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Binomial nomenclature

The transition to the phylogenetic classification system has allowed us to continue to use the Latin binomial nomenclature to name plant species.

The plant families contain different numbers of genera (genuses), which themselves contain species.


To simplify, each plant has two Latin names:

  • the first corresponds to its genus,
  • and the second to itsspecies.

These two names are followed by:

  • the abbreviated name of the first botanist to describe the species (L. for Carl Linnaeus, an 18th century Swedish naturalist),
  • and its botanical family .

Example: English marigold or Calendula officinalis L. (Asteraceae).


Besides the scientific name, there are many vernacular or common names, many of which are rich in symbolism and history.

Thus, the English marigold is also called: Scottish marigold, Calendula.


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