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Site Help: Understanding the garden terms for my journal

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Forum: Site HelpReplies: 2, Views: 8
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Roseville, CA
(Zone 8a)

May 8, 2005
4:12 AM

Post #1455360

I understand how to use the journal that's not the problem...the problm is I have no idea the difference between a cultivar or species or what the genus is of a plant. I've read the garden terms for each but I just want to make sure I'm understanding it correctly. So I thought I would give an example and someone can tell me how to enter it in my journal...because I know I entered my plants wrong...but I just wanted to be able to log what I had...until I took the time to learn.

Snail Flower - Vigna caracalla

Snail flower = common name
Vigna = Genus
caracalla = species

What about like hosta's? Would Hosta be the common name or the genus? Or is 'Patriot' the species?

Patriot = common name
hosta = genus

Any help would be greatly appreciated.



Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 8, 2005
1:10 PM

Post #1455693

Lisa, you've nailed it on Vigna caracalla.

In the case of Hostas and a few other plants, we commonly refer to them by their botanical name; hence...

Common name: Hosta (or Plantain Lily, if you happen to use that name)
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Hosta
Species: (blank in most cases, as theyre mostly hybrids)
Cultivar: Patriot

Unfortunately, this situation is an exception to the rule in the US, where we tend to rely more on the non-Latinized common names for plants (you'll also sometimes see common names referred to as "vernacular" names.)
Roseville, CA
(Zone 8a)

May 8, 2005
4:33 PM

Post #1456016

Thank you Terry! That really did help clear it up. Now for cleaning up my journal. :-)

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