Botanical nomenclature

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The systematic or scientific naming of plant species


Botanical nomenclature is the systematic or scientific naming of plants. That means the name assigned to a particular plant species is based on the rules within the botanical nomenclature system, particularly the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN). Binomial nomenclature is related to taxonomy, which is the science of finding, describing, classifying, and naming organisms, including the studying of the relationships between taxa and the principles underlying such a classification. Thus, plant taxonomy, in particular, is a broader field and is primarily focused on the grouping and classifying of plants. Botanical nomenclature is concerned with simply naming the plants. Nevertheless, the name given to a particular plant species (called botanical name) includes the genus it belongs. There are also botanical names that are comprised of two parts, i.e. the 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.

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