Flowers Names

Flowers, like all other plants, have both Latin names and common names used in everyday life. Latin or scientific names are international and basically composed of a genus name, followed by a species name. These scientific names are created according to rules laid down in the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN). This describes how names are to be constructed and specifies a two-word system called binomial nomenclature. Each flower is given a two-word name (a binomial), which all scientists use exclusively. The Swedish botanist, Carolus Linnaeus, devised the modern scientific system of naming plants and the scientific naming of flowers is closely related to this system. This method ensures that the confusion caused by common flower names is avoided and botanists can easily identify every species of plant. In addition to the binomial, each flower is given a name for each higher-level group to which it belongs. Each plant belongs to a genus (a group of organisms having common characteristics), each genus to a “family”, each family to an order, each order to a class, each class to a phylum (a principal taxonomic category ranking above class and below kingdom), each phylum to a kingdom, and each kingdom to one of the three-domain systems, a biological classification that divides cellular life forms into: archaea, bacteria, and eukaryote. Most common names of flowers originated from folklore and are based on their appearance or in some cases on their healing properties. A typical example is colicroot, a perennial herb that is crushed and made into a tonic to cure indigestion and rheumatism. Another is snapdragon, stemming from a “dragon’s mouth”, which opens and closes if the side of the bloom is gently squeezed.

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