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Botanical name

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Definition

noun, plural: botanical names

The scientific name of plants


Supplement

A botanical name is the scientific name given to a particular plant species. It must conform to the system of botanical nomenclature as prescribed by the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN).

A botanical name is essential so that a plant species would have a particular name that is acceptable worldwide. A plant species would tend to have several other names (or common names) depending on how the local residents refer to it. Thus, a botanical name would prevent plausible misunderstandings and misidentification of a plant species when using common names.

The botanical name of a plant species may be comprised of one, two, or three parts. In two parts (binomen), it is comprised of genus name and the specific epithet. The genus name in the botanical name of a plant species is the first part whereas the specific epithet is the second part. For example, Musa acuminata (a banana species native in Southeast Asia) is comprised of the genus name Musa and the specific epithet acuminata. Both the genus name and the specific epithet are written in italics. The first letter of the genus name must be capitalized. In three parts (infraspecific name), it includes a connecting term to indicate rank, e.g. subspecies.


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