Yeah, that's Solanum dulcamara. The name I'm giving is genus and species (i.e., the binomial). The common name depends a bit on who you ask... I'd heard it as bittersweet nightshade, the USDA says it's climbing nightshade. A toxic plant, as you might guess from the name.
When people give you a two part name like that where both names sound Latin, it'll almost always be the genus and species. If there's just one name then it's usually the genus, often people will recognize what genus something is in but it can sometimes take longer to figure out the species. Or you can do a General Search in PF and type in the name the way it was given to you, that lets you can search for things even if you don't know which part was genus, species, etc.
Now, Patrick: surely you also know that you can use the [brackets] for quoting folks...
[quote]PS to create the italics, put [i] before, and [/i] after, except use the triangular brackets (not the square ones as I've put for demonstration)[/quote]
The rest of the html stuff is gibberish, but I'll take your word for it. I think there's a FAQ somewhere in DG that gives a primer on all this. There certainly is an entertaining thread over on Trees & Shrubs from a while back which goes overboard in depth about quotes, italics, bold type, underline, and plenty of other fun "dress up" stuff ( like ™, ®, and non¢ like that).
"Now, Patrick: surely you also know that you can use the [brackets] for quoting folks..."
I knew you could do this in other forums, but didn't realize it worked on this one. It's worth mentioning that whenever you use square brackets ([,]) to modify text in an online forum, you are not using html, but instead are using BBCode, which is basically a simplified/bastardized version of html created for use in online forums.
"Actually BB code is a lot easier to use - you don't need the shift key to enter it, so it's a lot simpler to type."
I can type html far faster than I can type BBCode. In large part, this is simply because I'm used to html, but not to BBCode; with the exception of the rare times I have to use BBCode, I never use square brackets. Then there's the confusion that I now have to remember two separate systems instead of just one. And for those who only get introduced to BBCode... they've spent a little time learning a system with very limited applicability when they could have been getting a head-start on understanding broadly-applicable html.
BBCode just doesn't offer enough simplification to justify the creation of a new system for such a limited context, especially given the confusion it generates. Much of the power of the web is based on standardization, but BBCode is a move towards division, opposed to standardization.
It's perhaps worth mentioning that another argument against just allowing straight html in forums is that html could be used to screw the forum up a bit... however, the commonly used tags in forum discussion have no malicious potential.
I would prefer to see the botanical names in italics, but right now I'm so confused that I don't know where to start. It would be more simple if we could just it Ctrl i before and after the name. More people would understand. How about that Dave???
MotherNature, it's really simple. If you want a phrase to appear like this:
I think the plant is Solanum dulcamara.
Type it like this:
I think the plant is <i>Solanum dulcamara</i>.
Basically, just type the "less than" symbol ( < ), the letter "i" (for italics), and then the "greater than" symbol ( > ). That makes any proceeding text you type italicized. To stop the italics, type the "less than" symbol ( < ), a forward slash ( / ), the letter "i", and the "greater than" symbol ( > ).
[quote]Andy, the common name I know it by is deadly nightshade[/quote]
That's a different species (Atropa belladonna), with black (not red) berries, and very much more poisonous. Deadly Nightshade is (as its name suggests) lethally poisonous if eaten, whereas Bittersweet is only weakly poisonous (unpleasant stomach ache if you eat some berries, but not death, unless you eat a huge amount)
Looks like you forgot the semicolons. In some contexts you don't need them, but in others they're what tells the browser to interpret the preceding characters as a separate unit to interpret as a symbol instead of plain text.