplained. The name was published by Carolus Linnaeus in his Species Plantarum in 1753. The genus Oenothera was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • oerstedia'na/oerstedia'num: named for Anders Sandøe Ørsted (1816-1872), Danish botanist, mycologist, zoologist
      and marine biologist. He was born in Rudkøbing, Langeland, Denmark. JSTOR says: He “worked as a teacher in Copenhagen from 1839-1844 before making a trip to the West Indies and Central America in 1845-1848. Staying six weeks in Jamaica he collected plants alongside the Scots Gilbert McNab and James Macfadyen and ascended the Blue Mountain Peak. He also collected extensively in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, building up such an expertise in the region that F.W. Pennel in 1946 called him 'the most important botanist of Central America.' Returning to Europe
    Oersted took up work as a lecturer in botany at the University of Copenhagen, which granted him a PhD in 1854. He was later appointed professor [a post he held until 1862]. He published many papers on his botanical findings in Central America and the West Indies, being especially interested in the Acanthaceae and Fagaceae families. His major work L'Amérique Centrale was published in 1863. He also wrote articles on Danish and arctic nematodes, marine algae and plant-parasitic fungi.” He died in Copenhagen.
  • oet'tingeri: after Frederick Oettinger (1946?- ), author of The Vascular Plants of the High Lake Basins in the Vicinity of English Peak, Siskiyou County, California and possibly also with Robert A. Bye of The Vascular Flora of Onondaga County, New York.
  • officina'le/officina'lis: sold as an herb, often applied to plants with real or supposed medicinal qualities.
  • -oides: from the Greek oeides, "like something else," (e.g. betuloides, "like Betula, the birch"; staticoides, "like the statice"; ambrosioides, "like ambrosia"; ericoides, "like Erica"; gilioides, "like Gilia"; epilobioides, "like Epilobium," etc.).
  • -oideus: same as -oides.
  • ojaien'sis: of or from the region of Ojai, California.
  • olanchen'se: named after Olancha Peak in Tulare County.
  • O'lea: a Latin name for the important fruit tree, the olive, known from antiquity as a symbol of peace and good will. The genus Olea was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • olean'der: derived from the Italian oleandro in apparent reference to the olive-like leaves.
  • -olentum/olentus: a suffix used to indicate an abundance of, same as -ulentum/-ulentus (e.g. vinolentus, "full of wine").
  • olera'cea/olera'ceus: oleraceous, resembling garden herbs or vegetables used in cooking.
  • oligan'tha/oligan'thus: producing few flowers, something that is certainly not true for this species.
  • oligocar'pus: having few fruits.
  • olig'odon: few-toothed.
  • Oligo'meris: from the Greek oligos, "few," and meris, "part or parts." The genus Oligomeris was published by Jacques Cambessèdes in 1844.
  • oligophyl'la/oligophyl'lus: having few leaves.
  • oligosan'thes: few-flowered.
  • oligosper'ma/oligosper'mum: having few seeds.
  • oliva'ceous/oliva'ceum: greenish-brown, olive-colored.
  • ol'ive-brown'iae: named for Oliver Norton Brown Smith (Mrs. Arthur I. Brown, Mrs. Charles Piper Smith) (1886-1961).
  • ol'iveri: named for Joseph Campbell Oliver (1836-1925).
  • oliv'iae: named for Olive Lucy Eddy Orcutt (Mrs. Charles R. Orcutt) (1857-1962). She was born in New York City and had four children with her husband Charles R. Orcutt whom she married in 1892. She was a young doctor from Michigan. and for their honeymoon, they rode horseback from Pasadena to San Jacinto and then to San Diego, collecting plants all along the way.
  • Ol'neya/ol'neyi: after Stephen Thayer Olney (1812-1878), a Rhode Island botanist and woolen manufacturer. "Stephen T. Olney was born on Feb. 15, 1812, in Burrillville, R.I., and received his education in Providence.  He started work in the counting house of Isaac B. Cooke & Co., which was probably located in Augusta, Georgia.  Later he returned to the Providence area and started the Wauskuck Co., a woolens firms, with Jesse Metcalf.  The business made Olney a wealthy man, and he devoted some of his wealth to the pursuit of his botanical interests.  He published a catalogue of Rhode Island plants in connection with the Providence Franklin Society in 1845, with further additions in 1846-1847.  He made collections of algae from 1846 to 1848 that served as the basis for a list of Rhode Island algae published in 1871. He became especially interested in the study of Carex and developed into an expert in the area.  His publications on Carex include the Carex section of Sereno Watson's Botany (1871) in the Report of the Geological Exploration of the 40th Parallel led by Clarence King. He built up a private herbarium and botanical library and carried on a broad botanical correspon-
    dence.  In his later years, Olney went into a decline.  W.W. Bailey wrote that he 'was an invalid and incapacitated for business during the last years of his life,' and Asa Gray wrote that the end of his life was 'obscured and afflicted by mental trouble.'  Olney died a bachelor on July 27, 1878.  He left his herbarium, library and correspondence to Brown University and also gave substantial sums of money toward botanical studies at Brown."  (Quoted from Library of the Gray Herbarium website). The genus Olneya was published by Asa Gray in 1854.  
  • olneyae: named for Mary Packham Olney (Mrs. Cyrus Olney) (1824-1903), American malacologist who was the president of the conchological section of the Rochester Society of Natural Sciences. She was born an Olney in Rhode Island and married her father's cousin who was also an Olney. She was a member of the American Association of Conchologists. She died in Spokane, Washington.
  • Olsyn'ium: a name applied by C.S. Rafinesque who "explained Olsynium as "hardly united" referring to the stamens. He didn't explain what Greek root he used to indicate 'hardly,'" (from David Hollombe). The Dictionary of Word Roots gives the meaning of the Greek prefix ol- as "whole or entire." The Greek prefix syn- means "together," and the prefix -ium usually means something like "characteristic of." The genus Olsynium was published by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque in 1836.
  • olym'picum: of Ulu Dagh AKA Mount Olympus in northwestern Turkey.
  • Oncosi'phon: from the Greek onkos, "bulb, mass," and siphon, "tube," alluding to the tube of the corolla. The genus Oncosiphon was published by Mari Källersjö in 1988.
  • oneill'ii: named for Hugh Thomas O,Neill (1894-1969), distinguished plant taxonomist and plant collector in the Bahamas, Central America, Mexico and Canada. He was Director of the LCU Herbarium at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He collected 8000 herbarium specimens from Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragus, and subsequently published a paper on the Cyperaceae of the Yucatan Peninsula. He also directed the dissertation of Brother B. Ayres in 1946 of Cyperus in Mexico. He had several plants named after him.
  • Onobry'chis: from the Greek onos, "an ass," and bryche, "gnashing, bellowing" from brycho, "to eat greedily." The genus Onobrychis was published by Philip Miller in 1754.
  • Onon'is: the classical Greek name used by Pliny for the rest-harrow, one of several Old World plants having woody stems, axillary pink or purplish flowers, and trifoliate leaves with dentate leaflets. The genus Ononis was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • Onopor'dum: a name for Scotch or cotton thistle taken from the Greek name onopordon from onos, "an ass," and porde, "fart," according to Stearn's Dictionary of Plant Names a supposed reference to its effect on donkeys. The genus Onopordum was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • onus'tus: from the Latin onustus, "loaded down, burdened."
  • onycen'se: of or from Onyx Peak in eastern Kern County.
  • oocar'pus: with fruit like an egg.
  • ooph'orus: egg-bearing, for the large pods.
  • opa'cus: opaque.
  • ophiochi'lus: from the Greek ophis for "snake or serpent," and cheilos, "a margin, lip or brim." The authors of Ceanothus ophiochilus compared the edges of the leaves to the pattern of scales on a snake's lips.
  • Ophioglos'sum: from the Greek ophis, "a snake," and glossa, "a tongue," alluding to the slender fertile leaf spike. The genus Ophioglossum was published in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus.
  • ophit'idus: derived from ophite, from Latin and Greek ophites meaning serpentine (stone) or snakelike. The species which bears this name is called serpentine goldenbush.
  • ophthalmo'ides: from the Greek ophthalmos, "eye," and the -oides suffix indicating resemblance.
  • op'leri: named for Andrew Butler Opler (1958?- ), who owns a 40-acre parcel of land in Santa Cruz County where the bulk of the population of this taxon resides.
  • oppositiflor'a: with flowers opposite to each other.
  • oppositifo'lia: with leaves opposite to each other.
  • -ops/-opsis: indicates a resemblance, as for example Coreopsis, "resembling a bug," or "Echinops," resembling a hedgehog or sea-urchin.
  • Opun'tia: a Greek name used by Pliny for some plant which grew around the town of Opus in Greece. In 1601 Philemon Holland translated from Pliny's The History of the World, Commonly Called The Natural History of C. Plinius Secundus, "About the city of Opus this an herbe called Opuntia which men delight to eat; this admirable gift the leafe hath, that if it be laid on the ground it will take root and there is no other way to plant the herbe and maintain its kind." Then in 1855, the John Bostock and Henry T. Riley translation of the same passage was "In the vicinity of Opus there grows a plant which is very pleasant eating to man, and the leaf of which, a most singular thing, gives birth to a root by means of which it reproduces itself." Pliny got his information from Theophrastus, and according to David Hollombe, either he was the one who added the name Opuntia or that was added by someone else who copied the manuscript later. The genus Opuntia was published by Philip Miller in 1754.
  • orbicular'is: see orbiculata below.
  • orbicula'ta/orbicula'tus: round and flat, disk-shaped.
  • Orcut'tia: see following entry. The genus Orcuttia was published by George S. Vasey in 1886.
  • orcut'tii/orcuttia'na/orcuttia'num/orcuttia'nus: after Charles Russell Orcutt (1864-1929) of San Diego, who collected
      plants and studied the natural history of the southern Colorado Desert. He was born in Vermont, the youngest of five sons, to a father who was a farmer and horticultural enthusiast and a mother who was an accomplished poet. Three of his older brothers died before he was born. Charles did not go to school, but he was educated by his parents. By the time he was 11, he was much into collecting, and he displayed a collection of 202 varieties of beans at the annual county fair in Woodstock, Vermont. At 13 he began his botanical collecting in earnest, gathering all different
    types of wood, nuts and seeds. In 1879, his family relocated to the San Diego area, where he accompanied his father on many expeditions throughout the region. He travelled with his father and the eminent Charles Parry to Ensenada, and it was on this trip that he learned the art of proper scientific collecting. From that year until 1919 he collected in Baja California and was the first botanical collector to survey that area. In 1884, he began to write and publish The West American Scientist, a unique journal in the West, and continued to produce it until 1919. The year 1892 was marked both by the death of his father, and by his marriage to Olive Eddy, a young doctor from Michigan. For their honeymoon, they rode horseback from Pasadena to San Jacinto and then to San Diego, collecting plants all along the way. But while these early years were occupied by his researches and explorations in Baja, they were not limited to that region, and he journeyed to Texas, Arizona, the mainland of Mexico, Central America and eventually to the Caribbean. He seemed particularly interested in cacti, often finding new species and acquiring the nickname locally of "the Cactus Man." In the late 1920s he left San Diego and settled in Jamaica, where he collected, continuing to send specimens back to the Smithsonian and other museums, and was given funds to work in Haiti, where he was when he died and was buried at the age of 65. His collections included shells, seeds, living plants, natural history books, minerals, fossils and herbarium specimens. He contributed much of his material to various museums such as the Smithsonian Institution, the Philadelphia Academy of Science, the American Museum of Natural History, and the San Diego Natural History Museum. He had desperately wished to make a major contribution to science, hoping at first to have a museum of his own, and when that was not to be, he felt that everything he collected should be displayed in the San Diego Museum, but the officials there did not want everything he sent them, which was a source of embitterment to him. Because he had donated so much to many different institutions, his collections were scattered around, and so his body of work does not reside in one location as he had wanted. Nevertheless, he did make a tremendously significant contribution to botany and natural history, and was rewarded by having his name assigned to one genus and fifteen species of plants.
  • ord'ii: after physician and surgeon James Lycurgus Ord (1823-1898), attended Georgetown College 1835-1837. After spending time in Michigan and Philadelphia, where he graduated from the Medical College of the University of Pennsylvania, he was a civilian contract surgeon for the U.S. Army and was stationed in the Arizona Territory during the 1880s. He spent the entire year of 1884 at Fort Mohave close to the California border and later settled in California. He was supposedly the grandson of King George IV of England and his wife Mary Anne Fitzherbert. Ford Ord in California is named for one of his brothers, Major-General Edward Otho Cresap Ord, a Union officer during the Civil War, and apparently the creator of the first map of Los Angeles in 1849. A second brother, Placidus, became for a short time a member of the Michigan legislature, and a third, Robert Brent Ord, was a judge and landowner in Santa Barbara, and is credited with having brought the first avocado trees into California, thereby beginning the commercial avocado industry. He also had three other brothers and a sister. Thanks to Nina Robbins for sending me the following citation referring to Eriogonum ordii in the Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, vol. xxi, 1886: "On sand-dunes near Fort Mohave in western Arizona; collected by J. G. Lemmon in April, 1884, and at his suggestion named for Dr. J. L. Ord, U. S. A., surgeon at the post, through whose aid Mr. Lemmon's collections were made in that region." It was named by Sereno Watson (1826-1892) who was a contemporary of Ord's and Lemmon's.
  • orega'na/orega'num: of or from the state of Oregon, or the old Hudson's Bay territory of Oregon, which included the present-day states of Oregon and Washington.
  • oregonen'se/oregonen'sis: see oregana above.
  • oregon'is: see oregana above.
  • Oreocar'ya: from the Greek oros or oreos, "mountain," and karyon, "a nut," in reference to the montane, often high elevation habitats of members of this genus. This is a former genus name has been resurrected.
  • oreochar'is: presumably from Greek oros or oreos, "mountain," and charis, "delight, grace, beauty."
  • Oreona'na: from the Greek oreos, "mountain," and nannos, "dwarf," which could allude to a dwarfism of species due to its mountain habitat. The genus Oreonana was published by Willis Linn Jepson in 1923.
  • oreo'phila: mountain-loving.
  • Oreostem'ma: from the Greek oros, "mountain," and stemma, "a crown or garland."
  • ores'tera: from the Greek oresteros, "of the mountains, dwelling in the mountains."
  • oric'ola: one source says that this is from Greek ori, "mountain," and -cola, "loving or inhabiting, " thus "living in the mountains," but David Hollombe suggests that it might be from Latin ora, meaning "edge or coast," rather than Greek 'oreos', mountain, and this seems logical since this is a coastal species.
  • orienta'le/orienta'lis: eastern.
  • origanifo'lia: with leaves like those of marjorum or Origanum.
  • Origa'num: Umberto Quattrocchi says: "Ancient classical Greek name, origanon, oreiganon, origanos, oreiganos, possibly from the Greek oros, "mountain," and ganos, "beauty, brightness, ornament, delight," Latin origanum, origanon and origanus for the plant wild-marjorum." The genus Origanum was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • -orius: a Latin adjectival suffix indicating capapility, action or function (e.g. tinctorius, "used in dying," from tingere, "to soak in color").
  • ornatis'sima: very showy.
  • orna'ta/orna'tus: ornate.
  • orn'duffii: named for American botanist Robert Ornduff (1932-2000). He was Director of the University and Jepson
      Herbaria, Director of the University of California Botanical Garden, Executive Director of the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science, and Chair of the (former) Department of Botany and Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California at Berkeley. The Jepson Herbarium website says: “He was born in Portland, Oregon, and attended Reed College, where he received a B.A. in Biology in 1953. He went to New Zealand on a Fulbright Scholarship in 1954. In 1955 he received an M.S. from the University of Washington, submitting a thesis on the biosystematics of
    the Australasian Senecio lautus complex. In 1961 he received his Ph.D. in Botany at the University of California, Berkeley, having worked on the biosystematics of the composite genus Lasthenia with Herbert L. Mason as his major professor. After teaching briefly at Reed College and Duke University, he returned to Berkeley in 1963 to fill the vacancy created by Mason's retirement. While on the faculty Ornduff served as Director of the University and Jepson herbaria, the University Botanical Garden, Executive Director of the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science, and as the last Chair of the Department of Botany before it dissolved in connection with the reorganization of biology on campus.  He was a specialist in the systematics of various plant groups in California, particularly the Asteraceae, Menyanthaceae, and Limnanthaceae. He contributed to the treatments of four families in the 1993 Jepson Manual. He also worked on the population biology of cycads, biogeography, and in biographical research on Charles Darwin historic figures in botanical exploration.” Art Kruckeberg, professor emeritus at the University of Washington, Seattle, described him as “one of the treasures of the botanical world, a green-thumb botanist who delighted in growing plants and disseminating his interest to the general public,” and botanist Phyllis M. Faber said of him following his death, "his extensive knowledge and love of the California flora remains unmatched.” "[He] was a very, very caring person and a great teacher who deeply loved and appreciated plants," said Peter Raven, his friend for the past 45 years and director of the Missouri Botanical Garden, an organization dedicated to the study and conservation of the floras of the New World. "This came through in one of his biggest contributions, which was turning the UC Botanical Garden into a world-class garden and a leading place for studying and displaying the unique variety of California plants." In recommending [him] for an Award of Merit by the Botanical Society of America (given in 1993), Sherwin Carlquist, a research botanist at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, commented that, even though small in size, the UC Botanical Garden “is without a doubt, the most significant botanical garden in the United States, acre for acre.” (Photo credit: Pacific Horticultural Society)
  • Ornitho'pus: resembling a bird's foot. The genus Ornithopus was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • Ornithostaph'ylos: from the Greek for "bird cluster," for obscure reasons. The genus Ornithostaphylos was published by John Kunkel Small in 1914.
  • Oroban'che: from the Greek orobos, a kind of vetch, and anchone, "choke or strangle" because of a parasitic habit, this was the Greek name of a plant that was parasitic on vetch. The genus Orobanche was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • Orochaenac'tis: from the Greek oros, "mountain," plus the genus Chaenactis for mountain chaenactis. The genus Orochaenactis was published by Frederick Vernon Coville in 1893.
  • oro'genes: from the Greek oros or oreos, "a mountain," the same root as in the word "orogeny" meaning the process of mountain formation, this taxon is referred to by the Jepson Manual as mountain phacelia.
  • Orogen'ia: from the Greek oros, "mountain," and genia, "born," or genea "race, family, tribe." The genus Orogenia was published by Sereno Watson in 1871.
  • oron'tium: the Dave's Garden Botanary website says that this is named for the region of the Orontes River in Syria, from which came a Greek name orontion which was applied to some aquatic plant.
  • orta'gae: named after Jesús Gonzáles Ortega (1876-1936), Mexican botanist, agronomist, engineer, teacher and explorer. He arrived in Mazatlán in 1905 and worked first for the Dirección de Estudios Biológicos and was independently employed. He was a prolific plant collector and amassed some 7000 specimens from Mazatlán and the Sinaloa region. His numerous publications on the local vegetation covered a range of topics, particularly the Cactaceae and trees of Mexico and the flora of Sinaloa, including a catalogue of common names for this state in 1929 and a contribution to the flora of the Islas Marías (Nayarit). The private collection which he maintained was held at the Preparatory School of Mazatlán after his death, but it has since fallen into obscurity.
  • Orthi'lia: Greek for "straight spiral," referring to a one-sided floral arrangement. The genus Orthilia was published by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque in 1840.
  • ortho-: in compound words signifying "upright or straight."
  • Orthoca'rpus: from the Greek orthos, "straight," and karpos, "fruit," hence "straight fruit." The genus Orthocarpus was published in 1818 by Thomas Nuttall.
  • ortho'ceras/orthocer'as: from the Greek for "straight, upright" and "horn."
  • orthophyl'lus: with upright or straight leaves.
  • ortgiesia'na: named for Karl Eduard Ortgies (1829-1916), German botanist and horticulturist. He was born in
      Bremen, the son of a horticulturist who no doubt passed along his passeion to Karl. In 1844 he was apprenticed at Handelsgärtnerei H. Böckmann in Hamburg. After three years he was trained by nurserymen in Berlin, Potsdam, Magdeburg, Leipzig, Dresden, Erfurt and Hanover. French Wikipedia says: "In 1848 he joined Andrew Henderson & Co in London, a nursery specializing in conifers. In May, 1849 Otgier joined the Duke of Devonshire, a horticultural enthusiast who owned the imposing estate of Chatsworth House with its beautiful park, and who was an orchid-
    loving collector with a huge greenhouse of exotic plants. It was John Paxton who had designed the park and estate, who recommended Otgier to the Duke, so that he would take special care of the specimens of the giant water lily, Victoria Regia, in the greenhouse, which was extremely rare in Europe at the time, and of which only the Royal Gardens at Kew had seeds. In 1849 he was successful in the first blooming of this species in Europe. Ortgies crossed Nymphaea dentata with Nymphaea rubra to obtain the first water lily hybrid, which was illustrated in Flore des serre, vol. 8 (1852-1853) under the name Nymphaea ortgiesiano-rubra (now Nymphaea × ortgiesania). Later, he managed to bloom the Australian species Nymphaea gigantea and to make it produce seeds." Ortgies was deputy director of the botanical journal Gartenflora founded by Eduard von Regel in 1852, and director of the Botanical Garden of Zurich. He was a friend of the botanist Benedikt Roezl. In 1894 he celebrated his 50th anniversary as a gardener and finished his work at the botanical garden in Zurich. 
  • -orum: suffix given to a personal name to convert it to a substantival commemorative epithet when the epithet refers to two or more men or two or more people of mixed genders, thus Ceanothus hearstiorum, commemorating the Hearst family.
  • Oryc'tes: from the Greek oryktes, "digger, implement for digger." The genus Oryctes was published by Sereno Watson in 1871.
  • Ory'za: deriving from ancient words in Latin and Greek for "rice." The genus Oryza was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • oryzico'la: growing in places where rice grows.
  • oryzo'ides: like genus Oryza, rice.
  • -osa/-osum/-osus: a Latin adjectival suffix indicating an abundance or a marked or full development, e.g. venosus, "full of or marked by an abundance of veins," from vena, "vein"; argillosum, "full of potter's clay" from argilos; also spinosa, ramosa, villosa, dumosa, fruticosa, gloriosa, tomentosa, tuberosa, glandulosa, saxosa, glutinosa and others.
  • Osmaden'ia: from the Greek for "odor gland." The genus Osmadenia was published by Thomas Nuttall in 1841.
  • Osmorhi'za: from the Greek osme, "odor," and rhiza, "root," meaning "odorous root," in reference to the fragrance of the crushed root. The genus Osmorhiza was published by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque in 1819.
  • osoen'sis: of or from the Los Osos Valley, San Luis Obispo Co.
  • osteosper'ma/Osteosper'mum: from the Greek osteon, "bone," and sperma, which in Greek compound words means "-seeded", thus meaning "hard-seeded."
  • osterhout'ii: named for George Everett Osterhout (1858-1937), American businessman and botanist. He was born
      in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, and later went to Easton, Pennsylvania where he graduated from Lafayette College with a B.A. degree. He had come under the influence of Thomas Conrad Porter, one of his professors, who had been ordained and encouraged Osterhout to study religion. Although he remained a devout Baptist during his lifetime, he chose to study the law after graduating and was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar. There is no evidence that he ever practiced law. In 1885 he moved to Windsor, Colorado. One source, Aven Nelson, says it was for health
    reasons, while another, Roger Lawrence Williams, avers that it was to pursue a strong desire to study Rocky Mountain plants, inspired by Porter, himself a graduate of Lafayette. Porter had done much fieldwork in connection with the Hayden Survey of 1868-1874, and with John Merle Coulter, who published Manual of the Rocky Mountain Region in 1885, the same year that Osterhout moved to Colorado. He set up a lumber business there and remained for the rest of his life. It was probably around 1893 when he began collecting plants from the Rocky Mountain region and began consulting with professional botanists, especially Aven Nelson of the University of Wyoming, and Per Axel Rydberg. He was married in 1894 at the age of 36. He developed a personal herbarium of over 20,000 specimens, of which 8,330 were from his own collecting. He was also the author of some 44 publications, and was known and eologized for his refinement, droll humor, integrity, sincerity, modesty and gentleness. No other amateur collector contributed more to the knowledge of Rocky Mountain flora. After his death, all of his specimen sheets were left to the Rocky Mountain Herbarium at the University of Wyoming. Regrettably neither his collection books nor his correspondence were preserved.
  • -osum/-osus: see -osa.
  • otayen'sis: perhaps meaning of the Otay Mountains.
  • o'tisii: named after Ira Clinton Otis (1861-1938), American botanist and botanical collector for the state of Washington. He was born in Pierce, Wisconsin, and died in Seattle, Washington. He was married in 1885 to Lydia Belle Warren in Pierce, Wisconsin, and was remarried in 1890 to Minnie Jean Soule in Seattle.
  • otol'epis: "scaly ear."
  • Ottel'ia: from the Malabar, India, name Ottel-ambel used for an aquatic species Ottelia alismoides. The genus Ottelia was published by Christiaan Hendrik Persoon in 1805.
  • Ott'leya/ott'leyi: after Alice Maria Ottley (1882-1971), California botanist, author of A Revision of the California Species of Lotus (1923). The genus Ottleya was published by Dmitry Dmitrievich Sokoloff in 1999.
  • -otus/otum: a Greek adjectival suffix used to indicate resemblance or possession.
  • Ouris'ia: there is much uncertainty and misinformation regarding the etymology of this generic name. Many websites give the information that the plant was named for a man named Oury or Ouris who was supposed to be the Governor of the Falkland Islands. The background of this taxon is that it was collected by the French naturalist Philibert Commerson who  accompanied Louis Antoine de Bougainville on his voyage of circumnavigation in 1766–1769. According to Commerson’s label the specimen of Ourisia miltopsis was collected during a landfall in the Strait of Magellan in October, 1767, and named after Oury or Ouris, a retired official of the Malouines (Falkland Islands) with an interest in natural history. This information was repeated by Alexandre Etienne Guillaume de Théis in Glossary of Botany, or, Etymological Dictionary of all names and terms relating to this science (Paris, 1810). One problem with this is that there was no governor of the Falklands named Oury or Ouris (the Governor at the time being Felipe Ruiz Puente y Garcia de la Yedra), and another is the fact that the plant was not collected on the Falkland Islands. George Don in A General History of the Dichlamydeous Plants, Volume 4 (1838), says that an Ouris was once Governor of the Moluccas in the east Indonesian archipelago, and that Commerson had given the plant to him and used his name. I have no information that there was ever such a governor. Later in the voyage Bougainville did travel to the East Indies and Commerson subsequently left the expedition to botanize on the Ile de France (Mauritius) and Madagascar. It doesn’t make sense to me why he would have named a plant collected in the Strait of Magellan for someone in the East Indies, or why his label would indicate the name of a person he would not meet until much later in the voyage. However, there are other much better candidates for the derivation. A biographical sketch by Val Smith about Commerson (and Ouris) in the Newsletter of the New Zealand Botanical Society, Number 117, September 2014, discusses where this name could have come from. He says: “René-André Oury was clerk/secretary of the company set up by Bougainville to finance and organise the French settlement [in the Falklands], and when the colony was handed over to the Spanish he left the Falklands for South America. He joined Bougainville’s expedition, but stayed behind with Commerson and others at Mauritius on the final leg of the journey. Jean-Francois Oury (1745-1807), an aid-pilot and engineer on Bougainville’s voyage, had also worked for the colony in the Malouines and stayed on to assist the authorities at Mauritius. Ourisia may have been named after either, neither or both of them.” Both men were from Genêts in Normandy and may well have been related. René-André Oury was born in 1738 and died in 1812, but I have no further information about him. Both men died at Mauritius. The genus Ourisia was published in 1789 by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu based on the original description by Philibert Commerson. There was also a genus named Ourisianthus.
  • ovalifo'lium: having oval-shaped leaves.
  • ova'lis: oval, broadly elliptic.
  • ova'ta/ova'tum/ova'tus: indicates that the leaves or some other feature of the plant are ovate-shaped.
  • ovatifo'lia: with ovate leaves.
  • o'veri: named for American botanist and professor William Henry Over (1866-1956), botanical collector in Minnesota and South Dakota, born in Illinois. In 1913, William Henry Over (1866-1956) established the University of South Dakota Herbarium to provide faculty, students, and scientists with plant specimens from all counties in South Dakota and adjoining regions in the Plains and Upper Midwest. The collection's focus is the Asteraceae family of specimens collected by Over throughout South Dakota between 1913 and 1949. It is but a small sample of the specimens that Over collected during his career. He was assistant curator and then director of the University of South Dakota Museum. His interests were wide and spread over archeology, zoology, botany and ornithology, and he was the author of Wildflowers of South Dakota and a co-author of Mammals of South Dakota and Birds of South Dakota. He was also interested in the Arikara peoples of North Dakota and the other native peoples of South Dakota. He died in Clay County, South Dakota.
  • ow'anii/: after Peter MacOwan (1830-1909), South African botanist, rector and head of natural sciences at Gill
      College, Somerset East, South Africa, and father-in-law of Selmar Schonland (founder of the botany department at Rhodes University). He was born in Hull, England, the son of Peter MacOwan, a Wesleyan minister from Scotland. He taught at schools in Bath, Colchester and Leeds, and became first interested in botany, starting a collection of flowers and mosses. In 1857 he graduated with a degree in chemistry from the University of London and became professor of  chemistry at Huddersfield College in West Yorkshire. A severe lung condition caused him to
    move with his new wife to South Africa where he accepted the post of principal at Shaw College in Grahamstown. His health improved and he resumed studying botany, being associated with such people as W.G. Atherstone, Henry Hutton and Mrs. F.W. Barber, and carrying on a correspondence and an exchange of specimens with none other than Asa Gray at Harvard, Sir William Hooker in England, and William Henry Harvey who was working on his Flora Capensis. He was responsible for the formation of the South African Botanical Exchange Society which endeavored to send duplicate specimens of plantss abroad in excahnge for specimens from elsewhere. He was appointed head of natural sciences at Gill College in Somerset East, and then Director of the Cape Town Botanical Garden and Curator of the Cape Government Herbarium. In 1887 he was appointed consultant in economic botany to the Cape government and this began the formal science in South Africa of plant pathology. He was the co-author with Charles Eustace Pillans in 1896 of Manual of practical orchardwork at the Cape. He died in Uitenhage in 1909.
  • Oxa'lis: from the Greek oxys for "sharp, sour," referring to the pleasantly sour taste of the leaves and stem. The genus Oxalis was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • oxyaden'ia: from the Greek oxys, "sharp," and aden, "a gland." Apparently, the term 'gland' is derived from the Latin for nut, and it is in that context that Torrey used it in his description when the basionym (Quercus oxydenia Torr.) was first published in 1853. He included the following: "Glands about an inch and a half long, tapering to a long sharp point," and he was clearly referring to the acorn.
  • oxycar'pum: from the Greek oxys, "sharp," and karpos, "fruit."
  • oxygo'na/oxygo'nus: with sharp angles.
  • oxy'meris: with sharp parts.
  • oxyno'tus: pointed on the back.
  • oxyph'ilus/oxyphi'lus: loving acid soil.
  • oxyph'ylla/oxyph'yllus: with sharp-pointed leaves.
  • oxyph'ysus: with pointed bladders, for the fruit.
  • Oxy'polis: another good example of the difficulty of finding out what some of these names mean: Munz says: from the Greek oxys, "sharp," and polis, "city," of uncertain application; while Jepson simply gives the definition as "sharp white." Quattrocchi on the other hand says the name is from "sharp" and polos for "axis or pole," referring to the leaves. The genus Oxypolis was published by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque in 1825.
  • Oxyr'ia: from the Greek oxys, "sharp or sour," referring to the sharp or bitter taste of this northern herb with antiscorbutic properties. The genus Oxyria was published by John Hill in 1765.
  • Oxysty'lis: from the Greek oxys, "sharp," and stylis, "column or style." The genus Oxystylis was published by John Torrey and John Charles Frémont,in 1845.
  • Oxyten'ia: from the Greek oxytenes, "pointed" or oxys, "sharp, sour," and tainia, "fillet." The genus Oxytenia was published by Thomas Nuttall in 1848.
  • Oxythe'ca: from oxys, "sharp," and theke, "a case or box," in reference to the awned involucre. The genus Oxytheca was published by Thomas Nuttall in 1848.
  • Oxytro'pis: from oxys, "sharp," and tropis, "keel," in reference to the beaked flower petals. The genus Oxytropis was published by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle in 1802.
  • Ozomel'is: from Greek ozo, "to smell," and melissa, "honey-bee," for the odor of honey. The genus Ozomelis was published by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque in 1836.

Palm Canyon, Anza-Borrego State Park
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