L-R: Phacelia curvipes (Curved-stem phacelia), Triteleia lugens (Coast range triteleia), Krameria erecta (Littleleaf rhatany), Erigeron parishii (Parish's fleabane), Eriophyllum confertiflorum (Golden yarrow).


     SI-SY

       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.

  • Si'bara: an anagram of Arabis (ref. genus Sibara)
  • Sibarop'sis: bearing a resemblance to genus Sibara (ref. genus Sibaropsis)
  • Sibbald'ia: named in honor of Sir Robert Sibbald (1641-1722), "a Scottish physician and antiquary, who was born in Edinburgh on the 15th of April 1641. Educated at Edinburgh, Leiden and Paris, he took his doctor's degree at Angers in 1662, and soon afterwards settled as a physician in Edinburgh. In 1667 with Sir Andrew Balfour he started the botanical garden in Edinburgh, and he took a leading part in establishing the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, of which he was elected president in 1684. In 1685 he was appointed the first Professor of Medicine in the University. He was also [granted knighthood and] appointed Geographer-Royal [and Physician in Ordinary to His Majesty King Charles II] in 1682, and his numerous and miscellaneous writings deal effectively with historical and antiquarian as well as botanical and medical subjects. Amongst Sibbald's historical and antiquarian works may be mentioned A History Ancient and Modern of the Sheriffdoms of Fife and Kinross (Edinburgh, 1710, and Cupar, 1803), An Account of the Scottish Atlas (folio, Edinburgh, 1683), Scotia Illustrata (Edinburgh, 1684) and Description of the Isles of Orkney and Shetland (folio, Edinburgh, 1711 and 1845). The Remains of Sir Robert Sibbald, containing his autobiography, memoirs of the Royal College of Physicians, portion of his literary correspondence and account of his manuscripts, was published at Edinburgh in 1833." (From the 1911 Encyclopedia online)  "Sibbald's commission in 1682 was to produce not only a natural history of Scotland, but also a geographical description that would combine historical data with the results of contemporary survey. Sibbald's intentions, outlined in his 1683 Account of the Scottish Atlas, or the Description of Scotland, centered upon a two-volume work: Scotia Antiqua would embrace the historical development of the Scottish nation, the customs of the people and their antiquities, and Scotia Moderna would describe the country's resources as a matter of contemporary chorography or regional description, on a county-by-county basis. In the event, this 'Atlas' was never completed. Only the natural history, Scotia Illustrata, was ever published." (From the website of the National Library of Scotland)  This work included a section devoted to the indigenous plants of Scotland, including some rare species, one of which was subsequently called Sibbaldia, by Linnaeus, in honor of its discoverer. He died in August 1722 (ref. genus Sibbaldia)
  • sibir'ica/sibir'icum: of or from Siberia (ref. Claytonia sibirica, Apocynum sibiricum, Myriophyllum sibiricum)
  • sibthorpio'ides: resembling the genus Sibthorpia, which was named for Humphrey Sibthorp (1713-1797), a professor of botany at Oxford University where he only gave one lecture in thirty-seven years (ref. Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides)
  • Si'da: an ancient Greek name used by Theophrastus for the water lily (ref. genus Sida)
  • Sidal'cea: a combination of two related genera in the Mallow family, Sida and Alcea, which were also two Greek names for mallow (ref. genus Sidalcea)
  • siderox'ylon: from the Greek sideros, "iron," and xylon, "wood" (ref. Eucalyptus sideroxylon)
  • Sidothe'ca: from the Latin sidus, "star," and theca, "case," referring to the numerous star-like involucres (ref. genus Sidotheca)
  • sier'rae: sierra is Spanish for "mountain range," so this is just a general name for "of the mountains". (Thanks to Bob Allen and David Hollombe for their input.) (ref. Astragalus lentiginosus var. sierrae, Erythranthe sierrae, Poa sierrae)
  • sierren'sis: of the mountains in general or of the Sierras in particular
  • sigmoid'eus: S-shaped, from the Greek letter sigma (ref. Nemacladus sigmoideus)
  • signa'tum: well-marked (ref. Eriastrum signatum)
  • Sile'ne: probably from the Greek sialon, "saliva," referring to the gummy exudation on the stems, and/or named for Silenus, the intoxicated foster-father of Bacchus (god of wine) who was covered with foam, much like the glandular secretions of many species of this genus (ref. genus Silene)
  • sili'qua: from the Latin siliqua, "a pod or husk" (ref. Ceratonia siliqua)
  • silvat'ica: of or from the woods
  • silvico'la: inhabiting woods (ref. Arctostaphylos silvicola)
  • Sil'ybum: from the Greek name for a thistle that was used for food (ref. genus Silybum)
  • sim'ilis: similar, alike (ref. Clarkia similis, Cryptantha similis, Malacothrix similis)
  • Simmonds'ia: after Thomas William Simmonds (1767-1804), an English botanist and physician who died exploring Trinidad (ref. genus Simmondsia)
  • si'monsii: after Dr. Charles James Simons (1822-?), 'government apothecary' in India , collected plants in Assam, Khasia and the Mikir Hills (ref. Cotoneaster simonsii)
  • sim'plex: simple, undivided, unbranched (ref. Botrychium simplex, Gentianopsis simplex) (ref. Chenopodium simplex, Puccinellia simplex)
  • simplicifo'lia/simplicifo'lius: from the Latin simplex for 'simple.' Stearn's Dictionary of Plant Names says "with simple (entire) leaves," but as with the following referred species, although the leaves are simple (but deeply lobed) they are NOT entire. Maybe there are other taxa bearing this name which do have entire leaves (ref. Psorothamnus arborescens var. simplicifolius)
  • simp'sonii: after James Hervey Simpson (1813-1883). The following is quoted from the entry on Simpson in the website Virtual American Biographies: "Simpson, James Hervey, soldier, born in New Jersey, 9 March, 1813; died in St. Paul, Minnesota, 2 March, 1883. He was graduated at the United States Military Academy in 1832, and assigned to the artillery. During the Florida war he was aide to General Abraham Eustis. He was made 1st Lieutenant in the Corps of Topographical Engineers on 7 July, 1838, engaged in surveying the northern lakes and the western plains, was promoted Captain on 3 March, 1853, served as chief topographical engineer with the Army in Utah, and in 1859 explored a new route from Salt Lake City to the Pacific coast, the reports of which he was busy in preparing till the beginning of the civil war. He served as chief topographical engineer of the Department of the Shenandoah, was promoted Major on 6 August, 1861, was made Colonel of the 4th New Jersey Volunteers on 12 August, 1861, and took part in the Peninsular Campaign, being engaged at West Point and at Oaines's Mills, where he was taken prisoner. After his exchange in August, 1862, he resigned his volunteer commission in order to act as chief topographical engineer, and afterward as chief engineer of the Department of the Ohio, where he was employed in making and repairing railroads and erecting temporary fortifications. He was promoted Lieutenant-colonel of engineers on 1 June, 1863, had general charge of fortifications in Kentucky from that time till the close of the war, was brevetted Colonel and Brigadier-general in March, 1865, and was chief engineer of the Interior Department, haying charge of the inspection of the Union Pacific railroad, till 1867. He afterward superintended defensive works at Key West, Mobile, and other places, surveys of rivers and harbors, the improvement of navigation in the Mississippi and other western rivers, and the construction of bridges at Little Rock, Arkansas, St. Louis, Missouri, Clinton, Iowa, and other places. General Simpson was the author of Shortest Route to California across the Great Basin of Utah (Philadelphia, 1869), and Essay on Coronado's March in Search of the Seven Cities of Cibola (1869)" (ref. Eriogonum microthecum var. simpsonii)
  • sim'ulans: resembling (ref. Caulanthus simulans, Convolvulus simulans, Cryptantha simulans)
  • simula'ta: from the Latin simulo, "to make like," thus "made to resemble, resembling" (ref. Carex simulata)
  • Sinap'sis: a Latin name, also spelled sinapi or sinape, for the mustard plant, from the flavor of the seeds (ref. genus Sinapsis)
  • sinen'sis: of or from China (ref. Miscanthus sinensis, Wisteria sinensis)
  • sinis'tra: I've found two meanings for this specific epithet; (1) "elder, senior," and (2) "left, on the left hand" and I have no idea how either would be applied (ref. Gilia sinistra)
  • sinua'ta/sinua'tum: having sinuous or wavy margins (ref. Dimorphotheca sinuata, Gilia sinuata, Notholaena sinuata, Rorippa sinuata, Limonium sinuatum)
  • sinuo'sa: same as sinuata (ref. Oenothera sinuosa)
  • siphocampylo'ides: like Siphocampylus, from the Greek siphon, "tube," and kampylos, "curve," with reference to the curved corolla (ref. Scutellaria siphocampyloides)
  • sisymbriifo'lium: with leaves like genus Sisymbrium (ref. Solanum sisymbriifolium)
  • siskiyouen'se/siskiyouen'sis: of or from Siskiyou County or the Siskiyou Mountains (ref. Allium siskiyouense, Epilobium siskiyouense, Astragalus whitneyi var. siskiyouensis)
  • Sisym'brium: a Greek name for some plant of the mustard family (ref. genus Sisymbrium)
  • Sisyrinch'ium: an old Greek name probably first applied to some other plant (ref. genus Sisyrinchium)
  • sitchen'sis: of or from Sitka in southeast Alaska (ref. Romanzoffia sitchensis, Sorbus sitchensis, Salix sitchensis)
  • Si'um: derived from an old Greek name sion which was applied to a marsh herb of the Apiaceae (ref. genus Sium)
  • slwookoorum: the ending -orum usually is either a reference to the habitat of the species such as desertorum, pinetorum, dumetorum, scopulorum etc., or as a commemorative epithet honoring a group of two or more persons where both sexes are included. The latter is the case here and refers to the Yup'ik name Slwooko. The Yup'ik people are related to the Inuit, generally grouped under the term Eskimo, and are indigenous to western, southwestern and southcentral Alaska and the Russian Far East. Thanks to David Hollombe for providing the following: "The new species [Juncus slwookoorum] is named after the Slwooko family of Gambell, Saint Lawrence Island. Several members of this family contributed greatly to the success of my field work on the island. Boxer Bay, the type locality for J. Slwookoorum, is the ancestral hunting and trapping ground of the Slwookos." He adds that other researchers have specifically thanked Vernon Qaqsungiq Slwooko (1917-2005), and his wife Beda Avaluk J. (Tungiyan) Slwooko (1918-2009), for their hospitality and it's likely that they were the individuals referred to above as having contributed to field work on Saint Lawrence Island. The person referred to above as having done the field work and is the author of the species is botanist Steven Burr Young (1938- ) (ref. Juncus slwookoorum)
  • smallian'um: after John Kunkel Small (1869-1938), botanist at the New York Botanical Gardens who had described a plant collected by the Hellers in Idaho in 1896 as Eriogonum croceum. In 1902 A. A. Heller found a similar plant in Lake County, CA, and labeled his specimens as being the same. When he realized the new plants were different he named them E. smallianum, with no further explanation, but apparently after James K. Small (info from David Hollombe). Small was the author of Flora of the Southeastern States (1903) and Manual for the Southeastern Flora (1933). The following is quoted from a website of the New York Botanical Garden: "John Kunkel Small was a taxonomist and botanical explorer, specializing in the southeastern United States, especially Florida. He was the first Curator of Museums at The New York Botanical Garden, a post in which he served from 1898 until 1906. In 1906, as the Garden's staff expanded, Small was named Head Curator. He held this position until 1934. As such, he played an active part in building the institution and establish-
    ing the herbarium collections and the protocols for their exhibition. He personally collected over 60,000 herbarium specimens of flowering plants, ferns, mosses, hepatics, and fungi for the Garden's collections. In 1934 he was named Chief Research Associate and Curator.
        Small was born on January 31, 1869 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He attended Franklin & Marshall College, graduating with a degree in botany in 1892. His first explorations of the southeastern flora - the mountains of western North Carolina - occurred during those years. His account was accepted by the Torrey Botanical Club and published in the Memoirs. This brought him to the attention of N.L. Britton, who offered him a fellowship to pursue graduate studies at Columbia. His dissertation Monograph of the North American Species of Polygonum (1895) was the first volume of the Memoirs of the Department of Botany of Columbia College. After graduation, he stayed on as Curator of the Herbarium at Columbia, establishing it as the first herbarium arranged according to the Engler and Prantl sequence. When Columbia's herbarium was transferred to The New York Botanical Garden in 1898, Small followed it as Curator.
        Small was the first botanist to explore Florida since A.W. Chapman and many of the areas he documented had never been examined. His doctoral dissertation, published as Flora of the Southeastern United States in 1903, and revised 1913 and 1933, remains the best floristic reference for much of the south. His first trip to Florida was in 1901 when Miami had some 2,000 residents. The Florida hammock in which he was particularly interested had disappeared to such an extent by 1929 that he published From Eden to Sahara: Florida's Tragedy, sparking a movement for conservation of the wetlands that eventually resulted in the formation of The Everglades National Park. Small followed the taxonomic philosophy of Britton. He contributed descriptions of several families for the first edition of Britton and Brown's An Illustrated Flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British possessions... 1896-1898. Today, some scientists consider his species classifications too narrow, yet other of his observations have been reconfirmed. Index Kewensis cites Small as the author of 2,057 genera, species, and binomials.
        Dr. Small discovered the Louisiana wild iris after glimpsing a bed growing in a swamp as the train he was on passed by. He returned using a hand-car, the railroad had put at his disposal. He harvested the irises and with E.J. Alexander classified nearly ninety distinct species, documented in Addisonia. Small distributed 6,500 packets of seeds and several thousand plants throughout the world. Because the swamps in which they were growing were being drained, Dr. Small is credited with saving the Louisiana wild iris from extinction. Dr. Small lived at a time before foundation or governmental research support. His excursions to Florida were under the patronage of Charles Deering and later, Arthur C. James. These were lively events, conducted by boat and car. Dr. Small often brought along his wife, Elizabeth, and four children. On at least one occasion (1918) the Garden sent along the artist Mary Eaton, who produced twenty-eight watercolors of rare flowering plants. Because he would have been compelled to pay for publication from his own pocket, only a small portion of Small's work was ever published. Much of his material remains in the form of bound typescripts. Of the work that has been published, there have been reprints as recently as 1987. His bibliography consists of 450 items, mostly articles. In his later years, Small concentrated on ferns, cacti and palms. Between 1927 and 1931, he worked with Thomas A. Edison on his search for rubber-producing plants. This included fieldwork in Florida and hybridization in the laboratories of The New York Botanical Garden. John Kunkel Small died at his home on E. 207th Street in Manhattan on January 20, 1938." (ref. Eriogonum umbellatum var. smallianum)
  • Smelows'kia: after Timofei Andreevich Smielowski (Smelowsky) (1769-1815), a Russian pharmacist and botanist at St. Petersburg, author of Hortus petropolitanus (ref. genus Smelowskia)
  • Smilaci'na: Stearn's Dictionary of Plant Names says a diminutive of Smilax, a genus of greenhouse plants which it resembles, literally "a little Smilax," and Umberto Quattrocchi adds, "from the Greek smilakinos, "of the smilax" (ref. genus Smilacina)
  • smith'ii: after James Edward Smith (1759-1828). The following is quoted from Wikipedia: "Sir James Edward Smith was an English botanist and founder of the Linnean Society. Smith was born in Norwich in 1759, the son of a wealthy wool merchant. He displayed a precocious interest in the natural world. During the early 1780's he enrolled in the medical course at the University of Edinburgh where he studied chemistry under Professor Joseph Black and natural history under Professor John Walker. He then moved to London in 1783 to continue his studies. Smith was a friend of Sir Joseph Banks who was offered the entire collection of books, manuscripts and specimens of the Swedish natural historian and botanist Carolus Linnaeus, following the death of his son Carolus Linnaeus the Younger. Banks declined the purchase but Smith bought the collection for the bargain price of £1,000. The collection arrived in London in 1784 and in 1786 Smith was elected Fellow of the Royal Society. Between 1786 and 1788 Smith travelled the Grand Tour through the Netherlands, France, Italy and Switzerland visiting botanists, picture galleries and herbaria. He founded the Linnean Society of London in 1788 becoming its first President, a post he held until his death. He returned to live in Norwich in 1796 bringing with him the entire Linnean Collection. His library and botanical collections acquired European fame and were visited by numerous entomologists and botanists throughout the Continent. Smith spent the remaining thirty years of his life writing books and articles upon botany. His books included Flora Britannica and The English Flora (4 volumes, 1824–1828). He contributed 3,348 botanical articles to Rees's Cyclopaedia between 1808 and 1819, following the death of Rev. William Wood, who had started the work. In 1797 Smith published The Natural History of the Rarer Lepidopterous Insects of Georgia, the earliest book on American insects. It included the illustrations and notes of John Abbot, with descriptions of new species by Smith based on Abbot's drawings." (ref. Prosartes [formerly Disporum] smithii)
  • smith'ii: after Jared Gage Smith (1866-1957), an botanist and agrostologist for the United States Department of Agriculture. He was an assistant agriculturist with the Nebraska Agricultural Experimental Station from 1888 to 1890, travelled in Europe, Australia and Mexico from 1890 to 1992, and became a botany assistant at the Missouri Botanical Garden from 1892 remaining there until 1895. From 1895 to 1899 he was assistant agrostologist with the USDA. Later he was special agent in charge at the Hawaii Experimental Station, worked with the Kona Tobacco Co., and was an assistant professor of agronomy at the College of Hawaii. For some years he was a tobacco planter and authored many publications (ref. Pascopyrum smithii)
  • sobolif'era: having creeping rooting stems (ref. Cryptantha sobolifera)
  • socia'lis: growing in colonies
  • so'da: David Hollombe suggests that this may be from the same root as Suaeda (ref. Salsola soda)
  • solan'deri: after Daniel Carl Solander (1736-1782). The following is quoted from a website called Plant Explorers: "Daniel Solander was on of Linnaeus' greatest students and one of Joseph Banks best friends. Solander was born at Piteå in Sweden, son of a Lutheran rector. In 1750 he went to Uppsala University to study law, but became so interested in the work of Linnaeus that he redirected his focus to the study of botany and natural science. Solander assisted Linnaeus with classifying and indexing several major collections in Sweden, and published an abridged version of Linnaeus' work on general botany. He also participated in botanizing in Lapland and Norway. In 1759 Linnaeus asked Solander to travel to England to promote his new system of classification, and by all accounts Solander was a hit with English society. In 1763 he was given an appointment at the British museum, where he rearranged the natural history collection. The following year he was elected to the Royal Society. Solander developed a long-lasting friendship with Joseph Banks, who asked him to join his team of botanical explorers on the Endeavour in 1768. Between the two botanists, they collected well over 1000 species of plants new to science. When Banks pulled out of Cook's second expedition, Solander's loyalty to Bank's prevented him from joining the crew of the Resolution. Instead, he joined Banks on an expedition to Iceland, the Faeroes and the Orkney Islands. Soon after his return, Solander was promoted to the post of keeper at the British Museum, where he continued to increase the collections while conducting tours for visitors. He also acted as Banks's librarian at Kew, and was responsible for naming many of the new plant specimens sent to the Royal Botanic Gardens." (ref. Geranium solanderi)
  • solanoa'na: uncertain but probably has some reference to genus Solanum (ref. Asclepias solanoana)
  • Sola'num: Latin for "quieting," in reference to the narcotic properties of some species (ref. genus Solanum)
  • Soldanel'la: an Italian diminutive of soldo, "coin," thus "a small coin," referring to the round leaves of some of the plants of this genus, a characteristic which also applies to the beach morning glory (ref. genus Soldanella, also Calystegia soldanella)
  • Soleiro'lia: this is one about which there is some uncertainty. The common thinking is that the name honors "plant collector" Joseph Francois Soleirol (1781-1863) who according to the JSTOR database collected between 1825 and 1829. Both Stearn's Dictionary of Plant Names, the Jepson Manual, and the CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names provide this information. However, David Hollombe's researches seem to indicate that Joseph Francois Soleirol was not on Corsica and that it was his younger brother Augustin Henri (1792-1860) who was stationed there and made vast collections of plants. J.F. Soleirol was a founding member and secretary of the horticultural society of Moselle and did collect near Metz with Jean Joseph Jacques Holandre and Dominique Henry Louis Fournel. At this point I'm not sure which of these derivations is correct (ref. genus Soleirolia)
  • soleiro'lii: see Soleirolia above (ref. Soleirolia soleirolii)
  • Solida'go: from the Latin solido, meaning "to make whole or heal" and a reference to the supposed, medicinal qualities of these plants (ref. genus Solidago)
  • solier'i: after the Frenchman Antoine Joseph Jean Solier (1792-1851), botanist, entomologist and soldier, also specialist in alga. Studied at the Paris Ecole Polytechnique, in the Napoleonic army as lieutenant with the engineers 1813-1815; captain in the French Army at Marseilles 1815-1823 and Montpelier 1823-1824, again in Marseilles 1824-1832; in retirement ib. 1832-1851." Apparently
    collected algae at Marseilles and plants in Algeria (ref. Crassula solieri)
  • Soli'va: named after Dr. Salvador Soliva (c. 1750-1793), a physician to the Spanish court (ref. genus Soliva)
  • Sol'lya: after Richard Horsman Solly (1778-1858), an English botanist, plant physiologist and anatomist, and a Fellow of the Royal Society (ref. genus Sollya)
  • solstitia'lis: relating to midsummer (ref. Centaurea solstitialis)
  • somnif'erum: sleep-producing, this is the opium poppy (ref. Papaver somniferum)
  • soncho'ides: like genus Sonchus (ref. Malacothrix sonchoides)
  • Son'chus: the Greek name for sowthistle (ref. genus Sonchus)
  • son'nei: after Charles Frederick Sonne (1845-1913). The following is from Willis Lynn Jepson's The Botanical Explorers of California in Madrono Vol. 2: "The birth place of Charles F. Sonne is said to have been on the island of Bon, a possession of Denmark. The date of his birth was July 2, 1845. When a young man he emigrated to the United States and worked in a grocery store in Boston, soon thereafter going to Denver. From this place in the early days he drove across the deserts a herd of cattle to Virginia City in Nevada. In 1876 he removed to Truckee where he was employed as a bookkeeper by the Truckee Lumber Company. It was more especially during the period of this employment that he collected with much zeal the native plants of the region of the Truckee River watershed and made large numbers of dried specimens. He numbered his specimens carefully and faithfully recorded on the labels the validating facts of locality, date and habitat. His specimens were well prepared and the mounted sheets are remarkable for their clear and handsome lettering and general neatness. Out of the results of his long-continued field work in this region grew a list of the plants, which he had collected in Placer, Nevada and Sierra counties in California and Washoe County in Nevada, especially between the years 1878 and 1892. This manuscript is done in his usual methodical and scholarly manner. It reflects, doubtless, the thoroughness of the college education which he had received in Denmark in his youth. Dedicating to him the Boraginaceous genus Sonnea, E. L. Greene in 1889 said that he "gives promise of becoming as intelligent a botanist as he has been a diligent collector and field observer in that region of country to which these plants belong." (cf. Pittonia 1:22). Lomatium sonnei was also named for him by Coulter and Rose and Cicuta sonnei by Greene. About 1900 he went to San Francisco to live and there died May 11, 1913. His body was taken to Truckee for burial and now lies amongst the mountains where he botanized for so many years." David Hollombe has uncovered his correct birthplace as Rønne on the island of Bornholm. (ref. Erigeron eatonii var. sonnei)
  • songar'ica: of or from Dzungaria in eastern-central Asia (ref. Bothrichloa songarica)
  • sonomen'sis: of Sonoma or the Sonoma Valley (?) (ref. Ceanothus sonomensis, Salvia sonomensis)
  • sonor'ae: presumably because of the range meaning "of the Sonoran Desert" (ref. Pholisma sonorae)
  • sonoren'sis: so named because this taxon was first collected 1 mile north of Cumeral, a railroad station in northern Sonora, Mexico (ref. Stylocline sonorensis)
  • sophi'a: Gledhill in The Names of Plants says that the epithet 'sophia' means knowledge, craft, wisdom, an allusion to its reputed medicinal properties in treating dysentery or flux. Linnaeus originally named this species Sisymbrium sophia in his Species Plantarum (1753). The genus was subsequently renamed Sophia by Michel Adanson in Familles des Plantes (1763). Philip Barker Webb reclassified it as Descurainia in 1892 and the taxon was published under that name by Karl Anton Eugen Prantl (ref. Descurainia sophia)
  • Sor'bus: an ancient Latin name (ref. genus Sorbus)
  • sord'idus: dull, dirty
  • soredia'tus: possibly from the Latin soredium, from the Greek soros, a diminutive of soridion meaning "a heap," of uncertain application. But another source, A Popular California flora: or Manual of botany for beginners (1882) by Volney Rattan, states that sorediatus means "covered with granules." This is somewhat supported by William Jackson Hooker & G.A.W. Arnott's 1838 publication of this taxon which states: “The branches are copiously studded with resinous warts; in the more exposed parts of the stem, frequently forming large patches.” And further, the source Taxonomy and Ecology of Woody Plants in North American Forests (2003) by James Fralish and Scott Franklin, say that it means "neglected or dirty-looking." Howard McMinn's 1964 work An Illustrated Manual of California Shrubs states that sorediatus means "having soredia or something resembling them," and the term soredia is more commonly used in connection with ferns or lichens, and according to Wikipedia means "powdery propagules composed of fungal hyphae wrapped around cyanobacteria or green algae." (ref. Ceanothus oliganthus var. sorediatus)
  • Sor'ghum: a Latinized name derived from the Italian sorgo, for "a tall cereal grass," possibly from the Medieval Latin surgum or suricum, which may in turn have been a variant of the Latin name syricum meaning "Syrian," perhaps a clue to its origin. This is a one of the most important cereal grains after wheat, rice, maize and barley (ref. genus Sorghum)
  • soror'ia: sisterly, very closely related (ref. Arnica sororia, Festuca sororia, Viola sororia)
  • Sparax'is: from the Greek sparassein or sparaxo, "to tear," relating to the bracts which are lacerated or cut into segments (ref. genus Sparaxis)
  • Spargan'ium: from the Greek and Latin name sparganion used by Pliny and Dioscorides and derived from sparganon, "diaper, ribbon, swaddling band," applied to this genus because the leaves are ribbon-like (ref. genus Sparganium)
  • sparsiflor'a/sparsiflor'um/sparsiflor'us: sparsely-flowered (ref. Collinsia sparsiflora, Platanthera [formerly Habenaria] sparsiflora, Eriastrum sparsiflorum, Thalictrum sparsiflorum, Lupinus sparsiflorus)
  • sparsifo'lia/sparsifo'lium: sparsely-leaved (ref. Carsonia sparsifolia, Adenostema sparsifolium)
  • Sparti'na: from the Greek spartine, a cord (ref. genus Spartina)
  • spartio'ides: like genus Spartium (ref. Senecio spartioides)
  • Spar'tium: from the Greek word sparton meaning "broom," alluding to the brooms which used to be made of plants with the name of esparto grass (ref. genus Spartium)
  • spatha'cea: means "with a spathe," referring to the large, colored bracts that enclose the flower cluster (ref. Salvia spathacea)
  • spathula'ta.spathula'tum: shaped like a spatula (ref. Ericameria cuneata var. spathulata, Euphorbia spathulata, Monolepis spathulata, Symphyotrichum spathulatum var. spathulatum)
  • spathulifo'lium: with spatulate or spoon-shaped leaves (ref. Sedum spathulifolium)
  • spatula'ta: spoon-shaped (ref. Nemophila spatulata)
  • specif'ica: ???(ref. Carex specifica)
  • specifor'mis: the authors of this taxon, Alva Day Grant and Verne Edwin Grant, described it as being most similar to G. c. var. speciosa, and this may be the intended meaning of the name (ref. Gilia cana ssp. speciformis)
  • specio'sa/specio'sum/specio'sus: showy (ref. Clarkia speciosa, Gambelia speciosa, Oenothera speciosa, Stipa speciosa, Ribes speciosum, Penstemon speciosus)
  • spectab'ile/spectab'ilis: spectacular (ref. Eriogonum spectabile, Amsinckia spectabilis, Melica spectabilis, Penstemon spectabilis var. spectabilis, Penstemon spectabilis var. subviscosus, Solidago spectabilis)
  • speculario'ides: like the genus Specularia, the Venus' looking glass, from Latin speculum, "a mirror" (ref. Githopsis specularioides)
  • Sper'gula: from the Latin spargere or spargo, "to scatter," from sowing seeds for early forage in Europe (ref. genus Spergula)
  • Spergular'ia: a Latin derivative of Spergula (ref. genus Spergularia)
  • spergulariifor'me: having the form of genus Spergularia (ref. Polygonum douglasii ssp. spergulariiforme)
  • sperguli'num: scattering (ref. Hesperolinon spergulinum)
  • -sperma: a suffix which refers to seeds, e.g. platysperma, "flat-seeded," pterosperma, "having winged seeds," oligosperma, "few-seeded," disperma, "two-seeded," brachysperma, "short-seeded"
  • Spermol'epis: from the Greek sperma, "seed," and lepis, "scale," meaning "scale-seeded" for the bristly or tubercled fruit (ref. genus Spermolepis)
  • sphacela'ta: withered as if dead (ref. Setaria sphacelata)
  • Sphaeral'cea: from the Greek sphaira, "a globe," and alcea, a related genus, referring to the spherical fruits, the common name of this genus being "globe-mallow" (ref. genus Sphaeralcea)
  • sphaer'icus: spherical (ref. Euchiton sphaericus, Lathyrus sphaericus)
  • sphaerocar'pa: from sphaira, "a globe," and karpos, "fruit" (ref. Rorippa sphaerocarpa)
  • sphaeroceph'alus: from the Greek meaning "sphere- or round-headed" (ref. Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus)
  • Sphaeromer'ia: from the Greek sphaira, "a sphere," and meris, "a part, portion," thus meaning "spherical-divisioned" (ref. genus Sphaeromeria)
  • Sphaerophy'sa: from the Greek sphaira, "sphere or globe," and physa, "bladder," thus "sphere bladder" for the shape of the fruits (ref. genus Sphaerophysa)
  • Sphenoph'olis: from the Greek sphen, "wedge," and pholis or pholidos, "scale, horny scale," referring to the shape of the upper glume (ref. genus Sphenopholis)
  • Sphenoscia'dium: from the Greek sphen, "wedge," and sciados, "umbrella," referring to the umbel (ref. genus Sphenosciadium)
  • spi'cant: tufted
  • spica'ta/spica'tum: with flowers in spikes (ref. Distichlis spicata, Mentha spicata, Pseudoroegneria spicata, Trisetum spicatum)
  • spi'ca-ven'ti: spica is presumably from the Latin spica, "a point or spike, or an ear of grain" and venti refers to the wind, so maybe this means something like "a windblown spike" (ref. Apera spica-venti)
  • spicifor'mis: spike-shaped (ref. Artemisia spiciformis)
  • spiculifo'lia: with spiky leaves
  • Spina'cia: from the Latin spina, "a prickle or thorn," derived from some Arabic or Persian word (ref. genus Spinacia)
  • spines'cens: spiny (ref. Artemisia spinescens, Glossopetalon spinescens, Menodora spinescens)
  • spinif'era: spine-bearing (ref. Atriplex spinifera)
  • spino'sa/spinos'um/spinos'us: from Latin for "thorny" (ref. Chloracantha spinosa, Chorizanthe spinosa, Emex spinosa, Grayia spinosa, Koeberlinia spinosa, Tetradymia spinosa, Xanthium spinosum, Alternanthera spinosus, Ceanothus spinosus, Pleiacanthus spinosus, Psorothamnus spinosus)
  • spinosep'alum: with spiny sepals (ref. Eryngium spinosepalum)
  • spinulo'sa: from the Latin for "minutely spiny" (ref. Stillingia spinulosa)
  • Spirae'a: from the Greek speiraira, "a plant used for wreaths or garlands", from speira, "spiral or twisted" (ref. genus Spiraea)
  • spira'lis: spiral (ref. Castilleja minor ssp. spiralis)
  • Spiran'thes: from the Greek speira, "spiral," and anthos, "flower," referring to the coiled or spiral character of the inflorescence, and hence the common name "ladies tresses" (ref. genus Spiranthes)
  • Spirode'la: from the Greek speira, "a cord," and delos, "evident," meaning "visible thread" and referring to the roots (ref. genus Spirodela)
  • spis'sa: thick, crowded, dense (ref. Carex spissa)
  • spitha'mea: possibly from the Latin spithama, "a span" (ref. Rosa spithamea)
  • splen'dens: splendid (ref. Calochortus splendens, Fouquieria splendens, Lathyrus splendens, Saltugilia splendens ssp. grantii, Saltugilia splendens ssp. splendens)
  • Sporob'olus: from the Greek spora or sporos, "seed or spore," and bolis or bolos, "a casting," in the sense of throwing or dispersing seeds, also from boleo, "to throw" (ref. genus Sporobolus)
  • springvillen'sis: of or from Springville in Tulare County (ref. Clarkia springvillensis)
  • spur'ia/spur'ium/spur'ius: false or doubtful; a species so called sometimes has other names (ref. Kickxia spuria, Galium spurium)
  • squa'lens/squa'lum: see squalida below
  • squa'lida: dirty (ref. Malacothrix squalida)
  • squama'ta/squama'tum/squama'tus: scaly (ref. Lepidospartum squamatum, Coronopus squamatus)
  • squamo'sus: full of scales
  • squarro'sa/squarro'sus: means either "scaly or rough" or "with the leaves spreading at right angles (ref. Loeflingia squarrosa, Hazardia [formerly Haplopappus] squarrosa var. grindelioides, Munroa squarrosa, Grindelia squarrosus)
  • stachyd'eum: from stachus and deum of uncertain meaning. The specific epithet has something to do with having a spiciform inflorescence. The common name of this taxon is spiked or Rocky Mountain larkspur (ref. Delphinium stachydeum)
  • stachydifo'lia: named for its resemblance (especially leaves) to Stachys germanica (ref. Gamochaeta stachydifolia)
  • Sta'chys: from the Greek stachus for "ear of grain" or "a spike," in reference to the spike-like form of the flowers (ref. genera Stachys and Psilostachya, also Psoralea macrostachya)
  • staechadifo'lium: according to David Hollombe, an alternative spelling for stoechadifolium (see below) (ref. Eriophyllum staechadifolium)
  • stagna'lis: found in stagnant water (ref. Callitriche stagnalis)
  • stamin'ea/stamin'eus: with prominent stamens (ref. Gilia capitata ssp. staminea, Bromus stamineus)
  • stanfordia'na: after Leland Stanford, Jr. (1868-1884), beloved son of Leland Stanford, California governor and Senator, builder of the transcontinental railroad, and founder of Stanford University. Leland, Jr. died of typhoid fever in Florence just short of his 16th birthday, and was the inspiration for his father to found a great university (ref. Arctostaphylos stanfordiana)
  • Stan'leya: named for Lord Edward Smith Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby (1773-1849), an ornithologist and once president of the Linnaean Society (ref. genus Stanleya)
  • stans: erect, upright (ref. Tecoma stans)
  • stansburya'na/stansburyi: after Howard Stansbury (1806-1863), American civil and topographical engineer who was placed in charge of the survey of proposed canals to unite Lake Erie and Lake Michigan with the Wabash River, and made a survey of the James River in order to improve the harbor at Richmond, Virginia. The following is from the Utah History Encyclopedia: "Born in New York City in 1806, Howard Stansbury was trained as a civil engineer. He married Helen Moody of Detroit on 1 September 1827. The couple had two children, a daughter and a son, the latter going on to West Point and serving in the Civil War. In October 1828 Stansbury secured a position with the United States Topographical Bureau as a civil engineer, and for the next ten years was employed as a surveyor and supervisor of various public works in the Midwest and along the Atlantic Coast. On 7 July 1838 Stansbury was granted a commission as a first lieutenant in the newly formed Army Corps of Topographical Engineers and was advanced to captain in 1840. From 1838 to 1849 he directed projects for the corps in the Great Lakes region, at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and, during the Mexican War, at some fortifications in the Dry Tortugas in the Gulf of Mexico. The supreme assignment of his army career was to lead an expedition in 1849 to the valley of the Great Salt Lake. His orders directed him to survey and map the Great Salt Lake and its valley as well as Utah Valley; to evaluate the various emigrant roads in the area, including the Oregon Trail; and to examine and report on the capability of the Mormon community at Salt Lake City to provide food and supplies for overland travelers. During the year he and his second in command, Lieutenant J.W. Gunnison, spent in Utah, Stansbury completed his assignment and produced a remarkable Report, which also went through several editions as a private publication. Stansbury's Report along with Gunnison's book, The Mormons, provided the outside world with an objective look at the Mormons of Utah as well as with a scientific appraisal of the resources and fauna and flora of this section of the Great Basin. Captain Stansbury spent the next years, until the outbreak of the Civil War, improving harbors in the Great Lakes and building roads in Minnesota Territory. When the war came, he was appointed as mustering officer at Columbus, Ohio, and later was placed in charge of recruiting for the state of Wisconsin. Stansbury served only forty-five days in this post before he died on 13 April 1863 at the age of fifty-six of "disease of the heart." His obituary noted that his early death came as a result of the "over-exertions and hardships" endured during his Great Salt Lake expedition. Stansbury was buried at St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1863." (ref. Phlox stansburyi, Purshia stansburyana)
  • Staphyl'ea: from the Greek staphyle, "a cluster," from the flower arrangement (ref. genus Staphylea)
  • statico'ides: means "like genus Statice" (ref. Chorizanthe staticoides)
  • steb'binsii: see Stebbinsoseris below (ref. Calystegia stebbinsii, Elymus stebbinsii, Harmonia stebbinsii, Lewisia stebbinsii, Lomatium stebbinsii, Madia stebbinsii, Malacothrix stebbinsii, Monardella stebbinsii, Phacelia stebbinsii, Poa stebbinsii)
  • Stebbinsos'eris: named after George Ledyard Stebbins, Jr. (1906-2000), an American geneticist and according to Peter Raven the "leading plant evolutionary biologist of the century." His UC Davis obituary recalls that he was once so absorbed in his own thoughts that he drove 120 miles without noticing a dead rattlesnake on the hood of his car. Another story that illustrates his devotion to his subject has to do with the time that after noticing an interesting plant, he drove his car into a 4-foot ditch, and giving no indication that a problem had occurred, got out and walked over to examine it. Another student has related that the Professor once turned to talk to people in the back seat of his car while crossing the San Francisco Bay Bridge and veered into the oncoming lane, fortunately without a disaster ensuing. His undergraduate and graduate work was done at Harvard, after which he taught at Colgate University. During the 1920's and 1930's, evolutionists had been split between the group that saw change happening suddenly as a result of random mutations and the group that believed change occurred more slowly as a result of natural selection. Stebbins was largely responsible for what came to be known as the "modern synthesis," combining elements from both sides into an elegant theory that Stephen Jay Gould described as "one of the half-dozen major scientific achievements in our century." He became a professor of genetics at UC Davis in 1950, after spending 15 years at Berkeley and shortly after publishing Variation and Evolution in Plants, considered to be one of the classics in the field of modern evolution, and he retired in 1973. He loved teaching and mentoring students, and was highly regarded by both faculty and students alike. He remained active after his retirement, and was one of the authors of California's Wild Gardens, a guide to California's native plants in their natural habitats, published by the California Native Plant Society. During his career he served at one time or another as President of the CNPS, the Society for the Study of Evolution, the American Society of Naturalists, the Western Society of Naturalists, the California Botanical Society, and the Botanical Society of America (ref. genus Stebbinsoseris)
  • Stellar'ia: from the Latin stella for "star' because of the star-like shape of the flowers or some other feature (ref. genus Stellaria)
  • stellar'is: starry, star-like, with spreading leaves or petals arranged in a star-shaped fashion (ref. Phacelia stellaris)
  • stella'ta/stella'tum/stella'tus: same as above entry (ref. Gilia stellata, Galium stellatum var. eremicum, Maianthemum stellatum, Rhagadiolus stellatus)
  • stellula'ta: with small star-like markings (ref. Chorizanthe stellulata)
  • Stemo'dia: abbreviated from stemodiacra, meaning "a stamen with two tips" (ref. genus Stemodia)
  • stem'on: a stamen
  • stenan'tha: narrow-flowered (ref. Castilleja stenantha)
  • Stenan'thium: from the Greek stenos, "narrow," and anthos, "flower," in reference to the narrow sepals and petals (ref. genus Stenanthium)
  • steno-: narrow
  • stenocar'pum/stenocar'pus: narrow-fruited (ref. Nama stenocarpum, Caulanthus stenocarpus)
  • stenol'epis: narrow-scaled (ref. Tetradymia stenolepis)
  • stenolo'ba: narrow-lobed (ref. Draba stenoloba)
  • Stenomes'son: from the Greek stenos, "narrow," and messos, "middle," from the shape of the flower (ref. genus Stenomesson)
  • stenopet'alum: with narrow petals (ref. Sedum stenopetalum, Thelypodium stenopetalum)
  • stenophyl'lus: narrow-leaved (ref. Rumex stenophyllus, Stenotus stenophyllus)
  • Stenotaph'rum: from the Greek stenos, "narrow," and taphros, "a trench or ditch," referring to the depressions or cavities in the axis of the inflorescence (ref. genus Stenotaphrum)
  • Steno'tus: from the Greek for "narrowness" from the leaf width (ref. genus Stenotus)
  • Stephanomer'ia: derived from the Greek stephane, "wreath or crown," and meros, "division" (ref. genus Stephanomeria)
  • ste'phensii: after Frank Stephens (1849-1937) Following are a couple of quotes from an article I found online called "Frank Stephens, Pioneer" by Laurence Huey from May, 1938: "Frank Stephens, who may well be termed one of the few truly pioneer naturalists of the Southwest, was born in Livingston County, New York, April 2, 1849, and he died in his eighty-ninth year at San Diego, California, October 5, 1937. [He] always loved the desert ... about 1910 he took up a desert claim, in La Puerta Valley in eastern San Diego County. During the next few years he used his spare time to make collections of the various birds and mammals he found about the place. These specimens, like most of those he had taken during his pioneer days, were sold to help provide living expenses. William Brewster, C. Hart Merriam, C.K. Worthen, Universirty of California and Donald R. Dickey were some of the more notable purchasers. In 1910, however, he donated his main collection of some 2000 birds and mammals to the San Diego Society of Natural History, and upon the foundation of this gift has been built all the the Society's subsequent activity in the field of vertebrate research. Stephens' ranch at La Puerta was destined, in the years that followed, to be the focal point for field adventures of a number of budding young naturalists, and he never failed to foster their enthusiasm either by being a member of their party or by entertaining them if he happened to be there when they arrived."  During the years 1915-1917 he and his wife, Kate Stephens, who would become the nationally recognized naturalist and paleontologist who served as Curator of Collections for the San Diego Society of Natural History and later as Curator of Mollusks & Marine Invertebrates, spent a great deal of time developing a public natural history museum for San Diego. "As evidence of the high regard in which Stephens was held by his fellow scientists, we know that at least fourteen new species or subspecies were named in his honor, three birds, six mammals, one reptile, one plant, two insects, and one mollusk. He joined the American Ornithologists' Union as an associate in 1883 and was honored by membership in 1901. He joined the Cooper Ornithological Club in 1894 and was made an honorary member in 1912. He was designated a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1926, and prior to 1923 was elected both a Patron and a Fellow of the San Diego Society of Natural History. He was a charter member of the Zoological Society of San Diego and was one of the five founders of San Diego's now famous zoo. He was also a member of the Biological Society of Washington and a charter member of the American Society of Mammalogists. The most important trip ever made by Frank Stephens on his own account was primarily in the interest of his book on California mammals, which was published in 1906 after many years of preparation." (ref. Penstemon stephensii)
  • ste'phensonii: after James Burton Stephenson (1882-1944), a U.S. Forest Service ranger. "James Burton Stephenson was born in Texas but came to Orange [County, California] with his brother, Terry, after the death of their mother when they were children.  A graduate of Santa Ana High School, where he was known as "Eric the Red" because of his flaming hair, he went to Stanford University with the reputation as a football star which he lived up to, making the varsity as a freshman.  He left college in 1906 to join the Forest Service which was just being created.  His headquarters were first at El Toro, then in Corona.  In 1921 he became a liaison officer beteen the Air Force and the Forest Service.  He took charge of the Palomar ranger district and then established the ranger station at Descanso.  An almost legendary figure of southern California's back country, Stephenson fought fires, blazed trails, planted trees, directed and educated travellers in the tree and brush country, operated lookouts, directed searching parties for lost persons, sent rescue parties to snowbound mountaineers and in numerous other ways carried on the duties of the ranger."  [Information from the Santa Ana Register and supplied by David Hollombe] (ref. Hesperocyparis stephensonii)
  • ste'rilis: infertile, sterile (ref. Avena sterilis, Bromus sterilis)
  • stevio'ides: I'm not sure about this, but there is a genus Stevia in the Asteraceae that includes some 240 species that are native to subtropical and tropical regions from western North America to South America. One of these species, Stevia rebaudiana,called honey-leaf or sweet-leaf, is the plant from which the artificial sweetener Stevia is derived. It was named after Petrus Jacobus Stevus (Pedro Jaime Esteve) (1500-1566), a Spanish botanist and physician, professor of medicine and mathematics at the University of Valencia, author of commentaries on Nicander and Hippocrates, and of an unpublished flora of the Kingdom of Valencia, and a leading figure in the humanist movement in Spain. From the form of the name stevioides, I think it likely that it means "like Stevia," and the individual flowers of S. rebaudiana are remarkably similar to those of Chaenactis stevioides. The name has been used elsewhere in taxonomy, with Ageratina/Eupatorium stevioides and Revealia stevioides, which is a synonym for the monotypic species Revealia macrocephala, but I have been unable to find pictures of those species to see if they are also similar in appearance to Chaenactis stevioides (ref. Chaenactis stevioides)
  • Stillin'gia: named after Dr. Benjamin Stillingfleet (1702-1771), a British botanist and the author of the first English language work on the principles of Linnaeus (ref. genus Stillingia)
  • still'manii: after Dr. Jacob David [his second name was sometimes recorded as Davis] Babcock Stillman (1819-1888), known as JDB. "He was a physician, born in Schenectady, New York in 1819. He came to California in 1849 via Cape Horn. He wrote an account of his journey, Seeking the Golden Fleece, the first of several books about his travels. Stillman was a friend of and partners with Mark Hopkins, Charles Crocker, and James Flood. He founded the first hospital in Sacramento and the first medical society in California; was the Coroner of the City and County of San Francisco and a San Quentin physician; was the personal physician to Governor Leland Stanford and his family; was one of first medical professors at UCSF; and was a botanist and viticulturist who produced some of the earliest wines in California. In 1880 he retired from medicine and moved to Redlands where he farmed 800 acres. JDB died March 2, 1888 in Redlands." (Quoted from the website of the San Anselmo Historical Museum) Stillman was granted a scholarship to attend Union University in Schenectady, the first non-denominational college in the United States and graduated with majors in botany and biology. Apparently he received medical training because he became a physician and surgeon, yet another of the many individuals who found a nexus between medicine and botany. His book An 1850 Voyage, San Francisco to Baltimore, By Sea and Land describes an amazing journey that involved shipwrecks, rescues at sea, the sinking of canoes on Lake Nicaragua, an accidental poisoning and events too numerous to recount here. Upon returning to New York he again took up a medical practice and the next few years included the death of his first wife, his remarriage and his travels through Europe with the Governor of California. Soon after returning from Europe, he travelled throughout Texas considering it as a place to relocate. This was another epic of adventure he described in Wanderings in the Southwest, which included many vivid descriptions of flowers, birds, animals, and trees, and dangerous encounters with hostile indians. Evidently he reconsidered his earlier thoughts about moving to Texas, because he soon returned to California, where he lived for the rest of his life. Most of his time was taken up by medical matters, but he is also recorded as standing next to Governor Stanford at the Golden Spike ceremony officially completing the transcontinental railroad. His final years also included more trips to Europe and around the world, often filled with botanical observations, a book on horse anatomy, his position as chair of the incorporation committee for the city of Redlands, and significant work in developing the California wine industry. Among his six children were represented the major occupations, one a Vice-President of Stanford University, one a physician, one an attorney and another an engineer (ref. Achnatherum stillmanii, Coreopsis stillmanii)
  • Sti'pa: from the Greek stupe or stuppeion, "tow, flax, fiber, cordage," for the feathery or plumose inflorescences (ref. genus Stipa)
  • stipa'ta: from the Latin stipatus, "compressed, surrounded" (ref. Carex stipata)
  • stipita'tum/stipita'tus: borne on a stipe or stalk (ref. Isopyrum stipitatum, Lepidium fremontii var. stipitatum, Plagiobothrys stipitatus)
  • stipo'ides: resembling genus Stipa (ref. Piptochaetium stipoides)
  • stipula'ceum: having stipules or well-developed stipules (ref. Polygonum amphibium var. stipulaceum)
  • stipular'is: having stipules (ref. Lotus stipularis, Sidalcea stipularis)
  • stipulif'era: stipule-bearing (ref. Forsellesia stipulifera, now placed in Glossopetalon spinescens)
  • sti'versii: named after Dr. Charles Austin Stivers (c. 1837/1845? -1888) of San Francisco, a collector of California plants. "Probably no two independent workers in botany would be likely to agree upon the specific limitations of any Californian species of Lupinus and their various forms with the exception of one species. That exception is Lupinus stiversi, an annual of the higher foothills of the Sierra Nevada. With yellow banner and rose-pink wings it is a most beautiful species which is never mistaken by even the novice, nor confused with any other member of the genus." (Jepson, 1933) It was discovered by Charles Austin Stivers, U. S. A., often cited as an Army Lieutenant, at Summit Meadow on the Mariposa trail to Yosemite in or about the year 1862, and was named in his honor by Dr. Albert Kellogg (Proc. Cal. Acad. 2:192,-1862). Of Charles Stivers little is known. He held the degree of Doctor of Medicine, and was at one time especially interested in the study of the marine algae. His name is mentioned occasionally in the pages of early proceedings of the Cal. Acad. Sci. (from Willis Lynn Jepson, Madrono vol 2 page 28). David Hollombe provides the following information: "Stivers was born in New York, probably New York City or somewhere on Long Island. (His father was Daniel Albertson Stivers from Matinecock, Long Island and I suspect he may have been the D. A. Stivers who came to California in 1849 with John Woodhouse Audubon, John Boardman Trask, etc.) Though Kellogg refers to Lieutenant Stivers I haven't found his name on any Army records. He edited California Horticulturist from April through November, 1871. His age was given as 50 in the first newspaper reports of his death, later changed to 51, and this agrees with the 1880 census and voting registers. The age given in the 1860 census (17) is probably an error. (He is listed as female and his initials are reversed.) He received his M.D. at Tolland Medical College in San Francisco (later UCSF Medical School). And from the San Francisco Chronicle Nov. 5, 1888: "Dr. Stivers, who was well known in this city, died suddenly yesterday morning at his residence on Washington street. He was Dr. Blach's assistant when the latter was first appointed City Physician and was also the first Police Surgeon of of the city. During his regime he established the city receiving hospital." (ref. Lupinus stiversii)
  • stoe'be: The PlantzAfrica website says that the name of the genus Stoebe is from the Greek stoibe, "stuffing, padding or heap." It was apparently used for packing wine jars and making brooms and bedding. Umberto Quattrocchi gives the following, also for the genus Stoebe: "Greek steibein, stibo "to tread firmly," stoibe "thorny burnet, a species of Poterium," Latin stoebe, es for a plant, called also pheos (Plinius)." From David Hollombe: "stoibe, name used by Dioscorides for Poterium spinosum, also meaning a cushion or pad" (ref. Centaurea stoebe ssp. micranthos)
  • stoechadifo'lia: with leaves like lavender, from Lavandula stoechas or Spanish lavender or French lavender. I have found two etymologies for the name Stoechades: (1) Stoechas was a Greek name for a plant in the mint family which grew on a group of islands off the coast of France now called the Ile de Hyeres where this species apparently grew; and (2) "The Greeks had named these islands "Stoechades", "the rows," undoubtedly because for a sailor who enters the roads they appear to form an alignment. Other archipelagoes in the Mediterranean bore names thus indicating the position of the islands. For example, Kikladhes, at Aegean Sea, laid out in a circle, Sporades (today Dodecanese) because they are scattered." (From a website about the Frioul Islands) The derivation of the term lavender is interesting as well. "Romans used lavender oils for bathing, cooking, and scenting the air, and they most likely gave it the Latin root name (either lavare-to wash or livendula- livid or bluish) from which we derive the modern name" (From The History of Lavender). In 12th to 15th century Middle English, washerwomen were called 'lavanders' or 'lavenders', and 'to lavender' meant 'to launder,' and they used the plant which had a pleasant smell to scent drawers and freshen the clothes (ref. Arctotis stoechadifolia)
  • stolonif'era/stolonif'erum: bearing stolons or runners (ref. Cornus stolonifera, Dudleya stolonifera, Sparganium erectum ssp. stoloniferum)
  • stonea'na: after Jennifer Susan Stone (1949-2000). An In Memorium essay in Fremontia provided the following: "Jennifer Stone, plant ecologist for the U. S. Navy, Navy Facility Engineering Command (NAVFAC), Engineering Field Division Southwest, San Diego, passed away on April 3, 2000, after a long battle with cancer. Jennifer was a vital member of the San Diego Chapter of CNPS, serving as President in 1999 and contributing energetically to that chapter's activities, particularly the plant sale. Some of Jennifer's projects as a Naval plant ecologist included work on San Clemente Island and with UCLA on sludge remediation, wetland restoration, and wetland monitoring." (ref. Monardella stoneana)
  • stramin'eum/stram'ineus: straw-colored (ref. Pseudognaphalium stramineum)
  • straminifor'mis: like straw (ref. Carex straminiformis)
  • stramon'ium: spiky-fruited, and a name used by Theophrastus for the thorn-apple (ref. Datura stramonium)
  • stratio'tes: from the Greek for "soldier," applied to this aquatic herb on account of its sword-shaped leaves (ref. Pistia stratiotes)
  • Strelit'zia: after Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744-1818) who married King George III in 1761 (ref. genus Strelitzia)
  • Streptanthel'la: a diminutive form of Streptanthus (ref. genus Streptanthella)
  • streptanthifo'lius: with leaves like Streptanthus (ref. Senecio streptanthifolius)
  • Streptan'thus: from the Greek streptas, "twisted," and anthos, "flower" (ref. genus Streptanthus)
  • streptocar'pa: with twisted fruit
  • Strepto'pus: from the Greek streptos, twisted," and pous, "foot," alluding to the twisted stalks of the flowers (ref. genus Streptopus)
  • stria'ta/stria'tus: striped (ref. Corallorhiza striata, Fritillaria striata, Glyceria striata, Calochortus striatus, Cytisus striatus)
  • stric'ta/stric'tum/stric'tus: upright (ref. Calamagrostis stricta, Grindelia stricta var. platyphylla, Melica stricta, Monardella linoides ssp. stricta, Monolopia stricta, Oenothera stricta, Chenopodium strictum, Lepidium strictum, Plagiobothrys strictus)
  • strigo'sa/strigo'sus: strigose, that is, covered with straight, flat-lying hairs (ref. Avena strigosa, Parapholis strigosa, Lotus strigosus)
  • Strigosel'la: with bristly hairs (ref. genus Strigosella)
  • strigulo'sa: minutely strigose (ref. Camissonia strigulosa)
  • strobila'cea: of or pertaining to a cone, cone-like (ref. Boschniakia strobilacea)
  • strobili'na: from the Greek strobilos, "anything twisted, a cone," (ref. Hoita strobilina)
  • strombulif'era: from the Greek strombos and the Latin strombus, "a turban, a top, also a kind of spiral snail," referring to the tightly coiled fruit (ref. Prosopis strombulifera)
  • strumar'ium: of or pertaining to tumors or ulcers (ref. Xanthium strumarium)
  • strumo'sa: having tubercles
  • Stucken'ia: named after the German botanist Wilhelm Adolf Stucken (1860-1901). David Hollombe sent me this: "All I have on Stucken is that he was born in Bremen, Germany and died in Zellerfeld and that his specimens are at the Ubersee Museum, Bremen, and that some of his plants were collected in Australia and some (30) in America." (ref. genus Stuckenia)
  • Stut'zia: for Howard Coombs Stutz (1918-2010), retired professor of genetics at Brigham Young University, studied plants in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia, published more than 80 papers and recently completed a book on science and evolution. He was an instructor at BYU for almost 40 years, and he and his wife were married for 70 years. (Obituary in Utah Valley's Daily Herald Jul.25, 2010) (ref. genus Stutzia)
  • Stylocli'ne: from the Greek stulos for "column" and kline, "a bed," from the long receptacle (ref. genus Stylocline)
  • Stylome'con: from the Greek stylus, "a style," and mekon, "poppy," describing the shape of the style (ref. genus Stylomecon)
  • stylo'sa: with a prominent or well-developed style
  • styraciflu'a: flowering with gum, see following entry (ref. Liquidambar styraciflua)
  • Sty'rax: the classical Greek name used by Theophrastus and derived from a Semitic name for these resin-producing plants from which was collected the gum storax (ref. genus Styrax)
  • Suae'da: an Arabic name of antiquity (ref. genus Suaeda)
  • sua've: sweet (ref. Sium suave)
  • suaveo'lens: sweetly-smelling (ref. Cuscuta suaveolens, Phacelia suaveolens)
  • sub-: below, under, almost, approaching, somewhat, rather (used before words beginning with most consonants, but see suc-, suf-, sug-)
  • subacau'lis: without much of a stem (ref. Calystegia subacaulis, Camissonia subacaulis)
  • subalpin'um: inhabiting mountain ranges below the alpine level (ref. Dodecatheon subalpinum)
  • subar'idum: from sub- in compound words meaning "somewhat, almost, slightly, partially" and aridum meaning "growing in dry places" (ref. Eriogonum umbellatum var. subaridum)
  • subbiflor'um: from the roots sub for 'under, below, somewhat, almost, rather, partially,' and biflorum for 'two-flowered' (ref. Galium trifidum ssp. subbiflorum)
  • subbractea'ta: not quite bracted, bearing structures that approach being bracts (ref. Carex subbracteata)
  • subcarina'ta: havings the beginnings of a keel
  • subconges'ta: becoming crowded (ref. Luzula subcongesta)
  • subcorda'ta: rather heart-shaped (ref. Arctostaphylos tomentosa ssp. subcordata)
  • suberec'ta: not quite erect (ref. Atriplex suberecta)
  • subero'sa: corky-textured
  • subfus'ca: darkish or brownish, not quite brownish (ref. Carex subfusca)
  • subglab'ra: not quite glabrous (ref. Phacelia ramosissima var. subglabra)
  • subglobo'sum: not quite but approaching globose, globe-shaped or spherical (ref. Delphinium parishii ssp. subglobosum)
  • subinclu'sa: from sub-, "almost, approaching," and inclusa, from Latin inclusus, "confined, shut up, included," therefore meaning "almost included," and referring to the anthers which in this species are almost included within the corolla (ref. Castilleja subinclusa, Cuscuta subinclusa)
  • sublae'vis: not quite smooth (ref. Arctostaphylos bakeri ssp. sublaevis)
  • subnig'ricans: approaching a color of blackish (ref. Carex subnigricans)
  • subnu'da: from the prefix sub-, "somewhat, almost, partially" and nudus, "naked, uncovered" (ref. Plantago subnuda)
  • subova'tum: somewhat ovate (ref. Bupleurum subovatum)
  • subpinnatifi'da: somewhat pinnately cut or cleft (ref. Arabis subpinnatifida)
  • subpinna'tus: somewhat pinnate (ref. Lotus subpinnatus)
  • subrig'idus: somewhat but not quite rigid (ref. Ranunculus aquatilus var. subrigidus)
  • subsal'inum: growing in somewhat saline places (ref. Trifolium variegatum var. subsalinum)
  • subscapo'sum: somewhat or becoming scapose (ref. Eriogonum wrightii var. subscaposum)
  • subses'sile: somewhat sessile (ref. Antirrhinum nuttalianum ssp. subsessile)
  • subspica'ta: somewhat (approaching being) spiked (ref. Lonicera subspicata var. denudata, Madia subspicata)
  • subspino'sa: somewhat spinose (ref. Polygala subspinosa)
  • subtermina'lis: the prefix sub- in compound words signifies somewhat, almost, rather, slightly, partially etc., and terminalis means terminal, relating to boundaries in some way, and since this species lives at the uppermost boundary of the salt marsh, that may be why it has this name (ref. Salicornia subterminalis, Scirpus subterminalis)
  • subterran'eum: underground (ref. Trifolium subterraneum)
  • Subular'ia: from the Latin subula, "an awl or small weapon," from the shape of some leaves (ref. genus Subularia)
  • subula'ta/subula'tum/subula'tus: awl-shaped (ref. Asclepias subulata, Festuca subulata, Melica subulata, Symphyotrichum subulatum var. parviflorum)
  • subuliflor'a: with flowers shaped like awls (ref. Festuca subuliflora)
  • subulig'era: I had thought this was possibly from uligo or uliginis, "moisture, marshiness " and the sub- prefix meaning "almost, rather, somewhat." Such a meaning would fit the habitat for this taxon as wet places. But David Hollombe says the derivation is from subula, "awl," and gero, "to bear, to carry," and this is in accord with the Jepson Manual's common name which is 'awl-leaved navarretia.' He further provided the information that Greene's description of Navarretia subuligera includes the following: "Leaves pinnately parted, the segments subulate [awl-shaped] and rigid." (ref. Navarretia subuligera)
  • subumbella'ta: somewhat umbelled (ref. Draba subumbellata, Rorippa subumbellata)
  • subvesti'tus: from the prefix sub- in compound words used to indicate "somewhat, almost, rather, slightly, partially" and vestitus, "covered, clothed, usually with hairs" (ref. Micropus californicus var. subvestitus)
  • subvillo'sa: with rather soft hairs, somewhat villous (ref. Arabis sparsiflora var. subvillosa)
  • subvisco'sa/subvisco'sus: slightly sticky or viscous (ref. Penstemon spectabilis var. subviscosus)
  • suc-: see sub- (used for words beginning with c)
  • succi'sa: appearing bitten or broken off
  • succulen'ta/succulen'tus: thick and fleshy, juicy, from the roots succus, "juice," and -ulentus, a suffix indicating an abundance of (ref. Castilleja campestris ssp. succulenta, Lupinus succulentus)
  • su'dans: sweating (ref. Penstemon sudans)
  • suf-: see sub-  (used for words beginning with f)
  • suffla'tus: inflated (ref. Astragalus cimae var. sufflatus)
  • suffrutes'cens: woody at the base (ref. Erysimum suffrutescens, Oenothera suffrutescens, Primula suffrutescens)
  • suffrutico'sa/suffrutico'sus: very low, barely woody and shrub-like, somewhat shrubby (ref. Camissoniopsis cheiranthifolia ssp. suffruticosa, Ericameria suffruticosus)
  • suffusus: tinged
  • sug-: see sub- (used before words beginning with g)
  • Suksdorf'ia: see entry below (ref. genus Suksdorfia)
  • suks'dorfii/suksdorf'ii: after Wilhelm Nikolaus Suksdorf (1850-1932), a German born near Kiel who emigrated with his family to Iowa at the age of 8 and began his interest in botany there, continuing it in California where he later moved and began studies in a science/agriculture course at the University of California in 1876. The summer vacation of the year before he had begun serious collecting of Washington state plants which he focused on for the remainder of his life. He corresponded with Harvard's Asa Gray because the flora of Washington was not well-known or identified, and for a brief period, 1886-1888, became Gray's assistant. A series of physical and mental problems with which he was to be plagued throughout his life conspired to end this position. He was not very well known during much of his career, in part because of his preference for writing and publishing in the German language, so many of his articles appeared either in German and Austrian periodicals, or in obscure American journals which would carry German-language articles. Much of his collecting was done near his home, which was in the Columbia River region of Washington, but because he lived where he did, he was exposed to a wide variety of flora. He did however make some collecting trips to the Spokane area of Washington, also to parts of Oregon and Idaho that are near to Washington, to one location in Montana, and finally he made one major collecting trip to California in 1913. It was often difficult for later botanists to locate many of his collecting sites, because he had a habit of giving them German or highly romanticized names in his notes that did not correspond to any English language maps. He also used a shorthand system of symbols and abbreviations that he didn't bother to explain, which further compounded the problem. But thanks to the herculean labors of graduate student William Weber, who matched the symbols in his notebooks with those on plant collection sheets, and also produced a complete itinerary of all Suksdorf's collecting trips over 57 years, thereby revealing the locations of virtually all his sites. Suksdorf corresponded with dozens of the country's most important botanists, collected innumerable plant species, pressing, identifying and mounting some 150,000 specimens over his lifetime. In the 1920's he was a special fellow at the herbarium of Washington State University for two winters. He had a preference for field botany over laboratory botany, and he tended to be a splitter of species. He had little regard for the study of plants that took place away from the field, but nevertheless he made a great contribution to the knowledge of western botany. His specimen sheets reside in many of the world's major herbaria, and some 70 species, sub-species and varieties, plus one genus, bear his name. It is generally accepted that he had encountered every species that existed in his area of study. He died in a freak railroad accident near his home in 1932 (ref. Artemisia suksdorfii, Bromus suksdorfii, Mimulus suksdorfii)
  • sul'ca/sulca'ta/sulca'tum: furrowed (ref. Eriogonum heermannii var. sulcatum)
  • sulfur'ea: see sulphurea below
  • sulphur'ea/sulphur'eus: sulpher-yellow (ref. Centaurea sulphurea, Lathyrus sulphureus)
  • sumatren'sis: of or referring to Sumatra (ref. Erigeron sumatrensis)
  • super-: above
  • super'ba/super'bus: superb (ref. Phlox superba, Calochortus superbus)
  • supi'na: prostrate (ref. Euphorbia supina, Linaria supina)
  • supinifor'mis: having a prostrate form (ref. Juncus supiniformis)
  • sup'plex: humble (ref. Erigeron supplex)
  • supra-: above, over
  • Swallen'ia: after American agrostologist and taxonomist Jason Richard Swallen (1903-1991). "Jason was born May 1, 1903, in Alliance, Ohio. He earned a BA from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1924 and an MS from Kansas State Agricultural College in 1925, doing a thesis on the Ranales of Kansas. He spent two summers at the Michigan University Biological Station. In 1954 he was awarded an honorary DSc by his Ohio Alma Mater. In 1925 he started as a junior botanist (1925-31) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serving under the great agrostologists, A. S. Hitchcock and Agnes Chase, and began collecting (California, 1927, Southwest and into Mexico 1928, 1931, 1932 to Yucatan). After the sudden death of A. S. Hitchcock in 1935 he began actively publishing with Agnes Chase. In 1936 he published on the grasses of Honduras and Peten ( Guatemala) and was promoted to assistant botanist and then associate botanist. From 1943 to 1945 he was agricultural production officer in the State Department (Office of Inter-American Affairs), serving in Brazil. In 1947, he became the curator of the Division of Grasses at the Smithsonian and became chairman of the Botany Department (head curator) in 1950, responsibilities he served until his retirement in 1965. After retirement he lived in Florida, Maryland, and Ohio. Two grass genera, Swallenia Soderstrom & Decker (1950) and Swallenochloa McClure (1973), were named for him, as well as a number of species, the first being Eragrostis swallenii A. S. Hitchcock (1933) and the last Festuca swallenii Alexeev (1981). He was elected to the Washington Biologists' Field Club in 1932, served as treasurer, president (1948-51), and was awarded an honorary membership in 1974. On April 22, 1991, he died in Delaware, Ohio, about 6 months after his second wife, Clara (Brazel), passed away." (Quoted from a website of the Washington Biologists Field Club). He was also the author of New Grasses of Mexico, Central America and Surinam, published in 1950 (ref. genus Swallenia)
  • Swer'tia: named after Emanuel Sweert (1552-1612) (sometimes spelled as Swert or Sweerts), a Dutch florist, botanist, artist and author of his Florilegium, or Flowering Plants (ref. genus Swertia)
  • Syag'rus: from the Latin name syagrus used by Pliny for a kind of palm-tree (ref. genus Syagrus)
  • sylvat'ica: of or growing in woods, sylvan (ref. Microseris sylvatica)
  • sylves'tris: growing in woods, forest-loving, wild (ref. Malva sylvestris)
  • Symphoricar'pos: from the Greek symphorein, "borne together," and karpos, "fruit," and so meaning "fruit borne together" because of the clustered berries (ref. genus Symphoricarpos)
  • Symphyotri'chum: from the Greek symphysis, for "borne together or growing together, coalescing," and trichos or trichinos, "hair, a single hair" (ref. genus Symphyotrichum)
  • Symphy'tum: from the Greek sympho or symphein, "to grow together," and phyton, "plant," together being a name symphyton used by Dioscorides for the plant called comfrey which was reputed to heal wounds (ref. genus Symphytum)
  • Syntrichopap'pus: from the the Greek syn, "together," thrix, "hair," and pappos, "pappus," from the fused pappus bristles (ref. genus Syntrichopappus)
  • syntro'phus: the roots of this specific epithet would appear to be the Greek syn, "together," and trophos, perhaps "one who is fed, well-fed or well-nourished." One website gave the derivation as from the Greek syntrophos, "foster brother, one reared in the same house" but that was for the prokaryotic genus Syntrophus and may not apply here. David Hollombe sent this: "thriving together, which relates to the plants' clustered growth habit, edaphic soil preference, stable morphology and allopatric distribution" (ref. Calochortus syntrophus)
  • syria'cum: Syrian (ref. Euclidium syriacum)
  • Synth'yris: from the Greek syn, "together," and thyris, "a small door," referring to the fruit valves (ref. genus Synthyris)
  • Systenothe'ca: from the Greek systenos, "narrow, tapering to a point" and theke, "a box or case," alluding to the shape of the involucre teeth (ref. genus Systenotheca)
  • sys'tyla: David Hollombe sent me the following information: "Originally described as a species of Nama, in which 'The connate styles, united for more than two thirds their length, are peculiar to this species' ["Stylis longe ultra medium connatis inferne..."] (Asa Gray, in Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences)" (ref. Draperia systyla)
  • syzigach'ne: derived from the Greek syzygos, "a joining or yoking together," and achne, "anything shaved off, froth, foam, down, chaff," from the glumes which tend to stick together by their tips (ref. Beckmannia syzigachne)
  • Syzyg'ium: from the Greek syzygos, "coupled, joined, united" (ref. genus Syzygium)

Dust devil in Eureka Valley, Death Valley National Park.

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