Frequently Asked Questions: Botanary

General QuestionsPlantScout Vendor Questions

    What's the difference between Botanary and Garden Terms?

    Botanary is a dictionary of plant names (family, genus, species), their etymology (what the name means) and pronunciation assistance. Garden Terms is designed to help gardeners share their own definitions (and pictures) of gardening tools, techniques, pesky critters, and other gardening terminology.

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    How is this different from every other botanical dictionary?

    Three major distinctions make Botanary unique. 
    • First, it's inter-connected to PlantFiles, so you can learn the meaning of a plant's name while you're learning about the plant itself.
    • The second difference is its size.  Botanary currently contains more than 15,000 family, genus and species names, plus meanings and pronunciations.  When combined with Garden Terms, you have access to about 20,000 plant names and gardening terminology.
    • The third difference is that Botanary grows each day, with new entries added for and by gardeners.  Unlike most botanical dictionaries, which were written by a single author or committee, and have never been added to or edited, Botanary is an ongoing, ever-changing and growing repository of information. Any registered user can add new terms.

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    Why is it called Botanary?

    It's a fanciful name, combining the words "botanical" and "dictionary".

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    Can I add a new plant name to Botanary?

    Sure!  Once you've checked to make sure it's not already listed, you can add it through the link on the homepage, along with a definition and pronunciation.  It will go into a queue for review, then released within a few days.

    Please note that your submission may be edited and re-formatted to make it consistent with other entries.  Here are a few tips to help you submit your entry in accordance within our general guidelines.
    1. Length. Definitions are limited to under 200 characters, but most entries are much shorter than that.  (Shorter definitions are usually easier to remember.)
    2. Dates.  We don't list specific dates of birth and death for those commemorated.  Our reasons for avoiding them are two-fold:  one, some of the honorees are still alive, which would necessitate editing our entry some point in the future.  The second is due to the discrepancies in historical records. We'd rather be generally accurate than precisely incorrect.
    3. Family names.   Typically these include only a reference to the botanical and common name,  rather than repeating the entire etymology of the generic (genus) name.  Here's a list of the family names currently found in Botanary for an idea of the accepted format.
    4. Ref. genus.  Botanary is already linked into a large database of plants, and it's easy to find a list of referring genera within PlantFiles; there's no need to reiterate them within Botanary.
    If possible, please submit separate entries for each declension that is in use.  If you're entering a specific epithet (species name), check for other forms of the name applied to other plants.  If the plant name ends in -a, there may be plants that use the same epithet, but ending in -us or -umPlant names ending in -e may have a counterpart that ends in -is.  But if you're unsure, don't worry about the additional forms; we'll check for them when we review your entry.

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    Do I have to be a subscribed member to use this feature?

    No.  It's readily available for anyone to use.  You do need to be logged in under your (free) username to add a new word or definition.

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    What if I make a mistake, or find an error made by someone else?

    Please let us know!  You'll find the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of each page.  (Be sure to tell us specifically which entry contains the error, and what the error is.)  One of our editors will review and correct it.

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    I've read this FAQ and I still have a question about Botanary!

    Use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom and tell us your question. We'll do our best to answer your question quickly.  Registered members can also post their question in the PlantFiles discussion forum for peer-to-peer assistance.

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