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

     O

       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.

  • 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 (ref. Holocarpha obconica)
  • obcorda'tum: inversely cordate, with the point of attachment at the narrower end (ref. Epilobium obcordatum)
  • obispoen'sis: of or from San Luis Obispo Co. (ref. Arctostaphylos obispoensis, Camissonia campestris ssp. obispoensis)
  • oblanceola'tum/oblanceola'tus: having an oblanceolate shape (ref. Sedum oblanceolatum)
  • oblit'erum: same as obliteratus, erased, 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." (ref. Tribolium obliterum)
  • oblon'ga/oblon'gum: oblong (ref. Wolffiella oblonga, Monardella linoides ssp. oblonga, Lepidium oblongum)
  • oblongifo'lia/oblongifo'lius: with oblong leaves (ref. Brickellia oblongifolia, Tidestromia oblongifolia, Linanthus oblanceolatus, Lotus oblongifolius)
  • oblonga'ta: same as oblonga above (ref. Euphorbia oblongata)
  • obnup'ta: named for the type locality of Mt. Hamilton, site of U.C's Lick Observatory (ref. Carex obnupta)
  • obova'ta/obova'tum: inverted ovate, that is, egg-shaped with the broader end uppermost (ref. Acanthomintha obovata ssp. cordata)
  • obscu'ra/obscu'rus: dark, dusky, indistinct, uncertain (ref. Mentzelia obscura, Astragalus obscurus)
  • observator'ium: ??? (ref. Lomatium observatorium)
  • obtu'sa: blunt (ref. Descurainia obtusa, Rorippa obtusa)
  • obtusa'ta/obtusa'tum/obtusa'tus: blunted (ref. Sphenopholis obtusata, Sedum obtusatum, Juncus covillei var. obtusatus)
  • obtusiflor'a/obtusiflor'um: blunt-flowered (ref. Cuscuta obtusiflora, Trifolium obtusiflorum)
  • obtusifo'lia/obtusifo'lium/obtusifo'lius: obtuse- or blunt-leaved (ref. Cleomella obtusifolia, Nicotiana obtusifolia, Trifolium obtusifolium, Rumex obtusifolius)
  • obtusilo'ba/obtusilo'bus: bluntly or obtusely lobed (ref. Minuartia obtusiloba, Lupinus obtusilobus)
  • obtusiplica'tum: possibly derived from the root words for "obtuse or blunt" and "pleated," of unclear application (ref. Erodium obtusiplicatum)
  • ocella'ta/ocella'tum: with an eye, having a spot enclosed within another spot of a different color (ref. Euphorbia ocellata ssp. arenicola)
  • occidenta'le/occidenta'lis: from the west, western (ref. Arceuthobium occidentale, Cirsium occidentale, Isopyrum occidentale, Polemonium occidentale, Rhododendron occidentale, Ageratina occidentalis, Allenrolfea occidentalis, Aphanes occidentalis, Betula occidentalis, Boykinia occidentalis, Calycanthus occidentalis, Calystegia occidentalis ssp. fulcrata, Cercis occidentalis, Cornus occidentalis, Crepis occidentalis, Cuscuta occidentalis, Dichondra occidentalis, Euonymus occidentalis, Juncus bufonius var. occidentalis, Lessingia occidentalis, Matricaria occidentalis, Nicolletia occidentalis, Nitrophila occidentalis, Opuntia occidentalis, Oxypolis occidentalis, Ranunculus occidentalis, Sagina decumbens ssp. occidentalis, Solidago occidentalis, Stipa occidentalis var. occidentalis)
  • ochrocen'trum: with an ochre-colored center (ref. Cirsium ochrocentrum)
  • ochroceph'alum: with an ochre-colored head (ref. Eriogonum ochrocephalum)
  • ochroleu'ca: yellowish-white, the color of the flowers (ref. Dicentra ochroleuca, Gilia ochroleuca ssp. exilis, Gilia ochroleuca ssp. vivida)
  • ochropet'alus: with pale yellowish petals (ref. Lathyrus ochropetalus)
  • octoflor'a: eight-flowered (ref. Festuca octoflora)
  • ocula'tum: with an eye, or provided with a circular patch of color (ref. Heliotropium curassavicum var. oculatum)
  • ocymo'ides: resembling basil, genus Ocimum, whose name comes from the ancient Greek name okimon used by Theophrastus and Dioscorides for the aromatic herb (ref. Saponaria ocymoides)
  • -odes: like, resembling, e.g. sarcodes, "flesh-like;" physodes, "bladder-like;" tephrodes, "ash-like"
  • odontol'epis: tooth-scaled (ref. Brickellia arguta var. odontolepis)
  • odontolo'ma: from the Greek odontos, "tooth," and loma, "hem or fringe," hence tooth-margined, for the leaves (ref. Saxifraga odontoloma)
  • Odontosto'mum: from the Greek odontos, "tooth," and stoma, "mouth," referring to the shape of the staminodes (ref. genus Odontostomum)
  • odora'ta/odora'tum/odora'tus: fragrant, sweet-smelling (ref. Delairea odorata, Gaura odorata, Hierochloe odorata, Hymenonyx odorata, Pluchea odorata, Anthoxanthum odoratum, Lathyrus odoratus, Lupinus odoratus)
  • odoratis'sima: see odoratus above (ref. Monardella odoratissima)
  • 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 (ref. genus Oemleria)
  • Oenan'the: from the Greek oinos, "wine," for a plant smelling of wine, and the ancient Greek name for some thorny plant (ref. genus Oenanthe)
  • 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. (ref. genus Oenothera)
  • 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 (ref. Trillium ovatum ssp. oettingeri)
  • officina'le/officina'lis: sold as an herb, often applied to plants with real or supposed medicinal qualities (ref. Rorippa officinale, Sisymbrium officinale, Taraxacum officinale, Asparagus officinalis, Fumaria officinalis, Melilotus officinalis, Rosmarinus officinalis, Saponaria officinalis)
  • -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 (ref. Fritillaria ojaiensis, Navarretia ojaiensis)
  • olanchen'se: named after Olancha Peak in Tulare County (ref. Eriogonum wrightii var. olanchense)
  • O'lea: a Latin name for the important fruit tree, the olive, known from antiquity as a symbol of peace and good will (ref. genus Olea)
  • olean'der: derived from the Italian oleandro in apparent reference to the olive-like leaves (ref. Nerium oleander)
  • -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 (ref. Brassica oleracea, Portulaca oleracea, Sonchus oleraceus)
  • oligan'tha/oligan'thus: producing few flowers, something that is certainly not true for this species (ref. Aristida oligantha, Ceanothus oliganthus var. oliganthus, Ceanothus oliganthus var. sorediatus)
  • oligocar'pus: having few fruits
  • olig'odon: few-toothed
  • Oligo'meris: from the Greek oligos, "few," and meris, "part or parts" (ref. genus Oligomeris)
  • oligophyl'la/oligophyl'lus: having few leaves (ref. Perityle megalocephala var. oligophylla)
  • oligosan'thes: few-flowered (ref. Panicum oligosanthes)
  • oligosper'ma/oligosper'mum: having few seeds (ref. Cardamine oligosperma, Gayophytum oligospermum)
  • oliva'ceous/oliva'ceum: greenish-brown, olive-colored (ref. Ceanothus tomentosus var. olivaceous)
  • Ol'neya: 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)  (ref. genus Olneya)
  • 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" (ref. genus Olsynium)
  • olym'picum: of Ulu Dagh AKA Mount Olympus in northwestern Turkey (ref. Verbascum olympicum)
  • Oncosi'phon: from the Greek onkos, "bulb, mass," and siphon, "tube," alluding to the tube of the corolla (ref. genus Oncosiphon)
  • Onobry'chis: from the Greek onos, "an ass," and bryche, "gnashing, bellowing" from brycho, "to eat greedily" (ref. genus Onobrychis)
  • 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 (ref. genus Ononis)
  • 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 (ref. genus Onopordum)
  • onus'tus: from the Latin onustus, "loaded down, burdened" (ref. Lupinus onustus)
  • onycen'se: of or from Onyx Peak in eastern Kern County (ref. Galium angustifolium ssp. onycense)
  • oocar'pus: with fruit like an egg (ref. Astragalus oocarpus)
  • ooph'orus: egg-bearing, for the large pods (ref. Astragalus oophorus)
  • 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 (ref. Ceanothus ophiochilus)
  • Ophioglos'sum: from the Greek ophis, "a snake," and glossa, "a tongue," alluding to the slender fertile leaf spike (ref. genus Ophioglossum)
  • 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 (ref. Calamagrostis ophitidis, Ericameria ophitidus)
  • ophthalmo'ides: from the Greek ophthalmos, "eye," and the -oides suffix indicating resemblance (ref. Gilia ophthalmoides)
  • oppositiflor'a: with flowers opposite to each other
  • oppositifo'lia: with leaves opposite to each other (ref. Lewisia oppositifolia, Ornithostaphylos oppositifolia)
  • -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 traslated 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. (ref. genus Opuntia)
  • orbicular'is: see orbiculata below (ref. Hoita [formerly Psoralea] orbicularis)
  • orbicula'ta/orbicula'tus: round and flat, disk-shaped (ref. Cotyledon orbicuta, Malacothamnus orbiculatus, Rumex orbiculatus)
  • Orcut'tia: see following entry (ref. genus Orcuttia)
  • orcut'tii/orcuttia'na/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 1920's 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 (ref. Brodiaea orcuttii, Isoetes orcuttii, Linanthus orcuttii, Marina orcuttii, Sphaeralcea orcuttii, Xylorhiza [formerly Machaeranthera] orcuttii, Chorizanthe orcuttiana, Bromus orcuttianus, Dicranostegia orcuttiana)
  • 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 1880's. 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 (ref. Eriogonum ordii)
  • 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 (ref. Perideridia oregana, Woodsia oregana, Sedum oreganum)
  • oregonen'se/oregonen'sis: see oregana above (ref. Epilobium oregonense, Agrostis oregonensis, Aster oregonensis)
  • oregon'is: see oregana above
  • Oreocar'ya: from the Greek oros or oreos, "mountain," and karyon, "a nut or walnut," in reference to the montane, often high elevation habitats of members of this genus. This is a former genus name which may be resurrected in the future. (ref. genus Oreocarya
  • oreochar'is: presumably from Greek oros or oreos, "mountain," and charis, "delight, grace, beauty" (ref. Penstemon rydbergii var. oreocharis)
  • Oreona'na: from the Greek oreos, "mountain," and nannos, "dwarf," which could allude to a dwarfism of species due to its mountain habitat (ref. genus Oreonana)
  • oreoph'ila: mountain-loving (ref. Ericameria nauseosa var. oreophila, Mentzelia oreophila, Oxytropis oreophila)
  • Oreostem'ma: from the Greek oros, "mountain," and stemma, "a crown or garland" (ref. genus Oreostemma)
  • ores'tera: from the Greek oresteros, "of the mountains, dwelling in the mountains" (ref. Luzula orestera, Salix orestera)
  • 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 (ref. Opuntia oricola
  • orienta'le/orienta'lis: eastern (ref. Sisymbrium orientale, Conringia orientalis, Nemacladus orientalis)
  • origanifo'lia: with leaves like those of marjorum or Origanum (ref. Salpichroa origanifolia)
  • 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" (ref. genus Origanum)
  • -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 (ref. Downingia ornatissima)
  • orna'ta/orna'tus: ornate (ref. Dalea ornata)
  • Ornitho'pus: resembling a bird's foot (ref. genus Ornithopus)
  • Ornithostaph'ylos: from the Greek for "bird cluster," for obscure reasons (ref. genus Ornithostaphylos)
  • 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 (ref. genus Orobanche)
  • Orochaenac'tis: from the Greek oros, "mountain," plus the genus Chaenactis for mountain chaenactis (ref. genus Orochaenactis)
  • 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 (ref. Phacelia orogenes)
  • Orogen'ia: from the Greek oros, "mountain," and genia, "born," or genea "race, family, tribe" (ref. genus Orogenia)
  • 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 (ref. Antirrhinum orontium)
  • Orthi'lia: Greek for "straight spiral," referring to a one-sided floral arrangement (ref. genus Orthilia)
  • ortho-: in compound words signifying "upright or straight"
  • Orthoca'rpus: from the Greek orthos, "straight," and karpos, "fruit," hence "straight fruit" (ref. genus Orthocarpus)
  • ortho'ceras/orthocer'as: from the Greek for "straight, upright" and "horn" (ref. Barbarea orthoceras)
  • orthophyl'lus: with upright or straight leaves (ref. Juncus orthophyllus)
  • -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 (see Nomenclature)
  • Oryc'tes: from the Greek oryktes, "digger, implement for digger" (ref. genus Oryctes)
  • Ory'za: deriving from ancient words in Latin and Greek for "rice" (ref. genus Oryza)
  • oryzico'la: growing in places where rice grows (ref. Echinochloa oryzicola)
  • oryzo'ides: like genus Oryza, rice (ref. Echinochloa oryzoides, Leersia oryzoides)
  • -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
  • Osmaden'ia: from the Greek for "odor gland" (ref. genus Osmadenia)
  • Osmorhi'za: from the Greek osme, "odor," and rhiza, "root," meaning "odorous root," in reference to the fragrance of the crushed root (ref. genus Osmorhiza)
  • osoen'sis: of or from the Los Osos Valley, San Luis Obispo Co. (ref. Arctostaphylos osoensis)
  • osteosper'ma/Osteosper'mum: from the Greek osteon, "bone," and sperma, which in Greek compound words means "-seeded", thus meaning "hard-seeded" (ref. Juniperus osteosperma and genus Osteospermum)
  • -osum/-osus: see -osa
  • otayen'sis: perhaps meaning of the Otay Mountains (ref. Arctostaphylos otayensis)
  • otol'epis: "scaly ear" (ref. Limonium otolepis)
  • Ottel'ia: from the Malabar, India, name Ottel-ambel used for an aquatic species Ottelia alismoides (ref. genus Ottelia)
  • ott'leyi: after Alice Maria Ottley (1882-1971), California botanist, author of A Revision of the California Species of Lotus (1923) (ref. Lotus stipularis var. ottleyi)
  • -otus/otum: a Greek adjectival suffix used to indicate resemblance or possession (e.g. lepidotus, "scaly
  • ovalifo'lium: having oval-shaped leaves (ref. Eriogonum ovalifolium var. ovalifolium, Eriogonum ovalifolium var. nivale, Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum)
  • ova'lis: oval, broadly elliptic (ref. Carex ovalis, Mitella ovalis, Smelowskia ovalis)
  • ova'ta/ova'tum/ova'tus: indicates that the leaves or some other feature of the plant are ovate-shaped (ref. Plantago ovata, Rhus ovata, Wyethia ovata, Vaccinum ovatum, Lagurus ovatus)
  • ovatifo'lia: with ovate leaves (ref. Dudleya cymosa ssp. ovatifolia)
  • ow'anii/owan'ii: after Peter MacOwan (1830-1909), South African botanist, rector and head of natural sciences at Gill College, Somerset East, South Africa, father-in-law of Selmar Schonland (founder of the botany department at Rhodes University) (ref. Cyperus owanii)
  • Oxa'lis: from the Greek oxys for "sharp, sour," referring to the pleasantly sour taste of the leaves and stem (ref. genus Oxalis)
  • 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 refer-
    ring to the acorn (ref. Quercus agrifolia var. oxyadenia)
  • oxycar'pum: from the Greek oxys, "sharp," and karpos, "fruit" (ref. Lepidium oxycarpum)
  • oxygo'na/oxygo'nus: with sharp angles (ref. Cryptantha oxygona)
  • oxy'meris: with sharp parts (ref. Juncus oxymeris)
  • oxyno'tus: pointed on the back (ref. Ranunculus eschscholtzii var. oxynotus)
  • oxyph'ilus/oxyphi'lus: loving acid soil
  • oxyph'ylla/oxyph'yllus: with sharp-pointed leaves (ref. Calystegia collina ssp. oxyphylla)
  • oxyph'ysus: with pointed bladders, for the fruit (ref. Astragalus oxyphysus)
  • 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 (ref. genus Oxypolis)
  • Oxyr'ia: from the Greek oxys, "sharp or sour," referring to the sharp or bitter taste of this northern herb with antiscorbutic properties (ref. genus Oxyria)
  • Oxysty'lis: from the Greek oxys, "sharp," and stylis, "column or style" (ref. genus Oxystylis)
  • Oxyten'ia: from the Greek oxytenes, "pointed" or oxys, "sharp, sour," and tainia, "fillet" (ref. genus Oxytenia)
  • Oxythe'ca: from oxys, "sharp," and theke, "case or box," in reference to the awned involucre (ref. genus Oxytheca)
  • Oxytro'pis: from oxys, "sharp," and tropis, "keel," in reference to the beaked flower petals (ref. genus Oxytropis)
  • Ozomel'is: from Greek ozo, "to smell," and melissa, "honey-bee," for the odor of honey (ref. genus Ozomelis)

Palm Canyon, Anza Borrego State Park
Palm Canyon, Anza-Borrego State Park.
Home Page