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Heather

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I came across this in a file at work and thought it might be useful to some of us.

Colors
alba= white
caerulea = sky blue
aurea = golden
niger = black
rosea = rosy, pink
rubra = red
viride = green
virens = greenish
glauca = w/bloom or whitish
chlore = green
melan = black
atropurpureus = blackish purple
luteum = yellow

Size
mini = small
macro = large
mega = largest
parvi = small
pauci = few
lati = wide
angusti = narrow
tenui = thin, weak
grandi = large, showy
minor = less
major = more
hyper = above, extreme


Numbers
uni, uno = one
mono = one
duo = two
bi- = two
tri, tre = three
tern = three
tetra = four
quatro = four
quinque = five
sex = six
septa = seven
octo = eight
novem = nine
deca = ten
poly = many
bunda = oh so many
a- = without
oligo- = few

Habitat
sylvatica = woods
arvensis, -a= cultivated land
palustris, -a= of marshes
alpina = alpine
montana = mountainous
rivale = by streams
virginiensis= from eastern North America
pennsylvanica= Mid-Atlantic
canadensis= north of NY, Canada
occidentalis= western
australis = southern
borealis = northern
orientalis = eastern
campestris= plains/low fields
caroliniana= from the south
americana= discovered in America

Habit (style of growth)
cernua = nodding
repens = creeping
procumbens= reclining
verticillata= whorled
acaulis = stemless
stolonifera= producing runners


Shape/Texture
glabra, -ous= smooth, without hairs
rotundi = round
reni = kidney shape
cordata = heart shape
linearis = long/narrow
cornuta = horn shaped
pubescens= downy
hirsuta = hairy
sempervirens= evergreen
rugosa = wrinkled
maculata s = potted
lucide= shiny
laevis= smooth
cuneatus = wedge-shaped
pilosus = hairy

General
folia, -um, -us= leaf
phylla, -um, -us =leaf
carpum = fruit
flora = flower
petala = petal, petal-like
radicans = rooting
sativus = cultivated or sown
hetero = different/variable
homo = similar/alike
sperma, -us= seed
gymno- = naked
novi = new
ped = foot
-oides = resembles
pseudo = false
vernalis = spring
aestivale = summer
autumnalis= fall
hyemalis = winter
nivalis = of the snow
officinalis = on official list, for medical use


Suggested reference:
Neal, Bill. Gardener’s Latin, Discovering the Origins, Lore & Meanings of Botanical Names. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. 1992.

Pronunciation:
It has been said that the secret to pronouncing Latin names is....to do it with authority!
Here are a few basic rules that will help. Maybe the greatest aid is hearing the words.

Endings:
words ending in -aceae (typical family ending); a-see-ee
the “ch” in Polystichum; pronounce as a “k”
the double “cc” as in occidentalis; ox-si-dentalis
the letter “i”’ ee
the letter “g”: hard before a, o, u; soft before e, i, y
Accents:
words ending in two syllables bounded by consonants (Camptosorus, Osmunda)have the accent on the next to the last syllable; Camptosorus, Osmundawords ending in two syllables not bounded by consonants (Botrychium, banksiana,Tofieldia) have the third syllable from the end accented: Botrychium, banksiana, Tofieldia.

All vowels in words ending in -ium, -ia, -ii, etc. are usually pronounced individually
 
Last edited:
G

goldenrose

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Excellent! Very useful!
Too many for my memory, I'll have to copy & paste!
 

Ron-NY

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ah, I see what you are saying...LOL, I should have waited for you and copied and pasted.
color one column and size another. I am going to remove my post and wait for your edit
 

Heather

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Mark's dictionary is great too.

I had no idea that pennsylvancium was the mid atlantic - I always figured it meant that it was originally found in or native to Pennsylvania. Same with virginicum (as in Mertensia virginiensis) very interesting!
 

bwester

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Mark's dictionary is great too.

I had no idea that pennsylvancium was the mid atlantic - I always figured it meant that it was originally found in or native to Pennsylvania. Same with virginicum (as in Mertensia virginiensis) very interesting!
huh huh huh.... virgin.....
latin kicks ass
 

DukeBoxer

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So is besseae pronounced ee-a or ee-aye. I have always thought of it as the first ee-a, but only hear ee-aye.
 

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