Plant Taxonomy

Plant Taxonomy
Unit 2
 To differentiate between scientific and common plant
names and explain the binomial system of naming
 Most plants have more than one common name
however they can be confusing because two totally
different plants may have the same common name.
 For this reason it is import to know both the proper and
the common name of plants
 For example the Red Maple is also know as the
Swamp Maple and Scarlet Maple depending on the
area you are in.
The Binomial System of Naming
 Developed by Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus
 Gave all plants two Latin names as their scientific
 First name is the generic name, group name of GENUS
 Plants with the same generic name belong to the same
genus and have similar characteristics and are more
closely related
 Second name is the specific name or SPECIES
 Plants with the same specific name belong to the same
species. These plants have the same characteristics and
will consistently produce plants of the same type.
 Universal name of plants
 Subdivision of species
 Resemble another variety but have one or two different
characteristics that are consistent and inherited
 Example: Peach Tree is Prunus persica and the
nectarine is Prunus persica var. nucipersica
 Another subdivision
 Cultivar means “cultivated variety”
 Example: Two cultivars of Acer rubrum (red maple)
are ‘Red Sunset’ and ‘Autumn Flame’
Autumn Flame
Red Sunset
Genus Name
 Noun
 Often are the names of botanists
 Common Generic names
 Acer (maple)
 Chrysanthemum (mum)
 Dianthus (pink)
 Hibiscus (mallow)
 Mimulus (monkey flower)
 Pinus (Pine)
Species Name
 Adjective
 Often gives important information about the plant such
as color, if the plant is creeping or erect, size or
geographic location where the plant occurs naturally
Plant Families
 Major units of related genera with similar flower
 Example: The rose family Rosaceae consists of several
genera- Prunus (plum), Fragaria (strawberry), Rubus
(bramble) and Malus (apple)
 Each have simple flowers with seperated petals
 Largest plant family is the Asteraceae (Aster) family
Plant Families
Expressing Scientific Names
Taxonomy Chart: Hierarch of Specification
 Kingdom—Plant
 Division or Phylum– Spermatophyta (seed plants)
 Class—Angiospermae (seeds in fruit)
 Order- Acerales
o Family--Aceraceae
• Genus--Acer
• Species—rubrum
• Variety or cultivar– var. ‘October Glory’
The Taxonomist
 Scientist who identify and classify plants
 Identify and classify plants in a hierarch of
 Must follow a national set of rules known as the
International Code of Botanical Nomenclature
 Complete the self evaluation Multiple Choice and
 Due Wednesday August 21 end of period