Botanical Latin
Decriptions and Diagnoses
Translated and Parsed

a project of
V. F. Thomas Co. - P. O. Box 84 - Hulls Cove, Maine  04644

updated: 23 May 2024)

A description gives one or more character states of one or more characters for a taxon. Taxa below are species.

A diagnosis compares a new taxon (here, a species) with a known one (i.e., one that has been previously described or diagnosed.

Names used below Species names below that are links are the current names. Names that are not links are those that were given when the species were originally named/described. Following each unlinked name is a reference/link to the current name.

Thank you to Tom Hayward, lecturer emeritus in Classical and Medieval Studies at Bates College (Lewiston, Maine), for his help when I find myself struggling with a translation. In the end, however, I accept responsibility for any errors in this glossary or in the associated translations unless I can find some way to blame them on Tom (or on anyone else). Comments and corrections are welcome and should be sent to Thanks.

Links to translations of botanical Latin descriptions of species:

- A -
   Abies alba
   Abies mariana (now Picea mariana)
   Abies balsamea
   Aframomum melegueta
   Agriophyllum squarrosum
   Amomum cardamomum (now Elettaria cardamomum)
   Amomum grana-paradisi (now Aframomum melegueta)
   Amomum zerumbet (now Zingiber zerumbet)
   Amomum zingiber (now Zingiber officinale)
   Azalea lapponica (now Rhododendron lapponicum)
- B -
   Biscutella didyma
   Blitum capitatum (now Chenopodium capitatum)
   Blitum virgatum (now Chenopodium foliosum)
   Boerhavia diffusa
   Boerhavia erecta
   Boerhavia repens
   Boerhavia scandens
   Boesenbergia rotunda
- C -
   Canna angustifolia (now Canna glauca)
   Canna glauca
   Canna indica
   Cedrus libani
   Chamaecyparis thyoides
   Cheiridopsis rostrata
   Chelone hirsuta (now Penstemon hirsutus)
   Chenopodium capitatum
   Chenopodium foliosum
   Chionanthus zeylonica (now Chionanthus zeylonicus)
   Chinanthus virginicus
   Chionanthus zeylonica (now Chionanthus zeylonicus)
   Chinanthus zeylonicus
   Chironia trinervia (now Exacum trinervium)
   Circaea alpina
   Circaea lutetiana
   Comptonia peregrina
   Corispermum hyssopifolium
   Corispermum squarrosum (now Agriophyllum squarrosum)
   Cupressus disticha (now Taxodium distichum)
   Cupressus sempervirens
   Cupressus thyoides (now Chamaecyparis thyoides)
   Curcuma longa
   Curcurma rotunda (now Boesenbergia rotunda)
- D -
   Dendrolycopodium obscurum
   Diphasiastrum complanatum
- E -
   Elettaria cardamomum
   Exacum trinervium
- F -
   Fritillaria meleagris
   Fritillaria pyrenaica
- G -
- H -
   Huperzia selago
- I -
   Iris versicolor (now Limniris versicolor)
- J -
   Jasminum azoricum
   Jasminum fruticans
   Jasminum humile
   Jasminum odoratissimum
   Jasminum officinale
   Jasminum sambac (formerly Nyctanthes sambac)
   Jasminum sambac (formerly Nyctanthes undulata)
   Juniperus barbadensis
   Juniperus bermudiana
   Juniperus communis
   Juniperus lycia (now Juniperus phoenicea)
   Juniperus oxycedrus
   Juniperus phonecia (formerly Juniperus phoenicea)
   Juniperus phonecia (formerly Juniperus lycia)
   Juniperus thurifera
   Juniperus virginiana
- K -
   Kaempferia galanga
   Kaempferia rotunda
   Kalidium caspicum (formerly Salicornia arabica)
   Kalidium caspicum (formerly Salicornia caspica)
- L -
   Larix decidua
   Lathraea anblatum
   Limniris versicolor
   Liquidambar peregrina (now Comptonia peregrina)
   Lycopodium complanatum (now Diphasiastrum complanatum)
- M -
   Mesembryanthemum rostratum (now Cheiridopsis rostrata)
- N -
   Nyctanthes arbor-tristis
   Nyctanthes sambac (now Jasminum sambac)
   Nyctanthes undulata (now Jasminum sambac)
- O -
   Olea capensis
   Olea europaea
- P -
   Paederota bonarota
   Pedicularis palustris
   Penstemon hirsutus
   Phillyrea angustifolia
   Phillyrea latifolia
   Picea abies
   Picea glauca
   Picea mariana
   Pinus abies (now Picea abies)
   Pinus balsamea (now Abies balsamea)
   Pinus canadensis (now Tsuga canadensis)
   Pinus cedrus (now Cedrus libani)
   Pinus cembra
   Pinus larix (now Larix decidua)
   Pinus picea (now Abies alba)
   Pinus pinea
   Pinus strobus
   Pinus sylvestris
   Pinus taeda
- Q -
- R -
   Rhododendron lapponicum
- S -
   Salicornia arabica (now Kalidium caspicum)
   Salicornia caspicum (now Kalidium caspicum)
   Salicornia europaea
   Salicornia virginia
   Salvia sclarea
   Syringa persica
   Syringa persica (now Syringa persica)
   Syringa vulgaris
- T -
   Taxodium distichum
   Taxus baccata
   Taxus nucifera (now Torreya nucifera)
   Thuja occidentalis
   Thuja orientalis
   Torreya nucifera
   Tsuga canadensis
- U -
- V -
   Veronica alpina
   Veronica anagallis-aquatica
   Veronica aphylla
   Veronica beccabunga
   Veronica bonarota (now Paederota bonarota)
   Veronica hybrida (now Veronica spicata ssp. hybrida)
   Veronica incana
   Veronica maritima (now Veronica longifolia)
   Veronica longifolia (formerly Veronica longifolia)
   Veronica longifolia (formerly Veronica maritima)
   Veronica officinalis
   Veronica scutellata
   Veronica serpyllifolia
   Veronica spicata
   Veronica spicata ssp. hybrida
   Veronica spuria
   Veronica virginica (now Veronicastrum virginicum)
   Veronicastrum virginicum
   Viburnum acerifolium
   Viburnum nudum
- W -
- X -
- Y -
- Z -
   Zingiber officinale
   Zingiber zerumbet