L-R: Fritillaria pinetorum (Pinewoods fritillary), Microsteris gracilis (Slender phlox), Pentachaeta lyonii (Lyon's pentachaeta), Pedicularis densiflora (Indian warrior), Eremogone macradenia var. macradenia (Desert sandwort)


V
In the following names, the stressed vowel is the one preceding the stress mark. It is not always easy to ascertain where such stress should be placed, especially in the case of epithets derived from personal names. I have tried to follow the principle of maintaining the stress of the original name as outlined in the Jepson Manual, and have abandoned it only when it was just too awkward. In the case of some names, I have listed them twice, reflecting either some disagreement or conflict in the rules of pronunciation, some uncertainty on my part as to the correct pronunciation, or that simply sometimes there is no single correct pronunciation. In other instances, the way I record it is just that which sounds right to my ear. Where no credit is given for photos, they are in public domain mostly from Wikipedia.
  • Vaccar'ia: from the Latin vacca, "cow," from use as fodder or prevalence in pastures. (ref. genus Vaccaria)
  • vaccinifo'lia: with leaves like those of Vaccinium. (ref. Quercus vaccinifolia)
  • Vaccin'ium: the ancient Latin name of the bilberry. (ref. genus Vaccinium)
  • Vachel'lia: named after the Rev. George Harvey Vachell (1798-1839), chaplain to the British East India Company in Macao from 1828-1836 and a plant collector in China. He was born in Littleport, Cambridgeshire, and graduated from Cambridge University in 1821. He collected plants in the vicinity in his spare time and discovered several new taxa. His collections were given to Rev. Prof. John Stevens Henslow of Cambridge. who passed them along to William Jackson Hooker and John Lindley. When a project was initiated to start a museum at the East India Campany factory, Vachell was named its curator, but it was never completed due to the East India Company's trade monopoly ending in 1834 and the disbandment of the factory. The genus Vachellia was published by Robert Wight and George Arnott Walker Arnott in 1834. (ref. genus Vachellia)
  • vac'illans: variable. (ref. Lonicera hispidula var. vacillans)
  • vagina'lis: same as next entry. (ref. Monochoria vaginalis)
  • vagina'tum: sheathed, having a sheath. (ref. Lomatium vaginatum)
  • vaginiflor'us: with flowers in a sheath. (ref. Sporobolus vaginiflorus)
  • va'gus: wandering. (ref. Erigeron vagus)
  • vahl'ii: after Martin Henrichsen Vahl (1749-1804), Norwegian-born Danish botanist, herbalist and zoologist who
      studied under Linnaeus in Uppsala, Sweden, author of Eclogae Americanae seu Descriptiones Plantarum praesertim Americae Meridionalis nondum cognitarum. He was born in Bergen, Norway and was schooled at the Bergen Cathedral School. He attended the University of Copenhagen studying botany and then at Uppsala University. He was one of the editors of Flora Danica and gave lectures at the University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden from 1779 to 1782.  Between 1783 and 1788 he made several research trips to other parts of Europe and North Africa,
    and in 1786 he was appointed as a professor at the the Society for Natural History at the University of Copenhagen. From 1801 until his death he was a full professor of botany. He had been elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1792. He is listed by the International Plant Name Index as the published author of many taxa and over 50 taxa were published with vahlii as the specific epithet, although I don’t know whether these were named for him or his son Jens Vahl (see following entry).  He died in Copenhagen. (ref. Fimbristylis vahlii)
  • Vahlod'ea: after Jens Laurentius Moestue Vahl (1796-1854), Danish botanist and pharmacist, and son of Danish-Norwegian botanist and zoologist Martin Vahl. After graduating as a pharmacist in 1819, he studied botany and chemistry, then with financial support from king Christian VIII of Denmark made important botanical collections in both East and West Greenland (1828-1836) which he later donated to the University of Copenhagen. In 1838-1839, Vahl participated in a French expedition to Nordkapp and Spitsbergen, and in 1840 was made assistant at the Botanic Garden in Copenhagen. Much of his collection from Greenland formed the basis for Conspectus Florae Groenlandicae (1887-1894) by Johan Lange who picked up Vahl's work two decades after his death. Vahl published Flora Danica fasc. 38 with Salomon Drejer and Joakim Frederik Schouw. Two genera were named in his honor, Vahlodea which was published by Elias Magnus Fries in 1842 and Mostuea which was published in 1853 by Didrik Ferdinand Didrichsen. (ref. genus Vahlodea)
  • valdivia'na: of or from the area of Valdivia, Chile. (ref. Lemna valdiviana)
  • valenti'na: of or from Valentia in Spain, this is called Mediterranean crownvetch. (ref. Coronilla valentina)
  • valerandi: named for Valérand Dourez (c.1530-c.1575), French botanist of Lyon. The Journal of British and Foreign Botanists, says Dourez was born in Lille, Flanders, and might have been related by marriage to the more famous botanist Johann Bauhin. Dourez leaned more toward chemistry than to botany, and he would be referred to as a pharmacist. His botanical travels included the Alps, Greece and Syria. His name has been sometimes listed as Dourez Valérand but this appears to have been a mistaken reversal. (ref. Samolus valerandi)
  • Valeria'na: a medieval Latin name either referring to the personal name Valerius (which was a fairly common name in Rome, Publius Valerius being the name of a consul in the early years of the Republic), or to the country of Valeria, a province of the Roman empire ("The country was bordered along the Danube to the east and north, with Noricum and Northern Italia to the west, and with Dalmatia and Moesia to the south. Its original inhabitants (Pannonii, sometimes called Paeonii by the Greeks) were an Illyrian tribe. From the 4th century BCE it was invaded by various Celtic tribes, the largest of whom were the Carni, Scordisci and Tauriscito." Quoted from a website on Roman history at http://www.unrv.com/), or to the word valere, "to be healthy and strong" from its use as a folk medicine in the treatment of nervousness and hysteria. (ref. genus Valeriana)
  • Valerianel'la: a diminutive of Valeriana. (ref. genus Valerianella)
  • va'lida/va'lidum: strong in some sense such as smell. (ref. Orobanche valida ssp. valida, Allium validum)
  • vallico'la: from the Latin vallis/valles, "valley," and with the -cola ending meaning "dwelling in or inhabiting a valley." (ref. Orobanche vallicola)
  • val'lis-mort'ae: of or from Death Valley, California.  (ref. Chamaesyce vallis-mortae, Phacelia vallis-mortae)
  • vancouveren'sis: of or from Vancouver. (ref. Leymus Xvancouverensis)
  • Vancouver'ia: after Captain George Vancouver (1759-1798), British naval officer and explorer, born in King's Lynn,
      Norfolk, of Dutch ancestry and descended from the titled Van Coeverden family. He enlisted in the Royal Navy at age 14 and through contacts made with maritime officials by his father Jasper Vancouver, a customs collector, secured a position in 1772 on the second of the three great voyages to the Pacific captained by James Cook aboard the Resolution. He benefitted by receiving rigorous training in seamanship, navigation and surveying from both Cook and the astronomer William Wales. It was on this voyage that the Resolution went south to determine the existence of
    the fabled Antarctic continent. On his second voyage with Cook, he was assigned to the Resolution's smaller companion vessel, the Discovery, and this was a voyage to discover the Northwest Passage. He next served on several vessels in the West Indies, rising to 2nd in command of the Europa. A threat from Spain, which claimed the North American coast from California to Cook Inlet, resulted in his being posted to the Courageous as part of a naval squadron intended to confront the Spanish, who had occupied Nootka Sound, built a fortified position there, and siezed three British ships that had entered the harbor. Fortunately, war was averted, and Vancouver's mission changed to meeting with the Spanish to settle the matter amicably, survey the coast from California to Alaska, and determine whether an entrance to the Northwest Passage actually existed. He followed Cook's route, around the Cape of Good Hope to Australia (the southwest corner of which Vancouver was the first to explore), New Zealand, Tahiti and Hawaii, reaching California in one year's time. He spent three seasons charting the waters and mapping the coastline, and it was during this time that he established the insularity of the island that was to bear his name. Each year as winter appproached, the Discovery (a different ship from Cook's Discovery) would turn south to California and Hawaii, becoming the first foreign vessel to enter San Francisco Bay, and in 1794 Vancouver was able to persuade the Hawaiian King Kamehameha and the other district chiefs to cede the lands under their control to England, something which the Napoleonic Wars prevented England from capitalizing on. Vancouver returned to England by way of Cape Horn, thus completing a circumnavigation of the globe. This had been one of the longest survey voyages in history, sailing well over 100,000km. Upon its conclusion Vancouver was in ill health, and after working on his journal with his brother John, died at the early age of 40. He had discovered and explored Puget Sound which he named after one of his officers, he saw and named Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier, and he was able to disprove the existence of an entrance to the Northwest Passage, at least to the highest latitude he explored, and is recognized by history as one of the great maritime adventurers. Most sources list the year of his birth as 1757, however others list 1758 or 1759. (ref. genus Vancouveria)
  • vandenbergen'sis: named for Vandenberg Air Force Base, type locality for the taxon. (ref. Mimulus fremontii var. vandenbergensis)
  • vanes'sae: after botanist Vanessa Beth Beauchamp (1976- ), daughter of R. Mitchel Beauchamp, who was the author of A Flora of San Diego County. (ref. Baccharis vanessae)
  • var'ia: diverse, differing. (ref. Vicia villosa ssp. varia)
  • varia'bilis: variable, varying. (ref. Agrostis variabilis)
  • variega'ta/variega'tum: variegated, i.e. different in some way. (ref. Delphinium variegatum, Dudleya variegata, Trifolium variegatum)
  • variic'olor: diversely-colored. (ref. Lupinus variicolor)
  • va'seyana/va'seyi: named for George Richard Vasey (1852-1921) who collected plants in California for the government in 1876 and 1880 and later settled in Washington state. He was the son of the English-born George S. Vasey (1822-1893) who was a doctor, owner of a dry goods store and later botanist and plant collector with the U.S. Department of Agriculture). Not a great deal of information is available about George Richard Vasey but David Hollombe provided this: "He collected a lot in the mid-late 1870's, including California in 1876. He doesn't seem to have been working directly for the U.S. government at that time. He was hired to study forest resources for the Census Office in 1880, which brought him to California again. By 1883 he was farming near Steptoe, WA, and he was still there in 1903. He was a member of the central committee of the Whitman County Democratic party in 1892.  He again did forestry studies for the USDA from July through October of 1889. He was single as of the 1900 census." He further discovered that Vasey left Washington state around 1905 or 1906 to homestead to Alberta, which is where he died. (ref. Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana, Lomatium vaseyi, Opuntia vaseyi, Salvia vaseyi)
  • va'seyi: named for Dr. George S. Vasey (1822-1893), physician and botanist who was born in Snainton,  Scarborough
      County, England. Details are conflicting but his family moved to Oriskany, New York in either 1823 or 1828. He attended school until the age of 12 and then worked as a store clerk, during which time he became interested in botany. Unable to purchase a copy of his own, he borrowed and then manually copied Almira Hart Lincoln's Elements of Botany, which he read and studied assiduously. He also fortuitously happened to meet the naturalist Peter D. Knieskern, who subsequently introduced him to John Torrey and Asa Gray. Vasey studied at and graduated from
    the Oneida Institute in 1841 and then studied medicine, graduating in 1846 from Berkshire Medical Institute with an M.D. degree, and becoming a doctor. He got married that same year, shortly thereafter moving to Ringwood, Illinois, and in 1854 opened a dry goods store to support his family. In 1858, being unable to escape the pull of botany, he became a member of the Illinois Natural History Association. By 1861 he had six children but his youngest died in 1864 and then his wife died two years later, but he very quickly remarried. Also in 1864 he was granted an honorary M.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University. Through his new botanical connections he met Major John Wesley Powell, a fellow self-taught scientist, who invited him to join his Colorado Expedition of 1868, and he travelled with Powell through the Rockies all that summer, returning to Denver with a good collection of specimens. In 1869 he was made a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He briefly edited the journal  Entomologist and Botanist. He was subsequently appointed curator of the Natural History Museum in the State Normal University of Illinois, a position he resigned to become the first Botanist of the Department of Agriculture and Curator of the U. S. National Herbarium. He built up the national herbarium to be one of the greatest in the world. He published a several-volume monograph of the United States grasses, the last portion of which was published after his death, and in 1884 he published Agricultural Grasses of the United States. He was also the author of a number of other works on American grasses. He was a member of the Geographical Society of Washington and the Biological Society of Washington, and in 1892 was one of the vice-presidents at the Botanical Congress at Genoa, representing the USDA and the Smithsonian. He was the father of plant collector George Richard Vasey (1852-1921). He died of peritonitis in the District of Columbia in 1893. (ref. Vaseya, Agropyron vaseyi, Haplopappus lanceolatus var. vaseyi)
  • vasifor'mis: probably having the shape of a vase from its distinctive funnel-shaped corolla. (ref. Phacelia campanularia var. vasiformis)
  • veatchia'na: named for Andrew Allen Veatch (1832-1871), mining engineer, scientist and artist of note. He was born in Covington, Louisiana, son and one of eight children of John Allen Veatch. His family moved to Texas where he grew up. In Texas in 1847, after serving as a captain in the Texas Mounted Volunteers, his father had raised a military company in which his two eldest sons were enrolled and one of them was Andrew Allen. In the early days of the Gold Rush he went to California. He panned for gold for several years, part of the time with his father. In 1863-1864, while his father was living in Virginia City, Nevada, he was the superintendent of the reduction works of the Central Mill of that place. He studied mining and became one of the foremost mining engineers in the country. He married Annie Smith in California and had two children, John Allen and May. He died at the Erie Mine in Graniteville, 11 March 1871, and was buried in Graniteville in the Sierra Nevada Mts. (Information from "We Veitches, Veatches, Veaches, Veeches: an historical treasury of the descendants of James Veitch, the sheriffe ... W. V. Clark," 1974 (ref. Mentzelia veatchiana)
  • veatch'ii: after Dr. John Allen Veatch (1808-1870), a surveyor, physician, botanist and curator of conchology at the
      California Academy of Science who came to California during the gold rush. Born in Kentucky, Veatch began his medical studies in 1827 studying in Louisville, Kentucky with a Dr. John Work and associating with him in practice. After becoming a Mason he moved to Louisiana in 1829 where he worked as a teacher. He then resettled to Texas in 1834 where he became a substantial landholder and participated in various military organizations aimed at frontier defense. He was elected as a delegate from the municipality of Bevil to the Consultation of 1835, which was the
    provisional government of Mexican Texas from November 1835 to March 1836 during the Texas Revolution. Sam Houston's nomination of Veatch as notary public for Liberty County in 1840 was rejected by the Texas Senate. He worked as a doctor in the 1840’s in Town Bluff and was a captain in the Texas Mounted Volunteers for frontier defense September 1847 to September 1848. By 1850 he was in San Antonio and having studied both botany and minerology, and having heard of gold out west, he moved to California where in 1856 he discovered large deposits of borax in Lake County. He was curator of conchology in the California Academy of Sciences from 1858 to 1861. He was a doctor in Virginia City, Nevada, from 1862 to 1863 and then worked as a geologist in San Francisco until 1869 when after failing to procure the post of state geologist of Oregon in 1868 he became a professor of chemistry and toxicology at Williamette University Medical School in Portland, Oregon. He was married three times: his first and third wives died, and his second wife divorced him on grounds of abandonment. All of his eight children were with his first wife. (ref. Garrya veatchii, Lotus dendroideus var. veatchii) (Photo credit: Find-a-Grave)
  • Velez'ia: after Cristóbal Vélez (1710?-1753), a friend of the botanist Pehr Loefling. The following information is from a website called I nomi delle piante (The Names of Plants): This website entry references as sources letters from Loefling to Linnaeus and/or documents of the institutions to which he belonged. “Cristóbal Vélez was a Madrid pharmacist, presumably born around 1710 in Castillejo, near Cuenca. He had studied botany with Joan Minuart. In 1751 he was secretary of the College of Pharmacists who also commissioned him to teach botany to aspiring pharmacists, according to the method of Tournefort which was officially recognized. When Loefling arrived in Madrid, he hosted him at his house, placing his large library at his disposal. According to the Swede, he was an excellent botanist and was collecting materials for a flora of the Madrid region; he donated some specimens to his friend who in turn offered to help him complete the Flora of Madrid . In addition to the Madrid region, he carried out botanical explorations of the Kingdom of Cordoba. At his early death, which occurred in 1753 after a five-week illness, the work was far from being ready. His herbarium and notes were used by Josep Quer for his Flora española.” The genus Velezia was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. (ref. genus Velezia)
  • velu'tina/velu'tinum/velu'tinus: velvety. (ref. Fraxinus velutina, Hackelia velutina, Prosopsis velutina, Solidago velutina ssp. californica, Ribes velutinum, Ceanothus velutinus)
  • Venegas'ia: named for Padre Miguel Venegas (1680-1764), a Jesuit scholar, administrator and historian at a seminary at Puebla, Mexico. He was born in Puebla, New Spain (Mexico). He was awarded an academic degree before he joined the Jesuit order in 1700 in Tepotzotlán. By 1705 he was an ordained member and taught philosophy and moral theology at the Colegio San Pedro y San Pablo in Mexico City. Because of ill health he was forced to retire to the Jesuit ranch of Chicomocelo, where he devoted himself to writing and botany until his death in 1764. He was assigned in the mid-1730’s the task of writing an account of Baja California and he produced a 600-page manuscript entitled  Empresas Apostólicas  which was completed in 1739. This was his major work and it was extensively revised by another Jesuit historian, Andrés Marcos Burriel, and published in three volumes, Noticia de la California (1757), a geographical, historical, and ethnographic description of an area Venegas had never himself personally visited, but which became the standard source for information about the early Californias. The genus Venegasia was published in 1838 by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle. (ref. genus Venegasia)
  • venenos'um: very poisonous. (ref. Zigadenus venenosum)
  • vene'ta/vene'tus: my original assumption that this name means "of Venice" (almost every classical name I have encountered has something to do with Venice), but it does seem unlikely that this plant name is so derived. Edmund Jaeger's Sourcebook of Biological Names and Terms gives "sea-colored or bluish" for the Latin venetus, and David Hollombe contributes that "The typical ssp. of Haplopappus venetus was first described as Baccharis veneta Kunth, and first collected at Cuernavaca. It was described as having glaucescent leaves." Glaucous is defined as "coated with a whitish or bluish waxy bloom." David also found a listing in the Oxford Latin Dictionary for uenetus and defined as "sea-blue, " so I think that's the correct meaning. Roland Brown's Composition of Scientific Words also gives, "sea-colored, blue." (ref. Haplopappus venetus, now placed in Isocoma menziesii vernonioides)
  • Venid'ium: from the Latin vena for "vein," from the ribs of the fruits, plus the suffix -idium, which is a diminutive. (ref. genus Venidium)
  • veno'sa: conspicuously veined. (ref. Arnica venosa)
  • Ventena'ta: after French botanist, librarian, clergyman and author Étienne Pierre Ventenat (1757-1808). He was born in Limoges (Haute-Vinne), France, and his brother was the naturalist Louis Ventenat. He graduated as a priest and worked as the director of the Sainte-Geneviève Church Library in Paris. During this time he took a trip to England and visited that country’s botanical gardens which inspired him to study botany. After returning to France, he attended lectures led by botanist Charles Louis de L'Héritier de Brutelle, and later collaborated intensively with him. Wikipedia says: “In 1794 he wrote a treatise on the principles of botany titled Principes de botanique, expliqués au Lycée républicain par Ventenat. After publication he became so disappointed with its mediocrity that he reportedly made efforts to procure all copies of the book and have them destroyed. In 1795 was elected a member of the Institut national des sciences et des arts, later known as the Académie des sciences. He was married in 1797. In 1798 he published a French translation of Antoine-Laurent de Jussieu's Genera plantarum as Tableau du règne végétal selon la méthode de Jussieu. In his translation of the work, Ventenat added information involving the properties and uses of plants. In 1799 he published Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivées dans le jardin de J.-M. Cels, a work that described flora in the botanical garden of Jacques Philippe Martin Cels (1740–1806), and in 1803 he published Le Jardin de la Malmaison, being written at the request of Joséphine de Beauharnais (1763–1814), who wished to immortalize the rare species of plants found in the gardens and greenhouses of Château de Malmaison. The illustrations in the two aforementioned works were performed by famed botanical artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759–1840). Ventenat is also credited with continuing the work on Jean Baptiste François Pierre Bulliard's Histoire des champignons de la France, a landmark work on mushrooms native to France.” JSTOR indicates that he collected in Madagascar, but I can’t find any independent confirmation of that. The genus Ventenata was published in 1802 by Georg Ludwig Koeler.  (ref. genus Ventenata)
  • ventrico'sa/ventrico'sum: having a swelling on one side. (ref. Chorizanthe ventricosa)
  • venus'ta/venus'tum/venus'tus: charming, handsome, from Latin venustus, "charming, elegant." (ref. Cycladenia humilis var. venusta, Zeltnera venusta, Calochortus venustus, also Castilleja exserta ssp. venusta, Cirsium occidentale var. venustum)
  • ve'ra: true.
  • Verat'rum: from the Latin for "dark roots" and the ancient name of the Hellebore. (ref. genus Veratrum)
  • Verbas'cum: corrupted form of Barbascum, the ancient Latin name for this plant. (ref. genus Verbascum)
  • Verbe'na: an ancient Latin name of the common European vervain. (ref. genus Verbena)
  • verbena'cea: since -acea is a Latin adjectival suffix indicating resemblance, this would then seem to mean "resembling Verbena." (ref. Salvia verbenacea)
  • Verbesi'na: from the resemblance of the leaves to those of Verbena. (ref. genus Verbesina)
  • verecun'da: modest, blushing. (ref. Silene verecunda)
  • verit'yi: after American horticulturist and entomologist David S. Verity (1930- ). (ref. Dudleya verityi)
  • vermicula'tus: worm-like. (ref. Sarcobatus vermiculatus)
  • ver'na: of spring. (ref. Barbarea verna, Callitriche verna, Draba verna)
  • vernac'ula: David Hollombe says "perhaps used in sense of 'native' as the plant had been previously identified with the European species Carex foetida." Brown's Composition of Scientific Words gives for Latin vernaculus, "of a home-born slave, domestic, indigenous, common." (ref. Carex vernacula)
  • verna'lis: of spring, spring-flowering. (Streptanthus vernalis)
  • vernico'sa: varnished. (ref. Amsinckia vernicosa)
  • vernonio'ides: like or having the form of genus Vernonia. (ref. Isocoma menziesii var. vernonioides)
  • Veron'ica: named for Saint Veronica, the woman who gave Jesus a cloth to wipe his face while on the way to Calvary, and so named because the markings on some species supposedly resemble those on her sacred handkerchief. (ref. genus Veronica)
  • verruco'sum/verruco'sus: warty. (ref. Lycium verrucosum, Sesuvium verrucosum, Ceanothus verrucosus)
  • versic'olor: variously-colored. (ref. Eriogonum umbellatum var. versicolor)
  • verticilla'ta/verticilla'tum: whorled. (ref. Acacia verticillata, Chloris verticillata, Hydrocotyle verticillata, Malva verticillata, Mollugo verticillata, Setaria verticillata, Myriophyllum verticillatum)
  • ve'rum: true to type, standard. (ref. Galium verum)
  • ves'ca: little. (ref. Fragaria vesca)
  • vesicar'ia: bladder-like. (ref. Carex vesicaria, Atriplex vesicaria, Crepis vesicaria, Eruca vesicaria)
  • vesiculo'sum: with small bladders or vesicles. (ref. Trifolium vesiculosum)
  • vespertin'um: of the evening, evening-blooming. (ref. Asplenium vespertinum)
  • ves'ta: apparently when Carlton Elmer Purdy originally published this name, it was Calochortus vesta after his wife Vesta Moore Purdy (1863-1937), and then when it became a variant was changed to vestae for some reason I am not aware of (thanks both to Dr. Siegmund Seybold of the Natural History Museum in Stuttgart and to David Hollombe for this iinformation). It is listed in the Flora of North America and JM2 as Calochortus vestae and is often referred to as Vesta's mariposa. (ref. Calochortus vesta)
  • vest'ae: variant of vesta and now the accepted spelling for the name of this taxon in JM2. See vesta above. (ref. Calochortus vestae)
  • vesti'ta/vesti'tum/vesti'tus: covered, clothed, usually with hairs. (ref. Asclepias vestita, Hulsea vestita ssp. gabrielensis, Hulsea vestita ssp. parryi, Hulsea vestita ssp. pygmaea, Marsilea vestita, Oreonana vestita, Lathyrus vestitus)
  • ves'tus: possibly from Latin vestis, "clothes, a covering," although since Purdy named this variety of Calochortus weedii, maybe it was for his wife as well. (ref. Calochortus weedii var. vestus)
  • vex'illo-calycula'tum: from the Latin vexillum, "a standard or flag," and calyculus, "a small flower bud." (ref. Antirrhinum vexillo-calyculatum)
  • via'lis: from the Latin vialis, "of or belonging to the highways or roads." (ref. Aster vialis)
  • viburnifo'lium: with leaves like genus Viburnum. (ref. Ribes viburnifolium)
  • Vibur'num: a classical Latin name for one species of this genus, V. lantana, the so-called wayfaring tree. (ref. genus Viburnum)
  • Vic'ia: the classical Latin name for this genus. (ref. genus Vicia)
  • viciifo'lia: with leaves like those of genus Vicia. (ref. Onobrychis viciifolia)
  • victor'is: after Victor King Chesnut (1867-1938), American botanist who worked at U.S. Department of Agriculture,
      where he initiated research on poisonous plants in 1894; he became known for his groundbreaking work on the plants used by Native Americans, documenting their use through interviews and photographs. A website of MSU includes the following biographical information: "Victor King Chesnut was born in Nevada City, California on June 28, 1867. He attended high school in Oakland, California and college at the University of California, the University of Chicago, and George Washington University specializing in chemistry and botany. He worked for the Bureau of
    Plant Industry, U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1894-1904, and as a professor of chemistry and geology at Montana Agricultural College (Montana State University) from 1904-1907. Following his work in Montana, Chesnut relocated to Washington, D.C. where he finished his career working in a variety of positions for the USDA. Letters, diary transcripts and research notes pertaining to the 1869 Cook-Folsom expedition into Yellowstone National Park were gathered or created by Chesnut during his employment at Bozeman, Montana (1904-1907) and Washington, D.C. (1921-1922). In 1904, Chesnut met Charles W. Cook, an elderly farmer living in White Sulphur Springs, Montana. Cook, along with David E. Folsom and William Peterson, had explored the Yellowstone National Park region in 1869 and recorded their journey in a joint ‘diary’ which had appeared in edited form several times during the intervening years. Cook gave Chesnut his original manuscript version of the diary from which Chesnut prepared a typed transcript. The original was lost when he left it in the Chemistry Building at Montana Agricultural College which burned Oct. 20, 1916, thus Chesnut's transcription became the earliest extant record of the expedition.” In 1916-1917 he was one of the founders of and the first president of the Hyattsville Horticultural Society, one of the oldest gardening clubs in America. He was the author of Plants used by the Indians of Mendocino County, California, published in 1902 and "Ilex vomitoria as a Native Source of Caffeine," in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. He also conducted research on livestock losses and the poisonous plants that killed them. He retired in 1933 and died in Hyattsville, Maryland in August, 1938. (ref. Ribes victoris) (Photo credit: Smithsonian Learning Lab)
  • Viguier'a: named after Louis Guillaume Alexandre Viguier (1790-1867), a French physician and botanist. (ref. genus Viguiera)
  • villo'sa/villos'um/villos'us: hairy. (ref. Abronia villosa, Allionia incarnata var. villosa, Chrysopsis villosa, Heterotheca villosa, Perityle villosa, Scrophularia villosa, Spergularia villosa, Vicia villosa ssp. varia, Vicia villosa ssp. villosa, Pennisetum villosum, Cistus villosus)
  • villosis'simum: very hairy. (ref. Dichanthelium villosissimum)
  • vimina'le/vimina'lis: with long slender shoots. (ref. Eriogonum cernuum var. viminale, Callistemon viminalis, Eucalyptus viminalis)
  • vimin'ea/vimin'eum: with long slender shoots. (ref. Monardella viminea)
  • Vin'ca: from the Latin name Vinca pervinca from vincio or vincire, "to bind," referring to its long creeping vines which were used to prepare garlands. (ref. genus Vinca)
  • vin'culans: possibly from the Latin root vinculum, "a bond, a cord." David Hollombe sent me the following which confirms this: "The specific epithet vinculans means linking or bonding, in reference to the sharing of some characters of L. vinculans with L. douglasii R.Br. and L. bakeri J.T. Howell." (ref. Limnanthes vinculans)
  • vinea'le: pertaining to vines, growing in vineyards. (ref. Allium vineale)
  • vinea'tus: the -atus suffix is usually a Latin adjectival suffix added to noun stems indicating possession or likeness, and the noun stem in this case is probably vinum, "wine," so this could mean possessing some characteristic like wine, perhaps a color. On the other hand, the Jepson Manual's use of the common name "Vine Hill Ceanothus" for this taxon is a strong indication that that is the derivation of this name, and perhaps where the type specimen was found. Vine Hill is in Sonoma County. (ref. Ceanothus foliosus var. vineatus)
  • vin'eum: from the Latin vinum, "wine," and vineus, "made of or belonging to wine, sometimes used in the sense of being wine-colored." (ref. Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum)
  • vinif'era: wine-bearing. (ref. Vitis vinifera)
  • Vio'la: a classical Latin name like Rosa. (ref. genus Viola)
  • viola'ceum: violet-colored. (ref. Allophyllum gilioides ssp. violaceum)
  • violas'cens: becoming violet-colored. (ref. Rumex violascens)
  • vi'rens: green. (ref. Dudleya virens ssp. hassei)
  • vires'cens: greenish, becoming green. (ref. Eragrostis mexicana ssp. virescens)
  • vir'ga: from the Latin virga, "a twig or sprout." (ref. Antirrhinum virga)
  • virga'ta/virga'tum/virga'tus: wand-like, twiggy in growth, referring to the tall, bare stems. (ref. Holocarpha virgata, Lessingia virgata, Stephanomeria virgata, Verbascum virgatum, Astragalus nuttallii var. virgatus)
  • virginen'sis:  Professor Curtis Clark of the Biological Sciences Department at Cal State Polytechnic University, an authority on Encelia, informs me that 'virginensis' is "named after the Virgin River, that runs from southwestern Utah into Nevada, where it merges with the Colorado at Lake Mead.  E. virginensis is found along the river from the lower elevations of Zion National Park all the way to Lake Mead." (ref. Cryptantha virginensis, Encelia virginensis)
  • virginia'na: see virginica below. (ref. Fragaria virginiana, Prunus virginiana)
  • virgin'ica/virgin'icum/virgin'icus: from or referring to Virginia. (ref. Plantago virginica, Sibara virginica, Lepidium virginicum var. pubescens, Andropogon virginicus)
  • vir'ide: green. (ref. Asplenium viride, Veratrum viride)
  • virides'cens: becoming green. (ref. Eriogonum viridescens, Ferocactus viridescens)
  • viridiflor'um: with green flowers.
  • viridifo'lium: with green leaves. (ref. Ribes malvaceum var. viridifolium)
  • vir'idis: green. (ref. Claytonia parviflora ssp. viridis, Ephedra viridis, Monardella viridis, Phlox viridis, Polypogon viridis, Setaria viridis)
  • viridis'sima: very green. (ref. Arctostaphylos viridissima)
  • virid'ula: somewhat green. (ref. Carex viridula, Festuca viridula)
  • viro'sa: muddy, from virosus, "muddy, covered with slime." (ref. Lactuca virosa)
  • vis'cida: viscid, describing the small, sticky globules of brown, viscid liquid on the ends of the hairs on the stem. (ref. Cheilanthes viscida, Drymocallis glandulosa var. viscida, Dudleya viscida, Geraea viscida, Leptochloa viscida, Orcuttia viscida, Oreophila viscida, Phacelia viscida)
  • viscidehir'ta: from a combination of the roots viscos, "sticky," and hirta, "rough, hairy." (ref. Heteranthemis viscidehirta)
  • viscidiflor'us: with sticky flowers. (ref. Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus)
  • viscid'ula/viscid'ulus: from the Latin roots visco or viscare, "to make sticky," and the adjectival suffix -ulus used to indicate "small or little," thus meaning "minutely viscid." (ref. Navarretia viscidula)
  • visco'sa/visco'sus: sticky. (ref. Arnica viscosa, Parentucellia viscosa, Physalis viscosa)
  • viscosis'simum: very sticky. (ref. Geranium viscosissimum)
  • Vis'cum: Latin name for the mistletoe. (ref. genus Viscum)
  • visna'ga: "toothpick," the likes of which were apparently fashioned from the spines of barrel cactuses by the people of Spanish America, giving rise to the name Bisnaga. (ref. Ammi visnaga)
  • vita'cea: vine-like. (ref. Parthenocissus vitacea)
  • Vi'tex: a Latin name used by Pliny for the chaste-tree, Vitex agnus-castus, or a similar shrub, probably from the Latin vieo, "to plait, tie up or twine," according to Umberto Quattrocchi. (ref. genus Vitex)
  • vitifo'lium: with leaves like those of genus Vitis. (ref. Pelargonium vitifolium)
  • Vi'is: the Latin name for the grapevine. (ref. genus Vitis)
  • vitta'ta/vitta'tus: striped lengthwise, from the Latin vitta, "a band." (ref. Pteris vittata)
  • vi'vida/vi'vidus: from the Latin vividus, meaning "lively, having the appearance of vigorous life or freshness," and when applied to colors meaning "producing a strong, sharp or intense impression on the senses."
  • vivid'ior: from vividus, "lively, vigorous," and the suffix -ior which is commonly used to indicate a greater extent of whatever adjectival characteristic it is attached to, e.g. brevior, "shorter," gracilior, "more slender," thus this would be "more lively, more vigorous." (ref. Navarretia divaricata ssp. vividior)
  • vivip'ara: viviparous, that is, bearing plantlets or bulblets on the leaves or in the inflorescence of the parent plant. (ref. Coryphantha vivipara var. rosea)
  • vollmer'i: after Albert Michael Vollmer (1896-1977). The following is from Cantelow and Cantelow "Biographical Notes on Persons in whose Honor Alice Eastwood Named Native Plants," (Leaflets of Western Botany 8 (5): 83-101): "Physician, collector and grower of native lilies; born in San Diego, California, 14 May 1896; now residing in San Francisco, Calif. Quoting from Alice Eastwood: 'not only has he cultivated most of the lilies of California in his garden, but he has probably seen more growing in their native habitats than anyone.' Dr. Vollmer has also collected in Baja California with Dr. I. L. Wiggins of Stanford University." Not only did he collect the type of Lilium vollmeri (now Lilium pardalinum ssp. volmeri) with Ira Wiggins, but also the types of Lilium wigginsii (now Lilium pardalinum ssp. wigginsii) and L. pitkinense (now Lilium pardalinum ssp. pitkinense) with Lawrence Beane. An article in Madrono by Ira Wiggins referred to him as "a medical doctor who loved lilies" and added that "Dr. Vollmer also collected herbarium specimens of most California lilies that he had originally collected for propagation, and sent much material to the California Academy of Sciences, the University of California, Stanford University, and to the U.S. National Herbarium in Washington, D.C. He collected and cultivated representatives of such genera as Calochortus and Fritillaria and of several species within the Amaryllidaceae. Dr. Vollmer published several papers in the Lily Yearbook and in garden journals. In these papers he contributed sub-
    stantially to knowledge about geographical distribution, soil requirements, and flowering periods of our native lilies (Vollmer, 1954, 1956, 1959). The 1956 paper was presented in person, along with colored moving pictures of many of California's lilies, before the Royal Horticultural Society in London. It seems appropriate that recognition should be given to the excellent field work carried on by Dr. Vollmer, to the support he gave so generously to professional botanists, and for his devotion to saving the native stands of lilies in our state. I wish that such recognition might have been provided before [his] death in the spring of 1977, a few weeks before his 82nd birthday. He was a staunch friend who supported my field operations through a decade, and took me to several out-of-the-way lily localities in California." (Madrono, Vol. 28, No. 3, 7/81) (ref. Lilium pardalinum ssp. vollmeri)
  • volu'bile/volu'bis: twining. (ref. Dichelostemma volubile)
  • Volutaria: from Latin voluta, having a spiral scroll or twist, for the spirally coiled corolla lobes of the original species. (ref. genus Volutaria)
  • vortried'ei: after William Edward Vortriede (1861-1940). The following is quoted from G.W. Reed's 1923 History of Sacramento County: "Throughout a period of residence in California dating from 1887, William Vortriede has filled a. number of positions of trust and responsibility in his special line of work, that of landscape gardener. Since 1911 he has held the position of state gardener and at the same time is advising gardener for all the state institutions. In the laying out of public and high school grounds his advice and cooperation is sought and readily given without any thought of compensation. William Vortriede was born in Germany, October 24, 1861, a son of Edward and Paulina (Berger) Vortriede, both natives of Germany, now deceased. Mr. Vortriede received his education in the schools of Germany and at an early age decided to take up gardening as a trade. He remained at home with his parents until he was twenty years old, and then came to the United States and went direct to Toledo, Ohio, where he worked for his uncle for four years; then he came West and was employed at Coronado Beach from the beginning of laying out the grounds, for four years, working at his trade during that period. He then removed to Stockton, where he was employed at the state hospital for thirteen years. He was placed in charge of the grounds of the public schools of Stockton, and for four years was landscape gardener for George West & Sons; then for two years he was with Dr. Samuel Langdon in orchard work at Stockton. In 1911 he was made state gardener at the capitol grounds in Sacramento, where he has given entire satisfaction. The marriage of Mr. Vortriede united him with Miss Christina Jergensen, and they are the parents of two children, Paulina and Edward. At seventeen years of age, Edward Vortriede volunteered for service in the U. S. Navy, and he served through the World War, and is now in the Sacramento Transportation Company service. In politics Mr. Vortriede is a Republican. His hobby is the study and cultivation of plants and flowers." (ref. Systenotheca vortriedei)
  • vulca'nica: growing on a volcano. (ref. Ericameria [formerly Chrysothamnus] parryi ssp. vulcanica)
  • vulga're/vulgar'is: common. (ref. Cerastium fontanum ssp. vulgare, Cirsium vulgare, Foeniculum vulgare, Leucanthemum vulgare, Marrubium vulgare, Beta vulgaris, Hippuris vulgaris, Linaria vulgaris, Prunella vulgaris var. lanceolata, Senecio vulgaris, Utricularia vulgaris)
  • vulga'ta/vulga'tum: common. (ref. Bidens vulgata, Cerastium vulgatum)
  • Vul'pia: after German chemist/physicist, pharmacist and amateur botanist of Pforzheim Johann Samuel Vulpius who investigated the flora of Baden. (1760-1846) of Baden. (ref. genus Vulpia)
  • vulpinoid'ea: relating to or resembling foxes. (ref. Carex vulpinoidea)
  • vulvar'ia: from the Latin vulvarius, "of foul smell, evil odor." (ref. Chenopodium vulvaria)


Living Desert, Palm Springs
Home Page