Botanical Latin Translations

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(updated 7 March 2023)

Picea mariana (P. Mill.) B.S.P.

Taxonomic history:
   1768: P. Miller described this species as Abies mariana in The Gardeners Dictionary, 8th ed., p. ABI–ABI.
   1824: Albert Gottfried Dietrich created the genus Picea in part 2 of his Flora der Gegend um Berlin.
   1888: When Nathaniel Lord Britton, E. E. Sterns, and Justus F. Poggenburg (abbreviated as B.S.P.) “revised and corrected” the nomenclature of the Preliminary Catalogue of Anthophyta and Pteridophyta reported as growing spontaneously within one hundred miles of New York City, they moved Miller’s Abies mariana to the genus Picea (page 71).
   today: The current name for this species is Picea mariana (P. Mill.) B.S.P.

original Latin description
Abies foliis linearibus acutis, conis minimis.

English translation
Abies with leaves linear [and] acute; with cones [the] smallest.

English translation with commentary
Abies Abies
with leaves foliis - ablative plural of 2nd declension neuter noun folium, -i
linear, linearibus - ablative plural neuter of group B adjective linearis, -is, -e; modifies foliis
[and] [added for smoother reading]
acute; acutis - ablative plural neuter of group A adjective acutus, -a, -um; modifies foliis
with cones conis - ablative plural of 2nd declension masculine noun conus, -i
[the] smallest. minimis - ablative plural masculine of the superlative degree (minimus, -a, -um) of group A adjective parvus, -a, -um; modifies conis

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