Derivations of Scientific Names

Understanding the meanings of latinized binomial names used in biology is an aid in learning to use them and in remembering them. We have divided the latinized carnivorous plant names used in this book into two lists below: a list of generic names and a second list of species, subspecies, and forms. In each case we have attempted to provide the best definition, distilled from several botanical dictionaries and our own extensive reading. It is easy enough to provide a "translation" based on Latin or Greek roots, but a biologist is not compelled to explain why he named a plant or animal as he did, and indeed few have. Many original descriptions are lost in antiquity. Consequently, a little detective work and imagination are required to see the application of a particular name to a particular plant. In some cases, we have not the faintest idea why a certain name was chosen, even though we may translate it, and we will say so in those instances. One other word of caution: Latin or Greek language scholars may take exception to some of the botanical meanings below. All we can say is that, in those instances, latiniza-tion has been subjugated to botanization!

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