HortiPlexHortiPlex: Help Page

This page is meant to help explain the terms and icons used in the HortiPlex database.

Key to Terms   |   Key to Icons   |   Key to Member Ratings   |   Other Help Pages


Key to Terms

Botanical Name
The botanical name is the scientific name for a plant. Each different plant has a unique botanical name. This is generally the most accurate way of referring to a plant as many plants have similar common names. The botanical name is properly written in italics. For instance, the plant commonly referred to as black-eyed Susan is known by the botanical name, Rudbeckia hirta. The botanical name of a particular plant is usually made up of two parts. The first is the genus, which is always capitalized. In our example, the genus is Rudbeckia. Each genus may contain many different plants. The second part of the botanical name is the species epithet. In our example, the species epithet is hirta. So, while there are many plants in the genus Rudbeckia, there is only one know as Rudbeckia hirta. Taken together, Rudbeckia hirta is referred to as a species. The combined genus and species name is sometimes referred to as the binomial, because it has two parts and is properly printed in italics.

Common Name
A plant may have more than one common name, as people in one region may refer to it with one name and people in another region might use another name entirely. Also, many different plants may share the same common name. Because of this, it is generally preferable to refer to plants by their botanical names.

Genus
This refers to the record for a particular genus. Each genus will contain one or more species/plant records. The genus is properly printed in italics.

Species
This refers to the record for a particular plant as it occurs in nature. It may be a species, such as Rudbeckia hirta, or a subspecies, variety, etc.

Cultivar
A cultivar is a plant selected for certain characteristics that may have either been found in wild populations or, more oftern, created by hybridization. Cultivars are given proper names in single quotes following the botanical name of the plant from which it is derived. For instance, Rudbeckia hirta 'Kelvedon Star' is a cultivar derived from Rudbeckia hirta.

Group
When used in reference to plants, a group usually refers to cultivars or hybrids of common parentage. For instance, roses (members of the genus Rosa) have been hybridized for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. There are literally thousands of cultivars. Cultivars of common parentage are often referred to by a group name. The group of roses known as Hybrid Teas all share a related parentage and certain characteristics.

Family
A family is the botanical category above genus. Each family contains many genera (the plural of genus) that share like characteristics. In our example, Rudbeckia hirta is a member of the family Compositae, which includes all the plants with compound flower heads.

Author
The botanical author is person who first identified the plant with a botanical name. In our example, Rudbeckia hirta was named by Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778), who named a great many plants. The author's name is usually abbreviated. Linnaeus is abbreviated as simply "L." as he is considered the father of botanical nomenclature

Synonym
Sometimes a plant that has received a botantical name from one author is given a new name by another author, either because they disagree or because the second is unaware the plant has already been named. These names are referred to as botanical synonyms. These synonyms are listed in our database so as to facilitate searching.

Key to Icons

This icon within a match means GardenWeb and/or its members have uploaded images of this plant. Click on the icon to see those images.

This icon within a match means GardenWeb members have uploaded opinions of this plant. Click on the icon to read those opinions.

This icon within a match means that there is information available at other sites. Click on the icon to see links to those sites.

This icon within a match means that there are images available at other sites. Click on the icon to see links to those sites.

This icon within a match means that a plant is available for purchase from a vendor. Click on the icon to see links to those vendors.

Key to Member Ratings

Members are asked to rate plants on these criteria:

overall
How would you rank it overall, compared to other plants you've grown?
(10=one of the best, 1=one of the worse)

how easy
How easy is it to grow?
(10=very easy, 1=very difficult)

flower
How well does it flower?
(10=very well, 1=not at all)

foliage
How attractive is the foliage?
(10=very attractive, 1=not at all)

propagate
How easy is it to propagate?
(10=very easy, 1=very difficult)

Other Help Pages

Members are asked to rate plants on these criteria:

How to Add Comments and/or Images
This page explains how members can add entries to their journals.

Adding Plant Entries
This page explains how to submit plant names that need to be added to the database.

Submitting Links
This page explains how to submit links that will be displayed with database listings.

 


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