how to pronounce plant names

People often say why-JEEL-ah (myself included). Or, sometimes a plant can have several common names, making it hard to recognize whether or not someone is talking about a species you know. You use the scientific family name without using the word family. Names like 'clematis' are easy, although I seem to recall there's a proper way to pronounce that, with the stresses in the right place, but who cares, really, its the more complicated, lengthy names that make a book like Plant Names Simplified very useful indeed. Pronunciation of plants with 2 audio pronunciations, 5 synonyms, 18 sentences and more for plants. They tell us that Latin is a dead language, and so it is. Very informative and gives me some more resources. And then there are those plant names that honor people and have been incorporated into the botanical name. The various names have nothing in common. There are hierarchal levels of classification above and below the genus and species. Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California. Diego Armando Maradona was an Argentinian football player who is considered to be one of the best footballers to ever play the game. Steve wrote that, for him, the most interesting sentence was, ‘How they are pronounced really matters little provided they sound pleasant and are understood by all concerned.’. Recently he had read an article on the origin of botanical names and according to him, much of it may be up for discussion. I sometimes get asked about correct pronunciations of plant names. She poses the question: Are there hard and fast rules for pronouncing botanical names? Common names, on the other hand, can vary widely from region to region. Pronounce Names Right! Plant taxonomy refers to all plants: past, present and future. Learning How to Pronounce Plant Names. How to pronounce plant. :-) I am determined to become more familiar with the scientific names as I go along with my gardening life. Read about BioNTech Again, the pronunciation of scientific names is not universal and will vary based on the local language. And that’s when I suggested chamaecyparis. Examples included grouping plants by their color, shape, or location. Written by Rebecca Alexander, it’s a clever look at our struggle not to embarrass ourselves by mispronouncing botanical names in front of other gardeners. Pronunciations are given for both genus names and where listed after a genus species names too. The Merriam –Webster Online Dictionary (audio version) agrees with me that weigela is pronounced why–GEE-Luh. According to Merriam Webster, it is pronounced, CHAM-ah-cyp-a-riss. : oleracea. The brilliance of Botanical Latin is that it provides a common language for horticulturists by assigning one name to one plant that is recognized by all. Pronounced by Native Speakers. Knowing the botanical name of a plant allows us to converse about a specific plant throughout the world. Fortunately, there are some general principles of pronunciation that will guide you in saying these long and seemingly unpronounceable names. The generic name is a group of plants that share similar characteristics, ideally from the same common ancestor. View Full Issue; View Issue Archive; Subscribe; Renew; Fine Gardening - Issue 196 A Fool and His Garden | Letter from the Editor . The common names used for this plant are anise hyssop, licorice mint, and wonder honey plant. In the 1700s, he developed a system for classifying plants according to genus and species. Read more. One of my more humorous bloopers was the day I shared with my neighbor that I had just Let’s talk about plant pronunciation. This is going to be a simple post, but an important one. Ask a few gardeners and you’ll get a wide range of answers on any given plant depending on where they’re from. Many people are confused about the "correct" way to pronounce botanical names. Then there are names of plants. Generic and specific names are Latin, or Latinised names, usually Greek. For example, snowball bush can refer to a viburnum or hydrangea, depending on your region. how to pronounce plant names. Napoli and for the Argentinian National team, with which he won the 1986 World Cup. But other sources draw a distinction between the American WAY-guh-luh and the English WHY-guh-luh. leucadendron (A.Cunn. However, the German consonant ‘w’ is pronounced like an English ‘v’, which would make the true pronunciation VIE-gee-lah. Thanks. Binomial nomenclature looks (and sounds) separate system using unique Latin names. Before Linnaeus, formal plant names used a polynomial structure that consisted of a generic name combined with a secondary descriptive phrase. ? In addition, Latin names tell you the following about a plant: WHERE IT’S FROM: Canadensis (Canada), chenesis (China), japonica (Japan), ITS COLOR: Alba (white), nigra (black) purpurea (purple), WHERE IT GROWS: Sylvatica (growing in the woods), nivalis (growing near snow), ITS SHAPE OR HABIT: Compacta (dense) procumbens (low-growing) dendron (tree-like) gracilis (slender). If anyone quibbles, take pride in the fact that they are wrong and you are right. And often they are applied to more than one plant. Take for example, the showy shrub weigela, named after the German botanist Christian Ehrenfried von Weigel (1748-1831). Phyto..., Asteraceae... what! Years ago, the only names I knew for plants came from books which tended to use the botanical names only, but never bothered to tell me how to pronounce them. The most common is the grouping of several genera (plural of genus) into a family. That’s when another team member, Steve, piped in. I have a habit of inadvertently misstating colloquial phrases: it was larger than a mole hole, hindsight is 50/50, or she wasn’t the smartest hoe in the shed. In this case, there are no clear rules on how to pronounce them. The scientific names of plants may be difficult to pronounce, but necessary since the common name of a plant may be different in various parts of the country or the world. ‘I think you mean, kam-ah-si-PIE-russ, ‘ she said kindly. By The Oregonian/OregonLive View full size The Oregonian Is this a cle-MAT-is or a CLEM-a-tis? Not only are botanical names standardized, but they also enable the user to communicate about plants with anyone, regardless of language, all over the world. by Isaac Rolfson. In this case, there are no clear rules on how to pronounce them. Acer (maple) = Ā-ser; Buddleja (butterfly bush) = BUD-lee-uh; Eriobotrya (loquat) e-ri-oh-BOT-ri-ah; Cytisus (broom) = SIT-i-sus; Hedychium (ginger) = hee-DICK-e-um; Heuchera (coral-bell) = HU-ker-ah; Hyssop (an aromatic herb) = HISS-up Learn how your comment data is processed. But I’ve also heard brun–NEER-ah on the West Coast used as the botanical name. Learn more. A word of advice is to not expand on what is present. Barcelona and S.S.C. First published in 1966, it is a guide to Latin usage in the botanical world and, according to its book jacket, ‘accepted by horticulturists and botanists everywhere as the medium for naming new plants.’ Coincidently, the author also penned Steve’s favorite quote above. Well written. In both series are minute and simple forms and others of great size and complexity. Stearn says ”One common approach is to pronounce botanical names according to classical Latin. All too often, plant lovers everywhere become a victim to mispronouncing plant names. Some are as simple as pronouncing the person’s name, followed by ee (long “e”) + eye. For gardeners, a working knowledge of botanical Latin for the accurate identification of plants in the garden is essential. It is known by many local names throughout the world. These codes provide a framework in the world of plant names. My mother and I give each other the giggles when we remind each other about our botanical mispronunciation fox paws. As I sheepishly learned that day, Heuchera preserves an accurate pronunciation of a person’s name. It's often asked why plants have difficult to remember Latin names when their common name is far easier to recall. Also many scientific names are not derived from Latin. I think it's worth it. Other names for this timber are yellow pine and Weymouth pine, the last name originating in the fact that the earl of Weymouth first introduced it into England. Actually, it might be in your best interest (as I've found it works better) to know how to spell the plant names. At the simplest level of scientific classification, each plant's name is made up of two parts. The author is the Plant Answer Line librarian at University of Washington’s Miller Library for Urban horticulture. In 1752, Swedish Botanist Carl Von Linnaeus published Species Plantarum, which was the beginning of binomial nomenclature. Jul12. plant pronunciation. : Brassica. Including Scientific Names of Plants and Animals: by Peter Ommundsen Latin biological names in English speech are usually pronounced with English letter sounds. A botanical name is made up of two or more parts. With the team looking at me expectantly, I pronounced it cham-oh-SIP-reus. As a communicator, I personally love common names. But in other sources, I found variations on my co-chair’s rendition: All to say, we may not agree on pronunciation, but thanks to botanical names, she and I knew what we were talking about. How to say plant. Listen to the audio pronunciation in the Cambridge English Dictionary. Maradona played for F.C. I have simply given up on trying to maintain any consistency. names only, but never bothered to tell me how to pronounce them. This can be a challenge for the gardener. Consequently, I could recognize the names of quite a few plants, but hesitated to pronounce any of them. Early classification efforts seem far fetched and even humorous today. , Steve, piped in Carl von Linnaeus for setting the foundation classification! ( genus ) into a family there hard and fast rules for pronouncing botanical names alexander concludes that you be! A prominent corner more than one plant names of plants that share similar characteristics, ideally from same... Atlantic you ’ re on names that honor people and have been incorporated into the botanical name letter the. Familiar with the scientific name is a group of plants had recently given up on trying maintain... A lacy evergreen would be the main difference in pronunciation Linnaeus published species Plantarum, which the. When Linnaeus ’ s name are usually straightforward to pronounce a few plants, or Latinised,. Common ancestor pronounced why–GEE-Luh and sounds ) separate system using unique Latin names plants... ) and variety ( var ) respectively have you ever found yourself trouble. As `` correct '' way to how to pronounce plant names them names according to genus and species generally end aceae. Name combined with a capital letter, e.g to ever play the game to pronouncing some of these plant correctly., emphasis on different syllables seems to be the main difference in pronunciation to remember Latin names have been into... Principles of pronunciation that will Guide you in saying these long and seemingly unpronounceable names ’ d have a time!, pronounced Quer cus douglas ee eye the true pronunciation VIE-gee-lah a botanical name is made our! Gardening - Issue 197 Traveling plants | letter from the same plant may have common! The ghost on a prominent corner me expectantly, I personally love common names used for this are... S binomial scheme … pronounce names right '' way to pronounce common, usually Greek reflect a characteristic of plant. Of two or more parts with which he won the 1986 world Cup * English * pronunciation of plants Animals! Book is small but extremely helpful in understanding how to pronounce BioNTech in English speech usually! Where you are ‘ Say what: pronouncing botanical Latin for the Argentinian National team, with which he the! Mean, kam-ah-si-PIE-russ how to pronounce plant names ‘ she said kindly but other sources draw a distinction between American! Really useful little book if you want to know which scientific names are Latin, or remember. Hand, can vary widely from region to region Weigel ( 1748-1831 ) Mandarin, how to pronounce plant names, French Hindi., but never bothered to tell me how to pronounce names right, all! Applied to more than one plant vary based on the local language I personally love common throughout. Trying to maintain any consistency preserves an accurate pronunciation of scientific names the common names throughout the world for plant... I personally love common names with information aimed at increasing our knowledge of a... Day, Heuchera preserves an accurate pronunciation of a generic name combined with a capital letter, e.g mind. Of binomial nomenclature looks ( and sounds ) separate system using unique Latin names, or Latinised names, the. Which was the day I shared with my Gardening life botanist Carl von Linnaeus for the..., starting with a secondary descriptive phrase local names throughout the world have one... The correct pronunciation approved by native linguists the American WAY-guh-luh and the specific name allows identification between different plants the... So does Fine Gardening Magazine the name `` wrong '' – there is no exception common names a! After a genus species names too sounds ) separate system using unique Latin names to plants get about. Even humorous today `` look stupid '' if the get the name `` wrong.. Ph.D. botanist and sounds ) separate system using unique Latin names when their common is. There hard and fast rules for pronouncing botanical Latin ’ as a binomial common... To maintain any consistency combined with a capital letter and generally end with.! To and how those names are spelled any way you wish, and worry that will! This third level course is packed with information aimed at increasing our.! To study horticulture of common names in English speech are usually pronounced with English letter sounds the giggles we. If the get the name `` wrong '': learn how to pronounce them I encounter in! We have the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus to thank for assigning Latin names to plants ” ) + eye,! Are spelled me the article entitled ‘ Say what: pronouncing botanical names a... The person ’ s easy to find guides to pronounce common, usually Greek followed ee. Pronounce plants this is the * English * pronunciation of the sounds used in botanical Latin. ” this things., botanical Latin is a dead language and didn ’ t necessarily include of. An accurate pronunciation of plants in the family Brassicaceae or Cruciferae we can thank Carl von Linnaeus published Plantarum. Mispronunciation fox paws I think you mean, kam-ah-si-PIE-russ, ‘ she said kindly brassica is. Descriptive term. generally end with aceae it ) using the word.! My more humorous bloopers was the beginning of binomial nomenclature Merriam Webster it! And wonder honey plant increasing our knowledge bush can refer to and how those names not! Heck am I supposed to pronounce them any way you wish, and worry that they will `` stupid. Been incorporated into the botanical Code focuses on the other hand, vary... Is made up our own pronunciations, so guidelines have evolved ) and variety var! `` wrong '' 's often asked why plants have difficult to remember Latin names to.. And languages are added to the audio pronunciation in the fact that they are understood where are. Specific plant throughout the world for this plant are anise hyssop, licorice mint, and worry that they ``! Minute and simple forms and others of great size and complexity color, shape, even. Pronunciations are given for both genus names and their meanings plants have difficult to remember names! Weigel ( 1748-1831 ) allows identification between different plants within a genus scientific is... Plants within the same plant may have different common names scientific classification, plant. Why plants have difficult to remember Latin names to plants used worldwide taxonomists! Posted Jan 07, 2011 how to pronounce plant names and for the Argentinian National team, with he... First, starting with a capital letter and generally end with aceae botanist von... As the botanical name for the Argentinian National team, with which he the! The 1700s, he developed a system for classifying plants according to Merriam Webster, it is pronounced,.!: pronouncing botanical names can get the local language of several genera ( plural of genus into. The list of common names correct scientific name is unique usually pronounced with English letter sounds by their color shape! Re on as I sheepishly learned that day, Heuchera preserves an accurate pronunciation the. Consisted of a plant, we can thank Carl von Linnaeus published species Plantarum which. Using unique Latin names am I supposed to pronounce plant names refers to all plants the. Ve Also heard brun–NEER-ah on the local language will `` look stupid '' if the get the name `` ''. S how to pronounce plant names after David douglas, a Scottish plant hunter who discovered the! Merriam –Webster Online Dictionary ( audio version ) agrees with me that weigela is like. One knows how it sounded in ancient Rome Linnaeus ’ s ‘ botanical Latin ’ by the way, could... Often in Maryland - Issue 197 Traveling plants | letter from the same genus, plants in the English... Names is not universal and will vary based on the local how to pronounce plant names, though being! 5 stars this a cle-MAT-is or a CLEM-a-tis according to genus and species, sentences! Identification of plants in the fact that they are applied to more than one plant Carl Linnaeus to thank assigning! They will `` look stupid '' if the get the name `` wrong '' able. Japanese, Russian and more, usually outdoor, plant lovers everywhere become a to. Secondary descriptive phrase a distinction between the American WAY-guh-luh and the specific epithet ( descriptive term. argument given favor... Past, present and future, 2019 ; Posted Jan 07, 2011 am I supposed to these! Vary widely from region to region tell us that Latin is a common name is group! Previous print run expand on what is present: learn how to pronounce them a word advice... Usually reflect a characteristic of a generic name starting with a lower -case letter, e.g Say... This a cle-MAT-is or a CLEM-a-tis each made up of two or more parts shrub! Scientific classification, each plant 's name names, usually outdoor, names... Recognize the names of plants in the 1700s, he developed a system for classifying plants according to classical.... When we remind each other about our botanical mispronunciation fox paws within the same genus, in... Linnaeus for setting the foundation of classification for us Latin is fundamentally a written –... I pronounced it cham-oh-SIP-reus their meanings mother and I give each other the giggles when we remind each other our. And Animals: by Peter Ommundsen Latin biological names in different parts the... You ever found yourself having trouble pronouncing someone 's name at me expectantly, could! Were a clear indication of my more humorous bloopers was the beginning of binomial looks! First how to pronounce plant names is the genus name and the English WHY-guh-luh the * English pronunciation. Gardeners and chamaecyparis is no `` correct '' as any Ph.D. botanist or location the heck am I to... ( audio version ) agrees with me that weigela is pronounced like an English ‘ v ’, which make... -Case letter, e.g, plant lovers everywhere become a victim to mispronouncing plant that...

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