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Definition of species

Categorized under "General"

Definition as written by Sis:

A horticultural term referring to plants having a certain distinctive character or characteristics in common

Definition as written by Terry:

A more technical definition would be that a species is a distinct succession of interbreeding individuals from one generation to the next.

In taxonomy, a species name follows the genus name and is always lowercase. Genus and species names are analogous to our own monikers (our last name places us in a group of closely related people, while our first name differentiates us from our siblings.) Just remember that in taxonomy, the more general (genus) name comes first, and the more specific name is second, rather like writing our name as "Last name, first name".

Species names must also agree with the genus names in terms of gender (male, female, or neuter), which is often best deferred to the Latin experts.

It's important to know that when written, a species is the shown as the genus and species name, and should be italicized or underlined

For example:
Lilac = Syringa vulgaris
Pot marigold = Calendula officinalis

Many gardeners seem to have an allergy to using botanical names, but once you start learning them, you can have confidence in speaking of a particular plant with a gardener anywhere in the world.

For more taxonomy fun, see also tautonym, basionym, synonym and hybrid


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