Why do we have botanical names?
Botanical names are preferred to common names because
- they are internationally recognised
- apply to only 1 plant unlike common names which could refer to several plants
Why are they more useful
- Can refer to the person who collected the plant in the wild eg Davidia is named after Pere David the monk who found it
- The name can refer to the plants characteristics such as colour (viola tricolour means three colours, lamium purpureum is purple) or habit (repens is spreading), hirsuta is hairy
Why are botanical plant names important
- Stable and unambiguous
- Avoids confusion
- International form of identity Common international language
- Common names vary with location
- Botanical names can also indicate a relatedness between plants where they have a common genus whereas common names do not
Binomial names are unambiguous, stable over time, unique to that species and internationally understood because they are scientifically determined (they may change, but only for good scientific reasons), which ensures consistent plant identification and communication. Unlike common names, which are inconsistent and can vary from one place to another.