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The Names of Plants

By: David Gledhill(Author)

426 pages, b/w line drawings

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Mar 2008 | Edition: 4 | #161487 | ISBN-13: 9780521685535
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £35.99 $48/€40 approx
Hardback | Mar 2008 | Edition: 4 | #161486 | ISBN-13: 9780521866453
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £59.99 $79/€67 approx

About this book

The Names of Plants is an invaluable reference for botanists and horticulturalists. The first section gives an historical account of the significant changes in the ways that plants have been known and named. It documents the problems associated with an ever-increasing number of common names of plants, and the resolution of these problems through the introduction of International Codes for both botanical and horticultural nomenclature. It also outlines the rules to be followed when plant breeders name a new species or cultivar.

The second section comprises a glossary of generic and specific plant names, and components of these, from which the reader may interpret the existing names of plants and construct new names. With explanations of the International Codes for both Botanical Nomenclature (2000) and Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (1995), this new edition contains a greatly expanded glossary, which includes the Greek, Latin, or other source of each plant name.

"This small book holds an incredible amount of information [...] a handy reference for anyone learning about plants [...] Understanding the history behind the rules of nomenclature should help the professional, student, and gardener alike to comprehend why plants are named the way they are."
Horticultural Science

"[...] I judge a book, mostly, by how much I learn from it. And I learned a lot from this one."
Systematic Botany

"A remarkably useful and interesting little book [...] should be on the bookshelf of every biologist."
Biological Conservation

"The entire book is written in such a way that a person with limited botanical background can understand it, yet it does not come across as trivial or boring to the professional [...] The book is excellent."
– William J. Crins, The Canadian Field-Naturalist

"[...] thoroughly recommended as a scholarly and carefully produced guide to plant names and meanings."

"[...] twice the size of the last edition with over 17,000 entries. [...] the 380 page glossary [is] the book's value and fascination. [...] In short, this book is a treasure – anyone with a glimmer of interest in plants should have a copy."
The Biologist

"[...] The increase in information is incredible. The authors of the family treatments and specialists that have contributed to this volume are warmly complimented on the results. [...] This is an extremely useful, valuable and essential contribution and it is recommended to all who want to know what names 'mean'. I am going to buy this book."


- Preface
- The nature of the problem
- The size of the problem
- Towards a solution to the problem
- The rules of botanical nomenclature - Family names
- Generic names
- Species names
- Epithets commemorating people
- Geographical epithets
- Categories below the rank of species
- Hybrids
- Synonymy and illegitimacy
- The international code of nomenclature for cultivated plants
- Graft chimaeras
- The glossary
- Bibliography

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